Undergraduate & honours qualifications

Higher Certificate in Animal Welfare

Qualification code: 90098
NQF level: 5
Total credits: 120
SAQA ID: 101937
APS/AS: 15
Purpose statement:
Qualifying students will have acquired the knowledge and skills specified by the South African Veterinary Council for the paraveterinary profession of Veterinary Welfare Assistant. More specifically, they will be able to demonstrate and apply knowledge of animal anatomy and physiology, behaviour and husbandry, standards for ethical behaviour in relation to animals, and a range of other knowledge and skills related to animal care and well-being. The qualification strives to promote animal welfare awareness and a commitment to ethical animal care and well-being. It further aims to alleviate the severe shortage of veterinary-related skills in South Africa by providing qualified Veterinary Welfare Assistants to work in support of animal welfare organisations in communities across the country. In so doing, it will promote the general benefits people derive from a healthy companion animal population, and also contribute to advancing social and economic transformation by providing accessible opportunities for individuals and career development to people from all social and cultural groups.
This qualification will be presented using both online and distance learning modes.

Who can register?

  • Applicants (new applicants & Unisa students who applied for admission to a new qualification) may only register if they have received an offer of placement from Unisa and have accepted the offer online. Unisa reserves the right to not process and / or to cancel your registration if it is found that you were incorrectly admitted to a qualification. 
  • Re-registering students may register for the 2024 academic year once the registration period opens.

Please note: Should you wish to start a new qualification, please apply online for the alternative qualification during the prescribed application period.

How to choose your modules

Each Unisa qualification is structured in such a way that you need to pass a certain number of NQF level credits within a certain amount of time in order to graduate.

  • Co-requisite: Module A is a co-requisite for Module B. You want to register for Module B, but have not yet passed Module A. You must then register for both Modules A and B simultaneously. You may NOT cancel your registration for Module A unless Module B is also cancelled.
  • Pre-requisite: If Module A is a pre-requisite for Module B, you must pass Module A before you may register for Module B.

You may not register for more than the allowed maximum number of credits / modules per academic year and / or semester: 60 credits per semester or 120 credits per academic year.

The maximum number of credits do not include supplementary and / or aegrotat examinations from a previous semester. Modules taken for non-degree / non-diploma purposes also count towards the maximum number of credits allowed.

You must take your available time into consideration when choosing your modules, as this will impact your academic performance. You need approximately

  • 6 to 8 hours per week for semester modules.
  • 4 to 6 hours per week for year modules.

Click here for more information on managing your studies.

Curriculum for this qualification

While you are deciding on the modules for which you will be registering, write down the module names and codes so that you have something to refer to when completing your registration.

Please click on the modules below to see further information (eg semester/year module, NQF level)

First level

Students who have passed either PHC1501 or PHC1502 must register for BNU1501.
Students who have not passed both PHC1501 and PHC1502 should register for BNU1501 and PHC1511.