UNISA Postgraduate Bursaries

Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of Postgraduate Bursaries offered by UNISA?

  • Postgraduate diploma and Honours: The bursary cover tuition fees only for two consecutive years of funding, subject to 2nd year approved re-application.
  • Master’s degree by research and experimental research: The bursary covers tuition fees and research allowance limited to R55 000 over the first three consecutive years of funding (subject to an approved re/application).
  • Master’s degree by coursework: The bursary covers tuition fees and research allowance limited to R25 000 over the first two consecutive years of funding (subject to an approved re/application).
  • Doctoral degree by research: The bursary covers tuition fees and research allowance limited to R80 000 over the first four consecutive years of funding (subject to an approved re/application).
  • Doctoral degree by experimental research: The bursary covers tuition fees and research allowance limited to R120 000 over the first four consecutive years of funding (subject to an approved re/application).


I do not have a supervisor allocated to me; can I still apply for a bursary?

  • PG Diploma and Honours applicants do not have supervisors, therefore may apply.
  • For M&D applicants - No you may Not apply until you have a supervisor allocated to you, as no first-year students are considered for the M&D bursary.

Exceptional cases are only Master’s by coursework students who have passed two or more coursework modules, who are still awaiting allocated supervisor and are continuing with their remaining coursework modules.

Master/ Doctoral students by research are required to have supervisors, this includes Master’s by coursework students who are enrolling for their research component (after completing their coursework modules plus research proposal phase).

How do I apply for a Postgraduate bursary?

  • Read thoroughly through the Guidelines, terms and conditions, & note the application opening and closing date on UNISA Postgraduate Bursaries website.
  • Then click on “click here to apply” from the website located at the bottom of the bursary page. There is no physical/ PDF application form, everything is done online.

Who is New Applicant and Returning Applicant for PG Bursaries?

New Applicant:

  • A Student who does not currently hold any UNISA postgraduate bursary in relations to the qualification that they are applying for funding for.
  • UNISA registered student who is applying for UNISA postgraduate bursaries for the very first time, this includes students who may have previously attempted to apply but were unsuccessful.
  • A Student who previously completed a previously funded qualification and currently registered for a higher NQF level qualification to continue with their postgraduate studies.

Returning Applicant:

  • UNISA registered student who is already a beneficiary of a UNISA postgraduate bursary and is continuing with the previously registered/ funded qualification.

Is it possible or advisable to claim for research activities once off for example – during the first academic year of being awarded the post graduate bursary?

No, only final year master’s and doctoral by research students may submit a request of an increase/ adjustment for their research activities. This will be limited to students available remaining balance of the research activity fund, supported by their allocated supervisor.


The following research activities are covered but not limited to:

  • Copying
  • Printing
  • Language editing
  • Translation
  • Technical editing
  • Questionnaire administration
  • Statistical analysis
  • Transcribing
  • Technology e.g., Computer
  • Equipment needed.
  • Experimental block stipend
  • Other: Specify e.g., Chemicals
  • Conference attendance: Travel costs and Conference fees

When and how will I be notified of my bursary application outcome?

  • Once the application has gone through the application processing, selection, vetting and awarding then the outcome will be communicated through your mylife email account, close to the end of registration closing date, with exception to delayed bursary results on or after closing date of registration.
  • Should your fellow students get their bursary outcomes, please be patient, as not all students receive outcomes at the same time.

Can I appeal if my bursary has been rejected?

Master’s and Doctoral students may submit an appeal between 1 May – 7 May, supported by their supervisor.

Postgraduate diploma and honours students may submit an appeal between 1 April – 7 April.

  • Appeals should be submitted as a formal email to CGS-pgb@unisa.ac.za with information/ evidence proving that the rejection reason(s) provided contradicts student’s status quo.
  • Students who can NOT appeal
    • Students who have been fully funded for the full bursary period.
    • Students who are unsuccessful due to insufficient funds.
    • Students who have adequate external/ alternative funding (double dipping)
    • Students who were rejected by the college vetting process due to unsatisfactory academic performance.
    • Students who are NOT eligible for the bursary as per bursary guidelines, terms, and conditions.


How do I submit my Refund/ allowance Form?

  • Submit the correct form and attachment(s) back as per email instructions provided in the Claim/ Refund email sent to you via email using your mylife email account, and NOT your private email.
    • Only South African (RSA citizen) students with South African bank accounts are required to complete their banking details through the banking link which will be sent to the respective student. The rest of the international students are required to complete the correct refund form:
      • There is a separate form for South African bank accounts.
      • There is also a separate form for international (foreign) bank accounts.

Who do I contact for bursary related queries?

Enquiries that will be attended to at the DSF PG bursaries application section: CGS-pgb@unisa.ac.za

  • Enquiries relating to the UNISA Postgraduate Bursaries processes for Postgraduate Diploma, Honours, Master’s, and Doctoral students.
  • Enquiries related to the processing and approval of individual bursary applications.
  • Enquiries relating to the receipt and processing of the bursary contracts (Post approval of application)
  • NB: Please be patient with your bursary outcome, you don’t have to email the bursary office if we have already acknowledged receipt of your bursary application, kindly be patient with the processing, as soon as an outcome is available, we will inform you.

Enquiries that will be attended to at the DSF PG Bursaries award section: DSF-POSTGRD@unisa.ac.za  

  • Enquiries relating to the processing of bursary awarding - refunds/allowances, payment of the funds and banking details link related queries (Post receipt of signed bursary contract by DSF PG bursaries application section)

Last modified: 2023/12/18