Study @ Unisa

Get started with your studies

Schedule your year

We know that in addition to your studies, you have other commitments. To avoid becoming overwhelmed or feeling out of control, it is important to have a structure to manage your responsibilities and to keep you focused on your studies. Your study plan will also help you to renegotiate your time with yourself and others. The following activities will help you to get started with your study planning:

  • Think about when you will study. Think about your commitments and when you are at your best.
  • Take stock of what you do and how you spend your time.
  • Take a look at your planning. Do you need to put anything on hold until you complete your qualification?

We suggest you draw up a weekly study plan so that you are able to 

  • work through the study guides/lessons/study units
  • read and study the relevant sections of prescribed books (where applicable)
  • incorporate additional material if necessary
  • do the assessments
  • prepare for the exams or final assessments (if applicable – some modules make use of continuous assessment or portfolios)

Remember: For a 12-credit module, you will need to spend at least 120 hours working on the module. For a 24-credit module, you will need to spend at least 240 hours working on the module. 

Make the most of your time

To thrive as a Unisa student, "learning how to learn" becomes crucial. Creating good study habits will help you manage your studies more effectively. This includes:

  • Actively engage: Take notes, ask questions, participate in discussions, and seek clarification from your tutors and lecturers. Don’t just passively consume information – be curious and challenge yourself to go beyond the course material.
  • Explore different learning techniques: Experiment to find what works best for you and the subject you are studying. Do you learn best visually through mind maps, diagrams and videos? Does summarising key points in writing solidify your understanding? Learn more about effective notemaking techniques.

Unisa provides you with several support services that will help you on your journey


Activate your registration and engage with Unisa through myUnisa. It's your central hub for communication and an essential study tool.

Claim your myUnisa Account Learn How to Use myUnisa
myLife e-mail account

Registered Unisa students all get a free myLife e-mail account. Important information, notices and updates are sent exclusively to this account. Please note that it can take up to 24 hours for your account to become available after you have claimed your myUnisa account.

Your myLife e-mail account will be the only e-mail account recognised by Unisa for official correspondence to and from the university, and will remain the official primary e-mail address on record at Unisa.

Official communication from the university is sent via e-mail to a student's myLife e-mail account. The rules for the use of the myLife e-mail account are as follows:

  1. The university provides all registered students with a free myLife e-mail address. It is the student's responsibility to activate their myLife e-mail account as soon as their registration is finalised.
  2. The myLife e-mail account will be the only e-mail account recognised by Unisa for official correspondence to and from the university and will remain the official primary e-mail address on record at Unisa.
  3. All official communication from the university will be sent to the myLife account. Other additional communication channels may be used from time-to-time, but the university will communicate with students primarily via their myLife e-mail addresses.
  4. The management of this e-mail account remains the responsibility of the student.
Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB of Online Storage

Get Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB of online storage, free of charge. Microsoft Office 365 is an integrated service that provides you with access to a set of Microsoft tools, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and One Drive. These can be installed on three devices.

OneDrive gives you 1TB of online storage. With Office 365, you have the perfect place to store all your personal files. All your files will be stored online, which means that you'll be able to access them anytime, anywhere, by logging in to your 365 account using your Unisa myLife e-mail address and password.

Learn How to Use Office 365
Social Media

Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn and YouTube are great channels through which to share ideas, find other students, ask questions and generally stay informed.

Facebook X (Twitter) LinkedIn YouTube Official YouTube Student Support
Unisa Radio

Internet-based Unisa Radio is a vibrant and informative platform of information and topics focused on our Unisa students. Its programming consists of music, informative interviews and talk shows.

Unisa Radio
Learning Online Skills

Master computer basics with free online courses to enhance your academic experience.

Academic Development Open Virtual Hub Goodwill Community Foundation

Unisa has introduced e-tutoring in many undergraduate modules, thus integrating support that is potentially accessible to each student, irrespective of their geographic location. A group of about 200 students is linked to one e-tutor. Students in a group are able to interact and learn from one another.

Read more
Study groups

Being isolated and removed from your lecturers and fellow students is often one of the major challenges of distance learning. You can overcome this by joining and forming study groups with fellow students. Being part of a study group will allow you to discuss problems, link new subject matter to sections of work you have already mastered and check that your understanding of a module is the same as others' understanding thereof.

Academic Literacies Services

Our Academic Literacies Services support Unisa students - from undergraduate to doctoral level - who aim to develop their literacies practices in the areas of academic language, quantitative literacy (academic numeracy), information literacy and learning literacy (study skills). Check with your closest Unisa regional centre which academic literacies services are offered.

Contact your regional centre
Tutorial classes

Tutorial classes allow students to interact, collaborate and learn from one another. Discussions are facilitated by experienced tutors, focusing on problem areas, key issues and themes. While the trend at Unisa is more towards e-tutoring, physical tutorials are still held at some centres. Check with your closest Unisa regional centre to see if tutorials are offered for your modules.

Tutorial Schedule Contact your regional centre
Support for students with disabilities

The Advocacy and Resource Centre for Students with Disabilities (ARCSWiD) is responsible for providing services for students with disabilities registered with Unisa.

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Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

RPL will identify and assess your skills against your specific Unisa qualification, irrespective of how and where you acquired that knowledge. If could have been obtained through informal training, on-the-job experience or life experience. It will be measured against the specific learning outcomes of the subject.

Read more

Did you know?

Experiential learning forms part of the curriculum of a number of Unisa qualifications. There is a range of potential modalities, which include, but are not limited to, workplace learning, projects, simulations, practicals and internships. Please familiarise yourself with the specific requirements and outcomes of the module, such as applicable time frames, documentation to be submitted, statutory body registration, mentor or supervisor ratification, scope of evidence required with regard to experience gained and/or mastery, and assessment requirements. Experiential learning requirements may be linked to seasonality, which means that required experiences may only present themselves during certain seasons and as such students should ensure that they make provision for this in their time management and planning.

Last modified: 2024/02/29