Can I Study at Unisa Without Matric?

Can I study at UNISA without Matric? The short answer to that is no, you can’t.  But here are the steps that you can take to ensure that you can study at UNISA without Matric in the future:


  1. Look at the entrance criteria for all the UNISA courses
  2. Take special care that you look at courses with lower entrance criteria
  3. Do the work in order to reach the entrance criteria (for example, upgrading your Matric marks or gain your Adult Matric)
  4. Make sure you have at least 2 choices in your application
  5. Look at alternatives to a degree, such as higher certificate or diploma courses
  6. Look at certificate and diploma courses that can lead to degree alternatives – i.e they are on the same level as a degree

If you do not have a matric you may be anxious about your future job prospects. But remember – you don’t have to start with a university degree!  Starting with a certificate or diploma can get your career started, and get you excellent work experience while you improve your qualifications over the years.


Remember, there are other options to UNISA

UNISA is not the only option for distance learning study, and may be out of your grasp right now if you do not have matric. However, you can choose a lower level course that can give you entrance to a degree course later, which ensuring that you can still start your career now.

Here is a list of certified private distance colleges where you can study without a matric to your name:

A UNISA degree usually takes around 8 years to complete

That is a long time to wait before you can apply to start working in your chosen career! A Unisa degree can take up to 8 years to complete – and for some, that’s a bit too long.

If you start with a diploma course you will receive your first certificate in around one year, and you can start applying for jobs in your industry 7 years before someone that starts a university degree today!


Alternative Qualifications You Can Study Without Matric

The two qualifications that we recommend for anyone wanting to study without matric are Institute of Chartered Bookkeeping (ICB) courses, and Certified Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA) courses.


ICB Diploma Qualifications

You can start studying with ICB on a grade 10! And the final qualification takes you two levels past matric. So an ICB qualification is excellent for any student who has no matric.

ICB qualifications come in the form of the following study fields:

  1. Business Management
  2. Financial Accounting
  3. Office Administration

Each of these diploma courses is broken down in 3 or 4 levels. The GREAT thing about that is that you get your first qualification after only a few subjects. By the time you have your diploma qualification, you will have received a 3 or 4 qualifications along the way!


With a UNISA degree, you only get your qualification right at the end once you have completed every single subject. And that is usually between 32 to 40 subjects, which will take around 8 to 10 years to complete if you are an average student working a full-time job!


Imagine you get your first qualification in a year, and can apply for a junior office role to start getting work experience while you study further!

CIMA Qualifications

There are no entrance criteria for CIMA, and it is also broken down into levels just like CIMA, with qualifications along the way.


CIMA qualifications are only in management accounting.  So if you want to work as an accountant this is perfect for you.  There are excellent, well paid job opportunities, and there is a real shortage of skilled people in this field so finding work is much easier once you are qualified.


The CIMA qualification is internationally recognised, as well as locally, which is another awesome benefit. And finally – a CIMA qualification is a great alternative to a university degree, and is on the same academic level.  It also gives you access to ACCA qualifications, which can take you even further.


I Still Want to Study at UNISA and I Don’t Have Matric

If you are an adult you can consider ABET, which is suitable for anyone with a basic education lower than Grade 9.  ABET stands for Adult Basic Education Training.


With an ABET Level 4 certification to your name, you can move onto the next step towards studying at Unisa: Getting your Adult Matric. Once you get your adult matric, you will be able to apply and study at Unisa. Alternatively see if you qualify for the certificates, bridging courses or diplomas.

Last Updated: 26 August 2022