Can I study at UNISA without Matric?

Can I study a degree course at UNISA without Matric? No, at the moment 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, rewrite your Matric)
  4. Make sure you have at least 2 choices in your application
  5. Look at alternatives to a degree, such as certificate or diploma courses
  6. Look at certificate and diploma courses that can lead to degree alternatives – ie they are on the same level as a degree


Can I Study at UNISA without a Matric Certificate ?


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 exemption:



A UNISA degree usually takes around 10 years to complete


That is a long time to wait before you can apply to start working in your chosen career!

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 9 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 ofChartered 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.

Study at UNISA without matric

The ICB qualifications are in the following areas:


  1. Business management
  2. Financial accounting
  3. Office Administration
  4. Entrepreneurship
  5. Public 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 around 42 subjects, which will take around 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.  This 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.

Alternatively see if you qualify for the certificates, bridging courses or diplomas.  We will write more articles on this in future to assist any student with no matric who wants to study at UNISA.



Last updated: March 28, 2019

4 thoughts on “Can I study at UNISA without Matric?”

  1. i have matric and level 4 for plant production i want to know if i can study for diploma in agriculture magement at unisa

    1. As per Unisa’s website, these are the requirements for a Diploma in Agricultural Management:

      A National Senior Certificate (Diploma endorsement) with at least 50% in the language of teaching and learning and with at least 50% in Mathematics. In addition, 40% in one of the following: Agricultural Science, Physical Science or Life Sciences, or a Senior Certificate (SC) with at least a D symbol on HG or a C symbol on SG in the language of teaching and learning, and with at least a D symbol on HG or a C symbol on SG in Mathematics.

      In addition, an E symbol on HG or a D symbol on SG in one of the following: Physical Science or Biology or Agricultural Science, or an appropriate Higher Certificate in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

      Applicants who do not comply with the above requirements should consider applying for a lower level qualification for which they meet the statutory and additional requirements.

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