Unisa Application Dates 2020

unisa-application-dates-2020
Unisa has released the application dates for the 2020 academic year.

Unisa has released the application dates for the 2020 academic year. Students who missed out on the previous Unisa application period in May finally have a chance to apply to study at Unisa.

The application dates for the 2020 academic year at Unisa are as follows:

  • Undergraduate Qualifications (higher certificates, advanced certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, BTech & degrees): 20 August 2019 – 27 September 2019
  • Postgraduate Diplomas & Honours Degrees: 20 August 2019 – 27 September 2019
  • Masters & Doctoral Degrees: 10 September 2019 – 8 November 2019

Registration for Semester 1 of the 2020 academic year will open from 3 January 2020. A closing date has yet to be announced and will be communicated to students when available.

Who Can Apply At Unisa (Undergraduate Qualifications)?

Before jumping straight into applying for a qualification at Unisa, you’d have to ask yourself whether you can actually apply or not. Prospective Unisa students can apply for an undergraduate qualification if they meet the following requirements:

  1. Applying at Unisa for the first time;
  2. Currently registered Unisa students looking to change to a new qualification;
  3. Previous applicants who were unsuccessful in their applications;
  4. Successful applicants who were unable to register for their qualification;
  5. Students who completed or are completing a lower qualification (Higher Certificate/Alternative Pathway or Extended Programme) and looking to apply for an undergraduate qualification.

Additionally, prospective students have to match the standards set by Unisa in order to have their applications accepted. This includes:

The APS

The Admission Points Score (APS) is a scoring system set by universities around South Africa to determine whether students are able to study for a qualification or not.

Read More: How To Calculate Your APS

Taken into account during Unisa’s selection process includes demographic factors such as race and gender.

Who Can Apply At Unisa (Postgraduate Diplomas & Honours Degrees)

When it comes to postgraduate diplomas & honours degrees, Unisa will assess and determine whether students qualify via:

  • Academic admission requirements; and
  • Final cumulative mark obtained at undergraduate level.

Students who can apply for a postgraduate diploma or an honours degree include:

  • Students who are applying at Unisa for the first time;
  • Currently registered Unisa students looking to change to a new qualification; 
  • Final-year undergraduate students who wish to continue their studies with a postgraduate qualification; and
  • Successful applicants who were unable to register for their qualification.

Who Can Apply At Unisa (Masters & Doctoral Degrees)

Prospective students who can apply for a Masters or Doctoral degree at Unisa include:

  • Students who are applying at Unisa for the first time;
  • Unisa students looking to change to a new qualification; 
  • Final-year students who wish to continue their studies with a masters/doctoral qualification; and
  • Previously registered masters & doctoral students who did not register in 2019 and want to continue their studies.

Additionally, Unisa has selection degrees. They are degrees that only allows a set number of applicants. Furthermore, they have their own application dates which are set and administered by their respective academic departments.

These include:

Students applying for a Masters or Doctoral degree have to apply for a student number (if they are not in possession of one). 

Additional information on how to apply for a Selection degree can be found online here.

What Qualification Do I Apply For At Unisa?

Most students preparing for tertiary education know more or less what they want to study after school. Sometimes though, things do not always go as planned. What if Unisa rejected your application? What will you do?

Fortunately, Unisa allows students to apply for a maximum of two (2) qualifications for this exact possibility. When choosing qualifications, applicants would have to make sure to put their preferred qualification as the first choice.

Applicants are only allowed to register for one qualification if both chosen qualifications are successful. Successful applicants will be notified by Unisa of their applications’ outcome. Applicants will then have to accept or decline the university’s offer during the given prescribed period.

If an applicant fails to accept Unisa’s offer in time, it will be offered to another applicant. Applicants will have to register within the period they’ve applied for. Failure to register will result in the applicant having to re-apply during the next application period.

Regarding postgraduate diplomas & honours degrees, successful applicants may only register for the qualification/specialization that they’ve received an offer from. Failure to register for the 2020 academic year (no matter the reason) will result in students only able to apply again in 2020 for the 2021 academic year.

Unisa is strict on matters like this. If your application was successful, register as soon as possible.

How Can I Apply To Unisa?

Applicants are able to apply to study at Unisa via their online application portal. Unisa also allows hard-copy application submissions, but in exceptional cases only.

Applicants who are planning to study at a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college through the Unisa-TVET agreement, may apply either at the TVET college in question or at Unisa (online or self-help).

What Documents Are Needed To Apply At Unisa?

Prospective students applying at Unisa for the 2020 academic year need the following documents available for the application process (in electronic format):

Undergraduate applicants:

  • A copy of your school qualifications;
  • Copy of your official tertiary academic record (if you have one; no internet copies)
  • A copy of your ID document or passport, depending on if you’re from South African or from another country
  • Copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree (if that is applicable)
  • Sworn translations of the above documents if they are not in English or Afrikaans

Postgraduate & honors applicants:

  • A copy of your school qualifications;
  • Copy of your official tertiary academic record stating the year of registration, modules passed and percentages obtained (no internet copies);
  • A copy of your ID document or passport, depending on if you’re from South African or from another country
  • Copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree (if that is applicable)
  • Sworn translations of the above documents if they are not in English or Afrikaans.

Additionally, international students applying for a postgraduate diploma or honours degree may have to submit to a SAQA evaluation. International students will also have to upload a copy of the university ledger.

Students in their final year of studies (excluding Unisa students) who do not have an official academic record that states that they’ve completed their qualification will have to submit their official academic record to Unisa by 13 December 2019.

Students who have applied to UNISA prior to 2016 need to resubmit all required documents in order to avoid a delay in processing your application. Note that certain qualifications may require additional documentation. UNISA does reserve the right to request the original documentation in order to verify the submitted documents.

Submitted fraudulent documentation is an offence as stated in the university’s Student Disciplinary Code (SDC) and can result in not being accepted to study at UNISA.

Additionally, submitting the academic record after 13 December will delay the processing of applications.

How Much Does It Cost To Apply At Unisa?

Once an applicant receives a student number from Unisa, all that’s left to do is to pay the non-refundable application fee. The fee is non-refundable – even if an applicant decides to not go through with registration at Unisa or if their application is rejected.

The application fees for 2020 are as follows:

Undergraduate applications

  • R110 – online applications
  • R170 – hard copy applications (exceptional cases only)

Postgraduate & honours applications

  • R110 – online applications

Unisa does not accept cash as payment at any of their campuses. When making the payment, make sure to use the student number you’ve received and the application fee reference number.

Additional info on Unisa’s payment methods and banking details can be found online here.

The due date for the final payment of the application fee is also the final date of the application period. Unisa will not accept any late application fees. Applications that are left unpaid by applicants will not be processed and will be deemed invalid.


Applicants will be notified whether their applications are successful or not. If successful, remember to accept Unisa’s offer within the given timeframe. If your application was unsuccessful, it’s not the end of the road. Always try and try again, not giving up.

Also Read: Guide on Applying to UNISA 2020

Last Updated: 22 August 2019

59 thoughts on “Unisa Application Dates 2020”

    1. Unisa have both diplomas and Bachelor degrees related to I.T. You’ll be able to find out more on the undergraduate qualifications here.

    1. Unisa does not offer diplomas qualifications for Education. They only offer Higher Certificate(s) (APS = 15), Advanced Diploma (APS = 60) and BEd (APS = 23).

      Fees will be calculated upon registration of modules. You can also use the study fees quotation tool from Unisa, which you can find here.

        1. As long as you meet the APS and the additional requirements of the BEd, then you should be able to apply.

          There are multiple BEd qualifications to consider, all of which you can find online here.

  1. Hi i want to study financial management, i have NQF level 2-4 office administration and N4-N5 management assistant . Will i be accepted?

    1. These are the current requirements to study for a Bachelors of Commerce in Financial Management at Unisa:

      A National Senior Certificate (NSC) (Degree endorsement) with at least 50% in the language of teaching and learning and with at least 50% in Mathematics,

      or

      a Senior Certificate (SC) with matriculation exemption (or qualify for the exemption from the Matriculation Board) and 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,

      or

      any Higher Certificate offered in the College of Economic and Management Sciences,

      or

      any Diploma obtained in the College of Economic and Management Sciences.

      Applicants who do not meet the admission requirements as indicated above, should apply for a lower NQF level qualification for which they meet the statutory and additional requirements.

      You can view what lower qualifications Unisa offers, online here.

    1. As per NSFAS, approved funded programmes at universities are all undergraduate whole qualifications i.e. degree, diploma or higher certificate programme, offered by a public university. Additional courses that are not core requirements of a whole qualification are not funded.

    1. We only offer online study groups and study resources such as study notes and exam packs, so you’d be unable to register with us as we’re not a college/university.

        1. NSFAS is not open at the moment, so you won’t be able to apply.

          Apply at UNISA first and when NSFAS opens, apply for a NSFAS grant.

    1. The straight answer is no. You would need an APS of 15 and at least 30% in the language of teaching and learning to do a Higher Certificate qualification at Unisa.

  2. Nonubonga ntsebetsha

    I want to study social worker, I have passed grade 12 with a deploma and I have studies business management N4, N5, N6

    1. Unisa offers a Bachelor of Social Work, which you can read more about online here.

      If you don’t meet the admission requirements, Unisa also offers a Higher Certificate in Social Auxillary Work, which you can read more about online here.

    1. You need Maths or Maths Literacy in order to do a HR qualification at Unisa. Unfortunately, there are no Higher Certificates for HR available at Unisa. You would have to speak to an Unisa student advisor on what you can do to obtain the right qualification in order to do a HR qualification.

  3. Hi, I have APS of 18 and 54 % in the learning language, so my question is will i be able to study a 1 year course in teaching?

    1. Does your APS include your LO score? Unisa does not take that into account.

      The Higher Certificate in Education requirements are an APS of 15 as well as having at least 30% in the language of teaching and learning in order to qualify. If you manage to have these scores, then you can apply. Remember though that even if you do qualify, that does not mean you’re guaranteed a spot to study at Unisa.

    1. Unisa offers a Bachelor of Arts in Nursing Science, which you can read more about here. Unfortunately, I cannot say whether you qualify with your qualifications or not as they’re 2 different sectors.

      These are the requirements for the abovementioned course:
      APS = 20

      A National Senior Certificate (NSC) (Degree endorsement) with at least 50% in the language of teaching and learning, or A Senior Certificate (SC) with matriculation exemption or qualify for the exemption from the Matriculation Board with at least a D symbol on HG or a C symbol on SG in the language of teaching and learning.

      Applicants have to be registered with the SA Nursing Council (SANC) or equivalent registering body as a professional nurse. 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.

      1. Hi can you please help me. ive got level 4 in early childhood development which is equivalent to matric and ive got level 5 higher certificate in early childhood development (credits123) Can i apply for B. Ed foundation phase at unisa?
        Thank you

        1. You cannot apply for Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Development: Foundation Phase) as it’s only offered to already registered students and is only available until 2025. Please click on the following link (here). It will provide you with information on what the admission requirements are for the BEd Foundation Phase.

          Please read the following article on how to calculate your APS: How to Calculate your APS.

  4. Hi can you please help me. ive got level 4 in early childhood development which is equivalent to matric and ive got level 5 higher certificate in early childhood development (credits123) Can i apply for B. Ed foundation phase at unisa?
    Thank you

    1. Also my level 4 certificate im not sure how to calculate the APS. It only says HC (highly competent) which is 50% and more. I passed the fundamentals subjects by 50% and more,and a few more other subjects. So im confuse really if thats a pass to qualify for the B. Ed foundation phase.
      Kindly let me know thank you

    1. UNISA do not really have bridging courses anymore. They instead have higher certificate qualifications which can be used as a bridging course.

  5. Hi there,
    I am currently doing my 4th year B.Ed intermediate phase(final year) at Fort Hare University. I am interested in applying for Early Childhood Development honors. Do you offer honors degrees for year 2020? I want to apply for next year.

    Thank you.

    1. We are not UNISA, so we couldn’t accept you. UNISA does, however, offer honours degrees. You can read what qualifications they offer, online here.

      By “All Colleges”, choose Education and you’ll be able to see the options.

    1. You can take any available qualification at UNISA up to a Diploma. However, it’s up to you to decide what qualification/course you want to study and whether UNISA offers the qualification of your choice.

      1. I was doing higher certificate in accounting back in 2012 at unisa but couldn’t finish my qualification I want to know if unisa still offer the qualification becouse first semester I tried to apply it online but it was not offered on the list of qualifications and how do I go about it do I appeal with unisa and if so how is the way forward

        1. Unisa has a Higher Certificate in Accounting Sciences, which you can find more on about here. However, I’m not sure if it’s the same qualification as what you did in the past.

  6. I have higher certificate with 15 APS points and 43% in english language of teaching and learning
    do i mostly likely qualify to study course of Higher certificate in education for one year, to do it as a bridging course than grant me to study full teaching qualifications
    do iqualify ?

    1. Remember that LO does not count towards your APS. If your current APS excludes LO, then you will qualify for the HC in Education.

      Just keep in mind that even though your marks make you qualify, it does not mean that you will automatically gain a spot to study at UNISA next year.

  7. One more question I heard that at UNISA they also offers a course of Tourism management.
    does UNISA offers Tourism management course for candidates with higher certificates qualifications with APS points 15 ??

  8. it does not mean that i will automatically gain a spot to study at UNISA ?
    I’m little bit confused here..
    why because of plenty students or it depends on your lucky ?

    1. It’s not always about luck though. Even students who qualify with good marks sometimes miss out.

      You have to remember that UNISA only offers limited spots per qualification. For example, UNISA would only have 5.5k positions available for the HC in Tourism Management, but 8k students qualify for the course and applied. It’s fair to say that some will miss out.

      All universities are unfortunately like that and some do not understand why they miss out. Majority of places would accept from the best qualifying students and move down the list – it’s the way it is.

  9. if you have Higher certificate then went to study Tourism management with teaching modules at TVet colleges
    N4
    N5
    N6
    will UNISA accept you to do PGCE with this qualifications ??

    1. Unfortunately not. You need an undergraduate degree to do a PGCE. At the same time, of the 3 PGCEs at UNISA, 2 will be completely shut down while the 3rd will not be available to new students from 2020 onwards. So unfortunately, you won’t be able to apply for a PGCE at Unisa.

  10. Hi
    I passed my matric with bachelor and I want to study Education Am I qualify to apply at unisa or any chances that I may be accepted

    1. You will need to match or be higher than the APS needed as well as meet the additional requirements set by the qualification.

      Even if you do meet the requirements, it’s not always possible that students will be accepted. Each qualification has limited spots on offer and not everyone who applies will be able to get a spot in the qualification of your choice.

      That is why UNISA gives applicants the option of choosing 2 qualifications on their application forms because of the chances that you won’t be accepted into one qualification, you will still have another shot into being accepted.

  11. SIPHESIHLE NXUMALO

    I have a degree in BA(culture and heritage tourism). I want to apply for honours can I qualify for Bachelor of Commerce Honours in tourism management at unisa

    1. It’s the natural next step considering what qualifications you have. This is the set of requirements for Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Tourism Management :

      An appropriate NQF 7 qualification from an accredited provider of higher education. A minimum of 60% for the major(s), or for a selected number of NQF 7 modules in the qualification.

      Alternatively, you can also apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Tourism Management which has the same requirements.

  12. I want to apply for Bed in foundation phase. My APS is 24 but I don’t have mathematics as a subject do I still qualify?

    1. You will not qualify as you need at least 40% in Mathematics or 50% in Mathematical Literacy with a National Senior Certificate (NSC) (Degree endorsement)

      or

      an F symbol on HG or an E symbol on SG in Mathematics with regards to a Senior Certificate (SC) with matriculation exemption.

    1. A bridging course is a short course that allows a matriculant to redo matric subjects with the intention of qualifying with a diploma/degree pass.

      ABET refers to Adult Basic Education and Training and refers to education up to the equivalent of grade 9 (standard 7). In other words, there is a big difference between a bridging course and an ABET qualification.

  13. Hi, I have national certificate in primary agriculture and diploma in farming management so do I qualify to do PGCE at Unisa?

    1. UNISA will not be offering PGCE to new students from 2020 onwards, so you will be unable to apply for a PGCE qualification at UNISA.

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