Unisa Open Applications for the 2022 Academic Year

It’s that time of year again for many students across the country – Unisa applications for the 2022 academic year is open!

From 11 August to 15 October*, applicants will be able to apply at Unisa for the qualification of their choice to study at the university. The application window is open to both new students and returning students looking to start a new qualification.

New and returning prospective Unisa applicants are able to apply for a qualification for the 2022 academic year, online at the following dates:

  • Undergraduate qualifications ( higher and advanced certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas, and degrees): 11 August to 15 October 2021
  • Honours degrees and Postgraduate Diploma qualifications: 11 August to 15 October 2021
  • Masters and Doctoral Qualifications: 8 September to 12 November 2021 (exceptions may apply)

Registration for the Unisa 2022 academic year opens on 4 January 2022. The gap between the end of the application window and the beginning of the registration window provides ample time for students to find out whether their applications were successful or not.

Who Can Apply to Study at Unisa (Undergraduate Studies)?

This may come as a surprise but not many know whether they qualify to study at the university; whether they can actually apply or not. Prospective Unisa students can apply to study at the university towards an undergraduate qualification if they meet the following requirements:

  • Applying at Unisa for the first time;
  • Current registered Unisa students looking to change to a new qualification;
  • Unsuccessful previous Unisa applicants;
  • Successful applicants who were unable to register for their qualification;
  • Students who completed/are completing a lower qualification (Higher Certificate/Alternative Pathway or Extended Programme) and looking to apply for an undergraduate qualification.


Furthermore, prospective students have to meet admission requirements as well as meet the admission points score (APS) in order to qualify to study at Unisa. Other key factors taken into consideration when it comes to applications include gender, race, socio-economic factors, etc.

Who Can Apply to Study at Unisa (Postgraduate Studies)?

Prospective students looking to apply towards studying a postgraduate or honours programme at Unisa include:

  • Students applying at Unisa for the first time;
  • Currently registered Unisa students looking to change to a new qualification/change specialization of their current qualification; 
  • Final-year undergraduate students who wish to continue their studies with a postgraduate qualification (except students applying for the Honours in Psychology qualification); and 
  • Successful applicants who were unable to register for their qualification.

Applicants will only be able to apply for their chosen qualification online. Furthermore, applicants will have their applications assessed according to both admission requirements of the qualification of choice as well as your final cumulative marks obtained at undergraduate level.

Postgraduate applicants are assessed through a formal selection and approval process, which can take up to three months to finalize.

Who Can Apply to Study at Unisa (Masters & Doctoral Studies)?

Prospective applicants looking to study towards a Masters or Doctoral qualification at Unisa in 2022 includes the following:

  • Students applying at Unisa for the first time
  • Current Unisa students looking to apply towards a new qualification
  • Final-year students who wish to continue with their studies with a Masters/Doctoral qualification
  • Previously registered Masters or Doctoral students who failed to register for the 2021 academic year and want to resume their studies.

Furthermore, the university provides selection degrees which only allow a set amount of applications able to study the qualification. Selection degrees have their own application dates which are set and administered by their respective academic departments.

Selection degrees include the following qualifications:

Additional qualifications that applicants can apply for outside the prescribed application dates include the:

  • MSC in Nature Conservation
  • Qualifications in the Department of Decision Sciences
  • Qualifications in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (bar Computer Science qualifications)

FAQ: What Qualification Can I Apply For to Study at Unisa in 2022?

Most students preparing for life after Matric know more or less what they plan to study. Things don’t always go as planned though, with low Matric marks hindering your plans. What would you do in this situation?


At Unisa, prospective students are able to apply for a maximum of two (2) qualifications. This way, if the university decides to reject your application for one qualification, you still have another chance to qualify for your second choice.


If both qualification choices are accepted by Unisa from you, then you’re in luck! You get to choose any of your choices but be warned – you will only be able to choose one course. Applicants would have to accept or decline the university’s offer within 10 days of the offer awarded, with Unisa reserving the right to withdraw any unaccepted offer.


The same rule applies to postgraduate studies, with successful applicants only able to register for the qualification that they have received an offer from.


Keep in mind that if your application was successful, accept the offer as soon as possible (unless waiting until the 2023 application period sounds nice to you)!


Before you can fully accept Unisa’s offer, first-time applicants (only) will have to complete the First-Year Experience (FYE) Massive Open Online Course. The FYE MOOC is a short programme which helps applicants get to know the university a little bit better plus helping you choose the right qualification for you.


Only after completing the online course will applicants be able to accept the university’s offer.


FAQ: How Can I Apply to Study at Unisa?

Currently, the easiest and best way to apply to study at Unisa is through their online application portal. This has been the case since the COVID-19 pandemic began in late 2019, with online applications being the safest route towards applying at Unisa.


Students planning to enrol in classes at a TVET college under the UNISA-TVET agreement can either apply through the TVET college of choice or online via Unisa.


Undergraduate applicants will have to provide the following documentation in order for their application to be deemed successful:


  • Copy of your school qualifications (National Senior Certificate or otherwise)
  • Copy of your official tertiary academic records
  • Copy of your ID
  • Copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree (if applicable)
  • Sworn translations of documentation if not available in English or Afrikaans

Postgraduate applications follow the same process, with the difference being a copy of your official tertiary academic record stating the year of registration, modules passed and percentages obtained (no internet copies).


Please note that all of the above-mentioned documentation is subject to certification. Applicants who applied prior to 2016 will have to resubmit all required documents in order to avoid delays in processing your application.


Additional documentation may be requested by the university (depending on the qualification) in which Unisa reserves the right to request original documentation for verification purposes.


Documents have to be uploaded as individual files instead of one large file. This will make your application easier to process (plus one long file with all the documents could be bigger than the 2MB file maximum limit).


FAQ: How Much Does It Cost to Study at Unisa?

If you’re a returning applicant, then this section is not for you. For first-time applicants, listen up – once applicants complete their application and receive their student number, all that’s left is to pay the non-refundable application fee.


The key word is non-refundable – even if an applicant decides not to go through with registration or if their application is rejected. That being said, the application fees for the 2022 academic year at Unisa (for all qualifications unless stated otherwise) is R120 for online applications.


Visit Unisa’s Payment Info section on more information on FNB banking details and how exactly you can pay your application fees online here.


You Don’t Pay, You Don’t Play – in layman’s terms, this means that if you do not pay your application fee before the close of the application period (15 October for Undergraduate and Postgraduate, 12 November for Masters & Doctoral), you will not be able to register to study at Unisa in 2022!

Applicants who failed to qualify to study at Unisa will be notified as soon as their applications are processed. Spaces for certain qualifications are limited, so offers will only be made once all applications are processed. Applicants will be informed that the qualification of your choice is subject to enrollment management.

Published: 12 August 2022

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