UNISA Applications 2024

UNISA Applications 2024

Unisa applications for the 2024 academic year is open from 01 September 2023 until 13 October 2023. 


However, the closing date for all undergraduate, honours degrees and postgraduate qualifications has since been extended to 17 November 2023.


Furthermore, applications for undergraduate qualifications from UNISA’s College of Accounting Sciences and College of Science, Engineering and Technology will be open up until 31 January 2024, providing prospective and recurring students ample time to apply for their chosen qualification.


Prospective and recurring students looking to apply for a Masters or Doctoral qualification at UNISA in 2024 have until 10 November 2023 to apply for the course of their choice.


What Are The General Steps Involved In The Unisa Application Process?

The UNISA application process is designed to make pursuing higher education accessible and efficient.


Here are a series of straightforward steps to guide prospective students in the application process. These steps outline the process from start to finish:


  • Choose a Qualification: Research and decide on the qualification you want to pursue from UNISA’s available programs.
  • Check Admission Requirements: Review the specific admission criteria for your chosen qualification to ensure you meet the necessary prerequisites.
  • Apply for a Student Number: You need a student-issued number before you can continue the application process.
  • Complete Online Application: Log in to your myUnisa account and fill out the online application form accurately with your details and selected qualifications.
  • Upload Supporting Documents: Upload required documents such as academic transcripts, ID or passport copy, and any other relevant documents.
  • Pay Application Fee: Pay the non-refundable application fee using the provided payment methods. Keep the proof of payment. This is a once-off payment.
  • Wait for Communication: UNISA will review your application and communicate the outcome via email or your myUnisa account. This may take several weeks.
  • Accept Offer and Register: If accepted, follow the instructions to accept the offer. You’ll receive information about how to register for courses.

Is There An Application Fee, And How Can I Pay It?

UNISA does charge a fee for new students applying for a qualification. If you are a returning student, you will not need to pay this fee again.


The fee is charged currently at R135.00, but this can change, so keep up-to-date. Your reference number will be assigned to you using your student number and application fee allocation number as follows:


  • Student Number + application fee allocation number = Student-number 0123456789

UNISA does not offer cashier services, only payments via a bank will be accepted. The application fee can be paid through various methods, including:


  • Online payment
  • Bank deposit
  • Electronic funds transfer (EFT)

When you complete your online application, you will receive detailed instructions on how to make the payment. It is essential to keep the proof of payment and send a copy of it as instructed. This may be required for verification purposes. 


Remember, the application fee due date will be the same as the application closing date. Look out for any changes to the fees.

Can I Apply For Financial Aid Or Scholarships At The Same Time As My Application?

UNISA understands the financial factors when pursuing higher education, they also offer various forms of financial assistance, including bursaries, loans, and scholarships. You are encouraged to explore the available financial aid options and apply for them concurrently with your application. 

This way, you can streamline the process and increase your chances of receiving the necessary financial support to make your academic journey smoother. Remember to review the specific requirements and deadlines for each financial aid opportunity you are interested in.


You can reach out to UNISA’s financial aid office if you have any questions or need guidance.

Which Programs Can You Apply For At Unisa?

UNISA offers a complete range of tertiary educational levels, from higher certificates to Doctorates. Each Qualification differs in length and amounts of subjects. Students will have to meet the requirements for the specific qualification. 

Undergraduate Qualifications

Explore the foundational landscape of higher education with undergraduate qualifications. From diplomas to bachelor’s degrees, this section delves into the diverse pathways that pave the way for academic exploration and professional growth.

Higher Certificates

Higher certificates can come in handy when wanting to apply for a diploma or degree. If you do not meet the requirements for a degree program, you can opt to choose a higher certificate first in the same field of study and move your way up to higher NQF qualifications.


Here are the specifications for a Higher Certificate:


  • A higher certificate takes a minimum of one (1) year to complete.
  • It has an NQF level of 5, with a total of 120 credits.
  • Students should have passed Matric or an equivalent educational qualification, with the minimum pass requirement in application to UNISA standards.

Advanced Certificates

Students who have completed a higher certificate in a similar or same major can apply for an advanced higher certificate. Here are some specifications of Advanced Certificates:


  • An Advanced Certificate can take anywhere between 1 year to 3 years to complete.
  • It has an NQF level of 6, with a total of 120 credits.
  • Students will need to have completed a higher certificate in the same field of study or have a diploma that covers similar subjects.

Postgraduate Certificates

The Postgraduate Certificate programs at the University of South Africa (UNISA) are designed for individuals who have already obtained prior tertiary qualifications and wish to further specialise or enhance their skills in a specific field.  Here are some specifics regarding  Postgraduate Certificates:


  • A Postgraduate Certificate takes a maximum of 3 years to complete.
  • It has an NQF level of 7, with a total between 120–132 credits.
  • Students would need to have either completed an accredited diploma or degree program to qualify for a postgraduate certificate:


UNISA’s diploma programs are for high school graduates or individuals who have done some tertiary qualification seeking practical education in specific fields, offering a balanced mix of theory and skills. These prepare students for careers or further studies.


A Diploma program entails the following:


  • A Diploma program can take between 3 years to 8 years to complete.
  • It has an NQF level of 6, with a total between 240–360 credits.
  • Students will need to have passed their Matric at least with a diploma pass. Students could also have completed a higher certificate within the same field of study as the chosen Diploma course.

Advanced Diploma

The Advanced Diploma programs at the University of South Africa (UNISA) are designed for individuals who have completed a relevant diploma or bachelor’s degree and are looking to further specialise or advance their expertise in a particular area.


Take a look at what an Advanced Diploma entails:


  • An Advanced Diploma can take a maximum of 3 years to complete.
  • It has an NQF level of 7, with credits varying from 120 credits depending on the student’s choice of Advanced Diploma.
  • Students will need to have completed a diploma in the same or similar field of study or an appropriate completed Degree.

Bachelor's Degrees

Degrees at the University of South Africa (UNISA) are accessible to individuals who want an in-depth understanding of their chosen field, equipping them with critical thinking, research, and analytical skills. Here is what the Degree entails:


  • A Degree program takes between 3–6 years or a maximum of 8 years.
  • It has an NQF Level of 7, with 360 credits.
  • Students should either have passed Matric with a bachelor’s pass or have taken an accredited higher certificate in the appropriate field.

Are There Specific Quotas Or Restrictions For Certain Programs That I Need To Be Aware Of?

UNISA’s programs can have specific entry prerequisites, quotas, and limitations influenced by factors like program demand, resources, and industry needs. Key considerations encompass meeting academic requirements, language proficiency (for international students), and document submission.


Quotas might exist due to resource constraints, particularly in high-demand fields. In competitive scenarios, selection criteria could include academic records, tests, interviews, or portfolios.


Some programs may mandate National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) to gauge academic readiness. Being attentive to distinct application deadlines is vital for timely and thorough submissions.  

Is There A Limit To How Many Programs I Can Apply For In One Application Cycle?

Unisa provides students with the opportunity to choose a maximum of 2 qualifications.  Applying for multiple programs usually involves indicating your preferences in order of priority. There are however factors that may influence your admission.


UNISA will consider your qualifications, admission requirements, and the availability of spots in each program. If you are eligible and meet the criteria for your preferred programs, UNISA will offer you admission into the highest-ranked program that you qualify for based on availability.


 If you are not accepted into your first choice, you could still be considered for your subsequent choices if you meet their criteria. Remember to carefully read UNISA’s application instructions and stay aware of any updates or changes in their admission policies for the most accurate and current information.

Is Unisa The Right Fit For My Preferred Qualification?

Determining whether UNISA is the right fit for your preferred qualification depends on several factors. Consider factors such as the reputation of the university in your desired field of study, the specific program’s curriculum, faculty expertise, available resources, and any practical considerations like location or mode of study (online vs. on-campus). 


Researching the program’s details, and admission requirements, and reading student reviews can provide insights into whether UNISA aligns with your academic and career goals. Additionally, reaching out to current students or alumni for first-hand experiences can help you make an informed decision about whether UNISA is the right choice for pursuing your preferred qualification.

What Sets Unisa Apart From Other Universities In South Africa For Pursuing A Qualification?

Distance learning and online programs are some ways UNISA distinguishes itself. This unique model provides remarkable flexibility, enabling students to learn at their speed and from anywhere. This structure can benefit those who work or have personal obligations.

How Does Unisa's Flexible Learning Approach Work For Students Who May Have Work Or Personal Commitments?

UNISA’s adaptable learning strategy caters to students juggling demanding schedules. With online courses, study materials, and assessments accessible from a distance, learners can effectively harmonise their academic pursuits with professional, familial, and personal responsibilities.

Is There Any Support Available To Help Me Choose The Right Program Before Applying?

UNISA offers support for program selection before applying. Dedicated academic advisors are available to aid in choosing the right course for the student. The university’s website gives comprehensive program details and admission prerequisites. 


There are further options such as direct communication with academic departments for future students who need tailored guidance in making informed decisions. UNISA offers financial aid to students who meet the requirements, as a way to further support their students to overcome challenges in further education. 

By considering these aspects, you can determine if UNISA aligns with your educational goals, commitments, and financial needs. Always consult the official UNISA website or contact their admissions department for the most accurate and current information.


After your application has been proven successful, the next step would be to register, but that’s a story for another day.

Author: Lynnzelle Adams

Editor: Dylan Florence


Date Published: 31 August 2023

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