UNISA College of Education Undergrad Qualifications

Education is a popular qualification to study towards, and has been for many years. UNISA’s Education qualifications offer students the opportunity to take their career into Education. 

The concept of teaching and learning has been around for as long as we can find evidence of human life. We are always learning, and we are always teaching others. 

The same goes for students who feel that they need to give back to others what they have learned.

UNISA Education Qualifications

The Education qualifications offered by UNISA provides students with the opportunity to learn what it takes to work in the Education sector. Read further on what Education qualifications UNISA has to offer.

Higher Certificate In Education

Depending on how you look at it, the Higher Certificate in Education Foundation Phase and Intermediate Phase and the Higher Certificate in Education Senior Phase and Further Education and Training Teaching are the lowest Education qualifications that UNISA offers. They are NQF level 5 qualifications that consist of only 120 credits. They are 1-year qualifications, and students are given a maximum time of 3 years to complete them.

There are additional requirements that must be met in order to study one of these qualifications. Remember that you only need to meet one of the requirements below in order to qualify:

  • A National Senior Certificate (NSC) with at least 30% in the language of teaching and learning
  • A Senior Certificate (SC) with at least an “F” symbol on HG or an “E” symbol on SG in the language of teaching and learning
  • A National Certificate (Vocational) Level 4 with an equivalent of at least 40% in the language of teaching and learning in terms of the NSC.

These are by far two of the most popular courses available to students looking to gain a foothold in the Education sector. Note that while students cannot teach with the Higher Certificate in Education, they can use the qualification to apply for a B.Ed qualification.

You can also take a look at what other UNISA Higher Certificates 2020 are available. 

UNISA’s B.Ed Qualifications

Students who pass their Matric with a Bachelor’s Degree pass can apply for a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) qualification at UNISA. There are many B.Ed qualifications to choose from, depending on the level of learning students want to pursue.

The B.Ed is a 4-year (480 credits) NQF 7 qualification that takes up to 10 years to complete. Students willing to apply for one of these qualifications have to decide what level of education they are the most comfortable teaching at.

There are three levels of B.Ed qualifications:

While the Foundation and Intermediate phases are set standard qualifications, the Senior and FET Phase B.Ed qualifications are different. There are many Senior and FET qualification streams that students can apply for, with different subject specialisation combinations.

The APS requirement for the B.Ed qualifications is 23, however each qualification comes with different additional requirements. To view all the Education qualifications that are offered by UNISA, read more online here.

Advanced Diploma

The Advanced Diploma is a 1-year NQF level 7 qualification. Students seeking to apply for the Advanced Diploma will have to meet the following requirements set by UNISA:

  • A 4-year Bachelor of Education degree, or a general first degree or diploma, plus a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), or a former Higher Diploma in Education (Postgraduate).
  • A former Advanced Certificate in Education (Level 6 on the former 8-level NQF) or a former Further Diploma in Education which follows a former professional teaching qualification, or a former four-year Higher Diploma in Education.
  • In addition, a new Advanced Certificate (Level 6 on the current 10 level NQF) which followed a former Diploma in Education (including a National Professional Diploma in Education) may also be presented for admission into an Advanced Diploma.

There is a large difference between an advanced diploma and a regular diploma. Each qualification will also have its own requirements on top of those listed above. There are currently four AD Education qualifications offered by UNISA (at the time of writing).

Where Is The PGCE?

UNISA issued an announcement in June 2019 that stated that they are phasing out two (2) of its three (3) PGCE programmes (Foundation and Intermediate). 

The third (Senior and FET) will also be phased out, and will not be offered to any new students from 2020 onwards. Students already registered for these qualifications will have until the end of the 2022 academic year to complete their qualifications. 

This served as a huge disappointment to students looking to pursue a PGCE qualification after completing their Degree qualifications. Students looking to study at UNISA will also not be able to apply for the following Educational qualifications:

  • Honours Bachelor of Education
  • Additional Postgraduate Diploma in Education Streams.

Despite some UNISA Education qualifications being phased out, there are still many courses that students can apply for. 

Make sure that the qualification you choose is the right one for you by checking out what qualifications were included when UNISA Announced New Education Qualifications for 2020

Can I Study Education Without Matric? 

No, you cannot study for a qualification in Education without Matric. 

Can I Study At UNISA Without Matric? 

No, you must have Matric in order to apply at UNISA. All universities require Matric to be able to apply, and you must pass with specific pass levels. You must achieve the following pass levels to study the relevant qualification.

Pass Level

APS Requirement

Subject Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree pass


  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 50% or above for four subjects 
  • 30% or above for two other subjects

Diploma pass


  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for four other subjects
  • 30% or above for two other subjects

Higher Certificate pass


  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for three other subjects

National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass/Matric pass


  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for the remaining subjects
  • You can fail one subject

What NQF Level Is A Bachelor Of Education?

All Bachelor’s Degrees, including a Bachelor of Education, are NQF level 4 qualifications. There are 10 NQF levels, and they are as follows:

NQF Level

Educational Level


Grade 9/ABET Level 4


Grade 10


Grade 11


Matric Certificate/Matric Equivalent Certificate


Higher Certificate




Bachelor’s Degree


Honour’s Degree


Master’s Degree


Doctoral Degree

How Many Years Is Teaching Degree At UNISA?

A Bachelor’s Degree qualification takes a minimum of four years to complete. However, you may take longer to complete your Degree. The maximum amount of time you may take to complete a Bachelor’s Degree at UNISA is 10 years. 

What Are The Requirements For A Bachelor Of Education At UNISA?

The entry requirements to apply for a Bachelor of Education at UNISA are: 


  • A National Senior Certificate (NSC) (Degree endorsement) with at least 50% in the language of teaching and learning and at least 40% in Mathematics OR 50% in Mathematical Literacy


  • 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 and with at least an “F” symbol on HG or an “E” symbol on SG in Mathematics


  • A National Certificate Vocational (NCV) level 4 with at least 60% in three fundamental subjects including the language of teaching and learning; 70% in four vocational subjects chosen from the NCV level 4 subjects. 

What Have We Learned?

  • UNISA has education qualifications at Higher Certificate level and Bachelor’s Degree level
  • UNISA no longer offers new applicants for the PGCE qualification course
  • You cannot study Education at UNISA without Matric
  • You cannot study at UNISA without Matric
  • A Bachelor of Education is an NQF level 7 qualification
  • A Bachelor of Education takes a minimum of four years to complete


Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Sive Ncanywa
Date: August 30, 2022

23 thoughts on “UNISA College of Education Undergrad Qualifications”

  1. Hi! I have 21 APS, I WANT TO STUDY BEd foundation pha se and i dnt mind starting from the lower level but i want to know how do i go about it and if applied for fundza will it also cover from that lower level?.. i once studied ND in tourism management there and completed it in 2015

    1. Unfortunately with the Funza Lushaka bursary, you will need to be at least studying a BEd qualification or a PGCE qualification in order to qualify.

      With regards to starting at a lower level, I do recommend applying for a Higher Certificate in Education. That can be used as a platform to apply for a higher qualification such as the BEd Foundation Phase degree. You can read more online about the higher certificates offered by UNISA here.

  2. Hi, I have higher certificate in NSC, do I qualify to apply for higher certificate in education?
    I have been trying to apply for admission of this certificate but this higher “certificate in education” does not appear. only advanced diploma in education(inclusive) appears

    1. Remember that you do need to match the admission requirements and the APS score in order to apply and study for the HC in Education. I’ve taken a look and the qualification is available on the UNISA Application website.

    2. Hy I did higher certificate in unisa I have a certificate now they’ve been declining my application because of unisa is not doing Abet any more but what must I do now because they are the one that they told me to apply for Abet in order to get in B. Ed

  3. I have completed a diploma in Business management at Tvet college now i want to do teaching with it, is that possible ? Or i still have to do certificate with Unisa in order to qualify for this teaching course? Please help i don’t know what to do

    1. Having a diploma qualification under your belt should give you a better chance of qualifying for the degree, but I cannot say for certain whether you would qualify to study a BEd qualification at UNISA or not.

      The university does not state in its admission requirements on if TVET qualifications can help you qualify or not.

    1. You qualify to do an undergraduate qualification, diploma and below. This includes higher certificate qualifications.

  4. I would like to study bachelor in education but the problem is that my Grade 12 marks are very low I need to know which bridging course can I take to upgrade my marks for bachelor in education course

    1. The best option would be to apply to study towards the Higher Certificate in Education. This would be the best option for you if you do seek to pursue a career in Education.

      Please note that you have to meet the requirements set by the university in order to do the qualification.

  5. Veronica Daniella Ruiters

    I am currently a student at UNISA and i have recently completed a qualification, which is a Higher Certificate in ABET.

    Kindly, I would like to query about the next step I could take regarding a qualification, what are my next options in a qualification? as I would like to do teaching

    Please may you assist me with my concern?

    1. You unfortunately cannot study a BEd qualification with a Higher Certificate in ABET as the university does not allow it. It used to be that once you’ve completed the HC in ABET, you could apply for the Diploma in Adult Basic Education and Training.

      Unfortunately, the qualification is in the process of phasing out this year and as such, no alternative has been set (yet). Unisa could introduce a replacement qualification in future, but no news has come forward yet.

      There is no option available for you to study at Unisa at the moment

    1. You cannot study for free at Unisa unless you study under a scholarship or bursary (which you may still have to pay back in some form or another).

  6. Kedibone Mathebe

    If i register for duploma in Teaching for the year 2022 will i be able to register for the bachelor of degree in 2023?

  7. good day can you please assist me here. um currently completing higher certificate in criminal justice.so I want to apply um not sure whether I should apply for Degree or diploma. Can you please give me advice.

  8. Keabetswe Ramanyoga

    Greetings ,I want to enroll for bachelor in education specializing in foundation phase I have aps of 27 excluding life orientation , I managed to obtain 57% in English and 51 % in mathematical literacy then the rest of my subject are 50% upwards,do I qualify for the foundation phase qualification?

  9. Hi , I wanted to study BeD HONOURS in foundation phase. I have 3 year teaching Diploma in foundation phase and an Advanced Certificate in Education but my application was denied. Please advise what should I do to get accepted or mybe I need to top up with another Diploma. I’m so confused

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