Students who qualified with a Diploma endorsement upon completing their matric have the chance to apply for a UNISA Diploma qualification for the 2020 academic year.
What is A Diploma?
When it comes to undergraduate qualifications there are usually 3 levels of qualifications. The lower level indicates the higher certificates, the highest level indicates the Bachelor Degrees and the middle level refers to the Diploma qualifications.
While a diploma qualification is a step down from a bachelor’s degree, a diploma offers a more practical approach to the work compared to a bachelor’s degree.
The middle child of the undergraduate qualifications, the diplomas offered by UNISA are similar to a Bachelors’ degree. However, there are differences between the two, such as:
- A diploma provides greater depth in knowledge as to a Higher Certificate qualification;
- Diplomas place emphasis on career-centric/vocational training with a view of obtaining practical knowledge within the course;
- Students who completed a Diploma qualification obtained a specific set of skills compared to Bachelor degree students.
Meanwhile, a Bachelors’ degree:
- Provides a general overview of the subject(s) (which is refined upon doing a postgraduate qualification);
- Virtually the same length as a diploma, but promotes a balance between practicality and critical thinking.
Why Should I Consider Doing A Diploma Qualification at UNISA?
Have you noticed that games come in different levels of difficulty? The levels usually come in easy, normal, and hard mode, right? With that logic, it’s safe to view a UNISA diploma qualification as the “normal” mode.
Students who qualify for a diploma qualification have the option of studying either for a diploma or a higher certificate. However, just because a diploma’s rated as “lower than a degree”, that does not mean that it’s less relevant.
One reason why diploma-qualifying students do the course(s) is that it’s held in higher esteem than the higher certificates. That does not mean that the Higher Certificates do not hold any value – they do.
Another advantage that a diploma has over a degree includes the ability to provide students with the skills and capabilities to make them job-ready at a faster rate than Bachelor degree students.
Important Facts on the UNISA Diploma Qualification
When applying for a UNISA Diploma qualification, it’s wise to keep the following factors under consideration:
- Minimum APS required is 18
- The Diploma qualifications are all 3-year qualifications;
- The maximum time given to complete a UNISA diploma is 8 years;
- The NQF level of a diploma offered by UNISA is NQF 6;
- Total credits for each qualification is 360 (30 modules).
As with all qualifications, there is a set of additional requirements set for (most) diploma qualification(s). The requirements vary with each qualification as each one is different from the rest.
To view what the requirements for each qualification are, view the diploma qualifications here.
Keep in mind that even if you do pass with a Diploma pass upon leaving school, this does not guarantee entry into any qualification. One has to meet the requirements of their chosen qualification in order to study that course in the future.
Diploma Qualifications Offered by UNISA
UNISA offers a variety of diploma qualifications that’s a bit more diverse and specific in nature than their Higher Certificate offerings. The qualifications are:
- Diploma in Accounting Sciences
- Diploma in Administrative Management
- Diploma in Adult Basic Education and Training
- Diploma in Agricultural Management
- Diploma in Animal Health
- Diploma in Banking
- Diploma in Chemical Engineering
- Diploma in Civil Engineering
- Diploma in Corrections Management
- Diploma in Electrical Engineering
- Diploma in Explosives Management
- Diploma in Human Resource Management
- Diploma in Industrial Engineering
- Diploma in Information Technology
- Diploma in Law
- Diploma in Local Government Finance
- Diploma in Marketing Management
- Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
- Diploma in Nature Conservation
- Diploma in Office Management and Technology
- Diploma in Ornamental Horticulture
- Diploma in Policing
- Diploma in Public Administration and Management
- Diploma in Public Relations
- Diploma in Pulp and Paper Technology
- Diploma in Retail Management
- Diploma in Safety Management
- Diploma in Security Management
- Diploma in Small Business Management
- Diploma in Tourism Management
Clicking on any of the abovementioned courses will display course information on the respective qualification. From there, it’s easier to determine whether you’ll qualify or not via the APS and additional requirements.
Many of the above-mentioned are qualifications that neither UNISA higher certificate nor degree qualifications offer. Applicants who qualified with a diploma endorsement have to ensure that they choose the correct course of their choice.
UNISA also have a list of National Diploma qualifications on hand alongside the Diploma qualifications. However, the qualifications are all in the process of phasing out over the next few years, available only to already registered students.
What Are Advanced Diplomas and How Can I Apply For One?
There is a large difference between the Diploma and the Advanced Diploma. Both are considered as undergraduate qualifications. However, the Advanced Diploma is a level higher than a regular Diploma in terms of the academic hierachy.
Advanced Diplomas are NQF7 qualifications that focus on a specific course of study post-Bachelors’ degree. In some way, it can be viewed as a postgraduate qualification (they’re not though).
To qualify for an advanced diploma, a student would have to be:
- In possession of a Bachelor’s Degree relevant to the Advanced Diploma; or
- An appropriate Diploma or National Diploma relevant to the Advanced Diploma
Naturally, with the different kinds of advanced diploma qualifications available, they each come with a different set of requirements. Read more on what advanced diploma qualifications are available at UNISA here.
When Is It Possible to Apply for a Diploma at UNISA?
Students who are interested in studying for a Diploma qualification for the 2020 academic year can apply anytime during the year. Approved students will be able to register for their qualification from 3 January 2020.
Applicants have the option to either apply via:
UNISA requires the following documents in order to complete an application:
- A copy of their school qualifications;
- Copy of their ID certificate or ID and passport (if international);
- If applicable, a copy of their marriage certificate or divorce decree;
- A copy of their tertiary academic record(s) (if applicable);
- Sworn translations of said documents if they are not in English or Afrikaans.
Keep in mind that UNISA reserves the right to reject student applications due to oversubscription or non-qualification of the course by the student.
Also Read: Guide on Applying at UNISA 2020
Last Updated: 21 January 2020