UNISA Higher Certificates 2020

Unisa Higher Certificates for 2020
Unisa Higher Certificates. Picture: Pixabay

UNISA Higher Certificate qualifications are in high demand, especially for students who did not qualify with a Bachelors’s Degree pass in Matric. Studying for a degree at university after school is usually a top priority for students wanting to further their education. However, it’s not always possible due to not meeting the admission requirements of certain qualifications.

Therefore many students opt to do a bridging course to improve their marks and chances of doing an upgraded higher qualification. This is where the Higher Certificate qualifications offered by UNISA come into play.

Why Should I Consider Doing A UNISA Higher Certificate?

Naturally, people are disappointed when they find out that they’re not able to do a degree and instead of having to do a lower qualification. It’s like, for example, craving for a Big Mac but you only have enough money for a small Cheeseburger. It’s simply not the same.

That does not mean that there’s no value in having the cheeseburger though. You’re still having that cheeseburger rather than going on an empty stomach. The same goes for studying a lower qualification. Just because it’s not what you were originally aiming for, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any value to it.

Did you know though that students can use the UNISA Higher Certificate qualifications to apply for a higher qualification? Not to say that the National Senior Certificate (NSC) isn’t valuable, but wouldn’t you think that you stand a better chance of being accepted for the qualification of your choice if you already have a UNISA qualification in your chosen field behind you?

Here are a few pointers to consider while you’re thinking about whether to do a Higher Certificate qualification or not:

  • The higher certificate qualifications are seen as an introductory phase into the career path of your choice;
  • Higher certificates are more industry-orientated than other qualifications;
  • This will thus prepare students well when it comes to implementing the skills learned in the workforce;
  • Becoming a specialist in a certain area of expertise would result in a higher chance of applicants offered job opportunities than those without the required skills;

Important Facts about the Higher Certificate at UNISA

There are a number of factors students need to consider before applying for a higher certificate qualification at UNISA:

  • The minimum APS for all Higher Certificate qualifications is 15.
  • The maximum time to complete a Higher Certificate qualification is 3 years.
  • The NQF level of the Higher Certificates is Level 5
  • Each qualification consists of 10 modules, equalling 120 credits

Separately, additional requirements needed to qualify for a Higher Certificat includes:

  • Having a subminimum of 30% n the language of teaching and learning (NSC); or
  • Having at least an F symbol on HG or E symbol on SG in the language of teaching and learning (SC); or
  • A National Certificate (Vocational) (NCV) with at least 40% in the language of teaching and learning in terms of the NSC.

Some qualifications do require further additional mark requirements (Mathematics, Life Sciences, etc.). Requirements have to be met in order for students to qualify. In other words, it’s not only the APS that matters when it comes to qualification.

Also Read: How To Calculate Your APS

What Higher Certificate Courses Do Unisa Offer?

UNISA offers a variety of Higher Certificate qualifications that students can use to apply for a higher qualification. At the time of writing, UNISA offers 15 Higher Certificate courses in various subject fields:

When choosing what qualification to study, always remember that you have to choose a course that aligns with your chosen career choice. It wouldn’t make sense to study, for example, a Higher Certificate in Animal Welfare when you’ve decided to pursue a career in the Arts.

When Can I Apply for A Higher Certificate?

Students interested in applying to study for a Higher Certificate in the 2020 academic year can do so from 20 August till 27 September 2019. In order to apply, students can either apply via Unisa’s application tool online or a hard copy submission. Successful applicants will then be able to register from 3 January 2020.

Also Read: UNISA Application Dates 2020
Also Read: Guide on Applying to UNISA 2020

Please note that UNISA reserves the right to deny applicants even if they do meet the admission requirements. This would be mainly due to a qualification being oversubscribed. UNISA offers limited space to each qualification and there may be too many students applying for a single course.


Last Updated: 22 August 2019

42 thoughts on “UNISA Higher Certificates 2020”

    1. As stated in the article, you can study for a Higher Certificate in Education. One step further would be to study a BEd qualification. Find out what BEd qualifications are available here.

      1. Goodness Nelisiwe

        I want to study a higher certificate in education I want to know more as I was been rejected applying for diploma in office administrator and public administration

        1. You have to meet the requirements set by UNISA in order to have a chance of having your application approved. The article shows what’s needed to study for a Higher Certificate in Education.

          You can also read more about UNISA’s Education Undergraduate Qualifications here.

    2. Good morning, I have office administration ncv level 4 certificate and would like to study education with UniSA is it possible? Thanks

      1. Please take a look at the admission requirements of the particular Education qualification at UNISA whether you qualify or not.

        Read more on UNISA’s Education qualifications here.

  1. Hi I would Like to Study Bachelor of arts in Forensic science and Technology. But I have a Senior Certificate(SC) without endorsement.

    D in English HG
    29 years of age

    Does Unisa apply for Matriculation Exemption At the Matriculation Board for you on day of admission registration?

      1. 1.Can I finish a higher certificate courses before 3 years in order to apply for a diploma?
        2.Can i do a bridging course having a matric higher certificate?

        1. You have up to 3 years to finish a Higher Certificate qualification. Upon completion, you can apply for a diploma or degree of your choice (as long as it’s relevant to the higher certificate qualification).

          To answer your second question, the Higher Certificates offered by UNISA can be used as a bridging course (as long as you meet the APS and additional admission requirements).

  2. Hi, please advise…
    I only have a Gr 11 pass. I would like to enrol to study for a national diploma in safety management. I have been working in this field for 10+ years. Is it possible for me to apply for some sort of bridging course that I can enroll in or can I apply for the Higher Certificate?
    Any advice will be most appreciated.

    1. Unisa has this thing called the Recognition of Prior Learning.

      As per UNISA’s website, your experience could translate into subject credits within your qualification or direct access into a postgraduate qualification.
      During your lifetime, you will have acquired various skills, competencies and experiences. This learning – which may have taken place outside of formal education and training – is valuable, irrespective of where or when it was obtained. You may have acquired skills or knowledge from a combination of training conducted while at work, experience you gained in the workplace, short courses or from community work in a relevant field.

      RPL permits you to gain credits within formal certificate, diploma and degree qualifications offered by Unisa based on the level and extent of your knowledge. Your prior learning will be measured against specified prescribed learning outcomes.

      I hope you find this information useful.

  3. If I do a higher certificate to gain entry to a degree, could those points also be used if I say want to apply at another varsity ?

    1. Having a tertiary qualification can only be beneficial when applying at another university. However, I cannot say for certain whether you can use a HC obtained by UNISA to apply for a degree at, for example, UCT or Wits.

  4. Hy..i have passed my matric with admission to diploma,with level 3 in English so i was asking if it possible to study diploma in policing with 21 aps,or should I apply for higher certificate in criminal justice and after should i apply for bachelor of police science

    1. This is the current admission requirements for a Diploma in Policing:

      APS: 18

      Additional Requirements:

      A National Senior Certificate (NSC) (Diploma endorsement) with at least 50% in the language of teaching and learning
      or
      a Senior Certificate (SC) with at least a D symbol on HG or a C symbol on SG in the language of teaching and learning
      or
      a Higher Certificate.

      You need to match these requirements in order to qualify to study it.

      For the Higher Certificate in Criminal Justice, you need the following:

      APS: 15

      Additional Requirements:
      A National Senior Certificate (NSC) with at least 30% in the language of teaching and learning
      or
      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
      or
      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.

        1. Which higher certificates that can be related to transport and logistics ,I want to do bachelor degree in logistics but I want to do a bridging course because I don’t meet the mathematical literacy requirements

          1. Your best bet would be to go for the Higher Certificate in Economic and Management Sciences. The degree you seek falls under UNISA’s EMS college, plus the HC’s subjects are similar to your chosen degree’s first year subjects.

            Just to be absolutely sure, you should visit your nearest UNISA campus and speak to a student advisor.

    1. UNISA’s Higher Certificates can be used as a bridging course of sorts. It takes one year to complete, with a maximum amount of three years to complete the qualification.

    1. It depends on what career path you want to follow. Remember that the Higher Certificate has to be relevant to the degree that you want to choose at a later stage.

  5. Nelisiwe khambule

    Hy am currently doing higher certificate in criminal justice I want to study BED after I finish will I qualify for it ??

    1. If you want to study BEd next year, you would need to have studied a relevant qualification like the HC in Education. It’s uncertain whether you would qualify for a BEd with a HC in Criminal Justice or not.

    1. UNISA unfortunately do not offer a General Nursing diploma qualification.

      UNISA does state on its registration website that it offers a Bachelor of Arts in Nursing Science, but it does not state anywhere on the UNISA Application website.

      It’s best to head into your nearest UNISA campus and enquire about the qualification.

    1. It depends on the type of qualification that you’re going for.

      The Diploma in HRM have the following requirements:

      APS: 17
      Additional Requirements: A National Senior Certificate (NSC) (Diploma endorsement) with at least 50% in the language of teaching and learning and with at least 40% in Mathematics or at least 70% for Mathematical Literacy,

      or

      a Senior Certificate (SC) 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 E symbol on HG or D symbol on SG in Mathematics,

      or

      any Higher Certificate obtained in the College of Economic and Management Sciences.

      The BCom in HRM has the following requirements:

      APS: 21
      Additional Requirements: 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.

  6. Hi I am 53 years old but consider being of a disadvantage by my past. I have completed my matric through the Dept I applied to unisa last year . How and what can I study towards teaching quaLification .

    1. Depending on the pass you’ve received for your matric, you can study up to a BEd (as long as you have the APS and meet the additional requirements to match.

      Please have a look at the following for all Education related qualifications here.

      Additionally, you can head to your nearest Unisa campus and speak to a student advisor on what steps you can take in order to study the qualification of your choice.

      Have you heard of the Recognition of Prior Learning? Your experience could translate into subject credits within your qualification or direct access into a postgraduate qualification.

      You can learn more on the RPL here.

  7. Hi, I have an aps score of 14 but I have an E in languages and another higher certificate from another college which is not saqa accredited and experience in law.What qualifications would I qualify for?

    1. The only qualification you could possibly qualify for when it comes to your APS would be the Higher Certificate in Accounting Sciences. It has an APS of 14.

      However, you still do need to match the additional requirements set for the qualification in order to have a chance of qualifying for it.

  8. Hii I passed my matric higher certificate and I finished my higher certificate in information technology at PC training and business college now I want to do teaching will I qualify for it

    1. As long as you meet the requirements set by UNISA. It also depends on what qualifications you want to apply for exactly. Note that UNISA has over 30 education qualifications, so you would need to know what it is that you want to study as well as whether you qualify for it.

      Click here to find out what qualifications UNISA offers via their College of Education.

    1. With a Higher Certificate in Tourism Management, I find it hard to see whether you’ll qualify for a BEd degree or not as they’re not in the same fields of education. I cannot say whether you’ll be accepted to study for a BEd qualification or not.

      Speak to a student advisor at your nearest UNISA campus and find out whether it’s possible or not.

  9. Hey applied at Unisa for Diploma in Public relation and I was accepted and I do accept the offer too for 2020 so now I was just reading comment here that if you want to study BEd you need to do higher certificate in teaching.

    So my question is that how can I change my course now and do higher certificate in teaching since I’m already taken in PR for next year?

    1. It’s possible that upon completion of the HC in Education, you could apply for a BEd qualification with it.

      At the same time, you’ve already accepted UNISA’s offer regarding your qualification. You’ll only be able to change your qualification at the next application window. That being said, you should still go ahead and find out whether you can change your application by heading to your nearest UNISA regional centre.

  10. Hi I passed my matric with higher certificate…. And went to the college to study marketing and I have marketing level 4….. Is it possible for me to study teaching at unisa?

    1. It all depends on whether you meet the admission requirements for your selected qualification. Read more on what Education qualifications UNISA has to offer as well as the requirements needed, online here.

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