What Can I Study With My APS Score?

Knowing what to study with the APS (Admission Point Score) that you have will help you along your way to applying for the qualification you want to study. 

 

First, APS is the system that universities use to determine whether or not you are eligible to apply to study there. 

 

Your APS is calculated using your final Matric marks. Here are the minimum APS scores you can achieve: 

 

  • 14 – National Senior Certificate / Senior Certificate Pass
  • 15 – Higher Certificate Pass
  • 17 – Diploma Pass
  • 21 – Bachelor’s Pass

14 APS Score Courses

An APS of 14 is an NSC / SC pass. This means that you have passed Matric with the minimum requirements, and will not be granted entry into any tertiary education course at a university. 

There is a wide range of courses you can study with this APS Score which includes: 

NATED Courses

NATED stands for National Accredited Technical Education Diploma. This is a qualification that enables you to work once you have completed just your first year of studies, and you can begin your career whilst studying your way up to a Diploma

ICB Courses

  • Business Management
  • Financial Accounting
  • Office Administration

ICB courses are courses created by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and studied through distance learning colleges. These courses are recognised both locally and internationally and go all the way up to the Diploma level. 

Short Courses

  • Beauty Therapy course
  • Child Daycare course 
  • Child Psychology course 
  • Creche Management course 
  • Digital Photography course 
  • Event Management course 
  • Facial Skincare course 
  • Guesthouse Management course 
  • Human Resource Management course
  • Make-up Application course 
  • Nail Care course 
  • Operational Health and Safety course 
  • Personal Assistant course 
  • Project Management course 
  • Receptionist courses 
  • Supply Chain Management course 
  • Tourism Marketing course 
  • Tourism Management course 
  • Wedding Planning course 

Short courses are skills-based courses that aim to get you workplace-ready as efficiently as possible. These courses are usually open-access, meaning all you need to be able to apply is to be over the age of 16, and able to read and write in English. 

You can apply to any of the following distance learning colleges to study either a NATED, ICB or Short course: 

  • Bellview Institute of Distance Learning
  • Matric College
  • Skills Academy
  • Ember Academy
  • The Learning Group

15 APS Score Courses

With your minimum APS score of 15, you can study courses that result in a Higher Certificate Qualification. Such courses include ICB courses and NATED courses. 

 

ICB and NATED courses both include a Higher Certificate level. The level of the qualification is determined by the NQF (National Qualifications Framework) level. 

 

NQF levels are in place to determine where the education level of the qualification is no matter the name of the qualification. 

 

NQF levels go from a Grade 9 Certificate up to a Doctoral Degree. The way they are allocated is as follows: 

 

  • NQF Level 1 – Grade 9
  • NQF Level 2 – Grade 10
  • NQF Level 3 – Grade 11
  • NQF Level 4 – Matric/Matric Equivalent
  • NQF Level 5 – Higher Certificate/FET Certificate 
  • NQF Level 6 – Diploma/Advanced Certificate 
  • NQF Level 7 – Bachelor’s Degree/Advanced Diploma 
  • NQF Level 8 – Honours Degree 
  • NQF Level 9 – Master’s Degree
  • NQF Level 10 – Doctoral Degree 

 

NQF levels are regulated by SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority). This is to ensure that all qualifications on the same NQF level maintain the required standards to remain at that qualification level. 

 

ICB courses and NATED courses all begin at NQF level 4, except for the ICB Bookkeeping course, which begins at NQF level 3. 

 

Each ICB and NATED course has 3 levels, NQF levels 4, 5, and 6. This means that you can get a Higher Certificate qualification with any of these courses. 

 

Because these courses go up to NQF level 6, which is a Diploma level, you can choose to stop at a Higher Certificate level, or you can choose to continue to a Diploma.

17 APS Score Courses

With an APS of 17, you can still study any Higher Certificate courses. A Diploma pass has an APS requirement of 19. If you achieve an APS of 19, you can study Diploma courses. 

 

ICB and NATED courses go up to the Diploma level, which is just one level below a Bachelor’s Degree. 

 

Diplomas such as these can also allow you to apply for RPL (recognition of prior learning) at a university such as UNISA, where you can then study towards a Bachelor’s Degree if you are accepted.

22 APS Score Courses

The minimum APS requirement for a Bachelor’s pass is 21. So with an APS of 22, you can apply to study for a Bachelor’s Degree at any university. 

 

Remember to check with the university you are applying to whether there are additional requirements for the course you would like to apply to. Certain courses, such as medicine, require a higher APS than other Bachelor’s Degrees.

30 APS Score Courses

With an APS of 30, you can study things such as teaching or psychology at a university. Teaching only requires an APS of 25, and Psychology requires an APS of 30. 

 

For this specific APS score, you will need to check with the university you are applying to about the courses you want to apply to. APS 30 corresponds exactly with very few courses, but with this APS you can apply to study any courses that require an APS below 30.

Courses For Higher APS Scores

Medicine courses have a minimum APS requirement of 35. This is because when studying medicine, the minimum requirement to pass the modules is 80%. 

 

Because of this, universities require that your Maths and Life Sciences or Physical Sciences marks be higher than a normal Bachelor’s pass. 

 

Certain universities, such as Wits, require an APS of 42 to study and Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. Other universities require an APS of 28 for engineering. Check with the institution you are applying to for their specific requirements.

About NATED Courses

NATED Business Management courses aim to provide you with the tools you need to enter the business world, such as mercantile law, labour relations, and economics. Some career options with this course are: 

  • Business Analyst 
  • Payroll Administrator 
  • Public Relations Manager

NATED Educare courses are designed to teach you all you need to know about owning and running a daycare, such as daycare communication, child health, and educational psychology. Some careers you could choose with this course are: 

  • Au Pair
  • Daycare Manager 
  • Daycare Owner

NATED Financial Management courses are available to allow you to enter the finance industry fully prepared. These courses teach things such as computerised financial systems, entrepreneurship, and financial accounting. Some career options can include: 

  • Accountant 
  • Auditor 
  • Financial Manager 

NATED Human Resource Management courses aim to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to help make sure the work environment is safe, healthy, and fair. These courses achieve this by teaching things such as mercantile law, labour relations, and personnel management. Career fields you could choose with this qualification can include: 

  • Labour Relations Manager 
  • Human Resources Manager 
  • Training and Development Manager

NATED Legal Secretary courses are made to help you to be in charge of running the office of a legal firm with efficiency by teaching things such as communication, information processing, and legal practice. Some career options with this qualification are: 

  • Legal Secretary 
  • Office Manager

NATED Management Assistant courses are available for you to learn how to assist in a managerial capacity by teaching you things such as information processing, municipal administration, and public administration. Some career options for you to choose from with this qualification are: 

  • Personal Assistant 
  • Management Assistant 
  • Data Capturer

NATED Marketing Management courses are designed to prepare you for the world of marketing. These courses teach things such as marketing management, sales management, and marketing research. Career paths you could choose with this qualification include: 

  • Marketing Manager 
  • Digital Copywriter
  • Social Media Manager

About ICB Courses

The final aim of Business Management courses is for you to be able to set up and manage financial systems on a corporate level. Business Management teaches managerial skills, financial skills, and many other business skills that you can use to make an excellent career. 

 

Some career options with this qualification are: 

 

  • Accounting Officer 
  • Business Consultant 
  • Sales Manager 

 

Financial Accounting is a crucial part of any company, and these courses aim to get you to be able to handle the major financial aspects of a company. Some career options with this qualification are: 

 

  • Senior Bookkeeper 
  • Assistant Accountant 
  • Tax Technician

 

Office Administration is all about learning a wide range of skills, including managerial skills, secretarial skills, and financial management. With this qualification, your career opportunities can include: 

 

  • Administrative Manager 
  • Office Manager 
  • Public Relations Manager

About Short Courses

Beauty Therapy courses are a broad spectrum course that aims to help you learn how to take care of everything from hair treatments to nail care, and facial skincare to massage. There are many career opportunities in beauty therapy, such as: 

 

  • Beautician 
  • Make-up Artist 
  • Salon Manager

 

Child Daycare courses are for those who have a way with children and love to work with little children in their development. This teaches you both about caring for children, as well as basic office administration so that you could run your own daycare. Careers with this qualification include: 

 

  • Au pair
  • Preschool teaching assistant 
  • Daycare practitioner 

 

Child Psychology courses are designed to help you understand the developmental stages of a child’s early years. This helps you to understand what children need, and how they are likely to express it. Career options with this qualification are things such as: 

 

  • Au pair
  • Preschool teaching assistant 
  • Daycare practitioner 

 

Creche Management courses are made to help you learn how to run your own creche. This teaches things such as communication skills for children and adults, as well as child care skills. Career options with this qualification are: 

 

  • Creche Administrator 
  • Creche Manager 
  • Creche Owner

 

Digital Photography courses aim to help you get started on your own photography business. This teaches you about business communication skills as well as photography techniques. Career opportunities include: 

 

  • Freelance Photographer
  • Commercial/Advertising Photographer
  • Wedding Photographer 

 

Event Management courses are to help you create events that everyone will remember. This teaches you about business management and communication skills, and your career options can include: 

 

  • Events Administrator 
  • Event Manager 
  • Event Planner

 

Facial Skincare courses are a slightly more specialised course than Beauty Therapy. This aims to teach you specifically about the face and creates career opportunities such as: 

 

  • Facial Skincare Specialist 
  • Facial Skincare Consultant 
  • Freelance Beautician 

 

Guesthouse Management courses are for those who wish to give a comfortable stay to anyone, whether locals on a weekend away or tourists looking for a place to stay. This teaches you about customer care, as well as basic first aid. Careers with this qualification are things such as: 

 

  • Guesthouse Administrator 
  • Guesthouse Manager 
  • Guesthouse Owner 

 

Human Resource Management is needed in every company, and these courses teach you about business communication, managerial skills, and organisational skills to help you to be able to resolve conflict in the workplace. Career opportunities with this qualification include: 

 

  • Employee Relations Manager 
  • Human Resource Administration Assistant 
  • Human Resource Manager 

 

Make-up Application courses are similar to facial skincare in that they are slightly more specialised than Beauty Therapy. The make-up application course teaches you about the structure of the face, and how different things will look on different skin types. Career opportunities with this qualification can include: 

 

  • Beauty Blogger/Influencer 
  • Make-up Artist 
  • Freelance Special Effects Make-up Assistant  

 

Nail Care courses are also slightly more specialised than Beauty Therapy. These teach you about nail shapes, and how to care for nails and keep them healthy and strong. Career opportunities with this qualification are things such as: 

 

  • Nail Technician 
  • Nail Salon Owner
  • Nail Consultant 

 

Operational Health and Safety courses are designed to help implement and enforce safety rules in particularly dangerous work environments, such as construction, or indoor-warehouse fork-lifting and transportation. Ember Academy offers two separate Operational Health and Safety courses: 

 

  • Operational Health and Safety Coordinator course
  • Operational Health and Safety Representative course

 

The things you will learn for each are slightly different. 

 

For the Coordinator course, you will learn things such as occupational health and safety inspection, as well as occupational health and safety awareness. This is to ensure you know what to look out for in your everyday work environment that could be a danger to yourself or your colleagues and to fix problems as they arise before they become critical. Career opportunities with this course are things such as: 

 

  • Health and Safety Practitioner 
  • Occupational Health and Safety Inspector 
  • Compliance Advisor 

 

For the Representative course, you will learn about things such as health and safety and environment awareness, and health and safety and environment incident investigation. This is to ensure that if anything does happen, you know what to do in the situation and how to deal with it. This will help others to deal quickly and efficiently with the situation without causing more stress. Career opportunities with this course are things like: 

 

  • Safety Officer 
  • Safety Manager 
  • Safety Consultant

 

Personal Assistant courses teach you business etiquette, communication skills, and customer service. This is because as an assistant, you will have to deal with different kinds of people, and this is to ensure that you can manage every situation correctly. With this qualification, you will have career opportunities such as: 

 

  • Administrative Assistant 
  • Receptionist 
  • Secretary

 

Project Management courses are all about learning how to find potential risks in projects, and how to deal with them quickly and efficiently. This is to ensure that any risks that arise can be dealt with before they become a problem, or before the problem becomes critical. Career options with this qualification can include: 

 

  • Project Administration Assistant 
  • Project Management Consultant 
  • Project Management in Resources 

 

Receptionist courses are designed to teach you basic admin skills, as well as communications in customer service. As a receptionist, you will be dealing with many people every day, and receptionists often organise the schedules of others. Career options with a Receptionist course include: 

 

  • Administrative Assistant 
  • Customer Services Representative
  • Receptionist 

 

Supply Chain Management courses aim to teach you how to understand and use corporate language, as well as basic financial skills relative to the supply chain. Career options with this qualification can be: 

 

  • Operations Director 
  • Supply Chain Administration Assistant 
  • Supply Chain Manager 

 

Tourism Marketing courses aim to teach you marketing strategies in relation to tourism, as well as basic first aid and managerial skills. Career options available to you with this qualification are: 

 

  • Hotel Manager 
  • Travel Agency Manager 
  • Tourism Marketing Manager

 

Tourism Management courses are designed to teach you basic financial skills, first aid, and business language to ensure you have clear communication with all of your customers. Career options with this qualification can include:  

 

  • Concierge 
  • Travel Agent 
  • Tour Guide 

 

Wedding Planning courses are available to help you to know how to plan a wedding to take the stress off the bride’s and groom’s shoulders. This teaches you all the things you will need to consider, such as budget, venue, and catering. Some career options with this qualification include: 

 

  • Venue Manager 
  • Wedding Planner 
  • Wedding Coordinator

What Are The Different Matric Pass Levels?

There are four different levels to passing Matric. Each level determines the highest tertiary qualification you can apply to study after Matric. The four pass levels are: 

 

  • Bachelor’s pass/Matric exemption 
  • Diploma pass
  • Higher Certificate pass
  • NSC pass/Matric pass

What Are The Requirements For The Pass Levels? 

Each level has different requirements to achieve it. The NSC pass is the lowest pass level, and will not grant you entry into any university to study for a higher qualification. The Bachelor’s pass is the highest pass level and is the level you will need to achieve to be able to apply to study for a Bachelor’s Degree. 

 

The different pass requirements for each level are as follows: 

Bachelor’s Pass/Matric Exemption 

The requirements to achieve a Bachelor’s pass are as follows: 

 

  • 40% or above for English Home Language
  • 50% or above for Mathematics, OR 60% or above for Mathematical Literacy 
  • 50% or above for three other subjects, excluding Life Orientation 
  • 30% or above for Life Orientation
  • 30% or above for one other subject 

Diploma Pass

For a Diploma pass, the following minimum scores must be achieved: 

 

  • 40% or above for English Home Language 
  • 40% or above for Mathematics, OR 50% or above for Mathematical Literacy 
  • 40% or above for three other subjects, excluding Life Orientation 
  • 30% or above for Life Orientation 
  • 30% or above for one other subject

Higher Certificate Pass

  • 40% or above for English Home Language 
  • 40% or above for Mathematics, OR 50% or above for Mathematical Literacy 
  • 40% or above for one other subject 
  • 30% or above for Life Orientation
  • 30% or above for two other subjects

NSC / SC Pass/Matric Pass

  • 40% or above for English Home Language 
  • 40% or above for Mathematics, OR 50% or above for Mathematical Literacy 
  • 40% or above for one other subject 
  • 30% or above for Life Orientation
  • 30% or above for three other subjects

Note that these are the minimum requirements for each passing level, and achieving these does not guarantee entry into a course.

What Do The Different Pass Levels Mean?

Each pass level determines the highest tertiary education qualification you can apply to. The name of the pass level indicates which qualification this is, for example, a Bachelor’s pass means the highest qualification you can apply for is a Bachelor’s Degree.

What Do I Do If I Fail Matric?

If you have failed Matric, you still have plenty of options. You can choose:

 

  • Matric rewrite
  • Matric upgrade
  • Short courses 
  • ICB Bookkeeping course 

 

Matric rewrite is for anyone under the age of 21 who would like to improve their Matric results. When applying for Matric rewrite, remember that you may only rewrite two subjects, so you must be able to go from a fail to a pass by raising the marks of only two subjects. 

 

You also may not change any of your subjects, you must rewrite subjects you wrote in your Matric final exams. 

 

You can also rewrite as many times as you like, as long as you are still under the age of 21. 

 

Matric upgrade is also for those who would like to improve their Matric marks but is for those who are over the age of 21. 

 

When doing a Matric Upgrade, you can choose to upgrade as many subjects as you like, and you can also choose to change any or all of your subjects if you would prefer to. 

 

You can apply to do a Matric Upgrade as early as 19, but you must be 21 or older to write the exams, as you will write the Adult Matric exams.

What Have We Learned?

The courses that you can study depend on your APS, what subjects you too and if your subjects meet the requirements. There are options available if your APS does not meet the requirements for the course you want to study. There are also options available if you did not pass Matric. 

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Amy Venter
Date Published: April 8, 2022

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