September 2025: National Arts Council (NAC) Bursary Opened

National Arts Council (NAC) has opened its September 2025 Bursary program and is inviting all applicants to apply ASAP. All interested applicants should apply using the details below.

CLOSING DATE: 3 September 2025.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NAC BURSARY

Applicants must satisfy the following minimum entry criteria before applying (please note that failure to satisfy all the requirements will lead to your application not being considered):

  • You must be a South African citizen
  • You must be 18 years or older
  • You must be studying or intend on studying towards an undergraduate and postgraduate or qualification, in one of the aforementioned arts fields
  • You must be studying or have applied to study at a recognised institution outside of South Africa

METHOD OF APPLICATION

Applications must be done online at National Arts Council (NAC) Bursary Application

Candidates will be required to Register an Account before they can Login and Apply
 

Candidates must also submit clear copies of the following supporting documentation along with their online application (the submission of these documents is compulsory – if any items are missing, your application may be disqualified):

  • ID document (certified copy, no older than 6 months old)
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • Proof of application or acceptance at a tertiary institution (on institution letterhead)
  • Academic Transcript
  • Fees Structure
  • Students banking details
  • 2 reference letters (signed, dated and no older than 18 months)
  • Students proof of income (latest payslips if employed, affidavit if unemployed)
  • Parents/ guardians proof of income (latest payslips if employed, affidavit if unemployed, proof of grant or pension if applicable, death certificates if deceased)

NAC BURSARY COVERAGE

The bursary will fund undergraduate and postgraduate studies in art fields, which are supported by the NAC, including:

  • Craft
  • Dance
  • Literature
  • Multidiscipline
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts

Selection will be based on 5 main criteria:
1) artistic merit
2) financial need
3) credibility of the qualification
4) acceptance at a tertiary institution
5) prestige of the institution

The bursary award will be a maximum of R250 000, and will be awarded once each financial year. The bursary is renewable each year, for the full duration of the qualification, subject to the bursary recipient completing each year and abiding by grant conditions.

Candidates will be informed of the final outcome by no later than 31 October 2025. Students who do not receive any feedback, should regard their application as unsuccessful.

Applicants must read the:
NAC Funding Guidelines (.pdf) and the
NAC Assessment Criteria (.pdf) before applying.


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.