Unisa Apply for Admission

Apply for admission

Who must apply?

  • Everyone wanting to start a new qualification must apply for admission. This includes first-time Unisa applicants and Unisa students changing to a new qualification.
  • Everyone completing a Higher Certificate or Alternative Pathway / Extended Programme must apply for admission to the follow-on qualification.
  • You must re-apply for admission if you previously applied for admission and received feedback, but did not register for any reason.
  • Everyone planning to enrol for classes at a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college under the Unisa-TVET agreement must apply for admission.

What’s new for 2025?

  • You may apply for a maximum of two qualifications, ranked in order of preference (although you may only register for one should both of your applications be successful).
  • Unisa will inform you of the outcome of your application. If successful, Unisa will indicate for which qualification you have been accepted and will offer you a space for the period for which you have applied (ie either semester 1 or semester 2).
  • You must accept or decline Unisa’s offer within the prescribed period of time.
    Why happens if I don’t accept Unisa’s offer?

    • The university will withdraw your offer and give your space to another applicant.
    • You will not be able to register for the 2025 academic year.
  • If you accept Unisa’s offer, you must register for the period for which you have been granted admission (ie semester 1 or semester 2). Should you not register for the relevant semester of study, you will need to re-apply for admission during the next application period.

Check your documents & confirm that you are ready to apply

Please note that if you don’t meet the exact requirements listed below, your application will be declined and you will have to re-apply during the next application period.

 I am sure…

  • that Open Distance Learning (ODL) and Unisa are for me
  • about my career
  • that I have chosen the correct Unisa qualification(s) for my career choice
  • that I meet the statutory and college admission requirements for my qualification(s) of choice
  • that I have a valid e-mail address and cellphone number, and I accept that Unisa will communicate with me during the application process using this e-mail address and cellphone number. Please ensure that you provide only one e-mail address and one cellphone number during the application process.

 I have the following documents scanned & uploaded to an electronic device

All applicants starting a new qualification must upload all the required documents:

  • Copy of your school qualifications (eg Senior Certificate)
  • Copy of your official tertiary academic record(s) (if applicable) (internet copies will not be accepted)
  • Copy of your ID document (RSA students) or ID / passport (international students)
  • Copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable) or divorce decree (if applicable)
  • Sworn translations of documents if they are not in English or Afrikaans

*Some qualifications may require additional documents. Unisa reserves the right to request original documents and / to verify the correctness of submitted documents at any time. Submitting fraudulent documents is an offence in terms of the Student Disciplinary Code.

 I am sure that my documents are scanned according to the rules

Follow the instructions carefully when completing the online application process. Only upload the required documents as individual files and not a complete set of documents as one file.

  • Files are not larger than 2MB (2048KB) each.
  • Only black and white documents may be submitted.
  • Only the following file types are allowed: PDF (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format file), DOC (Word document file) or TIF (image file)

How to apply?

Ways to apply

Upload supporting documents

Everyone applying for a new qualification must submit the required documents (all first-time applicants and Unisa students starting a new qualification).

Unisa does not provide scanners or electronic devices. Please ensure that your documents are scanned and uploaded to an electronic device before starting the application process.

Pay the application fee once you’ve received a student number from Unisa

  • R105 for online applications
  • R160 for hard copy applications (non-degree purposes only)
  • Use the student number you receive from Unisa AND the application fee reference number (ie STUDENTNUMBER 5370810030)
  • Visit www.unisa.ac.za/paymentinfo for banking details and payment information.

This fee is non-refundable even if you decide not to study through Unisa or do not qualify for admission to Unisa. Unisa does not accept cash at any of its offices.

The due date for the application fee is the closing date for the application period. Any application submitted without an application fee will not be processed. Please ensure that you keep a copy of your proof of payment.

Make sure that your application is complete

If your application for admission to study through Unisa is incomplete, you will have to re-apply during the next application period.

Application approval, accept offer and register

Application approval process: Unisa will assess your application using a points system.Based on Unisa’s application and selection process, you will not automatically be accepted to study through Unisa in 2025 even if you meet the general academic admission requirements for a qualification.

Unisa will assess your application, which includes the points score system. You may be offered a space for 2025 based on the following: whether you meet the academic admission requirements for your qualification of choice, your minimum points score and the number of places available for the qualification for which you have applied.

Application outcomes

Your application was successful. Your application was unsuccessful.
Unisa will inform you that your application for admission was successful and indicate for which qualification you have been accepted. Unisa will offer you a space for the period for which you have applied (ie either semester 1 or semester 2). You must accept or decline Unisa’s offer within the prescribed period of time. If you fail to do so, Unisa will withdraw the offer and give your space to another applicant. Unisa will inform you that your application was unsuccessful. Visit www.unisa.ac.za/studyoptions to explore other study options.

Incorrect / incomplete applications will be rejected.

Remember to registerRemember to register

If your application for admission is successful and you accept Unisa’s offer, you must register for the period for which you have been granted admission (ie semester 1 or semester 2). Should you not register for the relevant semester of study, you will need to re-apply for admission during the next application period.


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.