University of South Africa (Unisa) Online Application

UNISA Applications: The what, where, when and how. 

The University of South Africa (UNISA) makes studying anyone for their extensive array of certificates, diplomas, and undergrad- and postgraduate degrees more accessible and more affordable than traditional universities. This is because they offer distance learning, where you basically self-study from the textbooks and study guides created by the lecturers. 

Applying to study at UNISA is a vital step toward registering for a certificate, diploma or degree. Without an application, UNISA will not allow you to register, which is why it is important to know how to apply and what documents you need.

When are applications for 2024 open?

Provisionally the 2024 – 2024 academic year’s applications will open on 11th August 2024 and stay open until 12th of November 2024. It is always wise to keep an eye on the news and regularly visit UNISA’s website for any information regarding application dates and possible changes. 

Who can apply?

UNISA is very well known for its open-door policy regarding accepting students from all walks of life. That being said, UNISA has certain regulations relating to applications; the main regulations are that everyone must apply to study at UNISA. We have made it a little clearer by stating exactly under what circumstances you must apply:

  • If you are a first-time applicant and/or student at the university
  • If you are changing to study a new qualification and/or a new specialisation
  • If you had applied before but were either not offered a space or didn’t register when you were offered a space
  • If you are completing a higher certificate or extended program, that will lead to your continuing with further undergraduate studies. 
  • Suppose you plan to enrol for classes at a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college under the UNISA-TVET agreement. In that case, you may also apply via the relevant TVET college, apart from at UNISA.

What does UNISA require?

Whether you are a first-time student or have studied through UNISA already, you need to make sure that you qualify for admission and have the necessary documents ready to upload when you start your application process. 

Do you qualify?

You need to ensure that you qualify for all of the below criteria to be able to apply at UNISA:

  • You need to meet the statutory and college admission requirements for the qualification(s) of your choice
  • You need to meet the minimum academic points score (APS) for your choice qualification(s). These APS’s are as follows:
    • A higher certificate requires a minimum APS of 15
    • A diploma a minimum APS of 18 
    • A bachelor degree a minimum APS of 21 or more (some exceptions apply)

You need to have a valid e-mail address and cellphone number, and you need to accept that Unisa will communicate with you 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. You must check your e-mails regularly for communication from UNISA regarding your application.

Do you have the right documents?

Depending on what you are applying for, what you need to apply may vary; however, in any case, you will need the following documents:

  • Copy of your school qualifications (e.g. Senior Certificate, National 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

Are the documents in the correct format?

You need to ensure that these documents listed above are in the correct format and that they are uploaded as individual files and not a set of documents uploaded as one file. The format that these documents must be scanned and submitted in is:

  • The files size may not be larger than 2MB (2048KB) each
  • The files must be in black and white; no colour documents may be submitted
  • You may only submit PDF (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format file), DOC (Word document file) or TIF (image file) type files. 

Now you can apply, but how?

Due to the COVID restrictions, hard copy applications will only be accepted on special occasions. Therefore all applications must be submitted online. Once you have made sure that you qualify with the correct APS and have the right documents in the correct format, then you can proceed to apply here.  

How much does it cost?

The application fee is R115.00 and R185.00 for hard copy applications. No cash payments will be accepted at any UNISA offices. Use the student number you receive from Unisa and the application fee reference number (i.e. STUDENT NUMBER 5370810030) when making payments.

These amounts are non-refundable even if you decide not to register at the university after your application was successful or if your application was unsuccessful. 

Always keep a copy of your proof of payment. 

The application fee must be paid before the application period’s closing date; failure to pay the application fee means the application will not be processed. 

Visit for banking details and payment information

What courses does UNISA offer?

There are a wide variety of UNISA courses, from certificates and diplomas to Bachelor’s degrees, honours and master’s degrees. You can follow this link to UNISA’s website to see their extensive collection of qualifications in different interest fields, including; 

  • Accounting sciences
  • Agriculture and environmental sciences
  • Economic and management sciences
  • Education
  • Human sciences
  • Law
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Technology. 

What is the status of your UNISA application?

As mentioned earlier, UNISA will communicate with you through your provided e-mail address, so keep an eye on your e-mails. You will know your application was successful when you receive a student number. You would use this student number to then register to study at UNISA.