The University of South Africa or Unisa is one of the top universities in South Africa. The application is open for both local and international students. Everyone wanting to start a new qualification must apply for admission.
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Unisa will accept applications for admission to undergraduate qualifications (higher certificates, advanced certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas & degrees) for the academic year from 20 August – 27 September.
How to apply
There are 7 steps you need to follow in order to apply at UNISA, including filling in the online UNISA application form:
Choose your qualification
Choose a UNISA qualification and make sure you meet the admission requirements. More on this below.
Fill in the UNISA application form
You must apply for admission to UNISA by filling and submitting the admission form. You can either fill in the form online or at a regional office.
Submit documents to UNISA
Have scanned copies of the following documents handy to submit online together with your application form:
- Certified copy of your school qualifications (eg Senior Certificate)
- Certified copy of your official tertiary academic record(s) (if applicable) (please note that internet copies will not be accepted)
- Certified copy of your ID document (RSA students) or passport (international students)
- Certified copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable) or divorce decree (if applicable)
- Certified sworn translations of documents if they are not in English or Afrikaans
- DSAR04 form and supporting documents if you are applying for exemptions
Receive your student number
Once you have submitted your application form + supporting documents and UNISA processes your application you will receive a student number. Remember this student number as you’ll use it for my.unisa.ac.za and further communications with the university.
Pay the Application fee
You must thereafter pay a non-refundable application fee. You can pay online via credit card (response is quicker) or via bank deposit. More information on paying the application fee and international payments.
Wait for a response from UNISA
UNISA will get back to you to inform you about the outcome of your application. For enquiries regarding applications etc. please contact UNISA. UNISA Contact information is below.
Expect the processing of the application to take from three days to a few weeks.
Once your application is successful, it is now time to register your modules and start studying! Follow the UNISA registration tutorial in order to make sure you register correctly.
- First, you have to APPLY at UNISA
- Wait till you hear if you are accepted
- You must register in the following registration period – or you lose your place and have to apply again
- The UNISA Application process takes place more or less every 6 months.
- This happens around 6 months before you will be able to study. You need to fill in the UNISA application form and follow all the steps outlined in the post.
- First, check the next application dates.
- When you are ready to apply, go to this page: Apply for admission. select which type of course, you want to do, and then select “start the process”.
Unisa will accept applications for admission to undergraduate qualifications (higher certificates, advanced certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, PGCE, BTech & degrees) for the academic year from 20 August – 27 September.
Everyone who wants to start a new qualification must apply for admission. This includes first-time Unisa applicants, Unisa students changing to a new qualification, and applicants who previously applied for admission and were either not offered a space or were offered a space and did not register.
All applications for admission must be submitted online during the prescribed application period.
Applicants who plan to enrol for classes at a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college under the Unisa-TVET agreement may apply via the relevant TVET college or at Unisa via the online or self-help options.
Honours degrees & postgraduate diplomas qualification
Unisa will accept applications for admission to honours degrees and postgraduate diplomas for the new academic year from the date stated above.
Anyone wanting to start a new qualification must apply for admission, including first-time Unisa applicants, Unisa students changing to a new qualification and applicants in their final year of an undergraduate qualification who wish to continue with postgraduate studies.
Honours degrees: Contact the Postgraduate Administration Department: Hons@unisa.ac.za
Postgraduate diplomas: Contact the Postgraduate Administration Department: PGD@unisa.ac.za
Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration: Applicants who wish to apply for admission to the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (98215) should visit the Graduate School of Business Leadership website for an application form and application guidelines: www.unisa.ac.za/sbl
1. If you are a first-time Unisa applicant and do not have a myLife e-mail address, Unisa will communicate with you via the e-mail address and cellphone number you provided during the application period.
2. If you were previously registered with Unisa, Unisa will send the outcome of your application to your myLife e-mail account. Check this e-mail account regularly for information.
If you have forgotten your myUnisa / myLife password, go to myUnisa (https://my.unisa.ac.za) to update your password.
3. Unisa provides all registered students with a free myLife e-mail address. It is your responsibility to activate your myLife e-mail account as soon as your registration is finalised.
Your myLife e-mail account will be the only e-mail account recognised by Unisa for official correspondence to and from the university and will remain the official primary e-mail address on record at Unisa.
Master’s & doctoral degrees qualification
Applications for admission to master’s & doctoral qualifications:
Everyone wanting to start a new qualification must apply for admission, including first-time Unisa applicants, Unisa students wanting to apply for a new qualification, students in their final year of a qualification wanting to start a master’s or doctoral qualification, and previously registered master’s & doctoral students who did not register for the previous academic year and now wish to continue with their studies.
You may apply for the following qualifications during the prescribed application dates: 10 September – 8 November
Applicants who wish to pursue a multi, inter or trans-disciplinary doctoral degree should apply for the Doctor of Philosophy degree (90040-MIT). Contact the Master’s and Doctoral Administration Section for assistance (012 441 5702; firstname.lastname@example.org).
College of Science, Engineering and Technology (excluding Computing students). Contact the Master’s and Doctoral Administration Section for assistance (012 441 5702; email@example.com).
Decision Sciences: Contact the Master’s and Doctoral Administration Section for assistance (012 441 5702; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Master of Science in Nature Conservation (full dissertation) (98022). Contact the Master’s and Doctoral Administration Section for assistance (012 441 5702; email@example.com).
Selection degrees: Selection degrees (qualification codes: 90042, 98511, 98402, 98594 and 98420) have different closing dates for applications and are administered by the respective academic departments. Only a limited number of students are selected per academic year.
Unisa’s Short Learning Programmes
Unisa’s Short Learning Programmes (SLPs) focus on “just in time” and “just enough” learning to meet a specific learning need to be identified by society. They are offered by different centres within the university – each with their own processes, rules and contact details.
Short Learning Programmes Colleges
- College of Accounting Sciences
- College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
- College of Economic and Management Sciences
- College of Education
- College of Graduate Studies
- College of Human Sciences
- College of Law
- College of Science, Engineering and Technology
- Other, Administration and Professional
If you’re an international student, 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.
What happens if you 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 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.
Who must apply for admission?
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.
How to apply for admission as an international student
All applications for admission must be submitted online during the prescribed application period.
I completed my schooling or undergraduate studies outside South Africa. Do I qualify?
For a list of acceptable school qualifications for admission per country, visit USAF site.
If you qualify for admission on the basis of a conditional exemption certificate, Unisa will facilitate this during the application processing stage.
A separate fee is applicable for the Matriculation Board to issue the conditional exemption certificate.
How to pay the application fee
The non-refundable online application fee is R105,00.
The preferred method of payment is credit card via the Unisa website. Unisa web payment link (this is a secure site).
Alternatively, you can make payment by means of a SWIFT transfer (see bank account details below).
Note that any payments other than those made via the Unisa website might take a few days to reflect on the Unisa account. Send proof of payment to firstname.lastname@example.org
SWIFT transfers can be made if you already have a student number in respect of fees, for example, study fees, examination fees (supplementary, sick or special exam fees), exemption fees and library charges provided that the details are filled in as follows:
- Bank: Standard Bank
- Beneficiary: Unisa student deposits
- Branch code: 010645
- Swift code: SBZAZAJJ
- Account number: 011554622
- Deposit reference: first eight (8) blocks are for the student number (if the student number consists of only 7 digits, then a “0” must be filled in as the first digit of the student number). Leave one block open, then fill in the following code: 5370810030 for the application fee.
Funding for foreign students
The government is currently investigating the subsidy for foreign students, which means that prescribed student fees for foreign students could increase substantially in the future.
Unisa reserves the right to charge fees in certain countries in the currency of that country.
The levy for students in foreign countries must be paid in addition to the minimum initial payment at the time of registration.
A student must be in possession of a student number before registration can be processed, or fees paid or deposited into the Standard Bank South African account.
Documents needed for the application
Documents to submit when applying for admission to Unisa undergraduate applications:
- Copy of your school qualifications. For a list of acceptable school qualifications for admission per country.
- Copy of your tertiary academic qualifications (if applicable).
- Copy of your passport.
- Copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable) or divorce decree (if applicable).
- Original sworn translations of documents if they are not in English or Afrikaans.
- M30 form – Application for a Certificate of Conditional Exemption (ONLY for admission to bachelor degree studies – not for BTech degree studies) (PDF 33KB) and supporting documents if you are applying for a certificate of exemption.
Note that some qualifications may require additional documents. Unisa reserves the right to request original documents and / or to verify the correctness of submitted documents at any time.
Also, take note of the following rules for uploading supporting documents:
- Files cannot be 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).
Unisa does not provide scanners or electronic devices. Please ensure that your documents are in an electronic format before starting the application process.
Student fees and funding your studies
Unisa’s study fees are generally lower than other higher education institutions, but studying is still a significant investment either way.
The cost depends on the qualification, obviously, as well as the number of modules you choose.
The average student registers for between 4 and 6 modules per year at a cost of between *R1 470,00 and *R3 800,00 per module (*these amounts are subject to change). The module costs do not include your prescribed books.
Books are an additional cost that you must factor into your calculations for your full costs of study.
You can also apply for Nsfas 2020 to fund your studies.
How to contact Unisa
Remember to use only your student number in the subject line with all correspondence.
For enquiries related to undergraduate higher certificates, diplomas and degrees, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
For enquiries related to postgraduate diplomas and honours degrees, please contact the College of Graduate Studies Postgraduate Administration Division (Hons@unisa.ac.za; PGD@unisa.ac.za).
Note: The application 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.