Admission Requirements for Higher Education in South Africa

South Africa offers top class education with an array of study programmes for pupils. The admission requirements and procedure vary depending upon the institution and course of study.

General Admission Requirements

The academic requisites will vary depending on the level of education you wish to study in South Africa.

Bachelor Degree

The minimum admission requirement for the Bachelor's degree programme is a National Senior Certificate (NSC).

Certificate of exemption from the matriculation endorsement required as issued by the Matriculation Board on behalf of HESA or a conditional admission certificate issued by a university of technology

Master Degree

The minimum admission requirement for the Master’s degree is a Bachelor degree or honors degree in the relevant field along with great academic achievements.

Doctorate Degree

The minimum admission requirement for the Doctorate Degree is a Master’s degree, or a corresponding degree from a professional institution. 

General Admission Procedure

If you are planning to apply to a South African Higher Education Institution, then you must start preparing for the same a few months in advance i.e. before the beginning of the term. Any questions regarding the programme or institution must be put forth during the early phases of the application procedure.

Abide by the steps-

Step 1: Fill out and submit an application form online. You must have a valid e-mail address so that the Institution can communicate with you during the application procedure.

Step 2: Upload all the necessary supporting documents as part of the online application procedure.

Documentation for Undergraduate Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates

  • Certified transcripts of all official academic records stating all subject examinations passed and marks received.
  • Copy of your passport or birth certificate or any other valid ID proof 
  • Senior Certificate Copy
  • Entrance exam results or certificates

Documentation for Master and Doctorate Degree

Each Education provider has different admission requirements-
  • Academic Transcripts: Bachelor or honors degrees records and marks obtained. 
  • A copy of your passport or birth certificate or any other valid ID proof 
  • Research Proposal (For PhD Studies) - This document should include topic/research area, literature review, contribution to the study, research methodology and potential unit of analysis, list of references, and personal motivation to opt for this particular research topic. 
  • Curriculum Vitae: The CV must include your basic information, educational background, academic projects that highlight your publications, research or internships, experience, honors and awards, interest, community work or extra-curricular activities, and academic referees (at least 2). It should be clear, concise and consistent. 
  • Letter of Motivation: The motivation letter should disclose the focus and understanding power about the chosen field of study. You should elaborate on specific skills, accomplishments and motivations that make you suited for the course of study you're applying for, and should answer questions like 
    • Why do you think you're a good fit for this particular course of study or Institution? 
    • How can you contribute to the field or institution? 
    • What are your goals?
Your writing should be impeccable and to the point with all the necessary details.

Step 3: Pay application fee

Step 4:  After successful completion of the application procedure, the institution will confirm your admission to your choice of programmes and inform you about the final results of whether you have been accepted or not.

Entrance Examination

National Benchmark Tests: The National Benchmark Test (NBTs) is an entrance test that evaluates a student's ability to cope with the entry-level academic literacy, quantitative literacy and mathematics demands they will face in their university studies.  

National Senior Certificate Scores: The NSC is a school-leaving certificate in South Africa that is needed for admittance to South African Universities. It is also known as “matriculation” (Matric) Certificate.  

International Students Admission

Admission Requirements-

For University bachelor admittance, international students must have a high school completion certificate or its equivalent. For Masters, a 4-year honors degree and for Doctorate degree, a masters degree or its equivalent. 

Entry Regulations-

International Students must possess a valid passport, study permit, a letter of provisional acceptance issued from the South African Institution, a motivation letter and a financial resources proof indicating that the pupil is in a position to pay the tuition fees and has adequate means of support.

Language Requirements-

International Students must provide proof of proficiency in English.

Application Procedures-

Students need to apply to individual institutions. Visit the respective websites and know about the procedure. To know about the general application procedure and documentation, scroll up!
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