University Of South Africa [UNISA] Application

By ED Curtson •  Updated: 10/01/22 •  10 min read

The University of South Africa, known as Unisa, stands proud as a top institution for higher education. It is Africa’s most significant open-distance higher learning institution, and its courses and qualifications are respected worldwide. Unisa thoroughly deserves its reputation as a provider of academic excellence. Learners of all ages apply in their thousands for admission every year.

Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa, is home to this institution, where a third of all higher education students in South Africa are enrolled.

Unisa was founded in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope. It teaches exclusively utilizing distance education. It was the first university in the world to do so. This means that students do not have to travel to and from classes. The university offers many courses, from certificate and short courses to PhD programs. 


Unisa Online application

Even though the process is conducted through an online tool, you will need to have a valid cellphone number and email address for communication. 

The first step to joining Unisa and thus becoming part of this great institution is to apply. Prospective students can find the Unisa online application tool at:

Unisa requires applicants to pay an application fee. Payment is only accepted after receiving a student and fee reference number.

Payment methods are:

The secure online Unisa application tool aims to help you get your application away quickly and securely. The Unisa application checklist is a tool to help you decide on a suitable qualification before starting your application process. Finding career guidance is always a good idea if you are uncertain which study field you should enter.

Pay special attention to the requirements for admission into the relevant courses.

After you have applied, you can track the status of your application using the same tool.

Qualification and acceptance do not come automatically. It will depend on whether your application meets the requirements, available spaces, and if the student applied on time.

If you are a school-leaver applying for the first time, your final Grade 12 marks will play a role in whether you get accepted or not.

The official Unisa website offers applicants the opportunity to apply for admission to one of the four study categories. These are: 

For all four categories, the UNISA application process is quick and easy. You must follow some steps through the UNISA application tool, such as whether you agree with open distance learning.

You also need to answer a question about whether you will need career counseling or not. 

If the answer is yes, the university will provide the necessary services. 

Presumably, you know what you want to study at this stage and are already qualified for your choice. 

Choose a qualification of your choice from one of their faculties. 

Scan in the following documents to accompany your application:

You have to download documents as either DOC (Word document files) or a PDF (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format files) or image files in TIF -format). Complete this before the application deadline. 

You will then receive a student and a UNISA application fee reference number and pay a fee of R105. This fee is not refundable. The deadline for making this payment is the same date as the one for the application. Make sure that you keep a copy as proof when you make payments. The University of South Africa does not accept cash. You have to do all financial transactions through their bank using one of the options outlined above. You will need the student number to get access to the online application form.

The next step is to wait for confirmation that you have been accepted before registering for your modules. 

Unisa Application Dates

Unisa will accept applications for admission to the 2022-2023 academic year from 1 September to 15 December. Use the Unisa application tool to apply. It will only give you access to programs that are open for application. All applications must be made online.


Unisa offers bursaries for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. 

Undergraduates may qualify for one of two types of bursaries: the Unisa Merit Bursary or the Department of Transport Bursaries.

The Unisa Merit Bursary

Students must register for a maximum of five (5) modules per Semester, and the equivalent

for year courses;

One of the bursary requirements is that students must have obtained an average of at least 75 percent and above in their previous year of study. 

Only South African citizens studying at Unisa for a formal qualification will be considered.

This bursary will only cover tuition fees and textbooks.  

To apply for the bursary, students must submit 

Department of Transport Bursaries

The bursary is for unemployed youth under the age of 35.

Only students registered for the following qualifications will qualify for consideration.:

Unisa reserves the right to recall the money with interest at the going rate, 

should a recipient fail to complete his/her studies

The following documents are required.

Applicants can find details about the bursaries at:

Postgraduate Diploma and Honours Bursaries

Postgraduate diploma and honours bursaries aim to assist students with their Unisa tuition fees, thus enabling them to register and complete their qualifications.

Financial support is offered to postgraduate diploma and honours students subject to eligibility, academic performance, and funds availability.

Additional information can be found here:


Unisa offers study opportunities to more than 400,000 students from all over the world.

Unisa has eight colleges that offer a diverse range of courses.

The College of Accounting Sciences offers several qualifications backed by professional national and international financial bodies.

This college includes the Center for Accounting Studies, the School of Accountancy, the School of Applied Accountancy, as well as the Center for Accounting Studies. Areas of study include Auditing, taxation, Management Accounting, and Financial Accounting.

The College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES) specializes in food production training and education. This focuses on the sustainable and management of natural resources on the continent of Africa.

The Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and the School of Environmental Sciences all operate under this umbrella.

The College of Economic and Management Sciences (CEMS) is the largest business education provider in Africa and one of the world’s largest. It incorporates Unisa’s Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) as an autonomous department within CEMS.

The College consists of the School of Management Sciences, the School of Economic and Financial Sciences, the School of Management Sciences, as well as the School of Public And Operations Management, The Institute For Corporate Citizenship, and five Centres.

The College of Education (CEDU) is responsible for the professional education and training of close to 50% of all South African teachers.

Unisa College of Education includes the School of Education, the School of Teacher Education, the Centre for Continuous Professional Teacher and Community Education and Training, and the Teaching Practice Unit.

College of Graduate Studies. This college endeavours to increase Unisa’s postgraduate profile and improve master’s and doctoral students’ performance.

The College of Graduate Studies consists of the Department of Interdisciplinary Research, the Archie Mafeje Research Institute, the South African Research Chair in Development Education, and the Institutes for African Renaissance Studies, Open and Distance Learning, Science and Technology Education, Social and Health Sciences.

The College of Human Sciences (CHS) provided high-quality general and career-focused subjects in the arts and humanities, religion, social sciences, education, and theology.

The College of Human Sciences is made up of the School of Arts, the School of Humanities, and the School of Social Sciences, which houses several centres, units, and institutes.

The professional qualifications conferred by The College of Law (CLAW) give access to the legal profession and other career-based qualifications in fields like police practice.

The College of Law is made up of the Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa, the Schools of Law and Criminal Justice, the Centre for Basic Legal Education, the Centre for Business Law, the Centre for Foreign and Comparative Law, the Centre for Criminological Sciences, and a Centre for Public Law Studies. 

The College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (CSET) provides general academic as well as career-oriented certificates, degrees, and diplomas, as well as in a variety of technology, science, and engineering disciplines.

This college is made up of the School of Engineering, School of Science, and the School of Computing.

The Prospectus

The prospectus is a document that provides all the necessary information about the university. 

The information includes available courses and financial support or bursaries. It also covers the campus facilities to enter requirements and other necessary and exciting information. It is required to be familiar with the information in the prospectus to ensure a smooth admission to Unisa. You can download the prospectus from here:


Registration should be done when it is open. This is not all year round but restricted to certain dates.

· Scroll down and click where you see the word “Register.”

Choose the applicable option. The options are:

  1. Undergraduate & Honours qualifications
  2. Master’s & Doctoral degrees
  3. Short Learning Programmes

Now you must find the qualification that you have in mind.

You can search for your qualification in different ways. Make sure that the option you select suits you.

Make your choice.

Once you have found what you are looking for, scroll down, and click on it. Calculate your student fees and click on number 3 in the Registration Process.

Read the text and use the buttons under the Registration Options heading.

You can choose how you will submit your registration. The online option is the fastest.

Now you must pay. Choose an option from the ones listed on the screen.

You are now registered. You can track the status of your registration on the Unisa website. This Link gives you access to the Unisa registration status page.