How to Apply at Unisa For Non-Degree Purposes

By Trev Gami •  Updated: 05/31/24 •  5 min read

The University of South Africa (UNISA) offers non-degree programs to students who may be interested in improving their knowledge in different fields. If you want to join such a program, there are certain things you should know. Read on to learn how to apply at Unisa for non-degree purposes.

What Is a Non-degree Purpose?

A non-degree program offered by a university refers to any course taken by students without any goal of accumulating credit hours that will contribute toward attaining a degree. Individuals who take non-degree program courses specifically do it out of the desire to broaden their general knowledge and improve skills that may be work-related. They have no intention of using the knowledge to earn a degree at some point in life. 

People in various professional fields embark on joining non-degree programs to earn the certification that can help provide promotion opportunities, improve pain, and gain credibility in their respective fields. Non-degree students usually include individuals intending to gain the skills required to grow their small businesses. 

Although you don’t intend to obtain a degree by pursuing a non-degree purpose, there are certain prerequisites you should meet for specific courses you may be interested in. More importantly, you need to pay for every course you register for. 

Does Unisa Offer Non-degree Purposes?

If you are interested in registering for a master’s degree at Unisa, you can also register for non-degree purposes modules. Registered doctoral students can also register for the corresponding number of modules for non-degree purposes. Interested applicants must comply with the admission requirements of the honor’s, master’s, or doctoral qualifications concerned. 

All applications involving concurrent registration with NDP modules must be submitted online. Make sure you submit yours about three weeks before the deadline for NDP registration. Check all the requirements for NDP courses to make an informed decision. 

How to Apply at Unisa for Non-Degree Purposes

The non-degree purpose is usually applied to help prospective students gain access to postgraduate studies admission at Unisa. There are two methods you can consider to apply for NDP. If you have never applied for NDP at Unisa, you must visit https://www.unisa.ac.za/sites/corporate/default/Apply-for-admission/Apply-for-admission-to-study:-application-tool for more information. 

Select “Occasional” under college and then choose “NDP” under the category section. Fill in your details and make sure they are accurate. 

If you have applied for NDP at Unisa before, or you already have an NDP record, you can apply online for admission. You can apply by sending an email from your myLife email account to licensee@unisa.ac.za. In your email, you should request consideration of your NDP registration. 

Your application must be accompanied by necessary documents, or it will be declined. If you are applying for NDP for the first time, you must upload the following documents when you apply online.   

If you have previously registered at UNISA for NDP, you must submit a letter of recommendation or permission from the responsible department. The letter must be valid for the relevant academic year and should be related to what you want to achieve. Include the relevant Unisa module codes you want to register. You also need to provide a letter of motivation stating why you need to register for NDP. It should resonate with your current occupation or align with your vision if you run a small business and want to improve your knowledge in your respective field. 

If your NDP application is work-related, you must get the right documents. A detailed letter of motivation explaining why you want to pursue this course. Include the relevant Unisa module codes for the courses you wish to register for. Ensure the letter applies to the relevant academic year you want to start reading for your NDP qualification. Your employer must provide a recommendation letter to support your NDP application. 

If you intend to register with a professional body and are required to pass certain modules, you must attach a recommendation letter from that respective entity. You also need to provide their regulations or requirements. Try to provide realistic goals in your application. Unisa has the right to decline your application if it is deemed unsatisfactory.  

Does NSFAS Pay For Non-Degree Purposes?

Unfortunately, the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) does not pay for non-degree purposes. NSFAS funding specifically covers funding for approved programs at universities. NSFAS-funded programs are all undergraduate courses. 

Those intending to get funding for NDPs can try other sources of financiers or their employees. This kind, of course, is optional, and it is a preserve for personal development. Therefore, you can only pursue it when you have enough financial resources. If you don’t have a sponsor, it is difficult to get a loan for this kind of short-term course.   

Apart from offering academic and professional qualifications, Unisa also offers a non-degree program that does not lead to the achievement of a degree. If you register for a non-degree program course, you will be doing it out of the need to improve your general knowledge and work-related skills. You don’t intend to use the knowledge to acquire a degree in the future. When applying for an NDP, be sure to include all the necessary documents. 

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