What is a Diploma Pass in Matric?

By Tevait Feanle •  Updated: 01/23/24 •  5 min read

When you write and pass your matric examination, there are four specific types of pass you might receive. Of these, the ‘Diploma Pass’ is the second-highest category you can receive, surpassed only by the ‘Bachelor’s Pass’. It means you have a lot of potential areas of study to choose from for your tertiary education, and you should be proud of your achievements. Today we are looking at the Diploma Pass in greater detail, so you fully understand what it means for your educational prospects. 

What is a Diploma Pass in Matric?

A diploma pass in matric means you achieved the second-highest type of matric pass. While this means you may not be able to attend an undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree course at a university, it will open many other educational doors for you.

Is a Diploma Pass in Matric Good?

While a diploma pass in matric is not the highest pass type you can achieve, it is still a very good mark. It is the second-highest type of pass open to you in the matric system, and an educational achievement worth celebrating.

What Can I Study if I Have a Diploma Pass?

There are many subjects you can study if you have a Diploma Pass. Some careers are better suited to the diploma route, in fact! You will often see diplomas as the core tertiary educational requirement in hospitality, business management, healthcare (especially technicians, phlebotomists, and basic nursing), IT, tourism, financial fields, and many more. For many of these programs, you can also use your diploma as a ‘stepping stone’ into later degree courses, and may even get credits for the work you’ve already covered in your diploma! Given that you can also start your career with your diploma, it’s a great way to advance your career and education at the same time.

What is a Bachelor Pass vs a Diploma Pass?

Strictly speaking, a Bachelor’s Pass will give you provisional entry into any undergraduate university degree. A Diploma Pass will allow you the same for any University of Technology (technikon) program or college diploma course. Some universities might accepts Diploma Passes for some programs, but this is not guaranteed.

Can I Become a Teacher with a Diploma Pass?

It is possible to become a teacher with a Diploma Pass in Matric. However, it does depend on the exact qualification you want to receive. If you were hoping to pursue a B. Ed, the Bachelor-level teaching degree, a Diploma Pass may not be enough. While some institutions will still accept Diploma passes for degree programs, it is not guaranteed, and you will not be the priority candidate when they are filling their courses. 

However, there is a wealth of teaching diploma courses on offer through highly respected institutions with great employment prospects, and a Diploma Pass will ensure you can apply to them all. For some programs, completing your teaching diploma successfully will also give you credits you can later apply to a degree program, so it’s an educational direction well worth considering if you want to work in the educational field.

How Many Points is a Diploma Pass?

To receive the Diploma Pass, you need 19 APS points from your matric results. You can achieve up to 42 APS points on your matric. APS points are assigned to each subject, based on the mark you receive for that subject. Here’s the list of how points are correlated with your pass percentage:

However, remember that the passes you are assigned based on your matric results are not only based on the point numbers you receive, but also passes in specific subjects. You require at least 40% on home language and 3 high-credit subjects, and 30% for two more subjects.

Can I get into University with a Diploma Pass?

Strictly speaking, you cannot get into university with a Diploma Pass. However, in practical terms, some universities will accept a Diploma Pass for certain Bachelor’s programs. It highly depends on the exact results you received per subject, and how they match with the course requirements, as well as the individual institution’s policies. However, you may find that the fields of study open to you are more limited than for those who received an outright Bachelor’s Pass. Or you may be at the ‘bottom of the list’ of considered candidates- they will accept you if they cannot fill the program completely with people who achieved a Bachelor’s Pass, but if the course is competitive or full, you will not be considered. If you have your heart set on attending a university for your tertiary education, try your best to get a Bachelor’s Pass for your matric, as it will make your future educational options more secure. 

A Diploma Pass for matric is still an academic achievement to be celebrated, and there are many tertiary education opportunities open to you for your future studies. Be proud of the work you put in!

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