Can You Apply For A Degree With A Higher Certificate?

If you have studied a higher certificate and now want to apply for a degree, then this article will look at the requirements of your application.

Can You Apply For A Degree With A Higher Certificate?

While the Higher Certificate is not a recognised qualification for entry into the workforce, it is acceptable as a minimum entry requirement in some cases. For example, if you want to apply for an Advanced Diploma in Nursing or an Honors Bachelor of Nursing degree at University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), you will need to have obtained at least 65% for your Higher Certificate.

In other cases, it depends on what your goal is and what you want to do with your qualification. If you are considering further study but don’t know which area interests you most yet (or if there are different areas that interest you equally), taking up one of these courses can be a way to find out more about various options before deciding on one.

Thinking about a degree?

If you’re thinking about applying for a degree, it’s important to know the difference between this and other types of certificates.

A higher certificate is an official qualification awarded by a South African tertiary education institution or an accredited foreign institution if the qualification was obtained from outside South Africa.

To be eligible for this qualification, you must have achieved at least 50% of your total credits at home or abroad while studying as part of your undergraduate programme. It’s also necessary that all your home study requirements are completed before consulting any other institution. Higher certificates can be obtained in many fields including accounting, business management and marketing (ACB).

It’s possible that you’ve heard of diplomas before but aren’t sure what they are—or whether they differ from other forms of certification like degrees and certificates? It may seem confusing at first but when broken down everything becomes clearer: “Diploma” refers to any type of post-secondary vocational training course that leads directly into employment without requiring further study (eLearning Hub). This means diploma courses might take less time than degrees but don’t offer quite as many benefits once finished with school such as internships or job opportunities after graduation like degrees do!

Application in higher education

You can apply for a degree with a higher certificate, but it will take more time. If you want to get started on your course straight away, consider applying for a degree with university admission requirements. This will mean that you can apply for admission directly with the institution of your choice.

You may also be able to study at undergraduate level; however, this option is not available in all countries or regions and will depend on which institutions offer such programmes.

Applying for funding

If you’re considering applying for a degree, there are several agencies that may be able to help with funding. If you meet the criteria, you could receive support from:

  • The Government of Canada’s student grants programs (loans and grants)
  • The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
  • Veteran Affairs Canada

What are the requirements?

In order to proceed with your application, you must have a Higher Certificate. The National Senior Certificate is the most common qualification for students who wish to apply for a degree in South Africa. You also need to have completed this qualification or have passed another matriculation examination like the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).

If you are not sure what type of higher certificate you should apply with, speak with your school counselor or contact us directly on 020 766 4425 and we will be happy to help!


The Higher Certificate is an excellent qualification for university entrance. It’s important to remember that each institution sets its own entry requirements and you should check with them before applying. If you have any questions about this or another issue related to higher education, you are encourage you to contact them at the Student Support Centre at UNISA.

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