Unisa bridging courses

By Victoria N · Jul 21, 2023
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You want to apply at Unisa but do not meet the minimum requirements? Worry no more, Unisa has countless bridging courses designed specifically for you to reach your dream career.

What are bridging course?

Bridging courses also known as higher certificates serve as a foundation for learners who do not meet the requirements for a diploma or a degree qualification. Bridging courses act as a bridge for learners to qualify for their desired courses. These bridging courses are short and usually range from 6 to 12 months. Bridging courses are introductory level courses that prepare learners for tertiary.

Who can apply for Unisa Bridging Courses?

  • Learners who passed matric with admission to higher certificate.
  • Learners who do not meet diploma or degree minimum requirements.

For example, a learner who passed with admission to a bachelor's degree in matric but does not meet the requirements to study BA in law, can apply for a bridging course in Law which is Higher Certificate in Law. 

What to do after completing the bridging course?
After completing your bridging course you need to apply for the actual course; a degree or diploma qualification. Don't wait until you complete the course to apply. While you are busy with the higher certificate course you need to apply for the degree/ diploma course with your first semester academic record for the following year because waiting to complete the higher certificate will lead to a gap year.

Can I look for a job with a bridging course?
No, you cannot be employed with only a bridging course certificate. Bridging courses are designed to help you prepare for further study, not to give you the skills and experience needed to get a job in your chosen field.  After obtaining your higher certificate you need to further your studies and enrol for a mainstream qualification. 

Which universities offer bridging courses?

There are numerous universities in South Africa that offer bridging courses, these universities are;

Tshwane University of Technology: Faculty of Art, science, engineering and health sciences.
University of Pretoria: Faculty of Education
Cape Peninsula University of Technology: Faculty of Health sciences and Information Technology
Sol Plaatje University: Faculty of Humanities
Mangosuthu University of Technology: Faculty of Engineering
Central University of Technology: Faculty of Health sciences

Nelson Mandela University: Faculty of Engineering, humanities and management

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Does NSFAS fund bridging/higher certificates courses?

Yes, higher certificate courses are funded by NSFAS. NSFAS provides financial assistance to eligible South African students to help them cover the costs of their tertiary education, including tuition fees, accommodation, and study materials. 

Is a higher certificate a bridging course?

Yes, bridging courses and higher certificates are the same thing. When searching for bridging courses on a prospectus you need to search for higher certificates because you won't find a course for example written bridging course of Law but instead, you will find higher certificate in Law or higher certificate in mechanical Engineering.

Will a higher certificate allow me to do any diploma/degree course?

No. You should keep in mind that you can't do a higher certificate in Law and  apply for a bachelor of education, it doesn't work like that. You do a higher certificate that is in line with the career you want to pursue. Everyone completing a higher certificate must apply for admission to a follow on qualification to which the higher certificate articulates. Click HERE for a full list of the qualifications you can pursue with higher certificates. 

Do I need to meet requirements to be accepted for bridging courses?

Yes! Yes! Yes! Applying for bridging courses does not automatically mean you will be accepted. Like a normal degree/diploma course,  higher certificates have requirements and failure to meet those requirements will lead to your application being rejected.

Is it possible to get rejected for diploma/degree courses after completing your higher certificate?

Yes. Doing a bridging course does not automatically mean that you will be accepted for the actual diploma/degree course. You really need to work hard and prove to the university that you are capable and ready for the desired qualification. 

Usually what universities do is that they set certain requirements to say for example you should pass all your modules with 80% or you should pass a particular module with 70% and failure to meet those requirements will lead you not being accepted for diploma/ degree course of your choice even though you have successfully completed your higher certificate or bridging course. 

Each University has different standards that they put in place. At the beginning of the year when starting your higher certificate make sure you know exactly what is required of you and you reach the target they have set for you to continue with your degree or diploma  

Can I apply for degree/diploma courses at another institution where I didn't do my higher certificate?

The truth is universities are not the same and their standards are not the same. Some are ranked high and some are ranked low. As much as they have the same courses or programmes but the content and curriculum of the courses are not the same. To avoid disappointments apply for a degree/diploma course where you have successfully completed your higher certificate. For example, if you have completed your higher certificate at Unisa apply or do your degree/diploma course at Unisa. 

How long does a teaching bridging course take?

Higher Certificate in Education at Unisa takes one year to complete but if you cannot finish in one year, Unisa gives students a maximum of 3 years to complete the higher certificate in teaching. Completing in one year is based on the assumption that you will register for the maximum number of credits allowed per semester, which is 60 credits. 

UNISA Bridging Courses are a gateway to unlocking the vast opportunities that higher education offers. They empower students to conquer challenges, boost their academic confidence, and build a solid foundation for future success. UNISA Bridging Courses are your stepping stone towards a fulfilling educational journey.

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