South Africa Universities Application Dates for 2021

There is a vast array of universities in South Africa that are accredited and ranked in high positions globally. The government invest a lot in universities and thus, produce alumni that are succeeding in many fields.

Universities Application Dates for 2021

Students who want to apply for mid-year intake for 2021 or intake for 2022 must maintain the marks that are expected by the respective universities and apply before a set date. In order to secure your place at a university, it is imperative that you apply as soon as possible as there is a huge demand from first-year students. Although most universities have not opened their applications for 2022 entry, these generic dates for the previous year will give you insight on when you should expect to apply in 2021 for 2022.

University of South Africa (UNISA)

UNISA’s online application deadline for Undergraduate degrees close on 30th November 2020. Applications for Postgraduate diplomas and honours degrees close on 15th December 2020. Masters and PhD applications close on 6th November 2020.

North-West University (NWU)

The deadline to apply for non-selection courses for the 2021 academic year was September 30, 2020, while the deadline for selection courses was June 30, 2020. The deadline for applying to study music was July 31, 2020.

University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN)

The undergraduate student application process is now closed at UKZN. The undergraduate program deadlines for applying to medical school was 30th June 2020. Late applications for medical school will be discarded. All other applications for undergraduate degrees close on 30th September 2020. Applications for internal transfers will be accepted by 1st June 2020.

The application period for all undergraduate programs for the 2021 academic year started on April 1, 2020, and ended on July 31, 2020. Prospective students are encouraged to apply online during this period to improve their chances of being accepted into the institution. Before beginning the application process, a prospective student should double-check with the school since the deadlines can change.


The programs, resident student applications that were available from April 1st to June 30th, 2020 are all the courses within the faculty of health sciences, bachelor of audiology, bachelor of architecture, bachelor of film and tv and bachelor of speech-language. The application process for the outstanding courses is 30th September.

Nelson Mandela University (NMU)

The application period for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses for the 2021 intake began in April and ended on August 3, 2020. Prospectus students were encouraged to apply online and submit all of their supporting documents by the deadline.

University of Fort Hare (UFH)

The application phase for UFH 2021 started on July 1, 2020. The deadline for this institution’s 2020 application was September 30, 2020.

University of the Free State (UFS)

The submission period has already ended. There were different deadline dates for prospectus students in 2021. Radiation Sciences, MBChB, Physiotherapy and Optometry applications closed on 31st May 2020. The applications for Architecture, Nursing, Construction and Economics and Management closed on 31st July 2020. Applications for prospective international students closed on 31st August 2020. Applications for the Fine Arts closed on 1st September 2020. The remaining courses among of which are, Geology, Physics with Engineering Sciences, Community Development, Drama and Theatre Arts, Forensic Sciences, Social Work and Music have applications that close on 30th September 2020.

Rhodes University 

The enrolment period for Rhodes University’s class of 2021 is now closed. The deadline for all new students to apply for admission to the university was September 30, 2020. Applications for the 2021 academic year were received from 1st April 2020. The closing date was 30th September 2020.

University of Western Cape 

The application period for 2021 is now closed. On or before September 30, 2020, UWC application forms were scheduled to be submitted.

Stellenbosch University 

The deadlines for submissions for Stellenbosch university for the year 2021 close on 30th June 2020 for all undergraduate applications as well as interested individuals that are applying for residency. Financial aid applications close on 31st August 2020, while applications for NSFAS bursaries close on 30th November 2020. Diplomas in Public Accountability are closed on 15th December 2020.

University of Pretoria 

Prospectus students should be aware that the institution has switched to an entirely online application process. The application deadlines for the University of Pretoria for the academic year 2021 are 30th September 2020 for South African students applying for the Faculty of Theology and Religion, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Non-South African students have to apply to these faculties by 31st August 2020. A Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture closes on 31st May 2020 for all students. South African and non-South African students wanting to apply for courses in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology have to apply before 31st August 2020. The deadline for both South African and non-South African candidates to apply to the Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine is 31st May 2020. The application process for most of the courses within the Humanities faculty closes on the 30th June 2020, while others, close on 30th September for South Africans and 31st August for International students. Local students have until 30th September 2020 to apply for the LLB, Bachelor of Arts Law and Bachelor of Commerce Law and non-South African students have until 31st August 2020 to apply.

University of Limpopo

At this time, you are unable to apply to the University of Limpopo. The university announced the deadline for 2021 prospectus applicants on September 23, 2020, for both South African and foreign students.

University Of Venda

The University of Venda has confirmed the start and end dates for its 2021 prospectus students. Online applications for entry and hostel accommodation were accepted starting on June 15, 2020, and the deadline was November 30, 2020. It implies that the application period is now complete.

University of Mpumalanga

The university has announced the deadline for 2021 prospectus students, which is November 30, 2020.

University of Zululand

The application process for 2021 is closed now. New application deadlines are not announced yet.

It’s important to remember that the majority of the organisations on this list are already closed to new applicants. If you plan to enrol in one of these universities, you can launch the application process as soon as possible to stop the last-minute scramble.

University Of South Africa [UNISA] Application

The University of South Africa, known as Unisa, stands proud as a top institution for higher education. It is the most significant open distance higher learning institution in Africa, 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 programs and short courses right up 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 join Unisa and thus become 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 you have received a student number and fee reference number.

Payment methods are:

  • Credit cards.
  • Debit cards.
  • Bank deposit.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
  • Unisa web credit card payments.
  • Money orders.
  • International students Telegraphic money order (TMO).
  • Postal orders.
  • Payments by employers/sponsors/donors & bulk payments.

The aim of the secure online Unisa application tool is 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. It is always a good idea to find career guidance 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 if spaces are available, 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: 

  • Undergraduate qualifications.
  • Honours degrees and postgraduate diplomas.
  • Masters and doctoral degrees.
  • Short learning programs.

For all four categories, the UNISA application process is quick and easy. You will have to 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 counselling 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 you 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:

  • A copy of your ID (for South African students) or passport for learners from other countries.
  • A school qualification copy
  • The official copy of the tertiary academic record (if applicable).
  • Marriage certificate or divorce decree (if applicable).
  • Document translation if not presented in Afrikaans or English.
  • Email address.
  • Cell phone number.

You have to download documents as either DOC (Word document files) or a PDF (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format files) or and 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 

  • a copy of their ID
  • proof of household income (Seventy percent of the funding will go to students from a previously disadvantaged background who obtained 75% and above average)
  • IDs of the parents
  • proof of their academic record.

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.:

  • BCom in Transport Economics
  • BCom in Logistics
  • ND in Civil Engineering
  • BTech in Civil Engineering
  • Honours in Transport Economics
  • Honours in Logistics
  • Master’s in Transport Economics
  • Master’s in Logistics and
  • MTech in Civil Engineering

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.

  • A certified copy of a valid Senior Certificate (if you have completed Grade 12)
  • A certified copy of your latest academic transcript or record on official letterhead or with a logo (if you are already at university)
  • A certified copy of a valid South African identity document
  • Salary advise of the person responsible for your needs.

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.

They are

The College of Accounting Sciences offering 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 masters 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 as well as 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 the requirement 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.

  • Visit UNISA. (

· 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 are able to track the status of your registration on the Unisa website. This Link gives you access to the Unisa registration status page.

How to access your mylife UNISA account

As a student, you need useful platforms that are easily accessible to find information and solve problems quickly. At UNISA, students learn remotely and do not meet face-to-face with lecturers or other students, unless for exam preparation or practicals.

Since teachers and students do not learn in a classroom, they require online platforms that make learning and communication easy.

The two UNISA platforms that empower students are myUnisa, a study portal where your tutorials, study guides and assignments are posted. Official myLife email account for correspondence with the university and your lecturers.

The concept of two platforms may seem confusing at first, but both are pretty simple to navigate and access.

Let’s learn more about the two systems and how they differ. 

myUnisa and myLife

“myUnisa is the official student portal for students, where you can access your module resources, submit assignments, interact with other students and with your e-tutor or group.”

“myLife is your official UNISA email account for all communication with UNISA and your lecturers. Only email from your myLife email address will be accepted.”

Simple to set up and activate

You can access your myLife email account once the university has issued you with a student number, e.g., 86976546. Your student number is provided to you upon registration at UNISA.

IMPORTANT. You can only log in to your email account once you have claimed your myUnisa login.

Claim your myUnisa login via the UNISA website

Step 1: Browse to

Step 2: In the top right corner of the home page, click on myUnisa.

Step 3: On the next page, click on ‘Claim UNISA Login’.

Step 4: Enter your student number and click ‘Continue’.

Step 5: Type in your personal information and click ‘Continue’.

Step 6: On the next page, check all the boxes.

Step 7: Click ‘Acknowledge’ to accept the guidelines.

Step 8: Your password will be generated.

The same password is used for myUnisa and your myLife email account: two platforms, one password.

Access your myLife email

Step 1: Browse to

Step 2: The page resolves to the Microsoft Outlook sign-in page, as UNISA uses the Microsoft O365 platform for email.

Type in your email address on the sign-in page, for example, and click ‘Next’.

On the following screen, enter your password and click ‘Sign in’.

Remember: your password is the same for both myUnisa and your myLife email account.

Once you have logged in, the default view is your email Inbox.

How to reset your myLife password

Passwords for both the myUnisa and myLife logins can be reset from the myUnisa portal at

You can follow these steps to reset your password:

Step 1. Login to myUnisa and navigate to the “myAdmin” section.

Step 2. Click on “Password Management” on the top navigation and then click “Change Password”.

Step 3. Type in your ‘old’ and ‘new’ passwords and click “Submit” to update your password.

Your new password will now be active on both the myUnisa and myLife services.

IMPORTANT. It could take up to 30 minutes for the new password to be updated on the myLife service.

Summary — Setup your myLife account in 7 Minutes

Step 1: Browse to

Step 2: Click on myUnisa

Step 3: On the next page, click on ‘Claim UNISA Login.’

Step 4: Enter your student number and click ‘Continue.’

Step 5: Type in your personal information and click ‘Continue.’

Step 6: On the next page, check all the boxes

Step 7: Click ‘Acknowledge’ to accept the guidelines. Your password will be generated. Save your password to a safe place.

Step 8: Browse to

Step 9: Type in your email address on the sign-in page, for example, and click ‘Next’.

Step 10: On the following screen, enter your password and click ‘Sign in’.

You’re in! Welcome to mylife, your UNISA email account.

You may want to memorize your student number and myLife password, as you will be accessing myUnisa and your email account on a weekly basis in the first semester of your studies—and up to 10 times a day during exam preparation! Keep your login details in a safe place and ensure that you log out of myUnisa and your email account when accessing the systems via a public computer.