Master's & doctoral degrees

Registration FAQs


Registration

I was registered in 2017. Must I re-register for the 2018 academic year?

Yes. You must re-register and pay your fees every year until you complete your studies. Please remember to register online and pay the prescribed fees during the registration period of 3 January 2018 to 30 March 2018. Some exceptions apply.

When can I register for the 2018 academic year?

The registration dates for Unisa's master's and doctoral degrees are 3 January to 30 March 2018. Some exceptions apply.


I was previously registered for a master’s qualification, but did not re-register. Can I register online?

If you did not apply for a formal deferment, you will have to re-apply for admission as spaces are limited for each year. Applications for admission to the 2018 academic year for master's and doctoral qualifications are closed (some exceptions apply). Please re-apply during the next (application period).


I tried to register online, but could not find the master’s qualification for which I was previously registered. What should I do?

This could mean that the qualification for which you were previously registered has been phased out and is no longer available. Please send an e-mail to the Master's and Doctoral Section (mandd@unisa.ac.za) to apply to re-register (as an exceptional case) or to find out to which qualification you can transfer your studies.


I want to register, but I did not apply during the application phase. What can I do?

It is possible that you may apply for your qualification of choice outside of the prescribed application dates. If it is not, you will unfortunately have to apply for admission during the next application period.


My application was approved and I have registered online. What must I do now?

There are four very important steps you must follow:

  1. Go to myUnisa and claim your Unisa login (if you have never before logged in to myUnisa).
  2. Login to your myLife e-mail account as soon as possible and check this account regularly. All registered Unisa students get a free myLife e-mail account. Important information, notices and updates are sent exclusively to this account, so it's very important that you check it regularly.
  3. Access myUnisa for important study-related information. Students registered for the MBA, MBL and DBL degrees must visit the SBL's ESOnLine for study material and other important information.
  4. Make contact with your supervisor after accessing your myUnisa / ESOnLine information.

If you have any problems accessing myUnisa or your myLife e-mail address, please send an e-mail to myUnisaHelp@unisa.ac.za or myLifeHelp@unisa.ac.za. Remember to include your student number in the subject line of your e-mail.


What are the dates for the compulsory Master of Business Leadership (MBL) study schools for 2018?

  • Orientation: Thursday 22 February to Saturday 24 February 2018
  • Semester 1 study school: Monday 26 Feburary to Friday 2 March 2018
  • Semester 2 study school: Monday 23 July to Friday 27 July 2018

Please note: Your registration must be finalised before the compulsory orientation sessions. Please take note of the registration dates.


What are the dates for the compulsory Master of Business Administration (MBA) study schools for 2018?

  • Orientation: Monday 26 February to Wednesday 28 February 2018

Please note: Your registration must be finalised before the compulsory orientation sessions. Please take note of the registration dates.


When must I pay for my research master’s or doctoral studies?

Study fees for research master’s and doctoral studies must be paid in full upon registration.


What is the cost of a master’s / doctoral degree? 

The fees for the 2018 academic year will only be available towards the end of 2017. The following fees for the 2017 academic year should be used as an estimate: The fee for the master’s research proposal module is approximately R3 800 and R11 800 for the research component. Doctoral students pay approximately R3 900 for the proposal and R14 600 for the thesis. Remember that you have to register and pay every year until you have completed your studies.

For 2018 fees for the MBA, MBL and DBL qualifications, please contact the SBL via e-mail (sblfinance@unisa.ac.za).


I have registered and paid my fees, but did not receive any correspondence from Unisa.

All correspondence is e-mailed to your myLife e-mail address. Unisa will not send e-mails to your personal e-mail address. All registered Unisa students get a free myLife e-mail account. Important information, notices and updates are sent exclusively to this account, so it's very important that you check it regularly. Remember to always include your student number in the subject line of your e-mails to Unisa.

How do I calculate my fees?

The fees for 2018 will only be available towards the end of 2017. After this date, use the fee quotation link on the Unisa website to obtain a total fee quotation for the cost of the modules that you have selected. Alternatively, contact the Master's and Doctoral Section (mandd@unisa.ac.za) for assistance.


Where do I pay online?

You can pay online via the secure link: http://www.unisa.ac.za/feepayment


I registered for the research proposal module and I did not receive any printed study material.

No printed study material is available for master’s and doctoral candidates. You must register on myUnisa to download your study material (where applicable). Information on the proposal module is linked per department under "resources". If there are no information on myUnisa, please contact your supervisor / contact person.

It is your responsibility to contact your supervisor / contact person in order to access departmental requirements. The outcome of the research proposal module is an acceptable title and research proposal.

I want my study material to be delivered by courier to my address.

Master’s and doctoral study material (if applicable) is only available online. Once you are registered, you must register on myUnisa, Unisa’s student portal, to access your study material online.


Will I be credited for modules completed at another institution?

You can only request credit from coursework modules if Unisa offer the specific qualification by coursework. Students may not be granted credits from study units obtained on grounds of a completed qualification. Credits will only be considered for study units of incomplete qualifications at master’s level. No credits are considered for research master’s or doctoral qualifications.

You may apply for credits on the basis of courses passed at another university. Note, however, that you may not be granted more than 50% of the modules for the qualification concerned.


Am I allowed to complete my coursework degree in one year?

Yes, but it is highly unlikely as certain prerequisites are set for each qualification, for example: the research proposal must be accepted before you may register for the research component.  


Am I allowed to complete my research master’s qualification in one year?

Yes, but it is highly unlikely, as you must first register for and comply with the requirements for the research proposal module before you may register for the research component.


Am I allowed to complete my doctoral qualification in one year?

No. A doctoral student must be registered for at least two academic years before submitting the thesis for examination.


Will I be allocated a supervisor or can I come with my own?

In most departments, you will be allocated a supervisor on acceptance of your admission. If not, you will be provided with a contact person. You may discuss the possibility of your own identified supervisor with the contact person. An extensive CV of the proposed external supervisor will have to be submitted if it is agreed that you may provide the information for consideration. If the person is accepted, Unisa will contract the person and pay the person accordingly.

What is the role of my supervisor?

Your supervisor is integral to your studies and will assist you in planning your academic year, ensuring that you are aware of all critical milestones and detailing both your and their responsibilities during the course of your studies. Both you and your supervisor will sign a Code of Conduct that governs the conditions of your relationship. The support and guidance of your supervisor will be invaluable during the course of your studies.

My supervisor has informed me that my research proposal has been approved. What should I do?

You must receive a formal letter / e-mail from the Master’s and Doctoral Section informing you of the outcome of your research proposal module. You may then proceed with the online registration of your dissertation / thesis in the next registration period. If you do not receive confirmation within two weeks of your supervisor informing you of the outcome, please contact the Master’s and Doctoral Section (mandd@unisa.ac.za). 


I am registered for a master’s qualification. May I cancel my studies?

Yes, you may cancel your modules or studies. Please note, however, that if you cancel the research proposal module or research component of your qualification, you will forfeit the full amount.


I am registered for a research qualification. Why must I indicate an examination venue?

If you are registered for the research proposal module or the research component, you will not be required to write exams. You must, however, indicate an exam venue close to where you live when you register for administrative purposes.


Can I transfer from another university to Unisa?

Unisa accepts candidates from other universities, except if the candidate was excluded / suspended from another Higher Education Institution on grounds of misconduct. If you are applying to transfer from another university, please provide Unisa with a declaration from the previous institution that you did not submit your master’s / doctoral dissertation / thesis for examination at that institution. If you do not have a student number, please first apply for a student number in the next application period, once you have received your student / reference number apply for admission and upload the relevant supporting documents.


Can I register with Unisa and another university simultaneously?

You can only be registered at one South African university for a formal qualification. If you want to study simultaneously, you will have to register for a formal degree at one university and for non-degree purposes at the other university. Unisa will only accept you for non-degree purposes on condition that you have written permission from the other university allowing concurrent registration. You will be required to upload the written permission from the other university as part of your application for admission.


May I register for two or more formal qualifications?

No. You may not register concurrently for two formal qualifications at Unisa.


What should I do if I need an academic record?

Send an e-mail to mandd@unisa.ac.za and request a copy of your academic record. Remember to include your student number in the subject line of all e-mails.


Why does my qualification have a new NQF level?

In 2008, the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act No 67 replaced the South African Qualifications Authority Act No 58 of 1995.

In line with the NQF Act, there are now 10 levels on the NQF, which means that all qualifications changed from the 8-level framework to the 10-level framework, for example: A master's degree was previously placed on an NQF level 8. The new NQF level is a 9. Click here for more information.

Please note: Qualifications with the old NQF levels will continue to receive the same recognition as qualifications awarded in terms of the new NQF levels and the Higher Education Qualification Sub-Framework alignment.


Non-degree purposes

May I register for modules for non-qualification purposes (NDP) concurrently with my master's or doctoral degree?

If you are registered for a master’s degree, you may also register in the same academic year for two undergraduate modules or for one honours paper or the corresponding number of modules on the same level for non-degree purposes (NDP).

If you are registered for a doctoral qualification, you may also register in the same academic year for two undergraduate modules or for one honours paper or one master’s paper or the corresponding number of modules on the same level for non-qualification purposes (NDP).

You will only be allowed to register for an honours or a master’s paper / module(s) if you comply with the prescribed admission requirements for the honours or master’s qualification concerned. An application for concurrent registration must be submitted online on the prescribed form at least three weeks before the closing date of registration for the NDP paper / module(s).


Deferment of studies

May I defer my studies to the next academic year?

If you wish to defer your studies to the next academic year, please complete and submit the request for deferment form and submit it before the relevant closing date for re-registration. Deferments are only granted a year at a time and for a maximum of two years during the course of study for a particular qualification.

Please note: No deferments will be considered once your registration for an academic year has been finalised. Any requests for deferments after your registration has been finalised will be treated as a request for cancellation. It is crucial that you remember to re-register online for the next academic year. You will not receive a reminder from Unisa.


Cancellations

May I cancel any modules once I have registered?

Students who cancel their registration for a research proposal module or for a dissertation or thesis remain liable for the full fees for the year for which they were registered. In exceptional cases, the Executive Dean or his or her nominee may recommend cancellation with or without full refund.


Exemptions

I completed a research proposal module at another university. Can I be exempted from the research proposal module? 

No. You must apply for admission and provide written approval from the other university that you may continue your studies at Unisa using the same research topic and proposal. The fact that your proposal was accepted at another university does not mean that Unisa will accept the proposal.


I completed the research proposal module and received my results. When can I register for the dissertation / thesis?

If you receive your result before the closing date for registrations, you can add the dissertation to your current registration. If registrations have already closed, however, you will have to wait for the next registration period (normally from January to March). You will have full access to the library and to your supervisor until registrations re-open for the next academic year. If you experience problems at the library, please contact the Master's and Doctoral Section (012 441 5702; mandd@unisa.ac.za).


Students with disabilities

Does Unisa assist students with disabilities?

Unisa’s Advocacy and Resource Centre for Students with Disabilities (ARCSWiD) will assist and support students with disabilities. If you require assistance, please indicate the nature of your disability on the online registration form and contact ARCSWiD as soon as possible after registration. This will enable ARCSWiD to plan the measures necessary to support your needs.


M&D research examination process

I am in my final stages of my studies and I am almost ready to submit my dissertation / thesis for examination. What is the process?

You must be registered for the dissertation / thesis in the current academic year to be able to submit your research for examination. Doctoral candidates must be registered for at least two academic years before submitting a dissertation / thesis for examination. When the thesis nears completion, the candidate must complete the intention to submit form to inform the university of the intention to submit for examination. Please discuss your intention with your supervisors before you submit the form to the university.

The form must be completed and emailed to Resexcoord@unisa.ac.za.

Students e advised to submit the intention to submit form at least 8 weeks prior to submitting the copies for examination (normally 30 September for the Autumn graduation ceremony period of the next year; the proposed date is 15 April for the Spring graduation period).


What are the submission dates?

If you submit your thesis by 15 June and are successful, you will probably receive your qualification at a Spring graduation ceremony (September / October). If you submit your thesis by 30 November and are successful, you will probably receive your qualification at an Autumn graduation ceremony (April / May) of the following year. If submission takes place after the end of January, you can expect to graduate in September of the same year and will have to re-register and pay the full tuition fees.

Please note: The graduation timeframes listed above are estimates, since you may be required to make substantial corrections before the result is formally approved / released.


How many copies must I submit for examination purposes?

For examination purposes, a student must submit three copies of a master’s dissertation and four copies of a doctoral thesis, bound between soft covers with a glued spine. The university reserves the right to request the submission of additional copies. The title of the thesis and the name of the candidate must appear on the cover and on the spine of each examination copy. The Master’s and Doctoral Research Examination Coordination Section will inform students on the process.


What is the acceptable format for copies submitted for examination?

The thesis must be printed in the A4 or A5 format, on good quality paper which does not permit undue show-through, using at least one and a half spacing (except footnotes and quotations which may be in single spacing) and leaving a left margin of at least 2 centimetres. The thesis must, in the opinion of the university, be neat and legible.


I missed the deadline for submitting my dissertation / thesis for examination. What must I do?

If you have permission from your supervisor, you may submit your dissertation / thesis at any time provided that you are registered for the academic year. If submission takes place after the end of January, you will have to re-register and pay the full tuition fees for that academic year. A candidate can then expect to graduate in September.

If submission takes place after 15 June, a candidate can expect to graduate in April / May of the following year. If submission takes place after 30 November, graduation will probably take place in September of the following year.


Bursaries and student funding

Are there bursaries available for national and international master’s and doctoral candidates?

There are a limited number of bursaries available for master’s and doctoral students who have completed the research proposal module of the specific master’s or doctoral qualification. Please visit the Directorate for Student Funding or contact them via e-mail
(dsf@unisa.ac.za).


Contact information

How can I contact the Master's and Doctoral Section?

They can be contacted via e-mail address mandd@unisa.ac.za or telephonically via 012 441 5702.