Five Major Requirements to Study Graduate Courses in South Africa

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Requirements to Study Graduate Courses in South Africa. South Africa is known for its quality education system, it has the leading universities in Africa and they are well ranked in the World. South Africa has so many foreign students due to the high standard of education. If you want to study in South Africa here are the five major requirements for Graduate courses in South Africa.

Having a degree in your field is a good step every young person should do but where you earn the degree also matters. There are so many young people with degrees but what differentiates them is the institution where they earn the degree. A degree from a reputable institution will fasten individuals’ pace in their career journey.

earning a further degree like Master and PhD is also another feature used by many companies to give employment or promotion. South Africa Universities have a quality program in place for graduate students. Before you can be given admission to a university, there are some requirements for entry depending on your course; academic transcript, active phone number, a certified copy of your ID (scan), financial capacity, application fee and others.

These requirements depend on the institution and course, which is why we will focus on the five major requirements to study a graduate program in South Africa Universities. These requirements are common to all the Universities in South Africa. Before we dive into the details, let’s take a look at why you should study in South Africa.

Why Study in South Africa?

South Africa is a dynamic country with both blacks and whites as citizens, the blacks are the majority with 75% of the population. The country is one of the major economic hubs in the continent (Africa). South Africa can boast of its quality education as it has the leading universities in Africa and its universities are well ranked in the world.

South Africa has over 60 public and private institutions across its nine (9) provinces that cater for students within and outside the country. The University of Cape Town which is her oldest university is the best university in Africa.

The following are the reasons why you should consider South Africa for your graduate programme:

  • South Africa’s largest cities also offer globally competitive education and possess world-leading research facilities.
  • Renowned economic hubs like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are all home to internationally accredited universities, making South Africa even more attractive to overseas graduate students
  • Three of South Africa’s universities are among the world’s top 400.
  • South Africa is one of the world’s most linguistically diverse nations with 11 official languages, yet English is still the language of instruction at most universities.
  • Affordability – Tuition fees in South Africa are relatively low compared to some Western countries, and a favourable exchange rate will make the cost of living cheap for many international students.
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The following are the some of the requirements for the graduate programme; testing score, Bachelor’s degree certificate, latest transcript, a scan of your passport or birth certificate, CV, evidence of funding or scholarship, letter of recommendation, portfolio and others.

Five Major Requirements to Study Graduate Courses in South Africa


1. Academic transcripts

This is very important when it comes to graduate admission in any institution in South Africa or any part of the world. A transcript is a certified detailed record that shows your mark or grade that you score in your current or former institution. It is a paper document or online that shows each module, course or paper you write in the exam and your score in a table with numerical or letter grade against each course.

Students that are still in the university running their undergraduate program might not have access to the academic transcript. However, they can submit an interim/provisional transcript from their institution which will show the details of their scores or grade in all the modules/courses so far. The interim/provisional transcript will give the selection committee a view of your academic performance and your intellectual capacity.

You should know that the official transcript always has your school signature top official like the registrar to show it is valid. Many of the institutions in South Africa deliver their lectures in English, any international that want to study in South Africa and his/her institution does not issue an official transcript in English will have to provide both the original language and a certified English Language translation signed and stamped by your institution or an official translator.

Any student that took part in transcript fraud will have to face the law if caught. There should be no form of alteration or forgery in the transcript you submit. The process of getting your transcript might take time depending on your school system. Aspiring students should visit their previous institution early to avoid delay.

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2. Letter of Recommendation

A letter of recommendations is an endorsement for an applicant that is written by a certified individual to boost your chance of getting an admission. A letter of recommendation is not necessary for undergraduate admission in some university but it is for graduate admission. Applicants are expected to get two or more recommendation letter from a member of their previous faculty or place of employment.

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The recommendation letter is usually a brief formal statement that contains all your positive qualities, gives reasons why you should be admitted and why you will succeed in your graduate studies. To get admission for a Master degree, you will need two recommendation letter from employer and a member of your institution/faculty. While PhD admission requires three recommendations letter, two from an academic and the last from your employer. However, some university requires that students should get the three from academic and one must be from your supervisor in your previous project.

Apart from stating your qualities, the letter must highlight your relationship with the recommender. It should contain how the person writing the recommendation know you, your positive qualities relevant to success in your academics, your competence and so on.

It is advisable to let the person that will be writing a recommendation know on time so that it will not be a rush work.

3. Undergraduate Certificate

Before you can apply for graduate studies, you are expected to have a first degree from an accredited university. A certificate is a piece of evidence that you complete your undergraduate degree. The certificate will include your full name, course of study, school name, logo, degree, class grade and the Vice-chancellor or institution President signature.

4. Curriculum Vitae CV

CV is not only required for job application, the graduate admission application also requires you to submit a CV to show your professional experience. A CV is the detailed documents that contain your professional life, it is a written form of your professional and academic history used to seek employment. It shows why you are the right person for the job and the skills you have to execute the task easily.

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While writing your CV, it must include personal skills, abilities, professional history and achievement in relation to the job you are seeking. For graduate admission, the CV must reflect the qualities and skills you have to succeed in the graduate program. It should include publications, conferences you attend and any research related to the field you are applying for.

5. Passport/Birth Certificate

A birth certificate is always issued to parents after a few days of giving birth. A birth certificate is required for graduate studies to be sure you are within a certain adulthood age range where you can cope with the rigour task, especially for a doctoral programme. All applicants for a graduate program must be above 18 years of age.

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The birth certificate will serve as an attestation for all South African applicants. A government birth certificate will contain your full name as written in your documents, place of birth, parent name, local government stamp and issuance date.

You can get your birth certificate by visiting the department of home affairs website. For those that have misplaced their birth certificate or never got it, you need the following requirement to get a replacement:

Apply at designated offices with the following requirements:

  • DHA 24/LRB (notice of birth)
  • Biometrics (ID-size photo and fingerprint) of the person to be registered
  • Fingerprints of parent/s
  • Children born at health facilities: DHA 24/PB (Proof of birth) / Children born at home: DHA 24PBA (Proof of Birth Affidavit)
  • DHA 288/A (Affidavit giving reasons for LRB)
  • DHA 288
  • ID/Passport of parent/s

Five Major Requirements to Study Graduate Courses in South Africa.

The birth certificate is not necessary for international students, all you need as an international student is your international passport. The international passport will contain your major information including your date of birth which is a requirement for admission into a graduate school. International students can get an international passport from their home country immigration office. It is advisable to apply on time to avoid delay.

South Africa is a great country in term of education and economy, studying in the South African institution will give you access to quality education.

Five Major Requirements to Study Graduate Courses in South Africa.

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