The subjects you take and the Matric results you achieve determine which qualifications and programmes you can apply for, and at which tertiary institution. Your final matric certificate will also show you what qualification you can apply for according to your marks. Therefore, you can pass your Matric with a Higher Certificate, Diploma or Bachelor’s pass. This means that that the Matric marks you have will gain you provisional entrance into a degree, diploma or certificate course at any tertiary institution in South Africa.

What is provisional entrance?

Provisional entrance means your Matric results are good enough to get you into any University, Technikon or College but not necessarily into the degree, diploma or certificate programme or course you want to study.

For example, Lebo wants to go study mechanical engineering at the University of Cape Town. However in her final Matric exams, Lebo only scores 60% in mathematics, although her final score means she has a bachelor’s degree pass, she will not be able to study engineering because UCT requires 80% and above for admission into the engineering programme.

You should, therefore, make sure that you are clear on what subjects you should take in your final year and the marks you need to achieve to gain entry into the course you want to study at the institution.

What are your subject requirements?

In order to matriculate, you will need to study a minimum of seven subjects – 4 compulsory and 3 optional subjects. Subjects are split into three groups:

Compulsory Subjects

  • Home language
  • Additional First Language
  • Life Orientation

Designated Subjects (Higher Credit)

  • Languages
  • Accounting
  • Agricultural Science
  • Business Studies
  • Consumer Studies
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Economics
  • Engineering Graphics & Design
  • Geography
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematical Literacy
  • Music
  • Physical Sciences
  • Religion Studies
  • Visual Arts

Non-Designated Subjects (Lower Credit)

  • Agricultural Management Practices
  • Agricultural Technology
  • Civil Technology
  • Computer Applications Technology
  • Dance Studies
  • Design Studies
  • Electrical Technology
  • Hospitality Studies
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Tourism

Higher education programmes and courses require you to have specific subjects and marks to apply for them. Below you will find the Matric pass requirements needed in order for you to qualify to apply for the different qualifications.

A Bachelor’s Degree (NQF level 7 qualification)

If you want to study for a Bachelor’s degree (NQF level 7), at any University in South Africa and gain provisional entrance you will need to achieve a Bachelors pass with a minimum of:

  • 40% or more in your official home language
  • 30% or more in your first additional language and life orientation
  • 50% or more in 4 other designated subjects from the NSC approved subject list
  • 30% or more in 2 non-designated subjects

In total, you will need 4 Designated (Higher Credit) subject passes above 50% and 2 Non-Designated (Lower Credit) subjects above 30%.

A National Diploma (NQF level 6 qualification)

If you want to study for a Diploma (NQF level 6), at any Technikon in South Africa and gain provisional entrance you will need to achieve a Diploma pass with a minimum of:

  • 40% or more in your official home and first additional languages
  • 30% or more in life orientation
  • 40% or more in 2 designated subjects
  • 30% or more in 2 non-designated subjects

In total, you will need 4 Designated (Higher Credit) subject passes above 40% and 3 Non-Designated (Lower Credit) subjects above 30%. If you fail one subject, your school year mark can be used to evaluate your pass.

A Higher Certificate (NQF level 5 qualification)

If you want to study for a Certificate (NQF level 5), at any College in South Africa and gain provisional entrance you will need to achieve a Certificate pass with a minimum of:

  • 40% or more in your official home language
  • 30% or more in your first additional language and life orientation
  • 30% or more in 4 other subjects
  • 40% or more in 2 other subjects

In total, you will need 4 Non-Designated (Lower Credit) subject passes above 30% and 2 Designated (Higher Credit) subject passes above 40%. It is also required that one of your languages be English or Afrikaans. If you fail one subject, your school year mark can be used to evaluate your pass.