The subjects you take and the Matric results you achieve determine which qualifications and programmes you can apply for, and at which tertiary institution. Depending on your Matric results, there are 3 qualifications you can apply for:


1. A Higher Certificate (NQF level 5 qualification)
The minimum entry requirements to apply to study for a Higher Certificate (NQF level 5) are:

  • A Matric/National Senior Certificate (NSC at NQF Level 4) with a Higher Certificate, Diploma or Bachelor's pass.
  • 30% or more in your first additional or home language. One of these languages should be the language used to teach at the college or university.
  • Meet any other minimum requirements for the programme, course, faculty or institution.

2. A National Diploma (NQF level 6 qualification)
The minimum entry requirements to apply to study for a National Diploma (NQF level 6) are:

  • A Matric (NSC at NQF Level 4) with a Diploma or Bachelor’s pass.
  • 40% or more in your official home language.
  • 40% or more in 3 other (NSC 20-credit) subjects.
  • 30% or more in 2 other subjects.
  • Meet any other minimum requirements for the programme, course, faculty or institution. Remember to check the institution's language policy.


3. A Bachelor's Degree (NQF level 7 qualification)
The minimum entry requirements to apply to study for a Bachelor’s Degree (NQF level 7) are:

  • A Matric (NSC at NQF Level 4) with a Bachelor's pass.
  • 40% or more in your official home language.
  • 50% or more in 4 other (NSC 20-credit) subjects from the designated NSC subject list.
  • 30% or more in 2 other subjects.
  • Meet any other minimum requirements for the programme, course, faculty or institution. Remember to check the institution's language policy.


If you fail or get less than 30% for 1 subject, you cannot pass with a Diploma or Bachelor’s pass exemption. However, you can pass with a Higher Certificate pass (if the subject is not your first language).


The minimum admission requirements are the lowest marks you must get to be provisionally considered for a certificate, diploma or degree qualification at any higher education (tertiary) institution. You may need higher marks to enter certain programmes or courses and institutions. Every programme and institution are different, so it is important that you find out what the admission (entry) requirements are to apply at every college or university.


If you cannot enter the qualification you want to enrol for (e.g. a Bachelor Degree), you could enter a qualification on a lower level (e.g. a Diploma or Higher Certificate) and use it as a stepping stone to pursue a higher qualification after that.


The higher your marks, the greater your chances of being accepted into the tertiary institute of your choice and your chances of getting a bursary or scholarship increases.