What can I study at universities of technology and what qualifications do they offer?
Universities of technology offer qualifications in most of the fields offered by universities, for example:
- Accounting, economics and finance
- Clothing, textile, footwear and leather manufacturing
- Graphic design and multi-media
- Energy, e.g. renewable energy and water resource management
- Environmental sciences, e.g. marine science
- Food and nutrition
- Health and wellness sciences, e.g. emergency medical care
- Information and communication technology
- Management and Government management
- Medicine, e.g. dental technology, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy
- Sport management, and
- Tourism and hospitality management.
The types of qualifications offered by universities of technology
Under-graduate qualifications: These are the first qualifications that you can achieve at a university or other training institution after completing your schooling.
- Higher Certificate
- National Certificate
- National Higher Certificate
- Advanced Certificate
- Diploma, Higher Diploma, National Diploma & Advanced Diploma
- Baccalaureus Technologiae (B Tech) and Bachelor’s Degree
Note 1: Some offer the Further Education and Training Certificate (NQF Level 4).
Note 2: Details are only provided on under-graduate qualifications in this website.
Post-graduate qualifications: These are qualifications for which you can enrol after you have obtained your first post-school qualification.
- Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma
- Bachelor Honours Degree
- Magister Technologiae (M Tech) and Master’s Degree
- Doctor Technologiae (D Tech) and Doctoral Degree
What experiential/work-integrated learning is included in qualifications offered by universities of technology?
Some qualifications are designed to incorporate periods of required practical work in an actual work environment as a requirement for achieving the qualification. This is referred to as ‘Work Integrated Learning’ (WIL) or ‘experiential learning’ and is particularly prescribed for National Diplomas offered by universities of technology and some universities.
The experiential learning prepares students for a specific profession or vocation as they gain practical experience in applying the knowledge they gained during the period of academic study at the university. It involves the solution of real problems and encourages students to develop a greater sense of responsibility, place more reliance on their judgement, and find greater meaning in their studies.
The qualification programme will specify the projects and/or assignments which must be completed as WIL or experiential learning. It will also specify the minimum number of hours that must be completed in the workplace, where the student is supervised by a mentor to complete independent work. The practical work must be submitted for formal assessment, and the marks are included in the final marks for the programme.
A typical example is the National Diploma: Electrical Engineering that is offered by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in a ‘co-operative manner’ that combines academic study with an experiential period of learning in industry in such a way that they supplement each other. The experiential learning modules are: Engineering Practice I (P1), Electrical Engineering Practice II (P2) and Electronic Engineering Practice II (P2). These must be completed over at least 24 weeks or a minimum of 800 notional hours. The P1 and P2 modules supplement the academic semester modules, e.g. Electronics I (S1) and Electrical Engineering I (S2). [Note: The academic semester modules are indicated as ‘S’ modules and the experiential practical work as ‘P’ modules.]
Another example is the National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering: Marine Engineering from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). After completing the academic modules over two years, students are required to complete a minimum of 12 months unlimited sea service aboard vessels with an engine capacity greater than 750 kW as well as practical workshop training of approximately six months.
What are the entry requirements for universities of technology?
There are different entry requirements for applicants with a National Senior Certificate, National Certificate (Vocational), i.e. the NC (V), and N3-N6. The entry requirements for these are described in separate sections below, with examples.
Entry requirements for applicants with a National Senior Certificate (NSC), i.e. Grade 12
The minimum admission requirements for under-graduate study at universities of technology are a South African National Senior Certificate (NSC), Senior Certificate (prior to 2008), or a Matric Certificate. The initial selection is based on the final Grade 11 or any latest Grade 12 results.
The Central University of Technology (CUT) prescribes the general admission requirements as follows for applicants with a National Senior Certificate (NSC):
At least a National Senior Certificate (NSC) (i.e. Grade 12) is required for enrolling for the following university of technology qualifications: National Certificate, National Higher Certificate, National Diploma, Advanced Diploma, or Bachelor’s Degree.
For English as Home Language or First Additional Language as well as Life Orientation, a pass mark according to the specific requirements as set in the applicable programme will be required.
A candidate for a degree, diploma or certificate must score at least 27 or more points on the CUT scoring scale in the Grade 12 examination in July, or a subsequent examination. If a candidate meets the minimum subject requirements for a degree, diploma or certificate but scores less than 27 points, but 20 or more on the CUT scoring scale in the Grade 12 examination in July or a subsequent examination, the CUT will consider the applicant.
- If an applicant fails to qualify for admission to the CUT in terms of these regulations, such an applicant may be subject to the testing of potential.
Entry requirements for applicants with a National Certificate (Vocational)
Most universities of technology will have similar requirements to the examples provided here from the Central University of Technology (CUT). The general admission requirements for applicants with NC (V) are described in the table below.
|Qualification||Minimum entry requirements (after meeting all statutory requirements for NC (V) Level 4)|
|Additional institutional requirements for applicants with NC (V)|
Admission requirements for students with N3, N4, N5 and N6 qualifications
The Central University of Technology prescribes the general admission requirements in the table below for applicants with N3, N4, N5 and N6 qualifications obtained from a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institution.
Additional institutional requirements for applicants with N3 to N6
- A candidate in possession of an N3, N4, N5 or N6 certificate may qualify for admission to the first year of Diploma qualifications – based on his/her seven best subjects for N4/N5 or N5/N6 and a minimum of 50% obtained for English on N3 level.
- However a candidate must meet the minimum admission requirements, including the language requirement, on the CUT scoring scale before he/she will be allowed to write an access assessment test.
- A candidate with an N3, N4, N5 or N6 certificate does not qualify for subject recognition.
Subject recognition may be granted to TVET students who have successfully completed their N6 Diploma. Such subject recognition will only be considered for first-year CUT certificate and/or diploma subjects and it will only be based on TVET N6 level Diploma subjects successfully completed. These subjects must be passed at N4, N5 and N6 level with 50% or above.
What are the key features of under-graduate qualifications offered by universities of technology?
The examples in this table are from the Central University of Technology (CUT) in the Free State (http://www.cut.ac.za/programmes-offered).
|Title||NQF Level||Duration||No. of Credits||Career opportunities||Admission Requirements (in addition to the university’s general admission requirements)|
|Higher Certificate: Renewable Energy Technologies||Level 5||1 year||120||Learners who complete this qualification will be competent and responsible auxiliaries in the implementation of renewable energy technologies. They will be able to assist technologists and engineers in the installation, commissioning and maintenance of RET systems.||National Senior Certificate (NSC) on NQF Level 4 with a minimum score of 27 on the CUT scoring scale, plus a minimum mark of 50% (at level 4) in both Mathematics and Physical Science is required. Applicants in possession of the National Certificate (Vocational) (level 4) will be selected according to the selection requirements as approved by senate.|
|National Higher Certificate: Financial Information Systems||Level 5||2 years||240||Accounting assistant, junior bookkeeper, assistant database administrator, junior computer auditor, financial assistant.||A minimum mark of 60% in Accounting is required.|
|National Diploma: Financial Information Systems||Level 6||3 years||132 (i.e. in addition to the 240 above)||Database administrator, enterprise resource planner, systems developer, financial accountant, accounting information systems administrator, internal auditor, information systems auditor.||National Higher Certificate: Financial Information Systems.|
|National Diploma Engineering: Civil||Level 6||3 years||360||A person holding this qualification is prepared for a career as an engineering technologist in the civil engineering industry. Career opportunities exist in government departments such as Transport, as well as organisations such as Spoornet, Eskom, mining companies, construction firms, civil consulting engineers, and research institutions. A person holding this qualification can also start his/her own business.||A minimum mark of 50% in both Mathematics and Physical Science is required.|
|National Diploma: Agricultural Management||Level 6||3 years||360||Farmer or manager or agricultural agents in stock-feed, machinery and agrochemical companies; agricultural insurance, financing and other related fields; active engagement with consultation and advisory services with the government, international companies and private agencies; urban development and resource management; land and resource management; business opportunities in other commercial fields.||A minimum mark of 40% in either Agricultural Sciences or Life Sciences as well as a minimum mark of 50% in Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Economics, Accounting, Geography or Physical Science.|
|National Diploma: Tourism Management||Level 6||3 years||360||Tour operator, travel agent, airline industry worker, tourism marketer, holiday resort employee, event and conference organiser, car-rental agent, tourism official, government employee or teacher. Guest-houses, guest farms and nature reserves also offer employment opportunities.||Candidates who score 32 or more points on the CUT scoring scale will be automatically admitted to this programme. Due to the relatively high demand for places in this programme, no applicant with a score lower than 24 on the CUT scoring scale will be considered for selection.|
|Baccalaureus Educationis: Educational Management||Level 7||4 years||480||Teacher or lecturer at a secondary school or FET college; training officer at a private or public institution.||A National Senior Certificate (NSC) with endorsement for admission to a Bachelor’s degree. A candidate selecting Mathematics as a major subject must have passed either Mathematics with a minimum mark of 50%, or Mathematical Literacy with a minimum mark of 70%. A minimum mark of 50% in Accounting is required, irrespective of whether or not the candidate continues with Accounting after year one.|
Bachelor of Science: Hydrology and Water Resources Management
|Level 7||3 years||372||Graduates from this programme will have career opportunities in national and local government departments, municipalities and private companies involved in water management, water supply and distribution, water and waste water treatments, environmental management, etc.||National Senior Certificate (NSC) with endorsement for a Bachelor’s degree. A minimum mark of 50% in Life Sciences/Physiology and Mathematics and Physical Sciences is required. A minimum admission point score (APS) of 28 points on the CUT scale of notation is also required.|
|Advanced Diploma: Agricultural Extension||Level 7||1year||120||Obtaining an agricultural qualification offers great opportunities to graduates to work in a number of organisations (private and government sectors) as agricultural advisors, consultants, growers, farm managers, researchers and technicians, etc.||A National Diploma in Agricultural Management or an applicable three-year national diploma (classified by SAQA as an M+3 qualification, i.e. matric + 4 years’ study) is a prerequisite.|
How do I find the qualifications offered by universities of technology?
There are a number of ways to find the qualification and university you are looking for. Three are described here:
- South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA),
- National Career Advice Portal (NCAP), and
- University and other websites.
Click here for guidelines on how to search for qualifications offered by universities. This information also applies to qualifications offered by universities of technology.