Bachelors, Diploma and Higher Certificate Pass Requirements Explained

We often get asked to check if learner (Insert your name) will or will not pass with a bachelors, diploma or certificate.

Now we love you guys :) but hopefully this post will clear up the concise section on our results page.

Differences

Understanding the difference between each pass type is critical to your future studies.

Luckily, its pretty straight forward.

  • Bachelors - Will gain you provisional entrance into any University or degree course.
  • Diploma - Will gain you provisional entrance into any Technikon or diploma course.
  • Certificate - Will gain you provisional entrance into any College or certificate course.

I hope you noticed the provisional entrance part or the statements above………

Lets say Minki wants to go study mechanical engineering at UCT (University of Capetown).

Minki however is not that good at Mathematics and only scores 60% for her matric year. Even though she has a bachelors degree pass, she will not be able to study engineering because UCT requires 80% and above for admission…..

Now that sucks but that’s reality.

So please make sure that you are clear on what marks you need to achieve for your particular course.

Subject Choices

Not all subjects are viewed equally.

Mathematics will always be harder Tourism…..So it has a higher rating than Tourism.

Subjects are split into two main categories, Lower and Higher Credit.

Lower Credit Subjects

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

Higher Credit Subjects

  • Languages
  • Accounting
  • Agricutural 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

Each matriculant needs a minimum of seven subjects which must include two languages and life orientation.

Below are possible scenarios for each pass type

Bachelors Pass Requirements

Compulsory Subjects

Home Language (Higher Credit) – 40% or more

First Additional Language (Higher Credit) – 40% or more

Life Orientation (Lower Credit) – 30% or more

Other Subjects

Higher Credit – 40% or more

Higher Credit – 40% or more

Higher Credit – 40% or more

Lower Credit – 30% or more

Summary

  • 5 Higher Credit Subjects above 40%
  • 2 Lower Credit Subjects above 30%
  • You must not fail any subject

Diploma Pass Requirements

Compulsory Subjects

Home Language (Higher Credit) - 40% or more

First Additional Language (Higher Credit) - 40% or more

Life Orientation (Lower Credit) - 30% or more

Other Subjects

Higher Credit – 40% or more

Higher Credit – 40% or more

Lower Credit – 30% or more

Lower Credit – 30% or more

Summary

  • 4 Higher Credit Subjects above 40%
  • 3 Lower Credit Subjects above 30%
  • You may fail one subject but you must have a year mark for the subject failed

Certificate Pass Requirements

Compulsory Subjects

Home Language (Higher Credit) - 40% or more

First Additional Language (Higher Credit) - 30% or more

Life Orientation (Lower Credit) - 30% or more

Other Subjects

Lower Credit – 40% or more

Lower Credit – 40% or more

Lower Credit – 30% or more

Lower Credit – 30% or more

Summary

  • Home Language above 40%
  • 2 Subjects above 40%
  • 4 Subjects above 30%
  • You may fail one subject but you must have a year mark for the subject failed
  • One of your languages must be English or Afrikaans

Lastly

Please do not hesitate to ask for further help in the comments below and happy studying.

 

13 Comments

  1. Hello – havent seen the use of higher and lower credits before – is this new?

    Thanks

    Reply
  2. Well at some schools(like mine) we were told that in order to obtain a Bachelors you need to obtain 50% in 4 higher subjects and thats it.. So which system is the correct one??

    Reply
  3. Hi Victoria – there does seem to be some confusion here – for example this excerpt is taken from a speech given by Ministers Motshekga ealier this year (see link below).

    “For a bachelor’s pass, at least 4 subjects must be at 50%, language of learning 30% and others above 33 1/3%.”

    While this is the first time I have seen the return of the “33.3%” I do see many references to getting 50% in four subjects from the designated list (which includes languages).

    Do you perhaps have a link to an official statement?

    Thanks,
    Sam

    Reply
  4. Hi Victoria,

    From UCT’s website – the following is given – I have also seen many students fail one subject and still get a bachelors pass provided they pass home language and get 4 subjects at 50% from the designated list:

    Bachelor’s Degree Study

    To be eligible for admission to degree study, applicants need to meet minimum requirements for eligibility:

    Applicants holding a South African National Senior Certificate need to pass a minimum of four subjects at a rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement, 50-59%) or better from a designated list of subjects. The designated list is as follows:

    Accounting
    Agricultural Sciences
    Business Studies
    Dramatic Arts
    Economics
    Engineering Graphics and Design
    Geography
    History
    Consumer Studies
    Information Technology
    Languages (one language of learning and teaching at a higher education institution and two other recognised language subjects)
    Life Sciences
    Mathematics
    Mathematical Literacy
    Music
    Physical Sciences
    Religious Studies
    Visual Arts

    Reply
    • Thanks for your input Sam.

      I’m not sure if the UCT statement is meant for themselves only but the following statement was issued in the 2012 results report.

      To obtain admission to University study for Bachelors, in terms of the SC, a candidate needed to pass four subjects
      at 40% and two at 33,3%. In the case of the National Senior Certificate, admission to Bachelor studies requires a
      pass in four subjects at 50% and the remaining subjects at 30%, provided the home language is passed at 40%
      and the language of learning and teaching (LoLT) at 30%.

      Reply
    • Hence an NSC bachelors pass won’t be possible with a subject failure…..

      Reply
  5. Wow it’s pretty hard in technical students like me becaurse only 4 subjects fall under bachelor preference

    Reply
  6. If i get 44% for english home lang
    48% afrikaans 1st add
    67% maths lit,
    70% life orientation,
    49% geography,
    44% history,
    67% tourism
    Do i qualify for a bachelor’s

    Reply
  7. Please could you tell me your source for the requirements for degree, diploma and certificate?

    The requirements seem to be lower than those given on the DBE SA page

    What is your exact source please?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Information was sourced from the DBE documentation :)

      What bothers you in particular?

      Reply

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