What is the difference between application and registration?

Application precedes registration. If a student is admitted to a programme, the student may proceed with registration for the relevant academic year. Application for a specific qualification is a once-off process, whereas registration is an annual process for as long as it takes to complete the qualification.

Which postgraduate programmes are offered by the NWU?

The NWU offers a variety of honours-, master’s, and doctoral degrees in each of our eight faculties.

Visit the link for all honours degrees available.

We also offer fully accredited master’s degree and doctoral programmes across eight faculties. The available master’s and doctoral degrees and prerequisites are displayed in the postgraduate yearbooks of each faculty.

How can I contact staff assisting with Postgraduate Studies?

For assistance or information please contact us.

Higher Degree Administration (HDA) office and staff members are responsible for master’s and doctoral studies part-time and full-time, the undergraduate office is responsible for Honours degrees and Diplomas and short courses part-time and full-time studies, and the Unit for Distance Learning (UDL) is responsible for distance studies

Where can I find NWU’s admission requirements?

The admission requirements for prospective students are listed in the various faculty yearbooks.

How do I apply?

Apply online. Choose the applicable tab. There are two options, one for Honours studies, and one for M and D students. Or visit the higher degree admissions page. Please watch the video on how to apply online before, and read the brochure for masters and doctoral applicants, before you start the process.

You can also download the PDF fillable application form by using the same link. 

How much are the application fees?

South African citizens are exempt from paying application fees. International students are charged an application fee of R575.

How to create a password to use the DIY services tab?

Change or create your password

Where may I obtain a total cost estimate?

It is available on the DIY services tab. 

You may request a quotation by making use of the Study Fee Cost Estimation application on the DIY student self-service portal.

You can also request a quotation from:

How many choices of study may I apply for?

It is advised that students who apply for master and doctoral studies may indicate no more than two choices of study. If you are approved for both of your choices, please inform the HDA official of your preferred choice. You may only register for one degree annually.

Does the NWU have only one annual academic intake for master and doctoral students?

Yes. The academic year starts in January of every year, and concludes in December of the same year, with one annual intake of higher degree students. No second-semester entry is offered.

Where and how can I submit my application?

What about a supervisor/promoter?

A supervisor/promoter is an academic staff member who will provide guidance and assistance to students to carry out their research and present their study results in an academically approved format that will be submitted for examination before the degree can be completed.

The appointment of supervisors/promoters is a faculty-specific process. Where this form is required for your studies, the HDA official who is processing your application will inform you and provide you with the correct form. The relevant Faculty will then assist you to get in contact with preliminary supervisors/promoters who must then sign your form.

How long does the application process take?

Please allow 4 – 6 weeks before checking on the status of your application. Your faculty advisor in the Higher Degree Administration Office will communicate the result of your application to you via e-mail.

Where can I find the closing dates for applications?

M studies: The closing date is a faculty-determined date. There are programme specific closing dates as early as 30 June. Other possible dates are 30 September and some 31 October.

Please note that programmes have different closing dates – please consult with the relevant Faculty  on programme specific closing dates.

PhD studies: There is no closing date for PhD applications, it is advised that you contact a probable promoter before you apply for studies at the NWU. https://www.nwu.ac.za/

How do I confirm my application status?

By visiting the Student 360 application (academic information) on the student self-service portal. The information is displayed under Academic information: Application information/Status.

I have been admitted for next year but will not be able to make it. How do I defer my admission to the following year?

Please inform your Higher Degree office contact to defer your application to the following year. Your admission to study is only valid for the current year. The faculty will have to evaluate your application again for the following year, and admission to the programme is not guaranteed. Deferring your application to the following year can only be done once. If you wish to defer for a second time, the application lapses and you must re-apply for admission from scratch.

My admission letter states that I have been conditionally/provisionally accepted, what does that mean?

This means that your admission will be final only once you have met the final requirements/conditions stated in your letter of conditional admission.

If I have received a student number, does that mean that I have been accepted by the NWU?

No. Receiving a student number does not imply that you have been accepted by the NWU. Your application still needs to be evaluated by the relevant faculty.

Who accredits North-West University’s degrees, and who is the awarding body?

No higher education institution in South Africa may offer a programme unless it has been accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC).

This is to protect students against poor-quality programmes. Rest assured that all degrees awarded by NWU are fully accredited by both the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the HEQC. This means NWU itself is the awarding body.

I want to apply for postgraduate studies at North-West University. Do I have to ratify my existing qualifications with the South African Qualifications Authority to be eligible to study at NWU?

If the institution that awarded your previous qualification(s) is accredited, you do not need to ratify your qualifications with SAQA. However, should we be uncertain about the status, recognition, or accreditation of your qualification, we reserve the right to refer you to SAQA before we consider your application further. All studies completed outside of South Africa, need to be submitted to SAQA. The SAQA certificate outcome will be used by faculties to determine if you meet the required NQF level to be admitted to a specific program.

When and how do I register?

In the year you have applied to study, and only after your application has been approved. Comprehensive information on the registration process will be available on the NWU website: www.nwu.ac.za annually, close to the required dates for registration. Master and doctoral registration closing dates are different from that of undergraduate and honours students.

Register online

Contact your faculty advisor in the Higher Degree Administration office if you are unsuccessful with the online registration for over-the-counter assistance.

A registration form will be emailed to you which should be signed and returned. Please take note that the first minimum payment is due before registration – even in the case of online registration.

International students should settle their full student accounts before registration. Students who have a non- citizen declaration in their green ID books, are considered as international students by the NWU and will be required to pay the full amount up front.

I have a bursary. How do I register?

In the case of NWU bursaries – the bursary office will provide you with a letter that the bursary was granted, and you may proceed with registration. In the case of external bursaries, a letter from your bursary should be submitted to the Financial Department for you to obtain clearance for registration.

Do I need to register every year?

Yes. In terms of General academic rule all students are required to register annually.

Where can I request a registration form if I do not make use of the online registration process?

Contact your HDA faculty official in the Higher Degree Administration office.  

What is the minimum payment for registration?

The first minimum payment is due prior to registration – even in the case of online registration

International students should settle their full student accounts before registration. Students who have a non- citizen declaration in their green ID books, are considered as international students by the NWU and will be required to pay the full amount up front.

  • The required amount increases annually.

How do I confirm my registration status?

By visiting the Student 360 application on the DIY student self-service portal available.

Where can I obtain my proof of registration?

Once you have registered, the Proof of Registration will be emailed to you. You may retrieve your proof of registration from the Student 360 application on the DIY student self-service portal.

How can I update my address/contact/personal details?

Use the Address Details application on the DIY student self-service portal.

Where can I request an academic record/transcript?

You may retrieve your academic record from the student self-service portal under Formal Student Documentation. Alternatively, you may contact:

Where may I request a letter of confirmation of qualification obtained when an academic record will not suffice?

Contact the Higher Degree Administration Help Desk: Tel: +27 (0) 18 299 4044/+27 (0)18 285 2618 or email HigherDegree-Enquiries@nwu.ac.za

Does the NWU offer financial assistance?

Yes, information available at the NWU Postgraduate Bursary Scheme.