Change the world

What you should know

You have dreams. You have potential. How do you reach your goals? A university qualification can help you to make the most of your talents and build a great future, but it all depends on the choices you make now, in Grade 9. Nelson Mandela University offers the best of both academic and career-oriented studies – and we can help you to get on the right path to realise your dreams.  Learners are often disappointed when they realise that they cannot pursue a specific field of study, as they either didn't take the correct subject(s) at school (Gr 10 - 12), or do not have the % pass required in that subject(s) to be considered for admission at our University. 

You need to…

  • Know yourself and your own abilities
  • Understand the world of study
  • Understand the world of work and the requirements of various jobs

Then you will be able to choose the most suitable school subject and the qualification needed to get a job or run your own business one day.

How do you find the answers?

We will help you to plan your study and career future. If you are interested in any of the career fields that we offer, ask us for more information on the courses and possible careers you can go into. 

With so many study and career opportunities available, you still feel unsure about your decision, so:

  • discuss your plans with your friends, parents and/or guidance teacher
  • go to career exhibitions
  • visit work places and talk to people in career fields your are interested in
  • talk to current students studying what you are interested in, and
  • search the internet and read up about your chosen field.

If you need more help in making a decision about school subjects or the right career-try a professional psychologist or career counsellor or you can contact us directly.

What can you do @ Nelson Mandela University?

At Nelson Mandela University, we combine the best that a traditional university and a university of technology (former technikons) can offer. We offer a wide range of undergraduate certificates, diplomas and degrees – those are qualifications offered for learners who have successfully completed Gr 12. Maybe you’d even like to carry on with postgraduate studies later!

How do I choose my subjects to get into varsity?

  • Prospective students must meet the statutory minimum requirements based on the National Senior Certificate (NSC), or equivalent school leaving certificate for admission to a higher certificate, diploma or degree qualification, in order to be considered.
  • For entry to a higher certificate, you need to pass the NSC, with a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution, together with any other university requirements.
  • For entry to a diploma, you need to pass the NSC, with a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution, coupled with an achievement rating of 3 (40–49%) or better in four recognised NSC 20-credit subjects, together with any other university requirements.
  • For entry to a bachelor’s degree (e.g. BCom), you need to pass the NSC with a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution, coupled with an achievement rating of 4 (50–59%) or better in four NSC 20-credit subjects, together with any other university requirements.
  • Admission to an undergraduate programme will be further determined by an applicant’s Applicant Score (AS) and subject requirements.
  • Your Applicant Score (AS) will be different if you took Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy or Technical Mathematics at school.
  • Certain qualifications only consider applicants if they have taken specific subjects at school (e.g. Maths & Physical Sciences). Make sure that you find out which NSC/IEB subjects are required for the field of study/career you wish to pursue, before making your final Gr 10 - 12 subject choices.
  • It is advisable to take subjects at school which will provide you with a wider variety of study options later on, such as Maths and Physical Science. DO you research before you choose subjects as this will help you later on when you apply for tertiary studies. 
  • While Nelson Mandela University is committed to multilingualism, the predominant language of teaching and learning at this University is English. The statutory language requirements can be met by obtaining a minimum rating of 3 (40 - 49%) or higher in English, Afrikaans or isiXhosa as a home or first additional language. Some qualifications may require a higher pass mark for language(s) than what is indicated here. Please refer to the subject requirements of the qualification you wish to apply, before completing your application form to ensure that you meet the admission & subject requirements.

Now here’s the big stuff!

Maths: You will have to make a choice between Maths or Maths Literacy, and in some instances Technical Maths. Remember that you need Maths (and not Technical Maths/Maths Literacy) for qualifications in the following fields:

  • Accounting
  • Architectural studies
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Business Management
  • Botany  
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science, Information Systems & Information Technology
  • Construction
  • Dietetics 
  • Economics  
  • Engineering (incl. Civil, Electrical, Industrial, Mechanical, Marine)
  • Education (for prospective Maths, Physical Sciences or Accounting teachers)
  • Environmental Health 
  • Financial Planning
  • Geosciences
  • Hospitality Management 
  • Industrial Psychology & HR
  • Law
  • Mechatronics
  • Medical Laboratory Science  
  • Marketing Management 
  • Mathematics & Mathematical Statistics
  • Microbiology
  • Nursing 
  • Paramedic
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacy
  • Polymer Technology
  • Psychology
  • Radiography
  • Statistics
  • Wood Technology
  • Zoology

Physical Sciences requirements: An achievement rating (pass) is also required in Physical Sciences for admission to study in the following fields:

  • Agricultural Management 
  • Chemistry
  • Dietetics
  • Education (Natural Science Stream - SP & FET Phase)
  • Engineering (incl. Civil, Electrical, Industrial, Mechanical, Marine & Mechatronics)
  • Environmental Health
  • Medical Laboratory Science 
  • Nature Conservation 
  • Nursing
  • Paramedic (Emergency Medical Care)  
  • Pharmacy
  • Polymer Technology
  • Radiography
  • Wood Technology

We are waiting for your call!

Call us if you need more information on any of our courses and admission requirements, or if you just want to discuss university life in general. Remember, a good choice is an informed choice. You can also follow us on our various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube). 

For general enquiries

Port Elizabeth Campuses
041 504 1111

George Campus
044 801 5111

Web: or e-mail:   

Student Counselling, Career and Development Centre

Port Elizabeth Campuses
041 504 3222

George Campuses
044 801 5051