Distance Learning Courses

There are many courses you can study through distance learning, such as: 

  • NATED courses
  • ICB courses
  • CIMA courses
  • Short courses
  • Matric programmes

Distance learning is an excellent way to further your studies while you continue with other things, such as working. Distance learning has moved into the spotlight since the start of Covid-19, but has been around long before the pandemic. 

When looking into studying through distance learning, it is important to know what you are looking for, and what your options are. 

What Can I Study Online From Home?

There are many courses you can study through distance learning, and many colleges where you can study these courses. Some courses you can study through distance learning are: 

  • NATED courses
  • ICB courses
  • CIMA courses
  • Short courses
  • Matric programmes

NATED Courses

NATED stands for National Accredited Technical Education Diploma. These courses are designed by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to help get you workplace-ready with both theory and practical knowledge as efficiently as possible. 

NATED courses are accredited by both the DHET and QCTO (the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations). This means that educational institutions and potential employers recognised these as formal qualifications. 

There are seven NATED streams of study: 

  • Business Management 
  • Educare 
  • Financial Management 
  • Human Resource Management
  • Legal Secretary 
  • Marketing Management 
  • Management Assistant

Business Management

National N4 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66871

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Matric Certificate: National Senior Certificate or Senior Certificate (Amended) 

Subjects 

  • Management Communication N4
  • Introductory Accounting N4
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management N4
  • Computer Practice N4

Career Options

  • Assistant Manager
  • Sales Assistant 
  • Office Assistant

National N5 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66929

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Business Management National N4 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management N5
  • Sales Management N5
  • Public Relations N5
  • Computer Practice N5

Career Options

  • Sales Person
  • Public Relations Assistant
  • Management Assistant

National N6 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66995

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Business Management National N5 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management N6
  • Sales Management N6
  • Cost and Management Accounting N5
  • Public Relations N6

Career Options

  • Team Leader
  • Workshop Manager
  • Marketing Coordinator

National N6 Diploma

Qualification

Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

67036

Credits

360

Entry Requirements

Business Management National N6 Certificate

Subjects 

This is the practical part of the qualification and consists of 18 months of work experience

Career Options

  • Business Manager
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • Sales Consultant

Educare

National N4 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66883

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Matric Certificate: National Senior Certificate or Senior Certificate (Amended)

Subjects 

  • Educare Didactics N4
  • Child Health N4
  • Education N4
  • Day Care Personnel Development N4

Career Options

  • Educare Practitioner
  • Playgroup Practitioner
  • Au Pair

National N5 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66971

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Educare National N4 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Educare Didactics N5
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management N4
  • Educational Psychology N5
  • Daycare Communication N5

Career Options

  • Child Health and Nutrition Caretaker
  • Day Care Administrator
  • Day Care Manager

National N6 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

67007

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Educare National N5 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Educare Didactics N6
  • Daycare Management N6
  • Educational Psychology N6
  • Daycare Communication N6

Career Options

  • Day Care Manager
  • Early Childhood Development Teacher
  • Educare Teacher

National N6 Diploma

Qualification

Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

67050

Credits

360

Entry Requirements

Educare National N6 Certificate

Subjects 

This is the practical part of the qualification and consists of 18 months of work experience

Career Options

  • Educare Facilitator
  • Nursery School Assistant Teacher
  • Nursery Teacher

Financial Management

National N4 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66874

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Matric Certificate: National Senior Certificate or Senior Certificate (Amended)

Subjects 

  • Financial Accounting N4
  • Computerised Financial Systems N4
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management N4
  • Management Communication N4

Career Options

  • Accounts Clerk
  • Audit Assistant
  • Bookkeeper

National N5 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66954

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Financial Management National N4 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Financial Accounting N5
  • Computerised Financial Systems N5
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management N5
  • Cost & Management Accounting N5

Career Options

  • Administrative Clerk
  • Loan Consultant
  • Sales Team Leader

National N6 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66998

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Financial Management National N5 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Financial Accounting N6
  • Computerised Financial Systems N6
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management N6
  • Cost & Management Accounting N6

Career Options

  • Financial Manager
  • Finance Controller
  • Audit Clerk

National N6 Diploma

Qualification

Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

67040

Credits

360

Entry Requirements

Financial Management National N6 Certificate

Subjects 

This is the practical part of the qualification and consists of 18 months of work experience

Career Options

  • Assets Management Supervisor
  • Bank Teller
  • Finance Administrator

Human Resource Management

National N4 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66873

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Matric Certificate: National Senior Certificate or Senior Certificate (Amended)

Subjects 

  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management N4
  • Personnel Management N4
  • Management Communication N4
  • Computer Practice N4

Career Options

  • Administrative Clerk
  • Human Resource Management Assistant
  • Skills Development Facilitator

National N5 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66953

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Human Resource Management National N4 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Personnel Management N5
  • Personnel Training N5
  • Labour Relations N5
  • Computer Practice N5

Career Options

  • Billing Coordinator
  • Clients Relations Coordinator
  • Risk Administrator

National N6 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66997

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Human Resource Management National N5 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Personnel Management N6
  • Personnel Training N6
  • Labour Relations N6
  • Computer Practice N6

Career Options

  • Human Resource Manager
  • Recruitment Manager
  • Benefits Manager 

National N6 Diploma

Qualification

Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

67039

Credits

360

Entry Requirements

Human Resource Management National N6 Certificate

Subjects 

This is the practical part of the qualification and consists of 18 months of work experience

Career Options

  • Human Resources Consultant
  • Labour Relations Consultant
  • Employee Relations Consultant 

Legal Secretary

National N4 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66883

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Matric Certificate: National Senior Certificate or Senior Certificate (Amended)

Subjects 

  • Office Practice N4
  • Communication N4
  • Information Processing N4
  • Mercantile Law N4

Career Options

  • Filing Clerk
  • Junior Conveyancing Secretary
  • Receptionist

National N5 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66959

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Legal Secretary National N4 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Office Practice N5
  • Communication N5
  • Information Processing N5
  • Legal Practice N5

Career Options

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Junior Conveyancing Assistant 
  • Personal Assistant

National N6 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66880

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Legal Secretary National N5 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Office Practice N6
  • Legal Practice N6
  • Information Processing N6
  • Mercantile Law N5

Career Options

  • Conveyancing Assistant 
  • Legal Clerk
  • Office Assistant

National N6 Diploma

Qualification

Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

67035

Credits

360

Entry Requirements

Legal Secretary National N6 Certificate

Subjects 

This is the practical part of the qualification and consists of 18 months of work experience

Career Options

  • Junior Legal Secretary
  • Junior Litigation Secretary
  • Legal: Committee Secretary

Management Assistant

National N4 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66876

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Matric Certificate: National Senior Certificate or Senior Certificate (Amended)

Subjects 

  • Communication N4
  • Office Practice N4
  • Information Processing N4
  • Computer Practice N4

Career Options

  • Administrative Clerk
  • Office Manager 
  • Receptionist 

National N5 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66956

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Management Assistant National N4 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Communication N5
  • Office Practice N5
  • Information Processing N5
  • Computer Practice N5

Career Options

  • Personal Assistant
  • Private Secretary 
  • Typist

National N6 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

67001

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Management Assistant National N5 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Office Practice N6
  • Information Processing N6
  • Public Relations N5
  • Computer Practice N6

Career Options

  • Clerk
  • Management Assistant
  • Office Administrator

National N6 Diploma

Qualification

Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

67033

Credits

360

Entry Requirements

Management Assistant National N6 Certificate

Subjects 

This is the practical part of the qualification and consists of 18 months of work experience

Career Options

  • Assistant Manager 
  • Data Capturer 
  • Executive Assistant 

Marketing Management

National N4 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66872

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Matric Certificate: National Senior Certificate or Senior Certificate (Amended)

Subjects 

  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management N4
  • Marketing Management N4
  • Management Communication N4
  • Computer Practice N4

Career Options

  • Junior Marketing Writer
  • Marketing Sales Administrator
  • Sales Assistant

National N5 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66952

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Marketing Management National N4 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management N5
  • Marketing Management N5
  • Sales Management N5
  • Computer Practice N5

Career Options

  • Content Writer 
  • Marketing Assistant 
  • Sales Manager 

National N6 Certificate

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

66996

Credits

60

Entry Requirements

Marketing Management National N5 Certificate

Subjects 

  • Marketing Management N6
  • Sales Management N6
  • Marketing Communication N6
  • Marketing Research N6

Career Options

  • Advertiser
  • Marketing Manager
  • Marketing Researcher

National N6 Diploma

Qualification

Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

QCTO & DHET

SAQA ID Number

67037

Credits

360

Entry Requirements

Marketing Management National N5 Certificate

Subjects 

This is the practical part of the qualification and consists of 18 months of work experience

Career Options

  • Brand Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Public Relations Consultant

Where Can I Study NATED Courses?

There are many reputable distance learning institutions that offer NATED courses, such as: 

ICB Courses

ICB courses are accredited by ICB (the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and QCTO. These courses are designed to take you from high school level education up to the Diploma level. 

These courses are recognised as formal qualifications because of their accreditation. ICB courses are also recognised worldwide, so with an ICB qualification, you can apply to work all over the world. 

ICB has three streams of study: 

  • Business Management
  • Financial Accounting
  • Office Administration

Business Management

National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

4

Accredited by

ICB & QCTO

SAQA ID Number

48736

Credits

120

Entry Requirements

Grade 11 or Equivalent Certificate (Bookkeeping: ICB National Certificate)

Subjects 

  • Business Management 1 (BMT1)
  • Bookkeeping to Trial Balance (BKTB)
  • Business Literacy (BUSL)

Career Options

  • Junior Researcher
  • Junior Analyst
  • Sales Assistant

Higher Certificate: Office Administration

Qualification

Higher Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

ICB & QCTO

SAQA ID Number

23619

Credits

240

Entry Requirements

ICB National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management

Subjects 

  • Office and Legal Practice (OLPR)
  • Business Management 2 (BMT2)
  • Marketing Management and Public Relations (MMPR)
  • Financial Statements (FNST)
  • Human Resources Management and Labour Relations (HRLR)

Career Options

  • Senior Office Administrator
  • General Office Manager
  • Customer Service Manager

National Diploma: Financial Accounting

Qualification

National Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

ICB & QCTO

SAQA ID Number

20366

Credits

280

Entry Requirements

ICB Higher Certificate: Office Administration

Subjects 

  • Business Management 3 (BMT3)
  • Financial Management and Control (FMCL)
  • Financial Reporting and Regulatory Frameworks (FRRF)
  • Research Theory and Practice (by short dissertation, topic: Business Management) (RTAP)

Career Options

  • Accounting Officer
  • Business Manager
  • Business Advisor

Financial Accounting

National Certificate: Bookkeeping

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

3

Accredited by

ICB & QCTO

SAQA ID Number

58375

Credits

120

Entry Requirements

Grade 10 or equivalent 

Subjects 

  • Bookkeeping to Trial Balance (BKTB)
  • Payroll and Monthly SARS Returns (PMSR)
  • Computerised Bookkeeping (CPBK)
  • Business Literacy (BUSL)

Career Options

  • Junior Bookkeeper
  • Accounts Clerk
  • Payroll Clerk

Further Education And Training Certificate: Bookkeeping

Qualification

FET Certificate

NQF Level

4

Accredited by

ICB & QCTO

SAQA ID Number

58376

Credits

130

Entry Requirements

ICB National Certificate: Bookkeeping

Subjects 

  • Financial Statements (FNST)
  • Cost and Management Accounting (CMGT)

Career Options

  • Senior Bookkeeper
  • Junior Accountant
  • Assistant Accountant

National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting

Qualification

National Diploma

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

ICB & QCTO

SAQA ID Number

36213

Credits

251

Entry Requirements

ICB Further Education And Training Certificate: Bookkeeping

Subjects 

  • Income Tax Returns (ITRT)
  • Business Law and Accounting Control (BLAC)

Career Options

  • Technical Financial Accountant
  • Accounting Technician
  • Tax Technician

National Diploma: Financial Accounting

Qualification

National Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

ICB & QCTO

SAQA ID Number

20366

Credits

280

Entry Requirements

ICB National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting

Subjects 

  • Corporate Strategy (CRPS)
  • Management Accounting Control Systems (MACS)
  • Financial Reporting and Regulatory Frameworks (FRRF)
  • Research Theory and Practice (by short dissertation; topic: Financial Accounting) (RTAP)

Career Options

  • Financial Accountant
  • Tax Practitioner
  • Tax Consultant

Office Administration

National Certificate: Office Administration

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

ICB & QCTO

SAQA ID Number

23618

Credits

120

Entry Requirements

Matric or Matric Equivalent Certificate (Small Business Financial Management: ICB National Certificate or Bookkeeping: ICB FET Certificate)

Subjects 

  • Business and Office Administration 1 (BOA1)
  • Bookkeeping to Trial Balance (BKTB)
  • Business Literacy (BUSL)
  • Marketing Management and Public Relations (MMPR)
  • Business Law and Administrative Practice (BLAP)
  • Cost and Management Accounting (CMGT)

Career Options

  • Junior Office Administrator
  • Receptionist
  • Office Assistant

Higher Certificate: Office Administration

Qualification

Higher Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

ICB & QCTO

SAQA ID Number

23619

Credits

240

Entry Requirements

ICB Higher Certificate: Office Administration

Subjects 

  • Business and Office Administration 2 (BOA2)
  • Human Resources Management and Labour Relations (HRLR)
  • Economics (ECON)

Career Options

  • Senior Office Administrator
  • General Office Manager
  • Labour Relations Administrator 

National Diploma: Office Administration

Qualification

National Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

ICB & QCTO

SAQA ID Number

35958

Credits

360

Entry Requirements

ICB Higher Certificate: Office Administration

Subjects 

  • Business and Office Administration 3 (BOA3)
  • Financial Statements (FNST)
  • Management (MGMT)

Career Options

  • Office Manager
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Administrative Manager

Where Can I Study ICB Courses?

Many distance learning colleges offer ICB courses. Some reputable ones are: 

CIMA Courses

CIMA courses are designed by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and are accredited by QCTO. This means that they are recognised as formal qualifications. These courses are also recognised globally. There are four levels of CIMA courses: 

  • Business Accounting: CIMA Certificate Level
  • Business Accounting: CIMA Operational Level
  • Business Accounting: CIMA Managerial Level
  • Business Accounting: CIMA Strategic Level

Business Accounting: CIMA Certificate Level

Qualification

National Certificate

NQF Level

5

Accredited by

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

SAQA ID Number

24418

Credits

120

Entry Requirements

  • Be 16 years or older
  • Have had pure maths as a school subject
  • Be able to read and write in English

Subjects 

  • Fundamentals of Business Economics
  • Fundamentals of Management Accounting
  • Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  • Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance, and Business Law

Career Options

  • Business Manager
  • Management Accountant
  • Business Analyst

 

Business Accounting: CIMA Operational Level

Qualification

National Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

SAQA ID Number

24406

Credits

240

Entry Requirements

Business Accounting: CIMA Certificate Level

Subjects 

  • Managing Finance in a Digital World
  • Financial Reporting
  • Management Accounting
  • Operational Case Study
  • Operational Gateway

Career Options

  • Accountant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Financial Manager

Business Accounting: CIMA Managerial Level

Qualification

Advanced Diploma

NQF Level

6

Accredited by

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

SAQA ID Number

24406

Credits

240

Entry Requirements

Business Accounting: CIMA Operational Level

Subjects 

  • Managing Performance
  • Advanced Financial Reporting
  • Advanced Management Accounting
  • Management Case Study
  • Managerial Gateway

Career Options

  • Business Analyst
  • Management Accountant
  • Accounts Assistant

Business Accounting: CIMA Strategic Level

Qualification

Professional Qualification: Chartered Management Accountant

NQF Level

7

Accredited by

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

SAQA ID Number

20400

Credits

390

Entry Requirements

Business Accounting: CIMA Managerial Level

Subjects 

  • Strategic Management
  • Financial Strategy
  • Risk Management
  • Strategic Case Study
  • Strategic Gateway

Career Options

  • Debtors Clerk
  • Business Manager
  • Chief Financial Officer

Where Can I Study CIMA Courses?

Many distance learning colleges offer CIMA courses, such as: 

Short Courses

Four of these colleges also offer short courses that are open-access. Open-access means that the only entry requirements are that you are over the age of 16, and that you can understand, read and write in English. 

Each college offers a different variety of short courses. Most short courses have a range of levels that you can choose to study: 

  • A short course certificate that takes four months to complete
  • A certificate course that takes eight months to complete
  • A comprehensive/expert certificate course that takes 12 months to complete

Short Courses At Matric College

Short Courses At Skills Academy

Short Courses At Ember Academy

Short Courses At Learning Group

Matric Programmes

Matric programmes are a way for those who failed or did not get their Matric to be able to get their Matric, and for those who passed but were unsatisfied with their results to improve them. There are three Matric programmes you can study:

  • Matric Rewrite
  • Matric Upgrade
  • Adult Matric

Matric Rewrite

Matric Rewrite is for those under the age of 21 who have written Matric but would like to improve their results. Whether you failed and would like to improve to a pass, or if you passed but are unsatisfied with your marks, a Matric Rewrite is an option you can take. 

You may rewrite a maximum of four subjects. You may not change subjects, you must rewrite subjects you wrote for your Matric final exams. You may rewrite up to five year after your Matric year, as long as you are still under the age of 21. 

Matric Upgrade

Matric Upgrade is for those over the age of 21 who would like to improve their Matric results. You may upgrade a maximum of four subjects. However, you can also choose to change these four subjects. There is no limit to the number of times you can upgrade your Matric. 

Note that you may apply for a Matric Upgrade as early as 19, but you must be over the age of 21 to write the exams. This is because you will write the Adult Matric exams. 

Adult Matric

Adult Matric is an option designed for those over the age of 21 who were unable to complete their high school education and write their Matric. Adult Matric allows you to get a Senior Certificate (Amended) which then functions the same way as a school Matric would.

Where Can I Study Matric Programmes?

There are many reputable colleges that offer Matric programmes through distance learning, such as: 

What Is The Difference Between Distance Learning And Online Learning?

Online learning and distance learning are often used interchangeably. This is because they are both referring to learning through correspondence. There are no differences between distance learning and online learning. 

Another term for it is e-learning, because study materials are uploaded online for students to access. 

How Does Distance Learning Work?

With distance learning, institutions utilise platforms such as Google Classroom to upload course work for students to access at any time. Physical study materials, such as textbooks, are delivered to students directly, usually through a courier. 

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Distance Education?

There are many advantages to distance learning, such as being able to work at the same time as studying. This allows students to further their studies and improve their future career prospects while also earning an income.

With Covid-19 still a significant concern for many people, another advantage of distance learning is that you do not have physical classes. Everything is online, so you can study from the safety and comfort of your own home.

The disadvantages of distance learning are that you need very good self-discipline as well as a stable internet connection. If you lose internet connection a lot, it may be difficult to download course material or to stay in an online class.

You will also be entirely responsible for your own study times. This means it can be difficult if you get home from a full day of work, and then you have to study as well.

What Have We Learned?

  • Online learning and distance learning are terms for correspondence-based learning
  • There are many advantages to distance learning, but there are also disadvantages
  • There are many study options available through distance learning
  • ICB courses and CIMA courses are recognised worldwide
  • NATED courses only require Matric to be able to apply
  • ICB courses and CIMA courses do not require Matric to be able to apply
  • Short courses are available to study without Matric as long as you are over 16 and can understand, read and write in English
  • You can still get your Matric through distance learning if you would like to further your studies with a Matric

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: July 6, 2022