What Can I Study?

Choosing what to study is a big decision, and can feel a bit overwhelming. This is why it is best to know what your options are, and have some tips on how to choose the best courses. Some of your study options are: 

  • Short courses
  • ICB courses
  • CIMA courses
  • NATED courses
  • University courses

Each of these types of courses have different entry requirements, and there are options available for everyone. You can study short courses as long as you are over the age of 16, and can understand, read and write in English. These are the only entry requirements. 

University courses have much higher requirements, including specific Matric passing levels and the corresponding APS, and may have additional subject requirements. 

There are also different levels of entry requirements between these two types of studying.

How Do I Choose What Career To Go Into?

Choosing your career has many factors that can help you narrow down your options. Some things to consider are: 

  • Your high school subjects 
  • Your Matric marks
  • Your interests

Considering what subjects you took in high school can help narrow down your search. For example, if you took Maths Literacy, you cannot go into the fields of IT, Engineering, or Accounting at university. 

However, if you want to be an Accountant, you can study the ICB Financial Management course, which only requires you to have Grade 10. 

Your Matric marks can also play a huge role in how you choose what to study. Such as if you got very high marks in an elective subject like Geography, but lower marks for a subject like Visual Art, you could go into something that would benefit from Geography, such as biogeography or ecology. 

You can also choose whether you want to keep your interests as hobbies, or turn your interests into a career. If you like photography, you could take a short course in Digital Photography and start your own photography business. Alternatively, you could keep photography as your hobby and go into something more structured, such as Business Studies or Commerce. 

What Can I Study Without Matric?

Your study options without Matric include courses such as: 

  • Short courses 
  • ICB courses 
  • CIMA courses

Short Courses

The short courses offered by our partnered colleges cover a wide variety of interests. These courses are designed to efficiently upskill you, so you can begin your career journey as quickly as possible with the skills you will need. 

Each college offers a different selection of short courses. Some examples are: 

  • Beauty Therapy Courses
  • Child Care Courses
  • Creative Writing Courses
  • Digital Photography Courses
  • Interior Decorating and Design Courses
  • Management Courses
  • Occupational Health and Safety Courses
  • Tourism Management Courses
  • Wedding and Events Planning Courses

Which Colleges Offer These Courses?

You can study short courses at reputable distance learning colleges such as: 

ICB Courses

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) offers courses through accredited distance learning colleges. These courses are accredited by ICB and by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). 

This means that ICB courses are recognised as formal qualifications in South Africa. ICB courses go all the way up to the Diploma level, and none of their three streams of study requires Matric to be able to apply. ICB courses are also recognised internationally. 

The three streams of study are: 

  • Business Management – requires Grade 11 or Equivalent 
  • Financial Accounting – requires Grade 10 or Equivalent
  • Office Administration – requires Matric or Equivalent

Where Can I Study ICB Courses?

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

CIMA Courses

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) courses are also offered through accredited distance learning colleges. CIMA courses go all the way up to the Degree level, and are also recognised internationally. 

CIMA has four levels of Business Accounting: 

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

Where Can I Study CIMA Courses?

Many distance learning colleges offer CIMA courses, such as: 

What Can I Study At A University?

Studying at a university will depend on the subjects you took, and what pass level you achieved at the end of Matric. There are four passing levels: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree pass
  • Diploma pass
  • Higher Certificate pass
  • National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass/Matric pass

Each passing level has subject requirements and an APS requirement. The requirements are as follows: 

Pass Level

Subject Requirements

APS Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 50% or above for four subjects 
  • 30% or above for two other subjects


Diploma pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for four other subjects
  • 30% or above for two other subjects


Higher Certificate pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for four other subjects


National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass/Matric pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for the remaining subjects
  • You can fail one subject


Each of the passing levels determines at what level you can apply to study at a university. However, note that these are only the minimum requirements. Achieving these requirements does not guarantee your admission into any university courses. 

Achieving the requirements ensures your application will be considered. All universities reserve the right to accept or reject your application as they see fit. 

Some Degree courses also have additional subject requirements, or higher requirements than the standard minimum. Be sure to check with the university you are applying to about any additional requirements for the course you are applying to. 

What Have We Learned?

  • There are many study options available, and options can be narrowed down by your pass level
  • There are many things to consider when choosing a career, such as interests and skills
  • You can study without Matric 
  • You can further your studies after Matric without going to university

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: July 14, 2022