In this article we are going to look at important APS scores and the requirements for teaching, psychology, medicine and law to give you an idea of the different approaches taken by TUT, Pretoria, Wits, UJ and Unisa.
As a reminder, APS is the total score made up of points allocated for your matric marks according to the following table. Usually, 6 subjects are counted with Life Orientation excluded.
|Marks (%)||APS score|
|80 – 100||7|
|70 – 79||6|
|60 – 69||5|
|50 – 59||4|
|40 – 49||3|
|30 – 39||2|
|0 – 29||1|
Most courses also have a requirement for scores for specific subjects. English and Maths are the most important.
There is a full list of all courses offered in the School of Education. If you click on “More Information” this will take you to a page giving all admission requirements and the curriculum for the courses.
Some of the requirements are as follows:
B Ed Foundation Phase:
APS 25, with level 5 for Home Language, level 4 for first additional language, and level 4 for Maths (or level 5 for Maths Literacy)
B Ed for Intermediate Phase:
APS 25, with level 4 for English and Maths (or level 5 for Maths Literacy). In addition, level 4 for at least 2 of the following subjects: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, History or Geography
B Ed for Senior Phase & FET:
APS 24, with level 4 for English and Maths plus level 4 in subjects relevant to specialty choices.
Courses offered in the Faculty of Education:
B Ed degrees for Foundation, Intermediate and Senior and FET Phase:
APS of 28 and higher will be given preference
Higher Certificate in Sport Science Education:
APS of 20
Wits offers 4-year B Ed degrees for Foundation, Intermediate, and Senior & FET Phase teaching. The requirement for all of them is
APS of 36+, with English at level 5 and Maths at level 4 (or Maths Literacy or Technical Maths at level 4).
Those with APS of 31-35 may be wait-listed, depending on space availability, with preference being given to those with the highest English marks.
B Ed degrees:
APS 26, with English home language at level 5, or English first additional language at level 6.
Specialty courses for teaching at senior level have additional requirements – eg Mathematics at level 4 for Business and Management Studies, or at level 6 for Mathematics teaching. Other courses require subjects such as Physical or Natural Sciences, Geography, specific languages, etc.
APS 27, English at level 5. Students specialise in school subject areas.
BSc (Psychology and Maths) – extended programme:
APS 27, with English at Level 4 and Maths at level 5
Unisa offers about 50 different education courses at Certificate, Diploma and Degree level. Check here for the requirements for each one.
As an indicator, these are the ASP requirements for some of them
Maths (or 50% for Maths Literacy)
For courses in the Humanities, the minimum APS is 28. However, a score of 27 will be considered if there are spaces available. The results of the National Benchmark Test (NBT) will be considered for students who do not meet subject requirements. This is to give opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Students wanting to follow a career as a psychologist must complete a BA degree (APS = 30) with Psychology as a major. They must then go on to complete an Honours degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Clinical or Counselling Psychology.
The minimum period of study is 6 years – 3 years for an undergraduate degree, one year Honours and 2 years for Masters.
The APS is 36+, with English at level 5. Psychology is taken as a subject for each year. Students must also complete two semesters of isiZulu, Sesotho or South African Sign Language.
BA Hons (Psych):
At least 65% in the third year of the BA
At least 65% average mark for Honours. Masters specialties include clinical, community-counselling, industrial / organisational, research or educational.
During this time, students must register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The sixth year might involve a full year internship programme. For some programmes, the HPCSA also requires that graduates complete a year of paid community service before they can be registered as independent practitioners.
It is possible to study psychology through a part-time BA with the Wits Plus programme. An APS of 34 is required, with English at level 5 or above.
There are several options for psychology at UJ
B Com (Industrial Psychology)
APS 26, with English at level 4 and Maths at level 4.
APS 27, English at level 5
BA (Sports Psychology)
APS 23 , with English at level 5 and Maths at level 3 (or level 4 for Maths Literacy)
B Ed teaching degree with a major in Psychology is available for students wanting to be LO teachers at Senior School.
APS 26, with English home language at level 5, or English first additional language at level 6.
Psychology can be taken as a major for BA, B Social Work, BSc Life Sciences, BCom or B Business Administration, and you would have to meet the APS requirements for these courses.
It can prepare you for a career as a registered counsellor, psychometrist or psychologist. All of these require registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Going on to Honours in Psychology requires at least 60% in Psychology in the final year of your undergraduate degree.
You can download a brochure called Psychology@ Unisa for very comprehensive information about choices at Unisa and professional and career options for psychologists in South Africa.
Universities offer many courses in the medical field, including medicine (MBChB), dentistry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, biokinetics, sport medicine and others. In this section, we will be looking specifically at the admission requirements for MBChB studies.
TUT does not offer an MBChB course. However, it does offer some Health Sciences courses.
An interesting one is the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree offered in collaboration with the University of Limpopo, with students spending half of each academic year at each campus. TUT also offers an B Tech: Pharmaceutical Sciences.
UT also has a school of Biomedical Sciences, with courses at National Diploma, Bachelors, Bachelors Technology, Masters and Doctoral levels. Admission to the degree courses requires an APS of at least 24, with level 4 for English, Maths and Physical or Technical Sciences and Life Sciences.
An MBChB is offered in the Health Sciences Faculty.
Provisional acceptance into all courses in the Health Sciences at UP (including Nursing) will use Grade 11 results, the National Benchmark Test, and your answers to a Value-Add questionnaire. Your final APS score may not drop more than 2 points from your Grade 11 scores.
The selection for places on the Faculty of Health Sciences does not follow the usual APS rules. All applicants must complete the National Benchmarking Test (NBT). NBT results are valid for 3 years, and Wits only considers the first attempt. These results are considered together with the results of just five (not seven) matric marks: English, Maths, Physical or Life Sciences, plus the two other best subjects.
These rules apply to all courses in this Faculty, including pharmacy, physiotherapy, nursing, occupational therapy, oral health sciences, and biokinetics. Dentistry requires both Life Sciences and Physical Sciences.
For an MBChB, marks above 60% (level 5) are required for the 3 primary subjects. Those with lower marks can register for a 3-year Graduate Entry Medical Programme (GEMP). If they complete it, they can be admitted into the third year of the MBChB course.
UJ does not offer an MBChB degree, but it has a range of other course in its Health Sciences Faculty. This includes biokinetics, chiropractic, radiography, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and radiation therapy, complementary medicine, emergency medical care, podiatry, medical laboratory science and optometry. Most require Physical Sciences and/or Life Sciences at level 4 or 5, Mathematics at level 4 and English at level 5. APS scores range from 26 to 31.
There are also BCom and BA degrees in sports management, psychology and communication. APS is at 23 or 24.
Unisa does not offer an MBChB programme. There are courses in Health Studies and Biomedical Studies, including Biochemistry, Epidemiology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Immunology and others.
As an example, the admission for a B Sc in Life Sciences would include an APS of 20, and 50% in English and Maths or Technical Maths, plus 50% in Physics or Physical Sciences.
TUT offers a course in paralegal studies. The Diploma in Law requires an APS of 20 with level 4 for English.
AT UP you can complete a 4-year LLB degree or a 3-year BA (Law) or BCom (Law), and then go on to complete an LLB.
A 4-year course that requires a minimum APS of 32 and English or Afrikaans at level 5.
Candidates with APS of 32 and higher will be provisionally admitted up to 30 September of the year before admission, until all spaces are filled. After that, any applicant with an APS of 38 or more will also be admitted until registration in January, even if all spaces have been filled.
In the faculty of Humanities. APS = 30, with a 5 in English or Afrikaans
B Com Law:
In the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. APS = 32, with Level 5 scores in English or Afrikaans and Mathematics.
At Wits, you can complete a 4-year LLB or a 3-year BCom (Law) or BA (Law) followed by a 2-year LLB. Students who have completed their undergraduate law degree at another University, or those with no law subjects in their undergraduate degree, can complete a 3-year LLB.
APS of 43+, with English at level 6 and Maths at level 5 (or Maths Literacy at level 6)
3-Year B Com (Law):
APS of 43+, with English at level 5 and Maths at level 5
3-year BA (Law):
APS of 43+, with English at level 5 and Maths at level 3 (or Maths Literacy at level 4)
Students with APS of 35 – 42 will be wait-listed, provided they meet or exceed the English and Maths marks.
APS 28, with English at level 5 and Maths at level 3 (or level 4 for Maths Literacy)
APS 28, with English at level 5 and Maths at level 4
APS 28, with English at level 5 and Maths at level 3 (or level 4 for Maths
All of these courses also require an additional language at level 4. Those who have completed BA or B Com can register for a 2-year LLB degree.
UJ has a legal clinic where students can get practical clinical experience.
The law courses available at Unisa:
Higher Certificate in Law:
APS 15, with 30% in Language for matric, or 40% for NCV
Diploma in Law:
APS 18, with Diploma Pass and 50% in Language; or a Higher Certificate
Bachelor of Laws:
APS 20, with Bachelor’s Pass and 50% in Language; or a completed Diploma or Higher Certificate
B Com Law:
APS 21, with Bachelor’s Pass and 50% in Language and Mathematics.
Special permission can be given for those with NCV, including 60% in Language, Maths and Life Orientation and at least 70% in 4 vocational subjects.
Not everyone will be accepted into the Universities or courses of their choice. There may not be sufficient spaces to accept you. Or you haven’t met the APS requirements.