Over the past few years, education has evolved into something much more accessible than it ever was before. It has become not only accessible but also more inclusive in the way that employers don’t only care about university degrees anymore but rather focus on honing specific technical and soft skills. And to gain such skills, there are a plethora of short courses that you can complete in a small amount of time instead of binding yourselves to a full-time degree for which you would have to put the rest of your life to a halt.

Such short courses focus on teaching students just the right amount they need to understand in order to work effectively in their chosen field of study. They not only consume lesser time but also lesser resources, and are often offered as part-time courses to allow people to carry on with their work and personal lives. And the skills that you gain at the end of the day are appreciated by employers around the world.

University of South Africa (UNISA)

The University of South Africa, or UNISA, is one of the largest and most popular South African universities offering a wide variety of short courses to students from around the world. The university prides itself on being Africa’s leading educational institute for open distance learning opportunities. UNISA is well-known, its qualifications are accredited, and it offers top-of-the-line resources to its students in order to help them pursue their studies.

UNISA has a total of 9 colleges, each focusing on a specific field of study. From Accounting Sciences to Human Sciences, you can find a lot to like here. This vast array of colleges is what helps UNISA in offering a huge library of short courses that are extremely helpful to professionals who want to gain more knowledge and skills.

Let’s now take a brief look at some of the best and most interesting short courses offered by UNISA.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Top Short-term Courses in UNISA

1. Short Courses in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

If you’re interested in agricultural or environmental studies, the short courses offered by this college will be of great interest to you.

Environmental Law & Environmental Management Legal Enforcement

If you’d like to learn more about the laws that govern matters related to environmental management, then this course should be on your list of considerations. You’ll learn how to conduct inspections and how to practically apply the legal principles relating to environmental issues. The course is mainly aimed at people who are officials of the government or those who wish to be. In order to apply for this short course, you’ll need to have a Senior Certificate of any qualification that is equivalent to NQF level 4.

Barista Skills

The perfect example of a UNISA short course that focuses on a skill that the industry is currently deprived of, the short course in Barista Skills is a great way to get yourself exposed to a completely new experience that can be turned into an employment opportunity. In South Africa, especially, there is a shortage of people who excel in such skills which is why this course appeals to a very large market. Whether you are planning your future career and want to have a solid skill that you can use to earn money, or if you want to be part of the hospitality industry and wish to add an extra skill to your resume, this course is a great way to learn something of value.

You can see more courses at this college at this link.

2. Short Courses in the College of Economic and Management Sciences

If you have a business-centric mindset or you want to improve your knowledge of economics to be part of a large multi-national company, the courses offered by this college at UNISA are not to be missed.

SMME Management

The short course in SMME Management is perfect for those people who either want to start their own small business or are already the owners of such a business and want to grow it further. This course teaches such people all that they need to be better managers and entrepreneurs. Students will learn how to market their products, how to price them, and how to distribute them. They will also learn about resource management, ethical business practices, and operations management skills. On top of that, they will also be able to manage their finances and better understand the performance of their business from a financial standpoint. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, this is the course you need to enroll in.

Basic Financial Skills

As basic as it sounds, financial skills are something most of our young people seriously lack. That is why this short course in UNISA is so important not only for future businessmen but for pretty much anyone who wants to have better financial control over their lives. Among other things, students will learn how they can do their own financial planning, manage their budget, identify problems related to debt, evaluate different purchases, and protect their job. The best thing about this course is that anyone who is interested in making better life choices when it comes to money is welcome. There are no specific admission requirements that only show the highly inclusive nature of this short course.

You can see more courses in this college at this link.

3. Short Courses in the College of Human Sciences

For courses that focus on human sciences, whether they’re about communication or psychology, this college at UNISA has a lot to offer.

Introduction to Creative Writing

This short course at UNISA is aimed at students who are aspiring writers. The short course will teach them about the development and application of knowledge as well as a general understanding of creative writing. They will also learn to think critically and gain insight into the practical skills that go hand in hand with the basics of creative writing. A quality equivalent to an NQF level 4 is required to enroll in this course if you don’t have a Senior Certificate.

You can see more courses in this college at this link.

4. Short Courses in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology

The short courses offered by the Centre for Software Engineering as part of this College are perfect for anyone who is looking to develop their skills further to move ahead in the progressive world of software engineering.

Applied Information Security

If you use a computer at your home or at work, which you most probably do, then you need to know at least the basics of information security. This UNISA short course is intended to teach you exactly that. You will learn all of the basics when it comes to keeping your or your company’s data secure while using a computer. It has four basic modules: Introduction to Security, Desktop Security, Internet Security, and Personal Security. All of these cover the basics of what you need to know in order to ensure that you and your data stay safe.

If you want to take this knowledge to the next level and want to have a qualification suited to improve your chances for a job in this field, then you can also enroll in the short course in Advanced Information Security at UNISA after you complete this course.

Introduction to Internet and Web Design

This is another one of those courses that can help you start your career in a new field or provide you with the additional skills to help you do better at your current job. Introduction to Internet and Web Design aims to give students the ability to design usable web pages. Students will be exposed to different tools like HTML and CSS to help them design engaging web pages. They will also be able to understand and describe common internet terminology. The course is aimed at those people who want to use the internet as a medium of research and communication and then create and publish their own web pages. You will need a Senior Certificate or a qualification equivalent to an NQF level 4 in order to start this course.

Applied Project Management in an Information Technology Environment

This is a very specialized short course in UNISA that is aimed at those people who wish to learn about project management in an IT environment. Students will gain the skills necessary to manage projects related to information technology at the end of this course. This course is very interesting because most other project management courses don’t really focus all that much on IT while this one understands that the IT industry needs computer specialists who are also exposed to a healthy amount of project management skills. If you are a software engineer or IT expert that wants to take on more responsibility at work in a managerial position, then this short course will allow you to get the knowledge necessary to manage projects in a short amount of time.

You can see more courses in this college at this link.


So as you can see, there are a whole lot of short courses being offered at UNISA that are perfect to fill that gap in your knowledge that is keeping you from pursuing your dream career. Such short courses are excellent for giving you the right amount of education and knowledge that you need at a given point in your career without requiring you to leave your work to study full-time. So, whether you need very specialized knowledge or just want to learn a skill that aims to make your life generally better, there is a short course for you at UNISA. This list is just a few of the interesting courses on offer. There is a lot more to explore at UNISA’s website. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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