Open Distance Learning: Educational Programmes

Education Programmes

Study centres throughout South Africa and Namibia make it possible for in-service teachers to achieve the following qualifications:

National Professional Diploma in Education (NPDE)

SAQA ID: 57142

*Last intake for the NPDE qualification will be July 2014

  • The NPDE programme allows underqualified and unqualified practising teachers as well as FET-College educators to upgrade their qualifications.
  • The programme is practice-based and has a strong classroom focus.
  • After completion, the student will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and values required as stipulated in the National Curriculum Statement.
  • The student will also be allowed to progress to REQV 13 as a fully qualified, professional teacher in the Foundation, Intermediate, Senior and/or FET phases.
  • After the student has completed the NPDE, he/she will be empowered with the fundamental, practical and  reflexive competencies required for further study at NQF level 6 (REQV 14).

Admission Requirements:

A student may only register for the NPDE program if such a student:

  • has at least five years teaching experience,
  • is on either REQV level 10, 11 or 12,
  • is a practising teacher during the study period.

Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE)

SAQA ID: 58954

* Last intake for the ACE qualification is 2015.

  • The ACE is a flexible Level 6 qualification providing an opportunity for teachers to either upgrade or enrich/change their existing knowledge in a particular area of specialisation.
  • This qualification is open to candidates who are already in possession of an approved Level 5 qualification in the field of education, training and development. This also creates additional opportunities for further study at NQF Level 7.
  • After completing the ACE the student will be able to enrol for the BEdHons at NQF level 7. After 2013 the ACE will articulate into an Advanced Diploma in Education [ADE (development in progress)] at NQF level 7. After completing the ADE a student will have access to the Postgraduate Diploma in Education on NQF level 8 (development in progress).

Admission Requirements:

Prospective students must be in possession of an approved post-school teaching qualification of three years (NQF level 5), evaluated at REQV 13 (M+3) level.

Honores Baccalareus Educationis Degree (BEdHons)

SAQA ID: 59302

*Last intake for the BEdHons qualification will be October 2015

  • On completion of the studies, candidates will be able to demonstrate thorough understanding and have gained knowledge and skills of the principles, methods and procedures relevant to the specific specialisation in education.
  • Candidates will be able to have gained knowledge and understanding of the role that research plays in education, conduct basic evaluation and educational research.
  • These studies will enable students to play a leadership role in professional educational activities in the different sectors of teaching in South Africa.

Note: Each application will be dealt with individually.

Admission Requirements:

  • Any recognised teaching qualification that amounts to 480 credits (of which 72 are on NQF Level 6);
  • or any recognised RPL equivalent of the above-mentioned;
  • A recognised three-year teacher qualification with an ACE/FDE/HED; A recognised four-year HED qualification.

Diploma in Grade R Teaching

SAQA ID: 91726

  • This is a three year diploma on NQF-level 6.
  • As part of this qualification, students will be expected to gain experience in applying knowledge and skills in the context of working with Grade R learners in a school.
  • This qualification will also provide a vast number of under- and unqualified Grade R practitioners with the opportunity to gain access to a higher education qualification.
  • The Diploma in Grade R Teaching is recognised by the Department of Basic Education and utilised to enable the practitioners to qualify for the relevant REQV level 13 for salary purposes.
  • This specialised qualification will provide the successful candidate with an opportunity to articulate into a BEd (Foundation Phase) qualification in order to gain status as a fully qualified Foundation Phase teacher.

Admission requirements:

  • A National Senior Certificate with a diploma entry endorsement or equivalent;
  • A Level 4 or Level 5 Certificate or Diploma in Early Childhood Development may also be presented for admission.


Method of Delivery

The North-West University provides each student with the opportunity to attend contact sessions at specific NWU venues countrywide. Lecturers are available for students for extra support. Additional student support is provided by means of Learner Management system:

What is a Learner Management system

A Learner Management system supports communication between lecturers and students and creates a collaboration environment for students and researchers. Academic information such as subject content, discussion forums, important dates, additional resources and supplementary instruction are clearly advised on e-Fundi.



Students may register at any time of the year with a minimum and maximum study period to specific programmes. NWU bursary students need to consult their Provincial Department of Education regarding the availability of bursaries.

Administration support is received from Open Learning Group (OLG).

Students receive the following study material:

  • a comprehensive study guide and manual;
  • learning materials such as textbooks and readers;
  • CD’s with video-clips (mainly lectures);
  • tutorial and prospectus booklet.