Bridging Courses: How to Bridge the Gap from Matric to Varsity

by Emmeline

Bridging courses help matric learners get the matric results that they need for a specific course at an institution. Essentially, a bridging course could give you a second chance to pursue your first career choice.

Many matric learners often fail to meet the minimum requirements at university, thinking that it spells “game over” for their future. However, with bridging courses you’re given a second chance at getting into the institution of your dreams.

With that said, bridging courses come in various forms and range from short courses to extended degree programmes

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Bridging Courses versus Extended Degree Programmes

A bridging course is a short course that learners can take that will allow them to rewrite their matric subjects and improve their marks—ultimately letting them meet the entry requirements for the college or university they’d like to get into.

At the crux of it, bridging courses provide a way for students to qualify for specific study programmes and work towards their ideal careers. 

With that said, many tertiary institutions offer bridging courses in the form of extended degree programmes. This is where you study for your chosen degree but you take an extra year to complete it.

To sum up, bridging courses focus on giving your marks a facelift while extended degree programmes involve taking an extra year to complete your degree.

Where Can I Find Bridging Courses?

Taking a bridging course after you’ve finished matric can be a turning point, as you’ll be able to improve your matric marks and complete your qualification.

There are many external institutions that provide bridging courses to learners who would like a second chance at getting into their ideal higher education institution, so you’re spoilt for choice.  

Let’s take a look at the higher education institutions that offer bridging courses in South Africa:

Intec College

Intec College is a Cape Town-based institution that focuses on providing a solid platform for distance learning.  The way Intec College’s bridging courses work is simple and you get to bypass the Continuous Assessment (CASS) component. 

Remember that CASS will give you a School-Based Assessment (SBA) mark, which makes up a quarter of your final mark at the end of the year.  The mark comes from the assessments you complete in class throughout the year and is valid for 3 to 5 years. 

How to Apply at Intec College

You can rewrite any subject at Intec College, provided you have completed that subject in high school. To apply to Intec College, you will need:

  • An SBA mark for each subject you want to redo
  • Your official grade 12 statement of results (to show the subject was written in the final National Senior Certificate exam),

The course will take between 12 and 24 months, depending on how many subjects you would like to redo.

Note: If your matric exams were administered by the Department of Education (DBE) then you need to register for the subject exams you’ll write during the Intec College course.

How to Register at Intec College

You can register at Intec College online through the student portal by following these 7 easy steps:

  1. Visit the Intec College website
  2. Click on ‘Apply Now’
  3. Click ‘Register‘ 
  4. Fill in your details (name, surname, ID, email address, cell number)
  5. Select ‘Register’

Once you’ve registered at Intec College, you can start the application process. After you’ve applied to Intec College, all Intec requires you to do is ensure the prescribed textbooks are in your possession. The course fee will depend on the number of subjects you wish to upgrade.  Once the course is complete, you will be issued with a new and improved National Senior Certificate, accredited by Umalusi.

Oxbridge Academy

Oxbridge Academy is a huge supporter of students studying from home and has a different approach when it comes to bridging courses. 

With Oxbridge Academy, the aim is to assist learners who have not completed matric, which means that the institution will not allow you to upgrade your matric marks if you’ve already graduated or received your National Senior Certificate (NSC). 

That being said, Oxbridge Academy does prepare learners who have not completed matric for what’s to come in higher education, which could be an option for you. The most notable bridging certificate up for grabs is the N3 Technical Matric.

What is an N3 Technical Matric at Oxbridge Academy?

The N3 Technical Matric at Oxbridge Academy is equivalent to a National Senior Certificate and will allow you to study any engineering course at a tertiary level. The subjects completed for a technical matric are practical and tech-based and include subjects like mathematics, electronics, engineering science and electrical trade theory.

Doing an N3 Technical Matric with Oxbridge Academy could be your ticket if you’re keen to pursue a degree in engineering but do not meet the requirements with your current matric marks.  Having a technical matric is legitimate and can open many doors to further study at a TVET college, university or university of technology.

All courses need 12 months of your time and Umalusi will do the honours of issuing you with a National Senior Certificate that’s sure to boast some impressive marks.

Taal-Net Training Institute

Taal-Net Training Institute is another institution that will allow you to improve your matric marks with a bridging course.

Rewriting your matric subjects at Taal-Net can be done on a full-time or part-time basis. If you matriculated before 2007, you qualify to register for the new CAPS syllabus.

Registration for Taal-Net needs to be completed before 31 March annually for both exams and classes, with exams being available to write in October/November. Each of your new subjects’ marks provided by Taal-Net will be accredited by Umalusi.

How to Apply to Taal-Net Training Institute

Applying to the Taal-Net Training Institute is simple and all you need to do to apply is:

  • Complete a form provided by Taal-Net. 
  • Have a copy of your matric certificate at the ready. 
  • Pay the initial deposit, exam and registration fee. 

The initial deposit is dependent on the number of subjects you decide to redo.  If it’s 1 or 2, the lump sum at the outset is R1 300 whereas more than 2 subjects require a deposit of R1 650.  The registration fee is R350 with an exam centre fee of R500 (for external students).

> Fees are subject to change

Damelin Correspondence College

Damelin Correspondence College is all about providing opportunities for matriculants who are looking to improve their matric marks with a bridging course. 

You can upgrade your subject marks with or without the CASS component—the choice is yours.  With that said, if you have matriculated in the last two years, your CASS mark is still valid at Damelin Correspondence College, meaning there is no need to complete additional assessments.  

How to Apply to Damelin Correspondence

To apply to Damelin Correspondence, you need to first select the number of subjects you would like to improve. You also need to ensure that you have your official Grade 12 statement of results on hand. Once you’ve got that, you can register for Damelin Correspondence online.

Stellenbosch University (Maties)

Stellenbosch University (Maties) runs a University Preparation Programme called SciMathUS which is a  programme that allows learners who matriculated with an average of 60%, to improve certain subject marks. 

The focus of the SciMathUS programme at Stellenbosch University is on Maths and Physical Science so it is mainly aimed at students who would like to go into science-related fields of study.

Applications close on 7 February 2023 at 16:00.

students applying for bridging courses

Adding a Missing Matric Subject to Your Certificate

When applying for university, you may find that you have a matric subject missing from your certificate, preventing you from getting into the course you would like to study. For example, you may realise that you would like to study a medical degree, but you did Mathematical Literacy in matric.

Don’t worry, being one subject short of an entry requirement at a higher education institution is not the end of the world. 

There are higher education institutions that allow you to add a missing matric subject to your certificate, including Abbotts College and Brainline.

Abbotts College

Abbotts College is a great institution that allows you to add an additional or missing subject to your matric certificate. Abbotts College is ideal for students that live in either Gauteng or the Western Cape and has a stellar reputation with great student feedback.

The general tuition fees for first-year enrolment is outlined by Abbotts College and can be viewed below:

  • An administration fee of R2 500 needs to be paid at the get-go.  This fee is non-refundable.
  • A one-off application fee of R250

Abbotts College also outlines the total annual fees per grade (this excludes first-year, one-time fees):

  • Grade 8: up to R57 400
  • Grade 9: up to R60 700
  • Grade 10: up to R66 200
  • Grade 11: up to R71 700
  • Grade 12: up to R76 100

> Fees are subject to change


Brainline is another avenue that offers the study of a specific subject you didn’t take in matric.  Brainline works via correspondence so there’s no need to attend classes as learning is at a distance.  This makes life easier since it doesn’t matter where you are in the country, you can still get your matric and further your education.

How to Apply to Brainline

Registration for Brainline opens in September for students wanting to complete a single subject. Since Brainline is passionate about the use of modern technology, registration is done online.

After registering for Brainline, you will be contacted about specific subject fees. You’ll be approved as a Brainline client and be given a username and password. This is if you are happy with the payment agreement discussed. When all is said and done, your National Senior Certificate will be accredited with this subject.

Writing a Mid-Year Adult Matric Exam (Senior Certificate)

If you are an adult who attended high school before 2008, and you’d like to get your matric certificate, then you’ll be happy to know that it’s not too late! 

You may qualify to write something known as the mid-year Senior Certificate (amended) exams if you are an adult learner (over the age of 21) who has:

  • a General Education and Training Certificate (GETC); OR
  • a Grade 9 school report (or the old standard seven), stating that they have passed Grade 9; OR
  • a recognised equivalent qualification obtained at NQF 3 Level which requires two official languages; OR
  • an incomplete Senior Certificate qualification; OR
  • an incomplete National Senior Certificate and whose School-Based Assessment (SBA) validity has expired

In certain cases, at the discretion of the Head of Department in the Provincial Education Department, candidates between the ages of 18 and 21 may apply. Appeals can be made on the basis of circumstances beyond the learners’ control that resulted in them being unable to finish their school education. 

It is important to note that, in most cases, a Senior Certificate (Amended) does not allow for access to university. If you wish to apply for university with a Senior Certificate (Amended), you must apply for an age exemption through USAF.

Marks Required to pass the Senior Certificate (Amended) 

  1. Pass three subjects at 40%, one of which must be an official language at Home Language level.
  2. Pass two subjects at 30%, one of which must be an official language at First Additional or Home Language level.
  3. Obtain a subminimum of 20% in the sixth subject.

Learn more about the Senior Certificate (Amended).

> Always take note that these are subject to change.

Fund Your Bridging Courses

If you want to pursue bridging courses in South Africa and are looking to finance your qualification, Fundi can help with a range of student loans and financing packages to assist you!

To see if you qualify, check out the Fundi Study Loan Calculator to see if you qualify and start applying today!

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