Undergraduate entry requirements by region

South Africa

Undergraduate entry requirements for students from South Africa.

Students from South Africa will normally be considered with the Matric - National Senior Certificate (NSC) or Independent Exam Board (IEB.

Science and Engineering degree programmes

Applicants to degrees in the College of Science and Engineering must meet a minimum requirement of five subjects, four of which must be at Grade 6 (70%) or higher, including any required subjects at Grade 6 (or Grade 7 (80%) where an A is required).

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences degree programmes

For applications to degrees in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the minimum requirement is Grade 6 (70%) in at least four NSC subjects, excluding Life Orientation

Medicine and Veterinary Medicine degree programmes

For Biomedical Sciences and Medical Sciences, there is a minimum requirements of five subjects; three must be at a Grade 6 (70%) or higher including Biology and Chemistry and one must be at Grade 7 (80%).

For Veterinary Medicine there is a minimum requirement of four subjects at Grade 7 (80%), to include Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Maths. This should not include Life Orientation. Applicants should also have a minimum of a Grade 6 (70%) in English.

For Medicine (MBChB) there is a minimum requirement of four subjects at Grade 7 (80%), to include Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Maths. This should not include Life Orientation. Applicants should also have a minimum of a Grade 6 (70%) in English.

NSC and IEB English Language Requirements

Achievement at the following level/grade in English is accepted for entry by the University and applicants are not required to provide a further English qualification.

Science and Engineering degree programmes:

  • ​​Grade 5 in English as First/Home Language, if not covered by other entry requirements.

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences degree programmes:​​

  • Grade 4 in English as First/Home Language.

Medicine and Veterinary Medicine degree programmes:

  • a) Oral Health Sciences and Medical Sciences: Grade 5 in English as First/Home Language, if not covered by other entry requirements; and
  • b) Medicine & Veterinary Medicine: Grade 6 in English as First/Home Language.

Other qualifications

If you have not studies for the South African Matric – NSC or IEB - you will normally be considered for entry to the University of Edinburgh with these other international examinations..

Further guidance on academic entry requirements

Each course may have further specific entry requirements. All applicants must meet these requirements.

Staff in the Admissions Offices will be able to provide further guidance.

Undergraduate admissions contacts

English Language requirements

All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of English language competency, regardless of their nationality or country of residence. These requirements are listed by programme.

English Language advice

Specific English language requirement by programme

Contact us 

Edinburgh Global’s representative for South Africa is Nick Rowland.

You can contact us for advice and support by emailing: futurestudents@ed.ac.uk

Applicant support

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Due to travel restrictions, we are running all our applicant information sessions online.

You can sign up to talk to a member of staff and view a presentation about study in Edinburgh. We hope to resume in-country visits to meet applicants soon.

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Student numbers

There are around 475 students from 25 countries across Africa currently studying at the University of Edinburgh.