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Thread: UNISA - Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Science in Informatics, or Diploma?

  1. #1
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    Question UNISA - Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Science in Informatics, or Diploma?

    Hi there,

    I will hopefully be registering in November to study towards a programming degree. I am struggling to determine the best one for me.

    I have compiled a list of the following on offer from UNISA for 2013:
    Link Here

    1. Bachelor of Science (Applied Mathematics and Computer Science Stream) 98801 - AMC

    2. Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Information Systems Stream) 98801 - MIS

    3. Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Computer Science Stream) 98801 - MCS

    4. Bachelor of Science (Chemistry and Information Systems Stream) 98801 - CIS

    5. Bachelor of Science (Chemistry and Computer Science Stream) 98801 - CCS

    6. Bachelor of Science in Computing 98906

    7. Bachelor of Science in Informatics 98907

    Background information about myself and situation.

    I'm 23 right now.
    I'm in the process of applying for a Certificate of full or conditional exemption issued by the Matriculation Board of Higher Education South African (HESA)

    "I wrote matric before 2009 in 2007. "

    "I do do NOT hold a Senior Certificate with an endorsement indicating that I have been exempted from the matriculation requirement. I'm trying to ascertain whether or not I am eligible to apply for admission to undergraduate degree studies.

    I hold Senior Certificate with out matriculation exemption, but I will try to qualify for the exemption from the Matriculation Board. The certificate of full or conditional exemption is issued by the Matriculation Board of Higher Education South Africa (HESA). Link Here I'll be applying with option A.


    I must have at least an equivalent of 50%* in terms of the NSC, in the language of learning and teaching; and Mathematics with at least an equivalent of 50%*, as in the NSC, and to determine if I need to register for Chemistry and/ or Physical Science modules, then I need at least 50%* for Mathematics and Physical Science.


    A student who has not obtained at least 50% in the language of teaching and learning; 50% in Mathematics and 50% in Physical Science will be limited to 48 credits at NQF level 5 in their first period of study and must register for – This is where I am at a stumble block at the moment. I obtained 50%+ for English higher grade in 2007 (Gr12), but I left math & science the start of Gr11.

    To meet the language requirement:
    /Students whose Language of Learning and Teaching is English: Students whose Language of Learning and Teaching is English: ENG1511 (English proficiency for university studies) and ENN103F (English for academic purposes).

    These are the access programs that I need for the degrees.
    To meet the Mathematics requirement: a Mathematics module (MAT0511).
    To meet the Physical Science requirement: a Science module (SMI181Q).
    Two or three modules from their chosen program.
    Link of access programs here:

    All 48 credits will have to be passed before the student can continue with the Degree curriculum. A student who does not meet the admission requirements may apply for admission into a diploma, but I prefer any other alternatives available even as a last resort redoing high school by applying for the Cambridge International AS and A Level qualifications.

    I'm trying to ascertain whether or not I am eligible for the access programs, HESA and then finally a degree for 2013, and if I missed any thing?

    PS: Studying full time and being dedicated will not be a problem... but I feel I'm an arm's reach away from my dream...

    What to do?

    Any help will be highly appreciated,
    & Thank you for taking the time to read this.
    Last edited by Skydrops; 12-09-2012 at 05:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    Since you dropped maths and science you clearly couldn't cope with the workload. When I walked into my first maths lecture at varsity, we did the entire school curriculum within one lecture. The workload is very heavy, and you probably won't handle it. Same for chemistry.

    Secondly, you probably won't even be allowed to study anything maths or chemistry related since you don't have the necessary background. Computer science relies heavily on math and you wouldn't qualify for the entrance requirements or the requirements of the math modules associated with it.

    That leaves you with informatics. Do a 3 year informatics degree. Don't waste time and money on a diploma.

    Do they have a bridging course for students like yourself? You'll have to study an extra year though.

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    Do you like accounting? Or rather, are you good at it? The two acc modules in Informatics have an average "pass time" of 3 attempts.

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    Thank you very much for the comments thus far.

    The Bachelor of Science in Informatics:

    I'm not realy sure what this degree is or used for in practice, but from what I can find on the net, Web Development and Human Computer Interaction.

    I will need,
    A National Senior Certificate (Degree endorsement) with at least 50% in the language of teaching and learning, and Mathematics with at least 50%. A student who does not qualify in terms of the statutory or additional requirements, may follow Unisa's alternative pathways or apply for admission to an appropriate Diploma.

    Exemption is not the problem as HESA may possibly grant it to me on the condition of my age. I had Afr HG, ENG HG, History HG, Biology SG, economics SG, business studies SG.

    So far from what I do understand is that I do qualify, I just need to take the access program, a mathematics module (MAT0511,) though I'm unsure if I may, or how to enroll for it.

    The MAT0511 (MAT011K) Access to Mathematics
    (Year module) (E) (one paper of three hours)
    The module covers certain topics from school mathematics and relevant applications to real-life situations.
    Purpose: to enable students to demonstrate the understanding of the real number system, ratio, proportion,
    percentage, integral exponents, scientific notation and estimation, roots, units, algebraic expressions, sequences,
    linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, systems of equations in two unknowns, exponents, logarithms,
    functions, straight lines, parabolas, hyperbolas, circles, introduction to elementary statistics, basic geometry (angles,
    triangles, quadrilaterals) and calculation of areas and volumes.

    I have been reading and self tutoring myself for some time now. It's not that I lack the ability to study, understand the complexities of math (I love math as a hobby now,) and I do not feel intimidated by the effort at hand. I am now more than capable to study towards any thing, than in the past, but I just need to get the foundations right first and recognized.

    Maturity changes a person, and I am worlds apart from the high school individual I use to be. I run a successful small business, though not in the IT sector.

    I'm really considering if all else fails to study the Cambridge's international course for gr 10,11 & 12+. Then while I do that, perhaps a diploma as well. I can overlap both in the same time, I do not social (much) or procrastinate. I have almost unlimited free time for the next three years, willing to study from morning till night every day. I will most likely not burn out. Studying is my part time hobby, reading and personal development. I'm passionate and really dedicated to achieve something where in the past I have failed.

    I'd like to know from you guys, who have been in this industry for some time now, if you don't mind. Would I be sought after or employable with any of the following diplomas, and if you can recommend any certificates to enhance it's desirability in today's economic times.

    Link Here

    Diploma in Information Technology 8806 - A National Senior Certificate (Diploma endorsement) with at least 50% in the language of teaching learning.

    Then I can get the Baccalaureus Technologiae: Information Technology BTINF - I need the above National Diploma in Information Technology with a 60% average for the 3rd year.

    By this time I'd b able to complete my Cambridge course and enroll for my BSC part time.
    Last edited by Skydrops; 12-09-2012 at 08:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by froot View Post
    Do you like accounting? Or rather, are you good at it? The two acc modules in Informatics have an average "pass time" of 3 attempts.
    Simply love, I use it daily.

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    Thumbs up Student for life:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar0n View Post
    Since you dropped maths and science you clearly couldn't cope with the workload. When I walked into my first maths lecture at varsity, we did the entire school curriculum within one lecture. The workload is very heavy, and you probably won't handle it. Same for chemistry.

    Secondly, you probably won't even be allowed to study anything maths or chemistry related since you don't have the necessary background. Computer science relies heavily on math and you wouldn't qualify for the entrance requirements or the requirements of the math modules associated with it.

    That leaves you with informatics. Do a 3 year informatics degree. Don't waste time and money on a diploma.

    Do they have a bridging course for students like yourself? You'll have to study an extra year though.
    Yes, they do have a bridging course, I see the bridge course skims way too much on the subject matter, I agree with what you wrote above, and after careful consideration, I will definitively redo do my high school subjects through Cambridge, in order to do the BSc one day.

    I'm considering doing the following subjects:

    English (First Language)
    Latin (First Language)
    Accounting HG
    Business Studies HG
    Chemistry HG
    Computer Studies HG
    Mathematics HG
    Physics HG
    Economics HG
    Geography HG (Optional - could be advantages)

    and in conjunction, I'll simultaneously study it with the degree below.

    (I have 10 years to complete a 480-credit degree (4 year degree). Obviously, I will try to do it in less... as I'll be studying full time, day, night and with no holidays. Just some late night gaming, possibly guild wars 2 ^_^ other than that... I can not wait!

    Instead of doing the Baccalaureus Technologiae: Information Technology BTINF, I may find the Bachelor of Laws 98680 more advantages to combine it with a BSc perhaps. Seems I qualified for it. ^_^ I see a gap for specialist in IT, contract and Business laws. (Not that this will be my salary based career path, but optional.)

    Then at end of the day id like to end up having my own IT software, websites and commercial business. There is a killing to be made in IT if you have a creative entrepreneurial mindset.

    Then I'll always have the backup to fall back to practice law or IT in the event of retrenchment or some thing else goes wrong, or both and as a bonus of redoing my earlier years achieving distinctions won't be a problem.

    Turns out I had sub forms of learning disabilities, back then.

    I have been attending support groups, learned a lot and I can now speed read, memorize (long-term) like a well trained parrot, but most importantly - my logic improved drastically and it helps in understanding of what I have learned. I did a course on "how to study, and a few other courses."

    I have also been attending/downloading books & videos of physics, maths and other subjects. I kid you not, but educating one self is no easy task at first. The upside is, no one understands your strengths and shortcomings like you do your own.

    This is why I did not cope back them, South-Africa was a dam poor school system for kids like myself back then, maybe worse now I read we ranked 4th poorest, I can vouch for that.

    No one identified my differences back then, just said I was lazy, yet I put in a heluavalot more effort in than any one else did. They just tried to push you through like a sausage machine, and I ended up not learning properly or gaining other valued skills - just useless "rote" learning, as they never even mentioned mind maps, mnemonics or other memorization tools.

    So if this is my path that I will need to walk in order to achieve the hollowed BSc and my other goals, which one to do.

    You can base your advice in the parameters on the future me, doing exceptional well in the coming years in maths, language, science and computer studies, etc.

    The end net goal for my degree is to stand out above all, to possibly develop games, banking systems, operating systems or commercial enterprises. What I am not interested in is coding for engineering machines, AI, etc.

    I'd prefer to do business ideally with the public than companies, (unless I'm employed by one.) Perhaps a freelance developer of sorts for custom software solutions, obviously the industry that I will work/specialize in would preferably be the banking/financial sector. (As I come from such a background.)

    However, I'm open to suggestions... share your passion with me about the industry that you are in and why you decided to specialize into your chosen career path.

    I geuse that leaves me with having to decide with;

    1. Bachelor of Science (Applied Mathematics and Computer Science Stream) 98801 - AMC

    2. Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Information Systems Stream) 98801 - MIS

    3. Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Computer Science Stream) 98801 - MCS

    6. Bachelor of Science in Computing 98906

    7. Bachelor of Science in Informatics 98907

    What would you recommend, and what courses or certificates are favored in the work place today to have that does not require sound skills in math, so that I can do it in the interim - preferably if it is not covered in, or lacks in the BSc degree?

    Note: My end goal is to emigrate to Australia.

    You only live once, so overachieving is a choice, a passion, that I intend to pursue. I intend to work at it/study to achieve summa cum laude... insane I know, but I see this as a life time goal.
    Last edited by Skydrops; 12-09-2012 at 04:52 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skydrops View Post
    What would you recommend, and what courses or certificates are favored in the work place today to have that does not require sound skills in math that I can do in the meanwhile that is not covered in, or lacks in the BSc degree?

    Note: My end goal is to emigrate to Australia.
    I have studied several (10-13) math courses, and while I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed them and would not swap them for any other subjects should I be given the chance again, I can not say I regularly use it on a regular basis. I've perhaps used a mathematical concept twice in a program in the past few years.

    That's in practice. In theory and academia however, and especially if you do computer science, you will definitely be doing quite a bit of math, or will at least require mathematical knowledge to solve some problems. There's a reason why those subjects aren't just labelled "Computer Science".

    Linear algebra has its applications in programs, and so too does abstract algebra (but then we're moving to theoretical computer science). Graph theory and other discrete math topics also have a big influence on computer science, and is the subject I've enjoyed the most by far. I'm also doing my dissertation on graph colourings and their applications at the moment, and it is incredibly interesting. Unfortunately it is normally presented as a postgraduate subject, or an introduction to it will appear in 3rd year discrete math & combinatorics textbooks.

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    Default Honors level - which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar0n View Post
    I have studied several (10-13) math courses, and while I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed them and would not swap them for any other subjects should I be given the chance again, I can not say I regularly use it on a regular basis. I've perhaps used a mathematical concept twice in a program in the past few years.

    That's in practice. In theory and academia however, and especially if you do computer science, you will definitely be doing quite a bit of math, or will at least require mathematical knowledge to solve some problems. There's a reason why those subjects aren't just labelled "Computer Science".

    Linear algebra has its applications in programs, and so too does abstract algebra (but then we're moving to theoretical computer science). Graph theory and other discrete math topics also have a big influence on computer science, and is the subject I've enjoyed the most by far. I'm also doing my dissertation on graph colourings and their applications at the moment, and it is incredibly interesting. Unfortunately it is normally presented as a postgraduate subject, or an introduction to it will appear in 3rd year discrete math & combinatorics textbooks.
    "the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges." - I like your signature, by the way.

    Hmm, which BSc did you end up studying, are there elective modules?

    Also, on the honors level I see, the following:

    1. Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Business Informatics 98450

    2. Bachelor of Science Honours in Computing 98908

    Id prefer to head into a commercial business route. I'm not really interested becoming a pioneer in the lattes antivirus algorithm detection program, but rather the designer of a new JSE, banking system, financial - pastel, business and insurance sector products.

    Lastly, what are the differences in Computing and Informatics, any one?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skydrops View Post
    "the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges." - I like your signature, by the way.

    Hmm, which BSc did you end up studying, are there elective modules?

    Also, on the honors level I see, the following:

    1. Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Business Informatics 98450

    2. Bachelor of Science Honours in Computing 98908

    Id prefer to head into a commercial business route. I'm not really interested becoming a pioneer in the lattes antivirus algorithm detection program, but rather the designer of a new JSE, banking system, financial - pastel, business and insurance sector products.

    Lastly, what are the differences in Computing and Informatics, any one?
    I did a B.Sc in IT, with a bunch of math subjects as my electives, but not at UNISA though.

    I really don't know what the difference between those two are. It's actually best to pose these questions to an academic guide at UNISA. Or, at the least download the prospectus and check which subjects each course offers. I don't like the name "Computing" though. Check that you'll actually be doing some coding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bar0n View Post
    I did a B.Sc in IT, with a bunch of math subjects as my electives, but not at UNISA though.

    I really don't know what the difference between those two are. It's actually best to pose these questions to an academic guide at UNISA. Or, at the least download the prospectus and check which subjects each course offers. I don't like the name "Computing" though. Check that you'll actually be doing some coding.
    Thank you, though I heard of the dreaded correspondence of UNISA...

    Thank you for your input, I'll definitely ensure I have vigorously covered math, coding and theory modules. The problem with too much practicals, such as in diplomas is that when the industry's technology, languages, etc. changes one can fall back onto the theory and skills learned, and adapt.

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    Unisa also has a general Bachelor of Science degree, and you can pick one or two majors (something many prospective students seem to miss nowadays)

    You could do that and major in "proper" Computer Science.

    See this pdf for modules for all subjects
    You dare doubt the teachings of science!? Blasphemy!

  12. #12

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    I don't think a National Diploma in IT is a waste of time. I did mine (3 years) and I can honestly say I've come out with better knowledge than anyone I have come across with a BSC. I also had no problem getting a job with my National Diploma. I'm busy studying BTINF at UNISA too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ^^vampire^^ View Post
    I don't think a National Diploma in IT is a waste of time. I did mine (3 years) and I can honestly say I've come out with better knowledge than anyone I have come across with a BSC. I also had no problem getting a job with my National Diploma. I'm busy studying BTINF at UNISA too.
    Depends what you mean by "better knowledge". People sometimes forget that Computer Science is a branch of mathematics. That's what the degree mainly focuses on, the maths behind the whole thing. Diplomas focus more on practical things AFAIK.
    You dare doubt the teachings of science!? Blasphemy!

  14. #14

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    Whatever you choose make sure to check though the degree's subjects.

    Identify What subjects you enjoy and are capable of doing.

    And I think most BSc(IT-related) degree's will have at least one subject in AI at third year lvl at least(Though I am probably wrong )

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    Quote Originally Posted by HOLY MAnIAC View Post
    And I think most BSc(IT-related) degree's will have at least one subject in AI at third year lvl at least(Though I am probably wrong )
    Highly doubt it for IT. CompSci maybe. Perhaps Hons IT, if you're university allows it.

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