Understanding What A National Certificate: Vocational Is

When looking into Matric outside of school, you may find mention of an NC (V), or National Certificate (Vocational). So what does this mean?

What Is A National Certificate: Vocational?

An NC (V) is a set of qualifications you can study at a TVET college that allow you to complete your Matric outside of school. NC (V) has three levels, which correspond to NQF levels 2 to 4. These are equivalent to Grades 10, 11, and 12. Below is a table explaining how the NQF Levels are equivalent to the NC (V) Levels:

NC (V) Levels

NQF Levels

NC (V) Level 2 – Grade 10

NQF Level 2

NC (V) Level 3 – Grade 11

NQF Level 3

NC (V) Level 4 – Grade 12

NQF Level 4

The Importance Of Getting Your National Certificate: Vocational

There are many reasons to get your NC (V), including:

  • Improve Your CV
  • Get Work Ready
  • Become Credible

Improve Your CV

Getting your NC (V) is similar to getting your Matric. This means that having this on your CV greatly improves your chances of getting an interview and being hired.

Get Work Ready

NC (V) programmes are slightly different to a school Matric, in that they prepare you more for the working world than for tertiary education. Getting your NC (V) can help you be better prepared for the workplace. 

Become Credible

With no qualification to prove you have had a school education, it can be difficult for potential employers to see past the fact that you do not have Matric. This makes it very difficult to get hired, as employers struggle to find credibility in your CV.

Getting your NC (V) can help you to appear more credible, as well as more qualified. 

Entry Requirements To Study Towards A National Certificate: Vocational

As with all studies, there are entry requirements for an NC(V). These requirements are:

  • Your Grade 9 Certificate/Report



  • Bridging course


  • Any other recognised NQF level 1 qualification

Which Subjects Make Up A National Certificate: Vocational?

The four compulsory subjects for an NC(V) are the same as for NSC, which are:

  • One official South African Language at the Home Language level
  • One official South African Language at the First Additional Language level
  • Life Orientation
  • Maths OR Maths Literacy

Your elective subjects will depend on the college you attend and the career field you want to go into. 

Our Courses

If you do not meet the requirements for an NC (V), you can study one of our open-access courses. This means anyone over the age of 16 can enrol, as long as they can understand, read and write in English. These courses are:

Can I Go To University With NCV Level 4?

Yes, you can go to university with NC (V) Level 4. NC (V) level four is NQF level 4, which is the same level as a Matric. You can apply to universities with this, depending on how well you passed.

Note that each university will have its own entry requirements. Be sure to check with the university you want to apply to about any additional or specific entry requirements beyond the four passing levels.

Each of the four passing levels has its own subject requirements and APS requirements. These passing levels determine what level you can apply to further your studies at. They are as follows: 

Pass Level

Subject Requirement

APS Requirement 

Bachelor’s Degree pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 50% or above for four subjects 
  • 30% or above for two other subjects


Diploma pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for four other subjects
  • 30% or above for two other subjects


Higher Certificate pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for four other subjects


NSC pass/Matric pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for three other subjects


Note that these are only the minimum requirements, and achieving these marks does not guarantee your admission into any university courses.

If you do not have your Matric Certificate or your NC (V), you can still further your studies with different courses, such as:

  • Matric Courses
  • CIMA 
  • ICB

Matric Courses

Matric courses are available through distance learning so that you can get your Matric any time. There are three Matric programmes you can choose from:

Matric Rewrite and Matric Upgrade are both for if you have already written Matric and would like to improve your results. However, you can do an Adult Matric if you are over the age of 21 and have not written your Matric. 

Matric Rewrite is available if you are under the age of 21. You may rewrite a maximum of four subjects. You may not change your subjects, you must rewrite subjects you wrote for your Matric final exams. 

Matric Upgrade is available to those over the age of 21. You may upgrade a maximum of four subjects. However, you may choose to change any four subjects instead if you would prefer to. 

Adult Matric is an opportunity for those over the age of 21 to complete their high school education and write their Matriuc if they have not done so. Once you have successfully completed your Adult Matric, you will receive your Senior Certificate (Amended)

The Senior Certificate (Amended) functions the same way as a National Senior Certificate, or school Matric. You can use it to apply to further your studies or to apply for work.

The Difference Between A National Senior Certificate And National Certificate Vocational

There are some differences between an NSC and an NC(V), and the main ones are: 

National Senior Certificate

National Certificate (Vocational)

Completed in school

Completed at a TVET college

Academic focus

Vocational/Career-specific focus

NATED Courses

Once you have got your Matric, you can then apply to study NATED courses, which must adhere to the standards set by the National Qualifications Framework. Upon completion of these courses, you will get your National Diploma. Our NATED courses are:


These courses are accounting courses with a focus on business management. What sets them apart is that their qualifications will open doors for you all around the world. We offer the following CIMA courses:


ICB qualifications are accredited business courses. ICB stands for Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. Our ICB Courses are:

These courses are internationally recognised. If you are unable to attend university, these are great options. You can access quality education from the comfort of your home by studying through distance learning

What Are My Other Options?

If you want to further your education without getting your NC(V), there are options you can choose from:

  • We offer courses you can study without matric. They are credible, and you can build on your skills. Have a look at our Short Courses if you want to build your skills in a short period of time.
  • Want to get your Matric? Our Adult Matric is perfect for you. All you need is your Grade 9 certificate/report and to be 21 years or older.
  • If you are unhappy with your Grade 12 results, then you can have a look at our Matric Upgrade option. We give you the opportunity to work hard for the results you want.

These courses are all offered by the following reputable distance learning colleges:

What Have We Learned?

  • An NSC is a school Matric. An NC(V) is a TVET college Matric Equivalent qualification. 
  • You can go to university with NC(V)
  • There are many benefits to getting your NC(V)
  • There are many study options available to you with or without your NSC or NC(V)

Join one of our distance learning programmes today! Upskill yourself, further your studies, and begin your journey toward your dream career. Register with us now!

Author: Chloe Bydawell 
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: June 29, 2022

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.