Studying a Master´s Degree in South Africa in 2021

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Times change, and master´s degrees applications and options do too. So, don´t miss on all the information you need for studying a master´s degree in South Africa in 2021.

It is well known that studying master’s degree only comes baring gifts. There are many benefits to taking this leap, like better job opportunities, competing skills in the labor market, and it is a great way to quench your thirst for knowledge.  However, there are many aspects to take into account before jumping into this adventure, which you may have skipped from your planning. 

After the pandemic hit the world, studying at universities has changed very much. However, 2021 seems to be the year where we will be moving forward from Covid-19, and starting to live in a new and changed world, like a new normal. 

So if you are planning on starting a master’s degree in 2021, there are some things you may need to know before engaging in this path. 

What’s on offer for 2021?

Many of the variables to consider before studying have changed after 2020, so, you may need to refresh them, and update you to speed. 

Most popular master´s degrees

The most popular fields of study for Master's students in South Africa are Engineering, Science, Law, Business, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Every program is thoroughly assessed through a combination of coursework and a research dissertation and it normally takes one to two years to complete.

These two years split into two semesters. The first runs from early February to early June, and the second from mid-July to late November, and they will probably be adopting the online modality. 

Master’s degrees fees

After two years of pandemic, the economy has regressed notably. So, Universities were expected to increase their tuition fees. It clearly wasn´t a surprise. 

Universities in South Africa set their own tuition rates, so exact fees and policies vary from institution to institution. However, in 2021, tuition fees vary between R25,000 to R70,000 (USD $1,720-4,820), depending on the university and programme.

Living costs in South Africa

While studying, working seems harder. So, you may be struggling with finances and living costs in South Africa in 2021. 

Don´t worry, it won´t be that bad. Prices will depend on the location and kind of accommodation, but will normally cost between R4,000 and R5,000 per month (USD $275-345). Other expenses, like electricity and water, will cost around R400-800 per month on top of this (USD $28-55).

Student accommodation is available at most South African universities, either on campus or nearby. Some will also have third-tier residences available that are solely for postgraduate and senior students. 

You will be able to enjoy the perks of a big house, a garden and different spaces for studying at home. Your accommodation can vary from a single or shared dormitory style room, to a room within a flat or house. That’s your choice. 

Studying a master’s degree in South Africa

Leaving changes aside, if there is something that stayed the same, those are the benefits that a master’s degree can provide you.  

So, stop doubting and start studying a master’s degree in South Africa this 2021. You won´t regret it. 

To learn more about master’s degrees in South Africa, continue navigating on

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