Bachelor of Arts | Alternative Education

( Minimum 3 years; minimum 360 credits; NQF 7)

Programme Coordinator

Dr Susan Gredley (D. Phil.) heads up this programme. She has 14 years' experience in tertiary education.

Modes of delivery

contact and distance

Time Commitment

• Minimum three years full-time
• Maximum six years part-time
• Mode of delivery: contact and distance
• January and July intakes


The aim of this programme is to educate students about various alternative models of and approaches to learning and teaching that have developed around the world. These approaches emphasise aspects such as critical thinking, community engagement and social change.


Registered by the DHET. Accredited by the CHE as a 384-credit learning programme for higher education at NQF level 7. SAQA ID: 87406. (A maximum of 16 credits are added if the student must complete Academic Development.) CHE reference: H/PRO96/E011CAN.

Important links





Admission information

  • National Senior Certificate (NSC) with a bachelor’s pass or equivalent
  • A Matriculation Certificate (with university exemption) or equivalent
  • A Higher Certificate or Advanced Certificate or Diploma in a cognate field
  • Matriculation Certificate (with university exemption) or equivalent 
  • National Benchmark Test (NBT) results
  • A National Senior Certificate or National Certificate Vocational with a diploma pass (or equivalent) combined with the NBT results 
  • Mature age of 23 and over during the first year of studies and a National Senior Certificate (or equivalent). The conditions of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy for access and the results of the NBT are determining factors for admission. Contact the admissions office regarding RPL
  • Mature age of 45 years can be admitted, determined by the RPL conditions and the results of the NBT

Applicants in the first category under Alternative Admission Requirements must register for the Extended Programme for Academic Development. The Programme extends the completion of the prescribed subjects over a minimum of four years.

Students who are admitted based on prior learning and who want to complete the degree in three years, but who fail more than 20% of modules taken during the first semester, are required to take the first year over two years. 

The BA aims to provide access for those who have completed Grade 12 to a degree programme equipping them with skills to be more effective leaders in the community in the areas of Psychology, Theology, Media Studies, Alternative Education and Sociology and Community Development.  In addition to a career path for sociologists, psychologists, and media specialists. The programme is also intended to provide students who are considering a career as teachers to advance to a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with the required teaching subjects at an undergraduate level.

BA students must choose between a major in Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Alternative Education or Media Studies. Each focus has its own specified core and elective modules from the curriculum below. Outcomes are set for each area of focus, as outlined below. Each module within the curriculum also has its own set of outcomes.

Alternative Education students who have completed the qualification must be able to:

  • Understand the principles, concepts, histories and major approaches in the field of Alternative Education.
  • Identify problems in mainstream educational thought and practices.
  • Know the various past and present schools of thought regarded as part of the Alternative Education field.
  • Understand the insights, theories and methods that inhere in different schools of thought and practices in Alternative Education
  • Articulate the ideas of hallmark theorists and educationists in the field of Alternative Education.
  • Understand how insights and methods from the field of Alternative Education are and could be utilised in the various spheres of education in South Africa.
  • Develop, implement and evaluate Alternative Education projects in South Africa and elsewhere.
  • Engage critically with current debates in education about the possible futures of education in South Africa and globally.
  • Conduct appropriate basic practice-based research into questions of alterity in mainstream and alternative spheres of education.

Module descriptions and credits

For a description of each module, see ‘Module descriptions’ towards the end of this document.

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