Higher Certificate or Bachelor Degree

03 Dec 2015



Higher Certificate or Bachelor Degree

03 Dec 2015

What is the big difference between studying a Bachelor Degree and doing a Higher Certificate?

When should one consider the former and when or why choose the latter?

Will a one year qualification suffice to get me a job or do I need to commit to a full three years of study?

These are just some of the common thoughts and questions one has when considering tertiary education studies. 

There is, of course, no right or wrong answer to any of the above but hopefully this offers a better understanding of the differences between the two types of qualification.

Bachelor Degree vs. Higher Certificate – The Key Difference

Higher Certificate

The one year Higher Certificate is a skills based program. 

What this means is that a strong focus is placed on the practical application and ability to use the systems, the equipment and the software required to perform in your chosen field, be it Audio, Film Production or Animation at SAE Institute South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

The Higher Certificate places a strong emphasis on vocational skills to equip the graduate with the necessary abilities to perform in their chosen field. Modules such as business management, marketing and communications provide graduates with a holistic skill set to enter the industry. 

This qualification is primarily vocational, or industry oriented. It provides you with the basic introductory knowledge and practical techniques to perform in the creative field you have chosen. 

Bachelor Degree

Head of Film Production, Bryce Hepburn describes it best;

“It’s important to note that the core difference between the Higher Certificate and Bachelor Degree is that the BA (since it is a degree) also focuses on developing a student’s critical thinking. It is not [necessarily] something that helps them immediately when graduating but is crucial should one want to be in management positions five years after graduating.”

A Bachelor Degree takes a minimum of three years to complete. 

The phrase ‘critical thinking’ is used a lot when describing what a degree course is all about. Students are expected to absorb a lot of information and then formulate their own opinions and strategies from the theory and combine this with a practical application. 

Aside from acquiring the vital knowledge and skills for their field, students are constantly exposed to the pertinent qualities and values expected of an individual in the industry. A successful degree programme produces graduates who can operate effectively within their chosen career, but also make a meaningful contribution to the industry and society as a well rounded individual.

A Bachelor Degree in Audio, Film or Animation is designed to equip graduates with the potential to become thought-leaders and innovators.

A degree program differs from certificates and diploma programs in that it may potentially open up more doors to the student specifically in the field of management and project planning. 

Here is a full list of all courses offer by SAE Institute South Africa (Pty) Ltd, from Higher Certificate to Bachelor Degree and Short Courses too.