Online FAQ

When are the start dates?

  • See website for start dates
  • All HC’s – 2 August (thereafter 27 September and then in 2022 – first 2022 date to be confirmed)
  • All BA’s – 4 October (thereafter, in 2022 – first 2022 date to be confirmed)

How are the Programmes run?

  • The theory part of the Programme is online learning (done by yourself from the comfort of home)
  • The practical part is completed by attending studio time on Campus, or in a studio of your choice

How does the practical/studio times at Campus work?

  • The Campus’s are Open in the evenings, 4 x per week on a Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, from 6pm – 9pm and on a Saturday morning from 8am – 12noon
  • Need to attend a minimum of one session per week (could be more depending on individual needs/requirements)
  • Can attend ‘block sessions’ during the holidays (again, as needs require)
  • Studio time needs to be booked (i.e. no ‘pitching up’ without a booking, expecting to use the studios)

If I live far from Campus (i.e. I’ll never use a Studio), will the course be cheaper?

  • The studio provision is available to all of our students, regardless of your location, as you are able to book in advance and travel to the studios should you choose to do so. You also have the option of attending our block sessions during vacation times at no additional cost. In addition, you still require the same lecturer time, support, assessment and everything else that goes with completing this course.

If I live far from Campus (i.e. I’ll never use a Studio), how will I complete the practical work?

  • You will need to find/use a studio in your area (or your use your own studio/equipment) to complete the work required, record yourself completing the practical elements and upload on the LMS (Canvas) for lecturer evaluation.

How long will it take me to complete the Programme?

  • It depends on the time you have to commit to studying.
  • If you’re going to be studying ‘full-time’ online (i.e. 6-8 hours a day, like an on Campus student), then the Programme will take the minimum time to complete i.e. BA’s – 3 years, Higher Certificates – 1 year
  • If you’re only going to study this ‘part time’ online (i.e. between 2-4 hours a day), then the Programme will take the maximum time to complete i.e. BA’s – 5 years, Higher Certificates – 2 years

What are the prices for the Programmes?

  • See website for details
  • Prices are broken into 2
    1. Programme price
    2. Software price
  • Prices do not include equipment, which you either use your own (if you have your own or have access to the equipment needed) or use the equipment on Campus during your practical/studio work time

How can I pay for my course?

  • You can pay by EFT, credit card, apply for a student loan at the Banks, or go onto a monthly payment plan.
  • If deciding to apply for a student loan, we can assist you with your application process
  • If deciding to go onto a monthly payment plan, a credit check & affordability check will need to be completed, a deposit is required and a monthly debit order completed
  • Note – non South African students need to pay for the full years tuition fees, upfront prior to the start of tuition. No pay = no access to the course

What software package do I need?

  • This differs per programme, but see website for breakdown of the software requirements per programme

Can I use my own software (& therefore not purchase the software noted on the website i.e. not go to the additional expense)?

  • Yes
  • However you need to make sure your software is the latest, most up to date version of each & that it is not pirated.

Study Options

What about NSFAS? Does SAE offer?

Please note, NSFAS exists to provide financial aid to eligible students at TVET colleges and Public Universities. NSFAS does not exist for students entering Private Institutions. SAE Institute South Africa is a Private Institution, therefore NSFAS funding does not apply.

When are your intakes?

SAE Institute has 2 intakes per year, March and July. Short courses and Online courses may have different intake timings – Contact us for further information.

Are your courses recognised overseas?

All SAE degree and Certiifcate courses are government accredited. This means that the qualifications you receive upon graduation are recognised all around South Africa as well as internationally.

Do you have night-time/part-time courses?

Only our short courses are delivered in the evenings. Contact us directly if you require further information. 

How much practical time will I get?

All SAE courses have a focus on practical, hands-on delivery. The amount of practical time you experience during your studies does vary, depending on your course. You will also have opportunities to access campus resources and facilities outside of class time, during campus opening hours. 

I have no background in this subject, will I cope?

We carefully design and deliver all our units to help you develop the knowledge you need to be successful in your chosen feild of study. Courses and course units at SAE follow best practice teaching and learning.

What is the difference between a Certificate and a Degree?


The certificate qualification is niche skills focussed. By undertaking a certificate-level course in Animation, Audio or Film you will develop foundation skills in these specific discipline areas.

The certificate is a NQF-level qualification for paraprofessionals and further learning. This means that you can use the certificate as a pathway to Degree level study at SAE and at other tertiary institutions.

Our certificates are a great option for people who haven’t studied before and/or those looking for an alternative pathway to Degree level studies.

Bachelor Degree

A bachelor degree offers a rigorous combination of niche skills combined with a greater depth and breadth of theoretical knowledge and analytical skills. This knowledge is applicable to both your creative media discipline and the professional world more broadly.

A bachelor degree offers you an entry point to professional work, builds portable skills, and develops sustainable, life-long learning. Key high learning skills are a requisite of the bachelor degree and graduate study options are available upon completion.

Bachelor degrees are suitable for people looking to develop professional skills and knowledge and to build long-term, successful careers in their industry of choice.


What is the relationship between the theoretical and practical aspects of my course?

Successful creative media graduates need both practical skills and theoretical knowledge. It is important to know the “how” and the “why” of your industry. SAE courses are specifically designed to give you practical expertise and a solid theoretical foundation.

When is the next Open Day?

Upcoming Open Day details can be found on our Events page.

My Application

What are the entry requirements for me to study at SAE?

Entry requirements for SAE courses can be found in the Key Facts section of your relevant course page.

What is the application process?

You can apply for SAE courses quickly and easily online. Go to our Enrolment Information page for further information.

Where can I get an application form and how do I apply?

You can apply for SAE courses online. Visit the Enrolment Information page to get started. 

Why do you need certified hardcopies of my documents?

Certified copies of your supporting documents are required for accreditation and auditing requirements. 

When do applications close for each intake?

Applications will be assessed for eligibility up to the advertised commencement date of the course. Places in the course are capped and filled according to date-received priority. The earlier your application is made, the more likely you are to receive a placement. If you are unable to commence the course on the scheduled date, you may postpone commencement by contacting our office.

Where can I get help with my visa application?

Applying for a student visa can be a complicated process. While you are able to do this yourself, our approved Visa Partner can help you with the process. Agents are trained to assist applicants with their university and visa applications.

My Enrolment

What do I do if I want to defer or leave?

If you wish to defer, you will be required to contact your Head of Department who will assist in tailoring a solution.

What happens if I withdraw or I don't complete my studies?

You must withdraw prior to census date in order to be eligible for a refund of tuition fees. If you have not paid your fees and withdraw after the census date, you will incur a debt. Non-completion of studies does not normally entitle a student to any refund.

What is the Census Date?

The census date is the last day you can withdraw from a unit without incurring any financial or academic penalty for that unit of study.  More detail if available in the Fee Schedule.

What if I change my mind? Can I pull out of my course once I start?

Financial penalties will apply to students who leave their courses after the allocated census date.

Student Services

What support networks do you have in place for people with a disability or special learning needs?

SAE is committed to providing equal opportunities for students with disabilities or special learning needs. For more information please get in contact with us.

Student Life

Approximately how many students are in a class?

This can vary depending on the campus and course. You may, for example, have a larger lecture group for common units, and a smaller tutorial group of 8-15 students. In most cases tutorial sizes average  15 – 30 students.

Can I work whilst studying?

Students who are well organised find casual or part-time work most manageable.

How often will I need to be on campus?

This is dependant on how many units you study per trimester. You should expect to be on campus one day a week per unit of study.

My Studies

Can I come in and work on assessments on the weekend?

Students can access campus facilities during opening hours. Please contact us for timings.

How do I get a new email password?

You can have your email password reset by emailing the request through to servicedesk@navitas.com

How many days do I have to lodge a Special Consideration form?

You have 10 days after the due date to lodge a Special Consideration form.

Who do I give medical certificates to?

If you need to provide a medical certificate for any reason, please ensure that you provide this to the relevant Head of Department.

Facilities and Equipment

Do I get access to all campus facilities if I complete a short course or full-time course? (E.g access to all the sound studios if doing Audio)

You will have access to the facilities and equipment relevant to your course and on which you have been trained.

Do I need a computer or laptop to study the Course?

No, this is not required. Students have access to our campus computer labs for assessment work.

Is your equipment industry standard?

Yes! We consult with industry on a regular basis and update our resources as required.

What are the campus opening hours?

Opening hours are generally 8.00am–5.00pm. However, the campus may vary its hours of operation.  Students do have out-of-hours access to the studios and computer labs. For more information contact us.

What software will I be using?

You will use a variety of industry standard and specialised software applications relevant to your study.