Higher Certificate in Information Systems (Open Source)

Qualification duration

Minimum: 1 year full-time

Maximum: 3 years part-time

Full-time or Part-time

Qualification start date

Student can start any week of the month of January and February. Thereafter from March to December students can start the first Monday of each month.

Qualification description

The Higher Certificate in Information Systems (Open Source) is a rigorous, comprehensive and career-focused qualification that prepares you for working across the software environment as an open source database developer or administrator. Given that many IT companies are now using open source software, this higher certificate is highly relevant to the information technology space.

The Higher Certificate in Information Systems (Open Source) provides you with a solid theoretical and intensive practical foundation in the basics of two programming languages and one database language, where the emphasis is on application. The core subject areas are: development and administration of the open source database MySQL, and developing programming skills in the two languages: PHP and Python. You also cover topics such as Computer Literacy and Database Design, Personal Skills Development, Processing and Logic, and using the Linux Operating System.

We attribute much of the success of our Higher Certificate programmes in Information Systems (IS), to our unique Mastery Learning Methodology (MLM). This modular self-directed learning approach, gives you the flexibility to start and progress through the programme at a pace that best suits you. This learning methodology, together with our cutting-edge facilities such as computer labs, IS open learning areas and smart pods, will prepare you for the real IT work environment of the future.

Over and above this, you will develop essential skills for the world of work, such as analysing and solving real problems, exploring new ideas, being adaptable and self-disciplined, working in teams and
communicating for results.

On completion of the Higher Certificate in Information Systems, you can apply for a Credit Transfer (CT) or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to study towards the PI Bachelor of Science in IT degree.

Entry requirements

You need a South African National Senior Certificate (NSC) for diploma or certificate purposes and placement assessment.


If you have an international school-leaving certificate or a foreign secondary qualification, you need to provide a certificate of exemption issued by Universities South Africa (USAF).


National Certificate (Vocational) level 4 issued by the Council of General and Further Education and Training.


Obtain the required results in the Placement Assessment.

Qualification accreditation

  • Accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE).
  • Registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

Possible career options

Do you think in code?

The career choices for you, as a Higher Certificate in Information Systems (Open Source) graduate, include junior positions in:

  • Programming
  • Database administration
  • Linux administration

Qualification structure

Year 1