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What is a National N Diploma in Engineering Studies

The purpose and rational of a National N Diploma in Engineering studies is enable learners who are particularly interested and talented in an occupational/ vocational Engineering field to develop competencies in the chosen area, which will enable them either to study further or to be employed and be productive in the sector at entry level and/or second tier level.

National N Diploma is focused primarily at giving the learner technical, theoretical knowledge, practical knowledge and workplace knowledge and skills required in the Engineering Field. The design of the qualification is such that it enables learners to progressively obtain the qualification by completing the related N4, N5 and N6 courses in Engineering courses.


The N4+N5+N6, regardless of the manner in which they are completed, must be followed by or integrated with 24 months of practical workplace learning for the learner to be awarded the National N Diploma in Engineering Studies, NQF Level 6.

Employment Opportunities of National N Diploma

Engineering and its related fields in South Africa is under constant strain due to shortage of skilled workforce. This is indicated by the critical skills list that always puts engineering related jobs as a scarce skill. At the moment most of these jobs are imported with the government of South Africa having to seek Engineers outside South Africa. Therefore choosing a career in Engineering provides a good chance of being employed.


Education, vocational training and lifelong learning are central pillars of employability, employment of workers and sustainable enterprise development”. A National N Diploma in Engineering Studies will provide an opportunity for learners who exit the schooling system, but who wish to continue to obtain knowledge and skills and a recognised qualification in a formal learning environment in a particular vocational/occupational area.


It will create the opportunity for learners with an interest in Engineering Studies to develop their skills and knowledge thereby improving their employability and at the same time creating opportunities for them to study further in Engineering Studies field.

Entry Requirements for a National N Diploma in Engineering Studies

In order to begin your career in Engineering Studies, you need to start from N4. The following are the entry requirements needed:


  • A National Senior Certificate (Matric) with Engineering related subjects which includes Mathematics/Technical Mathematics, Physical Science/Technical Science and other relevant drawing subjects. Also subjects related to engineering are an added advantage to enable the learner to easily aclimatize with the studies.
  • A Senior Certificate with Mathematics and Physical Science or equivalent subjects
  • A Further Education and Training Certificate
  • An N3 Certificate in Engineering related subjects such as an N3 certificate under Mechanical Engineering. 

Qualification Rules for National N Diploma

A National N Diploma in Engineering is comprised of a combination of theory and practical/workplace experience. 


Theory studies for N Diploma

The theory studies involves obtaining the following national certificates:


  • National N4 Certificate: SAQA ID: 66881
  • National N5 Certicate: SAQA ID: 66960
  • National N6 Certificate: SAQA ID: 67005

Each N-Level requires the student to pass four subjects and takes three to four months to complete. Exams are offered by the Department of Higher Education through an Accredited Private college such as Ekurhuleni Technical College or any public TVET College.

There are three exams in a year (trimester exams) and students can complete all their theory N4+N5+N6 withing a year.

The articulation of this qualification is vertical, meaning that N4 is compulsory as the starting point and it is the requirement for one to study N5 with N5 being the requirement to study N6. It is therefore not possible to obtain a diploma without starting from N4.

Subject Combinations

Each field of study has different subject combinations and it is important that you get these right.

Subject combination for Mechanical Engineering N4


  • Mathematics N4
  • Engineering Science N4
  • Mechanotechnics N4
  • Mechanical Draughting N4
  • Supervisory Management N4


Subject combination for Mechanical Engineering N5


  • Mathematics N5
  • Engineering Science N5
  • Mechanotechnics N5
  • Mechanical Drawing & Design N5
  • Power Machines N5
  • Fluid Maechanics N5
  • Strenght of Materials & Structures N5
  • Supervisory Management N5


Subject combination for Mechanical Engineering N6


  • Mathematics N6
  • Engineering Science N6
  • Mechanotechnics N6
  • Mechanical Drawing & Design N6
  • Supervisory Management N6
  • Power Machines N6
  • Control Systems N6
  • Fluid Maechanics N6
  • Strenght of Materials & Structures N6

Subject combination for Electrical Engineering N4-Light Current



Subject combination for Electrical Engineering N4-Heavy Current



Subject combination for Electrical Engineering N4-Instrumentation