Postgraduate Diploma in
Leadership Development

Learn to lead on 4 levels: Me, We, Work, World

  • Blended
  • Course
  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
  • Focus Areas
Course Overview
Course starts 01 February 2021
Application closes 8 January 2021 (SA) / 15 November 2020 (International)

You may know how to manage well. But can you lead? USB’s internationally accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Development will help you unlock the skills you need to show up as a leader. It focuses on your ability to lead on four levels – personal (me), interpersonal (we), organisational (work) and societal (world). You will also learn to influence with intent, get people to work together to enhance performance, see the bigger picture, and make strategy “come alive through people”.

This PGDip is offered as 2 streams:

  • The PGDip in Leadership Development with generalist modules is aimed at those who want to lead in any industry sector.
  • The PGDip in Leadership Development with stream-specific NPO modules is aimed at those who want to lead in the social sector.

Duration: 1 year | Format: Blended Learning

Application deadlines

  • South African applicants: 8 January 2021
  • RPL applicants: 15 November
  • Applicants from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 15 November
  • Applicants from the rest of the world: 15 November


Year 1
5 Blocks
Block 1 (on campus block)
1 – 6 February 2021
Block 2 (Blended classes from 08:00-13:00 and 14:30-16:00)
12 – 16 April 2021
Block 3 (Blended classes from 08:00-13:00 and 14:30-16:00)
21 - 25 June 2021
Block 4 (Blended classes from 08:00-13:00 and 14:30-16:00)
30 August – 3 September 2021
Block 5 (on campus block)
18 – 23 October 2021

Time to learn?

Take advantage of USB’s fee relief for the PGDip in Leadership Development, and get access to the skills needed to rebuild the economy.

Programme tuition fees for 2021 Total Provisional Quotes
Students from South Africa R89 900 Download
Students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries R94 400 Download
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R99 430 Download
Students from the rest of the world R127 930 Download
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2021
Students from South Africa R13 060
Students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries R47 200
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R49 715
Students from the rest of the world R63 965
Application fee for 2021
Application fee R 850
  • Application fee: The application fee must accompany the application. The application fee is not refundable.
  • Travelling, accommodation and meals are for students’ own accounts.
  • USB reserves the right to change the fees at any time.


This programme acknowledges responsible leadership as the prime differentiator that drives sustainable high performance. It focuses on the development of personal leadership, team leadership, organisational leadership and societal leadership (me, we, work, world) to strengthen your capability to grow as leader.

This PGDip is offered as two streams:

  • The PGDip in Leadership Development with generalist modules is aimed at those who want to lead in any industry sector.
  • The PGDip in Leadership Development with stream-specific NPO modules is aimed at those who want to lead in the social sector.

Students select their stream right from the start. All PGDip Leadership Development students (generalist and NPO) follow Modules 1, 2, 3 and 7 together. For Modules 4, 5 and 6, the generalist students follow generalist modules while the NPO students follow NPO-focused modules.

This one-year programme (both the generalist and NPO streams) is presented in blended learning format. It combines on-campus classes with blended learning sessions, allowing you to study while you work.

The on-campus block at the start of the programme enables you to physically meet your lecturers and fellow classmates first, allowing for a more immersive experience of the entire year. The on-campus block at the end of programme helps to ensure an integrative experience.

The blended learning sessions allow you to join the class via any internet-linked smart phone, laptop or device. USB’s high-tech class rooms allow the lecturers to see, in real time, the faces of all the online students portrayed onto a screen or class room wall. This virtual environment enables you to actively participate in classroom discussions – whether you are logging in from an airport in Europe, a boardroom in Africa or your office at home. See how blended learning works at USB.

This programme is presented at NQF level 8, the equivalent of an Honours degree. This means it can give you access to an MBA or MPhil in Management Coaching.

Core modules

  • Module 1: Personal Authentic Leadership (14 credits)
  • Module 2: High-impact Leadership and Teaming (10 credits)
  • Module 3: Leading High-performance Organisational Culture (14 credits)
  • Module 4: Leadership, Transformation and Inclusivity (10 credits)
  • Module 5: Strategic Leadership (14 credits)
  • Module 6: Leadership and Society (10 credits)
  • Module 7: Growth and Application of Personal Authentic Leadership (28 credits)


You need to choose one of the following electives:

  • Negotiation and Conflict Management
  • Advanced Technology Leadership
  • Leadership and Coaching

This PGDip acknowledges responsible leadership as the prime differentiator that drives sustainable high performance. The content of this programme is rooted in academic research and internationally benchmarked theory and practices. The main objective is to encourage you to combine academic rigour and experiential learning, and to apply it within the larger framework of action and work-based learning. The learning philosophy of this programme is based on the following:

  • Integrating theory and practice
  • Finding your authentic personal leadership style
  • International application with local specialisation
  • Adult learning practices
  • Extensive support

This generalist programme is relevant for Africa and beyond. You can apply your leadership skills in any industry, anywhere in the world. This programme is particularly relevant to African managers and leaders as it takes into account the diversity, traditions and multicultural environments of South Africa and the African continent.

  • A relevant Bachelor’s degree, Higher National Diploma or Recognition of Prior Learning
  • Proven relevant working experience of five to seven years

NOTE: International students require a SAQA evaluation to evaluate your degree according to South African standards.  USB’s International Affairs Office will handle your credential evaluation free of charge.  Please complete an online application, upload all certificates to your application. The international office will conduct an in-house credential evaluation, after we received your submission and application fee, as part of the process.

Recognition of prior learning

USB provides wider access to its programmes through its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. In line with the requirements of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under RPL. Candidates admitted under the RPL policy will firstly have to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective RPL students have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 6 qualification (all school and academic certificates are required).
  • Have at least SIX years of working experience after obtaining the above-mentioned qualification, of which at least THREE years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information on activities outside the work environment.
  • Provide USB with at least two references (typically current or former line heads) who can testify about the candidate’s managerial or related professional abilities (on forms provided by USB).

The RPL selection process entails the following:

  • USB’s Admissions Committee (programme head and another academic) will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate.
  • If the Committee is of the opinion that the candidate has the ability to cope with the demands of the programme, he/she may be admitted.
  • A recommendation of admission is sent via USB’s Academic Planning Committee to the Board of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences for notification.
  • Important: RPL candidates need to apply by 15 November each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Development for NPOs is designed as a learning journey for those wanting to improve their understanding about what it takes to lead Non-profit organisations (NPO) towards fulfilling its social purpose. The programme taps into USB’s well-known legacy of transformative leadership learning where you will learn how to lead self, others and your organisations in ways which can be described at ethical, responsible and sustainable. The programme pays special attention to the unique demands of leading in the face of complex social and environmental issues guided by a clear strategy, maintaining integrity and quality and practicing accountability to all stakeholders.

Learning outcomes

  • Lead in the framework of Me-We-Work-World.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills for strategy execution in an NPO.
  • Develop integrity and quality in service delivery in an NPO.
  • Oversee the implementation of management control systems in an NPO.
  • Develop your own leadership style.

Read more about our Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Development for NPOs programme.

USB’s PGDip Leadership Development – Ranked 14th globally in the Leadership category 

Professor Arnold Smit

Prof Arnold Smit’s teaching and research focus on the contextualisation and integration of ethics, responsibility and sustainability in management education and organisational practice. His fields of expertise include responsible leadership, corporate sustainability, multi-stakeholder process facilitation and spirituality. He holds an Honours in Philosophy and Doctoral degree in Theology from Stellenbosch University. He is a member of the Board of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI), the PRME Advisory Committee, and USB-ED’s International Advisory Board.

Programme Ambassadors

These programme ambassadors are current students and alumni who support prospective students in their new stage of life and share their personal experience about studying at USB.

Ina Vorster Leadership postgrad

Dr Hermina Vorster
Anaesthesiologist: Private Practice

[email protected]

Download our Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Development brochure

MBA Managing International Organisations
  • Who should enrol?
  • What will you gain?
  • People in the private, public and social sector who are advancing into middle, senior and general managerial levels requiring increasing levels of leadership
  • Working professionals in specialist positions who have a minimum of seven years of working experience and who want to prepare themselves for managerial and leadership roles
  • Professionals with degrees in fields such as engineering, medical sciences, education, law and accounting who are progressing into managerial roles
  • Those who want to broaden their leadership competencies without doing a comprehensive management degree like an MBA
  • The development of strong leadership skills based on a medium-term process of personal leadership development
  • The ability to make an impact in your organisation
  • The leadership skills to help optimise the contributions of people at every level
  • The know-how to exercise influence authentically and with intent in order to enhance the performance of all stakeholders
  • The ability to cope in complex environments
  • The ability to see the bigger picture, which is needed to drive strategy execution, to make strategy “come alive through people”, and to facilitate societal transformation


Download our Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Development brochure


‘This PGDip has challenged me and my view on leadership. Through the diverse content and insightful lectures I gained the necessary knowledge and experience to ultimately shift my paradigm and become a more influential leader.’

George Martin, PGDip in Leadership Development, Business Development Manager, Mutual & Federal,

‘This unique programme allows me to understand my authentic leadership style and how it impacts my personal life, work and the world around me. The programme does not only focus on the latest principles of leadership but also provides practical guidance that will positively impact your role as a leader.’

Charlton August, PGDip in Leadership Development, Offshore Exploration Manager, Namdeb Diamond Corporation,

‘I chose this programme as a stepping stone to an MBA. I want to understand my role as a leader, and how I could make a difference now and in future. This programme has taught me to look within myself, but also to consider the dynamics and the diversity of individuals. I know I will walk away with greater insight into what it means to be a great leader.’

Natalie Damonze, PGDip in Leadership Development, Financial Analyst, Indigo Brands Pty Ltd,

‘This programme strengthened my leadership qualities and skills. It led me on an exhilarating journey of discovery to qualities and skills that were either dormant – or ones that I did not know I possessed. I walked away a confident, energised and highly skilled leader with the ability to transfer those skills and do what all good leaders should do: Develop new leaders for a world in need of courageous leaders.’

Marliese Berndt, PGDip in Leadership Development, Director, UPP Consulting, Stellenbosch, South Africa,


Yes, it is. You may know how to manage well. But to lead, calls for a journey of personal development. That is one of the reasons why this postgraduate degree starts with leadership of the self (me). You cannot lead others (we) if you cannot lead yourself (me). You cannot lead society (world) if you do not know how to get smaller groups or teams to work together (work). It is a daily choice to show up as a leader. This requires a level of consciousness, courage, discipline and strong values. As one PGDip Leadership alumnus said, “Taking this one year to really get to know your own leadership strengths, and where they come from, will bring a sense of clarity and groundedness that nobody will be able to take away from you.”

Most people “slide into leadership” rather than consciously develop leadership competencies. This PGDip in Leadership Development gives you an opportunity to really “dig deep” to find out what drives you to lead a particular way and what your blind spots are. This leadership development journey can make a significant impact on your way of leading and your company’s performance, brand perception and employee engagement. You will get exposed to the latest thinking on leadership – like neuroleadership, strategic leadership and societal leadership. So, even if you already in a leadership position, this postgraduate degree will provide you with a better underpinning to consciously show up as a leader every day.

You will qualify to apply for an MBA. However, you still need to meet the additional entrance requirements in order to be accepted for an MBA. You will also qualify to apply for the MPhil in Management Coaching.

The Main Campus in Stellenbosch will be in a position to provide you with more information:

This one-year programme combines on-campus classes with blended learning classes, allowing you to study while you work. This also enables you apply your newly acquired skills in your workplace right from the start. It is better to work consistently and to manage your time well. To keep up and really enrich your experience of the PGDL you should be doing between 10 and 12 hours of work a week. The blended learning sessions will also set some time free as it allows you to join the class via any internet-linked smart phone, laptop or device. This means no travelling to USB, and minimum time away from work. Like with all worthwhile things in life, what you put in is what you will get out.


This programme aims to improve individua...