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 14 February
Application closes 15 December (SA) / 15 November (International)

At this point in your career, you know how to manage. But can you lead? USB’s Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Development is particularly suited to help you unlock the skills you need to show up as a leader. You will, among others, find your own authentic leadership voice, develop your leadership competencies, learn to get people to work together to enhance performance, see the bigger picture and make strategy “come alive through people”.

This one-year programme is presented at NQF level 8, the equivalent of an Honours degree. It is presented in blended learning format, allowing you to study while you work.

ABOUT BLENDED LEARNING: The blended learning format enables you to attend class on campus or remotely via an internet-linked laptop. This means you will be able to immerse yourself in a premium learning experience from wherever you are in the world. We have been investing in this technology since 2015 and our lecturers are trained in the art of virtual facilitation and teaching. See how blended learning works at USB.

These are the dates for 2022.

Application deadlines

South African applicants: 15 December

RPL applicants: 31 October

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)
14 – 19 February
Block 2 (Remote classes from 08:00-18:15 daily)
04 – 09 April
Block 3 (Remote classes from 08:00-18:15 daily)
06 - 11 June
Block 4 (Remote classes from 08:00-18:15 daily)
15 - 20 August
Block 5 (On campus)
24 – 29 October

The fees below are the tuition fees for 2021 (with fee relief incorporated). Programme fees for 2022 will be published once this information becomes available.

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 2022
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 one-year programme is presented in blended learning format. It combines on-campus classes with blended learning sessions, allowing you to study while you work. This also enables you to start applying your newly acquired skills in your workplace right from the start while receiving comprehensive support throughout your studies.

The on-campus block at the start of the programme enables you to meet your lecturers and fellow classmates, 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 on-campus blocks will be presented online depending on Covid restrictions.)

The blended learning sessions allow you to join the class via any internet-linked laptop. This format means minimum time away from work. It also lowers the opportunity cost to do this programme at USB as it reduces travel costs. See how blended learning works at USB.

1 on-campus or online block in Feb  

→ Various online sessions (blended learning format) →

1 on-campus or online block in Nov

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

The content of this programme is rooted in academic research and internationally benchmarked theory and practices. The main objective is to encourage students to combine academic rigour and experiential learning which is applied within the larger framework of internationally benchmarked 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 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.

This postgraduate qualification will provide you with a transformative learning experience to acquire the leadership skills, thinking frameworks and capabilities you need to find your way forward – regardless of whether you see your future self in an executive, managerial, specialist or entrepreneurial position.

What you need to apply

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


  • International students require a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluation certificate to evaluate their degrees according to South African standards. USB’s International Affairs Office will handle the credential evaluations of international students free of charge. You therefore need to complete the online application, and upload all certificates to your application. The International Office will, as part of the application process, conduct an in-house credential evaluation after you have submitted your application.
  • All degrees undergo a formal vetting process to eliminate fraudulent applications.

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 on Higher Education (CHE), USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under RPL. Candidates who wish to be admitted under the RPL policy will firstly have to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective students under the RPL policy 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. The candidate will also be requested to write an essay motivating why they want to enrol and how this programme will contribute to their leadership journey.
  • 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. These references will be required to give a detailed personal reference about the candidate on forms provided by USB.
  • Complete a pre-interview screening.

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 31 October each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.

USB offers two Postgraduate Diplomas in Leadership Development – one for those who want to prepare themselves for leadership in any industry sector, and one for those who want to lead in the NPO sector.

Students need to select which PGDip in Leadership Development they want to follow 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, generalist students follow the generalist modules while NPO students follow the NPO-focused modules.

All students will graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Development from Stellenbosch University. (Focal areas are indicated on certificates – i.e. “Leadership in NPO sector”.)

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

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

Dr Natasha Winkler-Titus

Dr Winkler-Titus is work psychologist with more than 25 years of experience in people leadership, executive development and management consulting. She has received awards in South Africa and in the UK for her work on organisational psychology and organisational change. She believes in using her influence and platforms to empower others toward significance, and to drive societal change and transformation. Her research interests include leadership and organisational behaviour.

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.

MBA Managing International Organisations
  • Who should enrol?
  • What will you gain?
  • People in the private, public and social sectors 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



‘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...