MBA Managing International Organisations

Learn how to apply responsible leadership in an international development context

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Course Overview
Course starts 23 January 2023
Fees R 316,864
Applications CLOSING DATES: BLENDED: SA & International - 09 December 2022; RPL - 31 October 2022
CLOSING DATES: MODULAR: SA & International - 15 December 2022; RPL - 31 October 2022

The MBA focal area in Managing International Organisations (MIO) will equip you with the tools, theories and frameworks to lead successfully in international development organisations that play a fundamental role in shaping the trajectory of global sustainable development at the interface of international politics, business and society.

International development organisations include the UN and its specialised agencies (like the World Health Organization, World Tourism Organization, and International Fund for Agricultural Development), global organisations like the World Bank, Red Cross, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the African Union, the World Economic Forum, the International Labour Organisation, and the broad spectrum of global philanthropic foundations. It also includes organisations working in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) contexts, such as the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and the Global Reporting Initiative, and organisations with global sustainability agendas.

The stream-specific modules of the MBA MIO, which are offered during the second year of enrolment, will enable you to integrate and apply your learning from the MBA core modules within the context of international organisations. Some of these lectures will be presented by senior UN leaders from the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) who have co-designed the MBA MIO with Stellenbosch Business School.

If you are looking for a meaningful career at an international development organisation, the MBA MIO will stand you in good stead.

  • Duration: 2 years (class programme and research assignment)
  • Format for Year 1: Choose between the modular format (in-class experience – blocks of classes spread over the year) and the blended learning format (digital class attendance) for the core modules of the generalist MBA during your first year. This means you can study while you work.
  • Format for stream-specific modules in Year 2: The specialisation modules during your second year are presented in blended learning format. Digital class attendance means minimum time away from work. Find more information about Blended Learning’s combination of technology with a strong human touch here.
  • How to apply: Click here to see the 8 steps of the application process

2023 Tuition Fees

South Africa


Tuition fees

Deposit   Application Fee


MBA Modular & Blended – Year 1


24,120 R1 050

R2 950

MBA Modular & Blended – Year 2





International Study Module (Y 2)








Tuition fees

Deposit   Application Fee


MBA Modular & Blended – Year 1


82,711 R1 050

R2 950

MBA Modular & Blended – Year 2





International Study Module (Y 2)






Rest of the World


Tuition fees

Deposit   Application Fee


MBA Modular & Blended – Year 1


101,133 R1 050

R2 950

MBA Modular & Blended – Year 2





International Study Module (Y 2)






  • Payment of full programme fees for South African students: Students can pay the full programme fees upon registration, or they can pay 75% of the annual fees by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. Students can also spread their payment over 2 years.
  • Payment of full programme fees for international students: International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The remainder is due two weeks before commencement of the programme.
  • Deposit: All students pay a deposit on acceptance of admission. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The deposit payable is non-refundable.
  • Application fee: The application fee must accompany the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • Additional fees for international students: International students pay an International Registration Fee (IRF) per academic year. Students from countries other than those in the Southern African Development Community also pay an International Tuition Fee (ITF) (i.e. students from SADC countries are exempt from the ITF).
  • Fees for 2024: The fees for the second year of enrolment (Modular MBA as well as Blended Learning MBA) will be adjusted to make provision for annual price increases. The programme fees for the Modular and Blended Learning MBA’s second year of enrolment are higher than for the first year of enrolment because the second year’s fees include the International Study Module.
  • International Study Module: The fees of the International Study Module are included in the total programme fees for the MBA. Note that the fees for the 2024 International Study Module may have to be adjusted based on the exchange rate.
  • Study materials: Study fees include books and study materials.
  • Travel and accommodation: Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and costs.
  • Fee changes: Stellenbosch Business School reserves the right to change the fees at any time.



Capitec’s credit for education solution

Capitec offers credit for education at a discounted rate which allows prospective students to apply for a loan of up to R250 000. To apply, the applicant must be permanently employed, 18 years or older, and have a valid South African ID document. A provisional quote or admission letter from Stellenbosch Business School is needed to process the credit application. You can only apply for Capitec’s credit solution through the Business School’s website. Initiation, service fees and T&Cs apply. Capitec Bank is an authorised financial services provider (FSP 46669) and registered credit provider (NCRCP13).


Certain banks grant loans at favourable interest rates. You may also contact FUNDI at

Study loans for students from West Africa

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, with its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, has partnered with the Business School to provide loan facilities for tuition expenses to our students in West Africa. The MaxAdvance facility is a time loan or term loan that aims to meet a range of personal needs for students.



2023 Modular (On campus)

Block 1: 13 – 18 February

Block 2: 27 March – 1 April

Block 3: 5 – 10 June

Block 4:  14 – 19 August

Block 5: 9 – 14 October


2023 Blended

Block 1: 23 January – 4 February (On campus)

Thereafter every Tuesday evening (7 February – 8 December) from 16:00-20:15 – Hyflex


The MBA focal area in Managing International Organisations (MIO) will equip you with the managerial and leadership skills to fulfil a role in international development organisations that shape the trajectory of sustainable development at the interface of international politics, business and society.

Year 1: Students who want to specialise in Managing International Organisations start with either the Modular MBA (blocks of classes spread over the year) or Blended Learning MBA (orientation block plus weekly classes online or on campus).

Year 2: During their specialisation year, MBA MIO students attend one on-campus block at the beginning of the year, followed by Blended Learning classes on Tuesdays (16:00 – 20:20) and one on-campus electives block towards the end of the year.

Core modules

Year 1: Core modules

  • Accounting for Decision-making
  • Business Communication
  • Business in Society
  • Contemporary Decision-Making
  • Digital Enterprise Management
  • Economics for Managers
  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Strategic Analysis
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Managerial Statistics
  • Operational Excellence
  • Strategic Management
  • Strategic Marketing and Branding

Year 2: Stream-specific Core Modules and electives

  • International Organisations Leadership
  • Diplomacy in Complex Systems
  • Finance for Development

You also need to do two electives from the MIO electives and/or general MBA electives.

Research assignment

You need to compile a research assignment of between 50 and 70 pages on a management-related problem in your work environment or specialisation. The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate how you can address business challenges through a robust research process. This experience will also give you the ability to make a value judgement on research presented at managerial level in the workplace.

Who should enrol?

  • Professionals or managers working in international organisations, development agencies, and foundations or NGOs, and who want to fast-track their careers
  • Managers from private and public sector institutions who want to expand their cross-sector agility, especially by improving their skills for leadership in complex and conflict-ridden multi-stakeholder contexts
  • Professionals who want to prepare themselves to work in international development organisations or in organisations with a strong environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) agenda


Stellenbosch Business School’s MBA aims to develop you into a responsible leader, expert decision maker, strategic thinker, effective communicator and steward of society.

Our MBA is rigorous, as can be expected from a programme with three international accreditations. It balances solid quantitative modules with personal development and leadership skills. Management tools and techniques from disciplines such as strategic management, economics, operations, finance and marketing are important core competencies of the MBA graduate. This is balanced by competencies such as responsible leadership, communication and understanding the role of business in society in order to develop the skills of adaptability, flexibility, self-awareness and contextual awareness – all of which are in high demand in the business environment.

One of the key differentiators of our MBA is the Leadership Module which focuses on responsible leadership and allows you to develop your own authentic leadership style. The International Study Module at a foreign business school offers you a global perspective that supports the other elements of this course. Collaborative learning – where students learn from each other – is another key feature of our MBA. The unique knowledge from each student adds depth to collaborative learning.

You can customise up to 30% of your MBA depending on which electives, International Study Module and stream (General, Health Care Leadership, Management of International Organisations, and Project Management) you select, and on the topic of your Research Assignment.

Our MBA provides you with a transformative learning experience to acquire the leadership skills, thinking frameworks and capabilities you need to find your way forward.

Who should enrol?

MBA with generalist modules:

  • Those who want senior-level business management expertise to apply in businesses ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to multinational corporations in any business sector.
  • Managers, professionals, specialists and entrepreneurs who want to acquire responsible leadership skills, exceptional decision-making skills, strategic thinking skills, effective communication skills and an understanding of the role of business in society.

MBA stream with modules in Managing International Organisations (MBA MIO):

  • Professionals or managers working in international organisations, development agencies, and foundations or NGOs, and who want to fast-track their careers
  • Managers from private and public sector institutions who want to expand their cross-sector agility, especially by improving their skills for leadership in complex and conflict-ridden multi-stakeholder contexts
  • Professionals who want to transition to working in international development organisations or in organisations with a strong environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) agenda

MBA stream with modules in Health Care Leadership (MBA HCL):

  • Clinicians and general practitioners who want to take on managerial and leadership roles in the health care industry, group practices or government
  • General practitioners who wish to scale up and broaden their contextual understanding of business
  • Managers and professionals in private-sector and public-sector health care delivery systems and institutions, in pharmaceutical or health technology businesses, in regulatory, oversight and other organisations (such as SAMA, HPCSA, HASA, SAIHCM), or in public-sector positions (such as Deputy Director-General, CEO or Superintendent)
  • Senior nurses in public or private hospitals who lead large teams and operate on senior level with high-impact responsibilities
  • Health insurance specialists, medical aid specialists, underwriters and claims processing team leaders and managers
  • Those who would like to prepare themselves for a career in in health care leadership, even if they do not have a background in health care.

MBA stream in Project Management (MBA PM):

  • Project managers looking to transition into senior business manager roles
  • Project managers looking to transition into a senior project manager role, such as a Chief Project Officer
  • Project or business managers looking to transition into programme or portfolio manager roles
  • Project managers looking to move into a different industry
  • Project managers who intend to become (or who are) independent consultants
  • Business managers wishing to improve their understanding of project management in the business context
  • MBA candidates with a keen interest to develop their competencies and understanding of project management
  • Stellenbosch Business School’s PGDip Project Management graduates who wish to further their careers in this field
  • Entrepreneurs looking to capitalise on the growth in the project management domain

What you need to apply

The SA Council on Higher Education requires MBA applicants to have one of these qualifications:

  • 4-year Bachelor’s degree (NQF level 8), OR
  • Honours/Postgraduate degree (NQF level 8), OR
  • 3-year Bachelor’s degree (NQF level 7) plus a postgraduate diploma (NQF level 8)
  • Additional requirement for students enrolling for the MBA stream in Project Management: A Project Management course on NQF level 8, for which credits can be considered in respect of required electives


  • Recognition of prior learning (RPL): The Business School provides wider access to its programmes through its RPL process. This means that, even if you do not have the required qualifications, you can still apply based on the management experience you have gained. You still need to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students, plus additional requirements as set out under Recognition of prior learning elsewhere in this brochure.
  • International students: International students require a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluation certificate to evaluate their degrees according to South African standards. The Business School’s International Affairs Office will first handle the credential evaluations of international students free of charge. Students need to complete the online application and upload all certificates with their application. The International Affairs Office will, as part of the application process, conduct an in-house credential evaluation after you have submitted your application. However, should the International Affairs Office be uncertain about the status, recognition or accreditation of your qualification, we reserve the right to refer you to SAQA before we consider your application further.
  • Vetting process: All degrees undergo a formal vetting process to eliminate fraudulent applications.
  • Obtaining a qualification to enrol for an MBA: One of the qualifications that can give access to our MBA is a postgraduate diploma on NQF level 8. We offer a range of redesigned PGDips which can give you access to our MBA or MPhil degrees. The preferred one is the PGDip Business Management and Administration (PGDip BMA). Graduates of our PGDip BMA who continue with our MBA will get recognition for 32 credits (15%) on the MBA.

Other requirements

  • At least 3 years of relevant full-time working experience, preferably on managerial level
  • Mathematics at NSC (Grade 12) level or equivalent is highly recommended
  • A comprehensive CV
  • 2 essays, showing the candidate’s level of motivation and working experience (see below)
  • Satisfactory selection test results (see below)
  • Additional requirement for students enrolling for MBA stream in Project Management: A Project Management course on NQF level 8, for which credits can be considered in respect of required elective.

Writing the two essays

You need to write two essays on the topics indicated below. The essays serve two purposes. First, they provide us with additional information about your personal and professional background. Second, they provide us with additional insight into your writing ability, a skill that is critical in completing the MBA degree.

Each essay must be between 300 and 500 words. (Please indicate the word count at the end of each essay, and submit one PDF document containing both essays.

  • External development perspective: Summarise your development as a leader with emphasis on the individuals, processes and institutions that have played a major part in your development. Conclude with your reasons for choosing Stellenbosch Business School, and why it fits your criteria as an institution at which you can continue your career development.
  • Personal development perspective: Summarise your personal development, the challenges you have experienced, how you have dealt with these challenges, what you have learned from this and the insight that you have gained about yourself and your role in business and society. Conclude with your current developmental needs and why this programme is important for your development given your desired future.

Selection tests

You need to do a selection test as part your application process. We accept the SHL and GMAT selection tests. These tests are recognised internationally.

SHL selection test

You need to complete the SHL abilities selection test as part of your application process. The test consists of a verbal critical reasoning assessment, numerical critical reasoning assessment, inductive reasoning test, and Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) on behavioural preferences, which are used for selection and for the identification of your development areas.

The SHL is about determining your strengths and growth areas. It is not about failing or passing. The early identification of growth areas allows you to prepare yourself well and focus your efforts on academic and career success. As a responsible institution, we need to ensure that all students admitted are provided with the best possible chance to succeed in their studies and careers. The SHL is used in combination with the essays required as part of the application process, prior academic results and work experience to form a clear picture on which to base admission and development decisions.

  • Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
  • Preparation: No preparation is required. However, you are encouraged to perform a practice test to familiarise yourself with the test format. See
  • About the test: The SHL test is done online. (Random verification might be requested.) You will be provided with a link to the SHL test once you have paid your MBA application fee and SHL selection test fee, and after you have submitted your application form and have received your provisional student number. (You need to use this provisional student number when writing the SHL.)
  • Cost: For fees, please see (click on Fees tab). See bank details under How to apply and use your provisional student number as reference. The application fee and SHL selection test fee can be paid online, and they are non-refundable.
  • Link to the SHL selection test: You do not have to arrange with the Business School to write the SHL test. You will receive a link to the test once the relevant payments have been received and you have submitted your application form. The Business School will receive your results directly from SHL and will upload it to your application form on your behalf.
  • Additional information:
  • Important: The SHL selection test is valid for 18 months. If your SHL selection test results are older than this, you should ideally rewrite the test as people grow and develop, and assessments need to take this into account. We do not consider SHL tests from other institutions as you may have written a different type or level of test, or you may have been compared to a different comparison group. If you have completed the SHL with Stellenbosch Business School during the past 18 months, you do not have to rewrite the test.

GMAT selection test

The GMAT consists of three timed sections, namely an analytical writing assessment, a quantitative assessment and a verbal assessment. A copy of the results will automatically be forwarded to the Business School.

  • Duration: About 4 hours.
  • When and where: This test is not administered by Stellenbosch Business School. International students need to contact the Regional Registration Centre in the Netherlands on 0931 320 239 593 or go to SA students need to contact Pearson VUE Professional Centre in Johannesburg on +27 (0)11 784 3093 or 0800 995 044 or at [email protected]
  • Cost: $250 (2021). Find more information at

Recognition of Prior Learning

We provide wider access to our programmes through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. In line with the requirements of the Council on Higher Education, we may admit up to 10% of our student body per programme 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 MBA students under the RPL policy need to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 6 qualification (all school and academic certificates are required).
  • Exemption to this rule is available for outstanding applicants who hold a Senior Certificate (NQF 4) and who have provided evidence of high performance and likely success on the MBA through admission selection scores that are at least 20% higher than the average scores achieved by MBA students (currently SHL score > 7; GMAT score > 650) and relevant work experience of 10 years. The approval for such RPL candidates requires the head of the department’s support in addition to the RPL Committee’s decision on the application.
  • Have at least SIX years of working experience after obtaining the qualification mentioned in the first bullet point, of which at least THREE years should have been in a management or a related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating, in detail, areas of responsibility in the work environment as well as activities outside the work environment.
  • Provide Stellenbosch Business School with at least two references (typically current or former line heads) who can testify about the candidate’s managerial or related professional abilities. The references will be asked to give a detailed personal reference of the candidate on forms that can be download from the application form.
  • Submit the SHL/GMAT selection test results.
  • Write and submit two motivational essays (specific topics are provided).
  • Conduct an in-depth interview with the Head of the MBA programme and one other academic staff member constituting the RPL Committee.

The RPL selection process entails the following:

  • The programme head and another academic will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate and make a recommendation about admission.
  • The Admissions Committee will consider the full application including the interview recommendation and the inputs received from the references for admission.
  • A notice of admission is sent via the Business School’s Academic Planning Committee to the Board of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences for notification.
  • RPL candidates need to apply by 31 October of each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.

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