MBA Project Management

Become proficient in the business management of projects

  • Blended
  • Course
  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
Course Overview
Course starts Beginning of 2022
Application closes 03 December (SA and international) | 31 Oct (RPL)

Project management is universally accepted as a scarce skill. Proficient project managers are in high demand. It is therefore completely understandable that Fortune Magazine has identified project management as the number one career choice.

Companies are looking for professionals who are proficient in both project management fundamentals and key business disciplines such as strategy, finance, operations management and marketing. These highly skilled professionals offer a unique value proposition as they are able to bridge the understanding between the project management and business management elements of the entity. Traditionally, project management has been associated with the construction, engineering and energy sectors. Now, newer industries such as IT management, health care management, financial services and research also employ project managers.

By honing your project leadership skills and project management skills on MBA level, you will help to create a strategic value chain that gives your company an edge on competitors.

  • 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. See how blended learning works at USB.

These are the dates for 2021. The dates for 2022 will be added once they have been finalised.


Application deadlines

  • South African applicants: 03 December (SHL and application deadline)
  • RPL applicants: 31 October each year
  • Applicants from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 03 December
  • Applicants from rest of world: 03 December
Year 1
Do 1 block followed by weekly classes
Block 1
18 – 30 January (Block on campus)
9 February – 10 December (every Tuesday from 16:00-20:15)

Programme tuition fees for 2022

Students from South Africa 2022 2023 Total
MBA Modular and Blended (excludes ISM)*  R148 838  R144 541  R293 380
Students from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries
MBA Modular and Blended (excludes ISM)* R153 503  R149 206 R302 710
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC)
MBA Modular and Blended (excludes ISM)* R158 718 R154 421 R313 140
Students from the rest of world
MBA Modular and Blended(excludes ISM)* R188 743 R184 446 R373 190
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2022 (Included in tuition fees)
Students from South Africa R22 326
Students from SADC countries R76 752
International students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R79 359
International students from the rest of the world R94 372
Application fee and SHL tests for 2022
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all MBA students) R1 050
SHL selection test fee R2 950
GMAT selection test fee $250

*Fees exclude our compulsory International Study module of $6920 invoiced in year two.

  • 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. International admitted students can also spread their payment over 2 years.
  • 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 2023: 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. The cost of USB’s International Study Module amounts to US$6920. This is linked to the rand-dollar 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: USB reserves the right to change the fees at any time.


Capitec offers credit for education at a discounted rate from 7% which allows prospective students, or their parents or guardians, to apply for a loan of up to R250 000 and pay it back over 84 months. 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 USB is needed to process the credit application. You can only apply for Capitec’s credit solution through USB’s website. See for details.

Initiation, service fees and T&Cs apply. Capitec Bank is an authorised financial services provider (FSP 46669) and registered credit provider (NCRCP13).


  • Year 1: Students who want to specialise in Project Management 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 PM 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 

  • Project Portfolio Finance
  • Project Portfolio Management
  • Project Management Innovations


Electives are only applicable in year 2. You can 2 choose from the following list of electives:

  • The electives from USB’s generalist MBA

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.

USB’s MBA degree 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 USB’s MBA degree 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 a key feature of the USB MBA degree. The unique knowledge from each student adds depth to collaborative learning.

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 – regardless of whether you see your future self in an executive, managerial, specialist or entrepreneurial position.

This is what you need to apply for an MBA at USB:

Academic qualifications
The South African Council on Higher Education requires MBA applicants to have one of the following 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)


  • 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.

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 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

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 MBA 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).
  • 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 USB 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 USB with at least two referents who can testify about the candidate’s managerial or related professional abilities (typically current or former line managers). The referents will be asked to give a detailed personal reference of the candidate on forms that can be downloaded on 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 USB 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.
  • USB’s 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 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 of each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.


SHL selection test
 The SHL consists of a verbal critical reasoning assessment, numerical critical reasoning assessment, inductive reasoning test and the Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) that focuses on behavioural preferences.

The SHL is not about failing or passing. It is about determining your strengths and growth areas. 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, USB needs 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 essay(s) 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. Click here for more information on how we use the SHL to help students.


  • Duration: Approximately 3 hours. No preparation is required beforehand.
  • When and where: Applicants need to arrange with USB to do the test online. A link will be sent to you once you have paid the relevant fees. The SHL test is done online from wherever you have internet access. (The SHL selection test is done without supervision although random security tests will be required.)
  • Cost: You can only take the SHL test once you have started your electronic application process because you will need a provisional student number for payments and for the SHL reports (which will be linked to your electronic application). This means you need to pay the SHL selection test fee plus the MBA application fee (in order to obtain a provisional student number). For fees, please see See bank details under How to apply and use your provisional student number as a reference.
  • Book: Contact USB on telephone 021 918 4239 or e-mail [email protected]
  • Additional information: Go to

Note: Your SHL test results form part of your application package. The results must therefore be available to the USB Admissions Office before the closing date for applications.

Mr MC Botha

MC Botha is the coordinator of USB’s MBA stream in Project Management and the programme facilitator of USB’s Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management. His research interest is the interface between business and project teams in the capital projects value chain, shared services as organisational architecture in a project environment, and organisational dimensions sustaining project management. He holds an MBA (Specialisation in Project Management) from USB. He consults to a wide range of clients in the private and public sectors.

Find the perfect course for you

  • Who should enrol?
  • What will you gain?
  • 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
  • USB Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management graduates who wish to further their careers in this field
  • Entrepreneurs looking to capitalise on the growth in the project management domain
  • Responsible leadership skills: You will explore personal, relationship and organisational or strategic leadership, ultimately leading to organisational performance. This bespoke journey spans the entire MBA.
  • The ability to operate on senior management level: You will gain an astute understanding of all aspects of business, enabling you to operate at senior management level in any industry. You will know how to design and implement strategies, solve complex problems, operate in a global environment, and understand the role of business in society.
  • The ability to function globally: The competencies acquired can be applied in any industry and in any country. You will also attend an International Study Module at an international business school and touch base with global companies.
  • Expert decision-making skills: You will acquire decision-making skills based on a combination of numeric methods and qualitative techniques. This will enable you to analyse and contextualise information, and to support complex business decisions.
  • Strategic thinking: You will learn how to analyse a business environment and to formulate suitable strategies or strategic solutions. You will also learn how to apply cross-cultural skills and a global understanding in your business interactions.
  • An understanding of the interlinked roles of organisational departments: This will allow you to manage across functional areas, gain insight into the workings of the organisation and make well-informed decisions.
  • Domain expertise in project management: This knowledge – on MBA level – will enable you to combine project leadership skills with project management skills. This will give you the ability to bridge the understanding between project management and business management. You will therefore contribute directly to the strategic value chain that gives your company an edge on competitors.

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