Postgraduate Diploma in
Project Management​

Learn how to confidently manage projects in a competitive business environment

  • Modular
  • Blended
  • Course
  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
Course Overview
Course starts 14 February 2022
Application closes 15 Nov (SA and international) | 31 Oct (RPL)

USB’s internationally accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management incorporates advanced management skills and strategic project management skills, allowing you to fill senior-level positions in any organisation. This will allow you to confidently manage projects in a competitive business environment.

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

This PGDip is the only qualification of its kind delivered by a business school in South Africa. Passed at a certain level, it can provide access to an MBA.

NEW! This PGDip has been redesigned to give you unrivalled flexibility. Among others, you can choose the format (blended learning or modular) and duration (1 year or 2 years), making it easier for you to study while you work. See how USB’s redesigned PGDips can benefit you.

These are the dates for 2022.

Application deadlines

South African applicants: 15 November each year (SHL and application deadline)

RPL applicants: 31 October each year

Applicants from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 15 November each year

Applicants from rest of world: 15 November each year

Year 1
4 Blocks
Block 2
14 – 19 February (Orientation on the Monday)
Block 2
09 – 13 May
Block 3
15 – 19 August
Block 4
31 October – 4 November
Provisional Programme fees for 2022 Total
Students from South Africa R92 000
Students from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R96 950
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R102 048
Students from the rest of the world R171 788
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2022
Students from South Africa R14 336
Students from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R48 475
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R51 024
Students from the rest of the world R85 894
Application fee for 2022
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R850
SHL fee
Applicable to all students R750
  • 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.

Overview

Foundation phase modules and specialisation phase modules

The modules of the PGDip in Project Management are split into a foundation phase (covering skills, frameworks and tools you can apply in any field of work) and a specialisation phase (programme-specific modules).

You need to do 4 of the following 5 foundation phase modules:

  • Term 1: Understanding the World
  • Term 2: Responsible Leadership
  • Term 3: Managing of Projects
  • Term 4: Organisational Behaviour OR Managing Risk and Uncertainty

You also need to do the 4 specialisation phase modules:

  • Term 1: Project Communication Management
  • Term 2: Project Procurement Contracting
  • Term 3: Project Scheduling
  • Term 4: Project Integration Management

Choose between 2 formats: Blended learning and modular

  • Blended Learning classes: Late-afternoon classes once every week for those doing their PGDip over 1 year, or once every fortnight for those doing their PGDip over 2 years. The blended learning classes are presented online (and also on campus depending on Covid restrictions). Classes are presented on Wednesday afternoons from 16:00 till 20:15, and for some foundation modules on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons from 16:00 till 20:15. The online classes are presented synchronously with the on-campus classes. The flexibility of digital class attendance means minimum time away from work. The blended learning delivery option opens up access to students from elsewhere in South Africa, from other African countries and even further afield. This also lowers the opportunity cost to obtain this postgraduate diploma as you can attend all classes online.
  • Modular classes: Four full blocks of classes spread over the year if you are doing the 1-year PGDip (i.e. morning and afternoon classes from Monday to Friday), or four blocks of either morning or afternoon classes per year if you are doing the two-year PGDip (i.e. morning or afternoon classes from Monday to Friday). The modular classes are presented on campus, which translates into in-class experience and focused studies without work interruptions.

Choose between 2 duration options: 1 year or 2 years

1-year PGDip 2-year PGDip
Number of modules: 8 Number of modules: 8
Delivery mode for all modules (foundation and specialisation):

  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session per week for 40 weeks + 4 weeks of assessments
  • Modular format: 4 full modular blocks spread over the year (i.e. mornings and afternoons)
Delivery of foundation modules in Year 1:

  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session once every second week
  • Modular format: 4 block weeks per year with classes either in the morning or the afternoon Delivery of specialisation modules in Year 2:
  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session once every second week
  • Modular format: 4 block weeks per year with classes either in the morning or the afternoon
Notes:

  • Each modular block runs from Monday to Friday, except the first modular block which runs from Monday to Saturday.
  • Students who select the 2-year option will be able to pay their fees over 2 years.

USB’s internationally accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management focuses on the business management of projects. This will allow you to confidently manage and contextualise projects in a competitive business. It is the only qualification of its kind delivered by a business school in South Africa.

The programme content is covered from a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspective that will help you to understand and manage the complex challenges faced by top-level project managers. A natural progression after completing the PGDip PM will be to consider our MBA with the Project Management focal area. This qualification capacitates managers to deal with project strategy on portfolio and sponsorship level.

This postgraduate programme requires high-level engagement with theoretical frameworks and international literature, and reflection on national and international project management practices. Among others, students will be asked to formulate recommendations that indicate critical thinking.

This PGDip reflects on both the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide, 6th edition) as well as Prince 2® Methodology.

Students will also benefit from the business school’s collaboration with leading project management bodies locally and globally. USB has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Project Management Institute South Africa Chapter.  The Project Management Institute is the world’s leading not-for-profit professional membership organisation for the project management profession. USB is also associated with Project Management South Africa (PMSA), which recognises this qualification towards the designation of either Professional Project Manager or Senior Project Manager.

Academic qualifications and other admission criteria

  • Academic qualifications: At least a relevant Bachelor’s or Honours degree
  • Work experience: A minimum of 2 years of relevant experience in a project management position in an organisation
  • Selection test: SHL selection test (see below). This test is done online.
  • Essay: You need to write an essay (see below).
  • Additional documentation: A comprehensive CV indicating your work experience.
  • Highly recommended: Mathematical skills equal to NQF Level 4

Note:

  • 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.

SHL selection test

You need to complete the SHL abilities selection test as part of your application process. The test consists of verbal, numerical and inductive reasoning tests, which are used for selection and for the identification of your development areas.

  • Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours.
  • Preparation: No preparation is required. However, you are encouraged to perform a practice test to familiarise yourself with the test format. See shl.com/shldirect/en-us/practice-tests/
  • 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 PGDip BMA 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 usb.ac.za/project-management (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.
  • Link to the SHL selection test: You do not have to arrange with USB 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. USB will receive your results directly from SHL and will upload it to your application form on your behalf.
  • Additional information: shl.com/en/assessments/cognitive-ability/
  • 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. USB does 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 USB during the past 18 months, you do not have to rewrite the test.

Motivational essay

Write an essay of between 400 and 500 words on the topic outlined below and submit it in PDF format. Please indicate the word count at the end of your essay:

USB aspires to be a source of value for a better world. How are your career goals aligned with being a source of value for a better world, and how would this postgraduate programme assist you in achieving your short-term (2 to 3 years) and long-term (10 years) career goals?

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, USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under RPL. RPL candidates need to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective RPL candidates applying for a Postgraduate Diploma at USB have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 4 qualification.
  • Have at least ten years of working experience after obtaining a school leaving certificate, of which at least five years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information of 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.

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 Postgraduate Diploma, 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 to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.
  • Course
  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
Course Overview
Course starts 17 January 2022
Application closes 15 Nov (SA and international) | 31 Oct (RPL)

USB’s internationally accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management incorporates advanced management skills and strategic project management skills, allowing you to fill senior-level positions in any organisation. This will allow you to confidently manage projects in a competitive business environment.

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

This PGDip is the only qualification of its kind delivered by a business school in South Africa. Passed at a certain level, it can provide access to an MBA.

NEW! This PGDip has been redesigned to give you unrivalled flexibility. Among others, you can choose the format (blended learning or modular) and duration (1 year or 2 years), making it easier for you to study while you work. See how USB’s redesigned PGDips can benefit you.

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 November each year (SHL and application deadline)
  • RPL applicants: 31 October each year
  • Applicants from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 15 November each year
  • Applicants from rest of world: 15 November each year
Orientation
17 January
Classes
18 January - 05 December (Tuesday evenings from 16:00-20:15)
Provisional Programme fees for 2022 Total
Students from South Africa R92 000
Students from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R96 950
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R102 048
Students from the rest of the world R171 788
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2022
Students from South Africa R14 336
Students from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R48 475
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R51 024
Students from the rest of the world R85 894
Application fee for 2022
Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students) R850
SHL fee
Applicable to all students R750
  • 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.

Overview

Foundation phase modules and specialisation phase modules

The modules of the PGDip in Project Management are split into a foundation phase (covering skills, frameworks and tools you can apply in any field of work) and a specialisation phase (programme-specific modules).

You need to do 4 of the following 5 foundation phase modules:

  • Term 1: Understanding the World
  • Term 2: Responsible Leadership
  • Term 3: Managing of Projects
  • Term 4: Organisational Behaviour OR Managing Risk and Uncertainty

You also need to do the 4 specialisation phase modules:

  • Term 1: Project Communication Management
  • Term 2: Project Procurement Contracting
  • Term 3: Project Scheduling
  • Term 4: Project Integration Management

Choose between 2 formats: Blended learning and modular

  • Blended Learning classes: Late-afternoon classes once every week for those doing their PGDip over 1 year, or once every fortnight for those doing their PGDip over 2 years. The blended learning classes are presented online (and also on campus depending on Covid restrictions). Classes are presented on Wednesday afternoons from 16:00 till 20:15, and for some foundation modules on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons from 16:00 till 20:15. The online classes are presented synchronously with the on-campus classes. The flexibility of digital class attendance means minimum time away from work. The blended learning delivery option opens up access to students from elsewhere in South Africa, from other African countries and even further afield. This also lowers the opportunity cost to obtain this postgraduate diploma as you can attend all classes online.
  • Modular classes: Four full blocks of classes spread over the year if you are doing the 1-year PGDip (i.e. morning and afternoon classes from Monday to Friday), or four blocks of either morning or afternoon classes per year if you are doing the two-year PGDip (i.e. morning or afternoon classes from Monday to Friday). The modular classes are presented on campus, which translates into in-class experience and focused studies without work interruptions.

Choose between 2 duration options: 1 year or 2 years

1-year PGDip 2-year PGDip
Number of modules: 8 Number of modules: 8
Delivery mode for all modules (foundation and specialisation):

  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session per week for 40 weeks + 4 weeks of assessments
  • Modular format: 4 full modular blocks spread over the year (i.e. mornings and afternoons)
Delivery of foundation modules in Year 1:

  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session once every second week
  • Modular format: 4 block weeks per year with classes either in the morning or the afternoon Delivery of specialisation modules in Year 2:
  • Blended learning format: 1 late afternoon session once every second week
  • Modular format: 4 block weeks per year with classes either in the morning or the afternoon
Notes:

  • Each modular block runs from Monday to Friday, except the first modular block which runs from Monday to Saturday.
  • Students who select the 2-year option will be able to pay their fees over 2 years.

USB’s internationally accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management focuses on the business management of projects. This will allow you to confidently manage and contextualise projects in a competitive business. It is the only qualification of its kind delivered by a business school in South Africa.

The programme content is covered from a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspective that will help you to understand and manage the complex challenges faced by top-level project managers. A natural progression after completing the PGDip PM will be to consider our MBA with the Project Management focal area. This qualification capacitates managers to deal with project strategy on portfolio and sponsorship level.

This postgraduate programme requires high-level engagement with theoretical frameworks and international literature, and reflection on national and international project management practices. Among others, students will be asked to formulate recommendations that indicate critical thinking.

This PGDip reflects on both the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide, 6th edition) as well as Prince 2® Methodology.

Students will also benefit from the business school’s collaboration with leading project management bodies locally and globally. USB has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Project Management Institute South Africa Chapter.  The Project Management Institute is the world’s leading not-for-profit professional membership organisation for the project management profession. USB is also associated with Project Management South Africa (PMSA), which recognises this qualification towards the designation of either Professional Project Manager or Senior Project Manager.

Academic qualifications and other admission criteria

  • Academic qualifications: At least a relevant Bachelor’s or Honours degree
  • Work experience: A minimum of 2 years of relevant experience in a project management position in an organisation
  • Selection test: SHL selection test (see below). This test is done online.
  • Essay: You need to write an essay (see below).
  • Additional documentation: A comprehensive CV indicating your work experience.
  • Highly recommended: Mathematical skills equal to NQF Level 4

Note:

  • 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.

SHL selection test

You need to complete the SHL abilities selection test as part of your application process. The test consists of verbal, numerical and inductive reasoning tests that are used for selection, and identification of your development areas.

  • Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours.
  • Preparation: No preparation is required. You are encouraged to perform a practice test to familiarise yourself with the test format at: shl.com/shldirect/en-us/practice-tests/
  • How: The SHL test is online. You will be provided with a link after payment of the relevant fees.
  • When: You can only take the SHL test after starting your application because you will need a provisional student number. The link to the test is supplied after payment of the SHL selection test fee plus the PGDip in Project Management application fee.
  • Cost: For fees, please see usb.ac.za/project-management. See bank details under How to apply and use your provisional student number as reference.
  • Additional information: shl.com/en/assessments/cognitive-ability/

Motivational essay

Write an essay of between 400 and 500 words on the topic outlined below and submit it in PDF format. Please indicate the word count at the end of your essay:

USB aspires to be a source of value for a better world. How are your career goals aligned with being a source of value for a better world, and how would this postgraduate programme assist you in achieving your short-term (2 to 3 years) and long-term (10 years) career goals?

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, USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under RPL. RPL candidates need to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective RPL candidates applying for a Postgraduate Diploma at USB have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 4 qualification.
  • Have at least ten years of working experience after obtaining a school leaving certificate, of which at least five years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information of 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.

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 Postgraduate Diploma, 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 to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.
PROGRAMME HEAD
Mr MC Botha

 

MC Botha is heading USB’s Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management. He is also coordinator of the MBA stream in Project Management and an executive of USB-ED’s Centre for Project Management Intelligence. 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 from USB, and consults to clients in the private and public sectors.

Programme Ambassadors

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


  • Who should enrol?
  • What will you gain?
  • Project managers from the whole spectrum of middle, senior and executive management levels in all economic sectors and in all types of private and public enterprises
  • Managers who have the potential to be promoted to higher management positions
  • Those who need an NQF level 8 qualification to apply for an MBA
  • The ability to manage projects confidently because you have both project management skills and business management skills. The programme incorporates advanced management competencies and strategic project management skills, allowing graduates to fill senior-level positions in any organisation.
  • A sought-after skill because proper project management competencies are scare all over the world. (Fortune Magazine says project management is the number one career choice.)
  • The ability to take on managerial positions in any type of business (from SMEs and NGOs to corporates and global players) in any industry (not only construction, engineering and the energy sectors but also newer industries like IT management, health care management, financial services and research)
  • The ability to contribute to the empowerment of the workforce
  • Access to an MBA, because this programme is presented on NQF level 8 which is the equivalent of an Honours degree

Testimonials from our alumni

‘I find this programme practical but also relevant for today’s dynamic world. I was particularly impressed with the emotional intelligence and conflict management modules. It is pivotal to emphasise people skills as a critical requirement in the selection of project champions.’

Zepho Malunga, PGDip in Project Management, Senior Cost Engineer, PetroSA,

‘This programme allows me to further my professional development as a leader while meeting excellent professors and business leaders in an international setting combined with a great class atmosphere.’

Jacques Sowden, PGDip in Project Management, Contract Manager, Group Five Building (Coastal),

‘The tools and techniques acquired through this programme have helped me to deliver successful projects at work and in social environments. Because the programme also focuses on leadership development and emotional intelligence, I’ve learnt how to effectively deal with the realities of working with people.’

Lorna Ntwalana, PGDip in Project Management, Applications Specialist, PetroSA,

FAQs

Firstly, project management is universally accepted as a scarce skill. It is therefore completely understandable that Fortune Magazine identified Project Management as the number one career choice.

Secondly, companies are looking for professionals who are skilled in both project management fundamentals and key business disciplines such as strategy, finance, operations management and marketing. These professionals offer a unique value proposition as they are able to bridge the understanding between project management and the business management of projects. That is why USB’s Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management incorporates advanced management skills and strategic project management skills, allowing you to fill senior-level positions in any organisation.

Thirdly, you will be able to work in a wider range of industries. Traditionally, project managers worked in the construction, engineering and energy sectors. Now, newer industries such as IT management, health care management, financial services and research also employ qualified project managers.

Fourthly, you can gain access to an MBA if you pass at a certain level.

Lastly, this project management qualification is internationally accredited and offered at a business school.

This PGDip has been redesigned to give you unrivalled flexibility. Among others, you can choose the format (blended learning or modular) and duration (1 year or 2 years), making it easier for you to study while you work.

For this PGDip, the blended learning classes are presented as late-afternoon classes (from 16:00 till 20:15) once every week for those doing their PGDip over 1 year, or once every fortnight for those doing their PGDip over 2 years. The blended learning classes are presented online (and also on campus depending on Covid restrictions). The flexibility of digital class attendance means minimum time away from work. This also lowers the opportunity cost to obtain this PGDip as you can attend all classes online.

The modular classes are presented as four full blocks of classes spread over the year if you are doing the 1-year PGDip (i.e. morning and afternoon classes from Monday to Friday), or four blocks of either morning or afternoon classes per year if you are doing the two-year PGDip (i.e. morning or afternoon classes from Monday to Friday). The modular classes are presented on campus, which translates into in-class experience and focused studies without work interruptions.

This programme is aligned at NQF level 8 and comprises of 120 credits. This is equivalent to an Honours degree. Passed at a certain level, it can give you access to an MBA.