Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and Administration

  • Blended Learning
  • Modular
Course Overview
Course starts 14 January 2019
Application closes Application closing dates vary

The one-year PGD in Business Management and Administration focuses on general management skills that can be applied in any type of company and in any industry. This includes entrepreneurship knowledge, innovative thinking and the digital processes and tools of today’s workplace. The programme is completed over one year and is available in two formats: Modular and Blended Learning. The programme content is covered in 12 core modules and 4 electives.

About the Blended Learning format

The blended learning format allows you to join the class in real time on any internet-linked device from anywhere in the world. You can also attend the class on the USB campus. The mobile app or browser-based online classes are delivered synchronously with the on-campus classes. This enables you to actively take part in classroom and group discussions.

Application closing dates

South African students: 15 November 2018
ARPL candidates: 31 October 2018
Students from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 31 October 2018
Students from rest of world: 31 October 2018

3 blocks of varying length
Initial on-campus block
14 - 19 January 2019 (including orientation)
30 January to 13 November 2019
Elective block
23 – 30 November 2019
Course Overview
Course starts 28 January 2019
Application closes Application closing dates vary

The one-year PGD in Business Management and Administration focuses on general management skills that can be applied in any type of company and in any industry. This includes entrepreneurship knowledge, innovative thinking and the digital processes and tools of today’s workplace. The programme is completed over one year and is available in two formats: Modular and Blended Learning. The programme content is covered in 12 core modules and 4 electives.

Application closing dates

South African students: 15 November 2018
ARPL candidates: 31 October 2018
Students from (visa-exempt) SADC countries: 31 October 2018
Students from rest of world: 31 October 2018

5 blocks, each of which lasts one working week
Block 1
28 January – 02 February 2019
Block 2
01 – 06 April 2019
Block 3
10 – 15 June 2019
Block 4
02 – 07 September 2019
Block 5
23 – 30 November 2019
Professor Nicolene Wesson

Professor Nicolene Wesson is a qualified chartered accountant who holds a Masters degree in Taxation, as well as a PhD in Finance, from Stellenbosch University. Her PhD helped redefine industry standards by leading to the introduction of new guidelines for the reporting of share repurchasing in annual company reports.

  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
  • Selection Test
  • Fees


The PGD BMA is a one-year programme that aims to develop your entrepreneurial and key management skills, helping you grow a profitable and successful business. It will also provide you with access to an MBA thanks to its NQF level 8 rating, the equivalent of an Honours level degree.

Core Modules

This programme is made up of 12 core modules:

  • Digital Quotient
  • Economics for Managers
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Capital Management
  • Information Systems Principles
  • Innovation Management
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Managerial Statistics
  • Marketing Management
  • Principles of Operations
  • Sustainable Enterprise
  • Systems Methods


You need to choose 3 of the following electives:

  • Business Strategy
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Futures Studies
  • Innovation Management
  • International Business
  • Manager as Coach
  • Marketing Management
  • Operations and Technology Management
  • Project Management

USB recognised the need of managers and entrepreneurs to obtain a formal management qualification, but not necessarily an MBA. At the same time, USB also recognised the need of those who wanted to prepare themselves for access to an MBA in order to move to senior level positions.

This led to the design of the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and Administration (PGD BMA), presented for the first time in 2015.

The joint design of the PGD BMA and MBA at USB allows students to experience an unrivalled learning path when doing the two qualifications in succession. However, the PGD BMA is also an exit-level qualification that will not leave the graduate who do not want to do the MBA feeling short-changed. The PGD BMA’s unique focus on general management skills, innovation, entrepreneurship and strong grounding in technology, both in terms of the delivery process and content, makes this a meaningful qualification on the African continent.

The golden thread of entrepreneurship and innovation runs through all the functional modules. By applying the learning in their own work environment students see the return on their investment while studying. The unique delivery method of the blended-learning option in particular significantly lowers opportunity cost and turns the student cohort into a diverse community that enhances the learning experience beyond the content conveyed by faculty.

The following minimum admission criteria are applicable:

  • Academic qualifications: A three-year Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma at NQF level 7, or higher.
  • Work experience: A minimum of two years of relevant full-time work experience (preferably at a managerial level).
  • Selection test: The SHL and GMAT test are done online. (See information under Selection Tests tab).
  • Additional documentation: A comprehensive CV indicating your work experience.
  • Highly recommended: Mathematics at NNS (Grade 12) level or equivalent; proficiency in English.
  • International students require a SAQA evaluation certificate to evaluate your degree according to South African standards. In this regard please contact SAQA at

Assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning

USB provides wider access to its programmes through its Assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) process. In line with the requirements of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under ARPL.

In order to be admitted to a Postgraduate Diploma at USB, candidates should be in possession of a relevant degree or National Diploma at NQF level 7.

Candidates who wish to be admitted under the ARPL policy will firstly have to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective students 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 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.
  • Next, USB’s Admissions Committee (head of the programme and another academic) will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate.
  • If the Committee is of the opinion that the candidate has the abilities 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.
  • Note that ARPL candidates need to apply early to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.​

As part of the selection process, you need to complete either an SHL or GMAT selection test, which are both internationally recognised. The SHL test can be completed through USB, while the GMAT can be completed through


The SHL test consists of four sections:

  • Verbal critical reasoning assessment
  • Numerical critical reasoning assessment
  • Inductive reasoning test
  • Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) on behavioural preferences

No preparation is required and it will take approximately 3 hours to complete. However, you can only take the test after you have begun the PGD BMA application process as you will need a provisional student number to complete the test.
The total cost of this process is R3 960 (R2 900 SHL test + R1 060 MBA application fee).

For more information visit


The GMAT consists of three timed sections:

  • Analytical writing assessment
  • Quantitative assessment
  • Verbal Assessment

The test will take approximately 4 hours to complete, and will cost $250.

International students will need to contact the Regional Registration Center in The Netherlands on 0931 320 239 593. South African students will need to contact Pearson VUE Professional Centre in Johannesburg on +27 (0)11 784 3093 or 0800 995 044 or at More information is available at

  • 2019 programme tuition fees will be updated in September 2018
Programme tuition fees for 2018 Total
Students from South Africa R82 621
Students from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) countries
R86 316
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R90 431
Students from the rest of the world R133 811
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2019
Students from South Africa R11 555
Students from the SADC countries R43 343
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R45 606
Students from the rest of the world R69 466
Application fee for 2019
Application fee R1 060
SHL selection test
Applicable to all students R2 900


Download our PGD BMA brochure

Download our Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management & Administration brochure

Class Profile 2017

Black African
Health Sciences
Natural & Physical Science
Information Technology
Arts & Humanities
Agriculture & Forestry
Under 25 years
25-30 years
31-36 years
37 years or older
Less than 2 years
2 years
3-6 years
7-11 years
12 years or more

  • Managers who wish to complete an MBA but who do not qualify for entry directly into a Master’s programme
  • Managers who want to broaden their management skills, but who do not necessarily want to enrol for an MBA and/or who do not want to do the research component of the MBA
  • Managers and leaders who work full-time, who cannot afford long periods of time away from work and/or who prefer to do most of their learning off-campus
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) candidates who want to gain access to an MBA

  • You will develop yourself as a responsible leader
  • It will enhance key management skills, improving your ability to launch and grow a business
  • It will develop your entrepreneurship skills so that you can contribute to economic growth
  • It will allow you to engage with the business world on a global scale while understanding business in Africa
  • It will help you to create relevant and strategic solutions through strategic thinking
  • You will acquire expert decision-making skills
  • It will enable you to manage across departments, understanding the functional role each has to play in overall growth
  • You will gain an innovative approach to business

Testimonials from our alumni

Rushana Hartnick, Current Student,



Cecilia van der Walt, PGD in Business Management and Administration, Asset Finance Consultant, Bidvest Bank,

“This programme has inspired me to become a catalyst for change in the entrepreneurial sector of our country. It has encouraged me to become an effective leader and it challenges any traditional thinking.”

Deshan Raidoo, PGD in Business Management and Administration, Plant Manager: Iron Making, ArcelorMittal South Africa,

“The experience on USB’s PGD in Business Management and Administration has already begun to transform my life. USB has made the transition from the office to the business school very pleasant. The networking on the programme is incredible.”

Phemelo Mitchell, 2015 PGD in Business Management and Administration, Contracts Engineer, Actom: John Thompson,

“I enrolled for the PGD in Business Management and Administration to gain insight into what the MBA entails as I would like to do my MBA as well. I cannot always attend the class sessions because I work on sites locally and internationally, but through the accessibility of learning, this programme allows me to continue with my education from anywhere in the world as long as I have internet connection.”

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Yes, the PGD BMA provide access to our MBA. Graduates will get recognition for 32 credits (15%) on the MBA.

No. This learn-while-you-earn programme has two formats: a blended learning format which combines on-campus and online classes, and a modular format covered in five on-campus blocks over the year.​​

All of these tests are recognised internationally, and USB accepts all of them. The tests measure language skills, verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and learning potential. The SHL selection test is usually the preferred option for most students who hold a degree recognised by Stellenbosch University. No preparation is required for the SHL.

Students are assessed on a continuous basis. Each module has a minimum number of assessments based on the number of credits for that module. The final performance mark therefore includes, among others, online assessments, class tests, group work, individual and group assignments, class participation and presentations.

Tests focus primarily on the application of knowledge and insight to business problems. Hence, most tests are open book and require the analysis of problems or cases. In the assessment of pre-reading, closed-book tests may be used. In web-based assessments of pre-reading multiple-choice questions are frequently used, but this may not exceed 20% of the grade of a subject. Many lecturers make past test papers available as a learning resource.

Yes, but on a volunteer basis only. USB alumni offer to mentor students during their studies and to provide career or industry advice. This service is offered in association with USB’s Alumni Relations Office and Career Services Office.

Academic assistance is offered via a web-based learning environment, various software and database resources, syndicate groups (dedicated study groups), informal learning groups and tutorials for certain modules.

Being fully prepared for each class session is extremely important. This starts with the compulsory reading and completion of online work prior to the contact sessions on campus. When you make time available to spend with the learning material prior to each block you will not fall into a pattern of playing catch-up at the time. This will help you to enjoy your studies, contribute in class and succeed in your studies.

Yes. For South African students, 75% of the annual fees are payable by the end of May and the balance of 25% by the end of September. (Foreign students, however, need to pay the full programme fee prior to or upon registration.)

The closing dates for each programme appear on the web page for that programme. In general, the closing dates for foreign applicants from non-SADC African countries and rest of world close approximately three months prior to the closing date for applicants from South Africa and (visa-exempt) SADC countries.

Obtaining a study permit (study visa) from the South African authorities takes up to 12 weeks from the date of being offered a place on a programme at USB – hence the early application deadline for foreign students.

ARPL candidates (all programmes) need to apply by 30 October each year. Late applications after the closing dates will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Yes, there is a comfortable lodge on the campus (Bellvista Lodge –, which is ideal for short-term accommodation. However, this will probably be too expensive for longer stays. Once you have been admitted on the MBA and your deposit has been paid, your course administrator will give you guidance on finding other accommodation options, such as a room or flat.

Download our Business Management &

Administration brochure