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Master of Business Administration General 
94871  Master of Business Administration General 
MANCOSA Pty (Ltd) 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
Master's Degree  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Generic Management 
Undefined  180  Not Applicable  NQF Level 09  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 1141/23  2021-07-01  2024-06-30 
2025-06-30   2028-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a Postgraduate qualification that provides learners with comprehensive advanced theoretical knowledge and applied skills in key facets of business and management.
The qualification aims to develop an in-depth conceptual understanding, synthesis and critical application of strategic perspectives of management in a national and international context.
It enables learners to provide innovative strategic leadership and management in corporate organisations in the context of a rapidly changing, information-rich global marketplace. Learners will able to undertake research and communicate the results of such research.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) qualification develops learners already occupying management positions for advanced and specialised professional employment.

The qualification also satisfies the following:
  • Contributes to regional and national goals by facilitating capacity building and human resource development in management for social and economic development.
  • Empowers learners with advanced management skills and competencies necessary to function, progress and provide strategic leadership in corporate and business environments.
  • Attempts to satisfy the demand for advanced managerial and professional skills in the Southern African Development Community.
  • Promotes equity by increasing the representation of qualified persons, especially women, at senior academic and administrative positions in organisations and institutions.
  • Recognises and caters for the career and economic needs of learners who are in employment.
  • Advances research activity to contribute to technological improvement and social development.
  • Increasing learner enrolments at a Master's level in higher education.
  • Prepares learners for further Doctoral and senior Postgraduate study in a specialised management-related area. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning:
    This qualification may be obtained in whole or in part through the Recognition of Prior Learning. Where prior learning is to be recognised for purposes of access to the qualification the following would be considered:
  • Learning derived from work or life experience will be a major element in the profiles of learners' cognitive ability assessment.
  • Such learners will be selected on the recommendation of a senior manager from their organisations/companies.

    Where appropriate, interviews will also be conducted to assess the applicants. Some of the key criteria that will be used in evaluating the learners will include:
  • The applicants' motivation, maturity and realistic approach to their studies.
  • Job description, covering relevant area of work, giving examples of tasks carried out, possibly supplying references.
  • The nature and level of life/ work experience and prior study, and the learning which has resulted from such experience.
  • Details of in-company short courses, length, content of material covered and standard achieved.
  • The clarity of the applicant's educational goals and objectives.
  • The extent to which the applicant can provide evidence of the threshold skills and knowledge for the qualification.

    Entry Requirements:
    Admission to the Master of Business Administration:
  • A professional Bachelor or Honour's Degree.
  • A Postgraduate Diploma at NQF Level 8.

    In addition to the above, the learner is expected to:
  • Have a minimum of five (5) years working experience, of which two years should be at a supervisory/managerial capacity.
  • Undertake a cognitive ability assessment which comprises a numerical and verbal component.
  • A personal letter of motivation to be written by the applicant.
  • To submit letters of recommendation from the applicant's employer, where relevant.
  • To submit an employer report detailing technical and soft skills, where relevant. 


    This qualification comprises 8 compulsory modules and 4 elective modules at NQF Level 9, totalling 180 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules: 120 Credits:
  • Human Resource Development, 15 Credits.
  • Strategic Marketing Management, 15 Credits.
  • Information and Knowledge Management, 15 Credits.
  • Operations Management, 15 Credits.
  • Financial Management, 15 Credits.
  • Managerial Economics, 15 Credits.
  • Strategic Management, 15 Credits.
  • Research and Quantitative Methods, 15 Credits.

    Elective Modules: 60 Credits.
    Learners are to select 4 from the following, to a maximum of 60 Credits:
  • Project Management, 15 Credits.
  • Entrepreneurship, 15 Credits.
  • Health Care Management, 15 Credits.
  • Leadership, 15 Credits.
  • Supply Chain Management, 15 Credits.
  • Environmental Management, 15 Credits.
  • Change Management, 15 Credits.
  • Dissertation, 45 Credits. 

    1. Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions were taken using critical and creative thinking.
    2. Identify and evaluate the environmental forces in organisations and the inherent and potential capacities of an organisation.
    3. Organise and mobilise the resources of the organisation to achieve strategic goals and targets.
    4. Develop conceptual and applied entrepreneurial skills.
    5. Utilise appropriate financial management tools as an aid for decision-making purposes.
    6. Reflect on personal leadership practices and cultural perspectives and recognise their impact and influence on organisational effectiveness.
    7. Apply analytical skills and knowledge gained in the qualification to a specialised research area. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Microeconomics and macroeconomics is critically distinguished in a business context.
  • Various economic theories are critically and creatively identified and used to solve business problems.
  • The parameters are identified for efficient allocation of scarce resources.
  • Economic data is interpreted and used for planning and decision-making purposes in a business organisation.
  • The theories of production and cost concepts are applied to analyse the decisions of organisations to supply quantities at various prices.
  • Basic quantitative methods within business organisations are analysed and applied.
  • The impact of international trade and finance in the economy for strategic decision making purposes is analysed.
  • Solutions related to the impact of national income accounting, unemployment, inflation, the economic cycle and fiscal policy on the macro economy as it relates to growth-focussed.and sustainable organisational strategy are analysed and suggested.
  • Basic quantitative methods are used to analyse business data and provide solutions for production, planning, forecasting and other decision-making purposes.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Competence and skills necessary for key environmental management characteristics for strategic organisational and other purposes are used.
  • The significance and the necessity for management of natural resources are explained.
  • Environmental legislation in contemporary organisations are understood and applied.
  • Renewable and non-renewable energy within the context of environmental management within an organisation are distinguished.
  • Comprehensive knowledge on types, causes and implication of pollution in a business environment are understood.
  • Environmental impact assessment reports are reviewed and possible remedial action for an organisation is provided.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • The nature and scope of operations management functions are understood.
  • The requirements for making decisions related to each part of the operations function are assessed.
  • Effective managerial decisions are made in order to ensure that effective utilisation of resources is achieved.
  • How operations management decisions can influence the overall strategic objectives of an organisation is understood.
  • How effective operations strategies are developed are explained.
  • The key resources required to exploit an innovative idea or an opportunity to develop an existing business, launch a new venture, or initiate a social enterprise are explained.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Steps required to research the potential for an innovative idea for the development of an existing enterprise, a new venture or a social change opportunity are explained.
  • Legal issues affecting business development, ownership and operation of commercial property are understood and considered.
  • The development challenges that start-ups face are .addressed.
  • Prospective venture capital investments are critically analysed.
  • Creativity techniques at the individual and organisational level to identify and capitalise on innovative opportunities are identified.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Knowledge of the financial implications for the different types of business entities are displayed.
  • A project's cash flow and business risk, and its suitability for inclusion in a firm's portfolio of investments are estimated.
  • Variety of sources of finance that exist are recognised, and the implications of this for a sustainable business venture are appreciated.
  • A sound capital structure aligned to strategy, where balance is maintained between debt and equity capital is planned.
  • The problems of exchange-rate fluctuations and the avoidance of exchange rate risk and other related risk factors are understood.
  • The implications of valuations, acquisitions and mergers to firms are considered.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Strategic practices based on various theories, models, and approaches for achieving organisational transformations are implemented and evaluated.
  • The role of the strategic leadership in planning and guiding the change process is analysed and evaluated.
  • The dynamics of power and politics in organisational settings, with a focus on the interrelationships of leadership, human capital, vision, organisational culture, and privilege are examined.
  • Methods and framework for building leadership capacity, coalitions and constituent support while working with resistance and conflict are developed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:
  • Critical and practical research questions are developed.
  • Current literature in a specialised business area is mastered.
  • Contending theoretical standpoints are critically analysed and synthesised.
  • A research study is designed planned and executed.
  • Appropriate research methodologies are applied.
  • Business data is captured, analysed and interpreted.
  • The implications of theory for decision making and practice are understood.
  • Recommendations for business related problems aligned to leading practices in the field are provided.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated assessment centres on:
  • The extent to which the learner has grasped the concepts of each module.
  • The application of management theory to a practical context.
  • The methods of research used and its relation to theory.
  • The balance between theory and practice and its relevance to the level of the qualification.
  • The development of the leadership and entrepreneurial capabilities of the learner.
  • The use of appropriate technology to ensure effective communication of ideas.
  • The development of critical and independent thinking and applied advanced problem solving skills.

    The Assessment methods measure the extent to which the learner has achieved competence in the different areas of study delivered through course modules.

    These assessment methods include:
  • Case studies.
  • Report writing.
  • Interpretative and analytical problem solving in the written examination.
  • Research and work based assignments.
  • Dissertation.
  • Self-assessments activities in the module material.

    Types of Assessments:
  • Formative assessment:
    The scheme of work includes assignments based on the learning material and learners are given feedback. The process is continuous and focuses on smaller sections of the work and limited number of outcomes.
  • Summative assessment:
    Examinations or equivalent assessments such as a research essay or portfolio, or case study analysis in order to determine a representative selection of the outcomes practised and assessed in the formative stage. Summative assessment also tests the learner`s ability to manage and integrate a large body of knowledge to achieve the stated outcomes of a module.
  • Integrated assessment:
    All assessment will integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes and applied competence. 

    The Iowa State University offers the Professional MBA.

    The modules cover all of the business fundamentals and provide the learner with a firm understanding of corporate social responsibility.

    The electives will enable learners to have the opportunity to tailor their Master of Business Administration. Specialisations include accounting, finance, marketing, supply chain management, and technology and innovation management.

    Practical Business Skills:
    In today's business environment, teamwork is essential to success. The Iowa State Professional Master of Business Administration qualification has built the team concept into the core curriculum, giving learners the opportunity to practice leading a group of individuals and capitalising on members' strengths.

    The University of Surrey in the United Kingdom offers the Master of Business Administration.

    This qualification develops ethical, visionary, knowledgeable, creative and entrepreneurial business leaders and managers. The qualification is designed for individuals who wish to accelerate their career prospects by being able to equip themselves with a broad range of knowledge and essential skills in the field of business management.

    A balanced mix of academic study, professional development workshops and real-life business consultancy will equip learners with the knowledge, competence and confidence to progress in their career to a more senior level. Throughout the qualification, emphasis is placed upon developing individuals both personally and professionally.

    The Master of Business Administration qualification attracts learners from a wide range of business backgrounds and nationalities. It is particularly suitable for anyone wanting to build an international business career or preparing to start their own business.

    This qualification was compared to similar international qualifications on the basis of the purpose statements of each of the international qualifications. It was found to be similar to this qualification. Thus it has been found to be favourably comparable to international qualifications. 

    The qualification enables learners to articulate horizontally to:
  • Master of Administration in Public Management at NQF Level 9.
  • Master of Administration in Labour Relations Management at NQF Level 9.

    Vertically to:
  • Doctor of Administration at NQF Level 10. 



    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2015. 



    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
    1. MANCOSA Pty (Ltd) 

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.