Rhodes Business School

Telephone: +27 46 603-8612/7
Fax: +27 46 603-8613
Postal Address: P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
Rhodes Business School

Our Essence
Our essence is ‘Leadership for Sustainability’.

We aim to be the business school of choice for those aspirant leaders and managers who are committed to applying sustainable business practices.

We undertake to equip our MBA graduates and Executive Short Course participants with the requisite knowledge to fundamentally contribute to ethical and sustainable management practices. In fulfilling our purpose, we recognize the importance of engaging with our stakeholders, namely our students, short course participants, staff, Board of Management and Board of Advisers, our Alumni, Rhodes University, our benefactors and the broader community, especially the Eastern Cape region.


  • To be the leading Business School in Africa which contributes to the advancement of knowledge on leadership for sustainable business practices
  • To be in the top three research business schools in South Africa as measured by our publication ratio
  • To be acknowledged as a Business School which relative to its size makes a significant contribution to addressing socio-economic challenges faced in its geographic proximity, the Eastern Cape
  • To fully abide by the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)

The core values to which we subscribe include:

  • professionalism
  • integrity and respect
  • quality and innovation in everything that we do and offer
  • diversity and equity
  • knowledge advancement
  • culture of service learning

Rhodes MBA

Council on Higher Education (CHE)
The Rhodes Business School MBA has been fully accredited by the South African Council on Higher Education.

Association of MBAs in the UK (AMBA)
Rhodes Business School has embarked on the process of earning international accreditation of its MBA programme, via AMBA.
MBA Overview

Rhodes MBA

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) offered by the Rhodes Business School is a course-work degree together with a dissertation of fifteen thousand (15 000) words. The dissertation accounts for 30% of the total credits.

The degree is offered on a part-time, modular basis over two and a half years. In the first two years, candidates are required to attend two three-week teaching blocks in Grahamstown each year and to complete work-based assignments in the periods between the teaching blocks. The final six months is dedicated to the completion of the dissertation. The Rhodes Business School’s essence is “Leadership for Sustainability” and hence leadership and sustainability principles underline all subjects in the MBA curriculum. Emphasis is placed on business continuity, as well as achieving a balance between economic, social and environmental sustainability (the Triple Bottom Line). The Business School has committed itself to abide by the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).

The MBA is designed to equip practising and potential managers to assist in the creation, development and leadership of successful organisations in a competitive business environment. To this end, the Rhodes MBA has been designed around what managers need to know in order to ensure that they are able to contribute to the achievement of superior business results in the organisations for which they work. In addition, the Rhodes MBA curriculum has been benchmarked against the curricula of other leading Business Schools. It is also important to note that the Rhodes MBA is fully accredited by the Council on Higher Education. To focus on equipping its graduates with the knowledge and skills to pursue managerial and organisational excellence, the Rhodes MBA programme is based on the following principles:

  • It is primarily a general MBA aiming to provide an integrated, conceptual and theoretical framework within which to understand generic areas of business and management. It is possible, however, to take up to four elective courses in Environmental Management
  • It assumes no prior depth of knowledge of business, economics and/or accounting. It is an academic conversion programme, where graduates with first degrees in a diversity of subjects can attain professional knowledge of business and management
  • It aims to enhance previous management-related work experience by helping students to evaluate their practical business experience from a more professional, academic and research perspective
  • Where appropriate, it uses a case study-based teaching methodology incorporating South African case studies where they are available.
MBA Structure

Rhodes MBA

Core Courses for the Rhodes MBA programme
The Rhodes MBA programme consists of fifteen core compulsory modules which are taken throughout the two and a half years of the MBA programme. These include:

First Year Core Courses

1. Academic and Personal Skills: academic knowledge, academic writing, academic assessment, learning strategies, presentation skills, personal leadership, working in teams, writing skills, accessing library resources.

2. Principles of Sustainability: business ethics and corporate social responsibility, sustainable development, triple bottom line, development of sustainability indicators, trends in environmental management.

3. Macroeconomics: macro and global economic factors and policy that influence the firm and decision-making, monetary policy, nature and trends of the South African economy and challenges confronting it, indicators of economic activity.

4. Fundamentals of Accounting: this course is only required for those candidates who have not had any formal accounting qualification or prior accounting work experience.

This course is also recommended for candidates wanting to review accounting principles.

5. Financial Accounting: recording and reporting accounting information, practical recording issues, recording and reporting investments and non-current assets, shareholder’s equity and liability.

6. Marketing: the marketing concept, market segmentation, consumer behaviour, marketing research, distribution strategy, product strategy, pricing strategy, promotional strategy, services marketing, relationship marketing, social marketing, responsible consumption.

7. Microeconomics: managerial economics and its application to problem solving and decision-making, pricing, costs and profits, pricing for greater profits, decisionmaking in uncertainty, organizational design and firm decision-making.

8. Financial Management: working capital decisions, capital investment appraisal, measuring and dealing with risk, sources of finance, cost of capital, ratio analysis, dividend decision.

9. Strategic Management: strategic intent, strategy maps, the business environment, SWOT analysis, core competency analysis, strategic objectives and the Balanced Scorecard, corporate level strategies, business level strategies.

10. Quantitative Decision-Making A: summarizing data statistically, presenting and interpreting data.

Second Year Core Courses

11. Leadership: contemporary leadership approaches, leadership styles and emotional intelligence, African leadership, leading a diverse organization.

12. Research Method: the research proposal, research paradigms, research methods, data collection methods, quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

13. Quantitative Decision-Making B: inferential statistics, significance testing, time series analysis and forecasting, marketing research practice.

14. People Management: organizational theory, organizational behaviour, legal considerations, recruitment and selection, rewarding, developing and motivating staff, performance management, change management, grievances and discipline, managing diversity.

15. Operations Management: process types and process flows in manufacturing, performance measurement, benchmarking and re-engineering, production planning, quality management, lean thinking and world class manufacturing, supply chain management.

Third Year Research Paper:

25. Research Paper: A research report of 15 000 words on a research topic of the candidate’s choice, subject to suitable supervisory support, is to be submitted in the first semester.
Faculty & Staff

Those who teach on the Rhodes Business School MBA programme are drawn from:

  • Rhodes Business School full-time academic staff
  • Rhodes Business School part-time academic staff
  • Senior academics from other academic departments at Rhodes Universities
  • Rhodes Business School Visiting Professors
  • Business practitioners and consultants.

Click here for a faculty profile.

Student Body


Gender Diversity

  • Male: 25
  • Female: 10

Diversity (PDI)

  • Black: 28
  • White: 5
  • Indian: 2

Average Age

  • 35 years
Facilities & Resources
At this stage in its development, Rhodes Business School occupies the top floor of the Rhodes Theatre Building. It has its own dedicated MBA-designed Teaching Room in close proximity to which are a seminar room, staff offices, and a student facilities room. The School is working towards occupying its own dedicated building in the foreseeable future.

There is an extensive holding of business-related books and journals in the main university Library which Rhodes Business School shares with the Departments of Management, Economics, Accounting and Information Systems. Of vital importance to Rhodes Business School students who are off campus for substantial periods of time, is the access to an extensive range of electronic journals.

Rhodes Business School makes use of an e-learning system – RUConnected – to facilitate contact and communication with students when they are off campus, as well as to facilitate the submission of assignments by students.

For students in need of cost-effective accommodation while they are attending teaching blocks, there is the University’s Continuing Education Centre which has small, en-suite bedrooms and which offers meals in a central dining hall.
Admission Requirements

Rhodes MBA

Profile of a successful applicant
It is in both your interests and the interests of Rhodes Business School, that only those applicants are accepted who will both cope with the course, as well as benefit from the course. It is to this end that Rhodes Business School takes a great deal of care in the selection process. Remember that it is a Masters-level course with a considerable volume of work in which the emphasis is on critical and analytical thinking.

Evaluate yourself against the following checklist to see whether you could qualify for a place on our MBA programme.

  • Intellectual ability
  • Leadership potential (your experience, referee’s reports and application essays should all indicate that you can assume a leadership position in an organization of your choice.)
  • A high level of motivation, energy and ambition to be an achiever
  • Maturity and commitment
  • At least a bachelors degree or equivalent. A limited number of applicants may, however, be accepted on the basis of ‘prior learning’.
  • Three years’ appropriate work experience, at least one year of which should have been at managerial level
  • Fluency in English
  • Competence in mathematics at a school-leaver’s level.
How to Apply

Rhodes MBA

An application pack can be obtained from the Administrative Assistant at Rhodes Business School.

To process your application we need:

  • a completed application form for Rhodes Business School
  • a completed application form for Admission to Rhodes University
  • a certified copy of your first degree (or professional qualification) certificate
  • personal recommendations from two referees (including one from your current or most recent employer and, where realistic, one from the last academic institution you attended). You should contact both referees yourself and ask them yourself to complete a reference form and return it directly to the Rhodes Business School.
  • all applications should include two passport sized photographs
  • non-refundable R400 application fee regardless of whether or not you are a past Rhodes Student (payable directly to Rhodes University in cash, postal order or electronic banking).
  • Our Bank details are as follows: First National Bank, Grahamstown, Branch Number: 210-717, Account Number: 62145503076, Ref: Student Number, Initials, Surname
Dates & Fees
The information is currently not available. Please feel free to check back again at a later stage.
Bursaries & Scholarships
Unfortunately, there are currently no available bursary or scholarship opportunities. Please feel free to check back again at a later stage.
Additional Information

Rhodes MBA

Business skills development:
The Rhodes Business School programme aims to provide an all-round and balanced business education. This includes not only academic content but also contextual skills to enable learners to be successful managers by effectively applying the academic content they have learnt, in practice. Thus, in addition to the course content, emphasis is placed on critical cross-field outcomes such as presentation skills, negotiating skills, inter-personal skills, communication skills, project management skills, team building skills, cross-cultural awareness, amongst others.

Syndicate groups:
One of the valuable experiences of an MBA programme, is working in syndicate groups. These are included for two reasons: firstly, the volume of work to be covered in any MBA programme is too great for any one individual to cope entirely on their own. Thus, working in syndicate groups, the work load is shared amongst 5 or 6 people. Secondly, they replicate the real working experience to a greater or lesser extent. Seldom do people in a dynamic work environment work entirely on their own; they are often called to work in project teams or groups. The MBA syndicate groups give students practice in working in groups, the opportunity to practice personal leadership skills and a taste of both the positives and difficulties to be derived from working in syndicate groups.

Work-based Assignments:
In-between teaching blocks, students are required to complete assignments, which are essentially work-based. This gives students the opportunity to immediately apply what they have learnt during the relevant Module and for the both their organizations and them to benefit directly and immediately.

Financial Planning Seminars:
During each teaching block, students are exposed to some or other aspect of personal financial planning via a series of Financial Planning seminars. The argument is that while students may be exposed to the principles of corporate financial planning, they are very often ill-equipped to create personal financial wealth. The series of Financial Planning Seminars may not give the students all the answers, but they will definitely put them in a position to ask the right questions in order to develop a balanced investment portfolio.

Director’s message

More than ever before, managers are having to make decisions and develop strategies in an environment which is characterised by increasing change, turbulence, competitiveness and hostility. More than ever before, managers need to be equipped to shift paradigms, develop different business models and to do things which balance economic performance, social development and environmental responsiveness. The Rhodes Investec Business School’s MBA programme does this!

The following are the objectives of the Rhodes MBA:

  • Promote an understanding of a changing, unpredictable and diverse international business environment and to enable students to think strategically and globally when making business decisions.
  • Provide students with a rigorous and critical grounding in key areas of business and management, as a knowledge foundation for future career development and growth.
  • Develop self confidence and the ability to present efficient, logical answers to complex problems.
  • Provide students with problem-solving skills to enhance their decision-making abilities
  • Develop transferable skills through working in teams and making presentations and to facilitate discussion, debate and analysis of business issues in an international context
  • Promote an understanding of “sustainability” which embraces balancing economic and financial performance with social development and environmental responsiveness
  • Our entry requirements mean that you will benefit from the experience of a motivated and mature peer group of people from diverse work and professional backgrounds
  • The Research Report, which is supervised by a member of the Rhodes academic staff, provides the opportunity for you to capitalise on your learning from the course as a whole and to gain in-depth knowledge in a particular area.
Contact Us
Please feel free to contact us for further information:
Owen Skae (Director)
Telephone: +27 46 603 8612
Fax: +27 46 603 8613
E-mail: Send me an e-mail
Roslyn Parker (Administrative Assistant)
Telephone: +27 46 603 8617
Fax: +27 46 603 8613
E-mail: Send me an e-mail

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