Nelson Mandela University Business School

Telephone: +27 41 504-3777
Fax: +27 41 504-3891
Postal Address: P O Box 77000, Port Elizabeth , 6031, South Africa
Nelson Mandela University Business School
A defining feature of the Nelson Mandela University Business School MBA is our focus on leadership development. The School’s leadership development programme forms the backbone of our MBA and infuses leadership development throughout the MBA modules.

The Nelson Mandela University Business School MBA is specifically designed to foster strong, decisive leaders armed with business acumen and theoretical knowledge backed by a willingness to take risks and follow their instincts in order to “make it happen”. We, at the Nelson Mandela University Business School, believe that theory is nothing without practice and that ideas cannot come alive without action. Working in small syndicate groups with an experienced cohort of professors, lecturers, high-profile guest speakers and fellow students you will operate at a senior management level, steering your management team through an ever-changing panorama of challenges that impact on real-world business.

Our MBA programme provides an intensive environment where dynamic professionals are grounded in the vital disciplines of business management. It challenges you to think and act creatively. The programme is stimulating, rewarding and enjoyable. You will learn alongside other business leaders of the future and will develop self-discipline, self-awareness and other important leadership qualities.


The Nelson Mandela University Business School is accredited by the following external industry bodies to ensure that our educational curriculum aligns and complies with international quality standards:

  • The Council of Higher Education (CHE);
  • Association of African Business Schools (AABS); and
  • Eduniversal.

Nelson Mandela University Business School was also admitted to the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA). Nelson Mandela University Business School is only the second Business School in Africa to be admitted to EDAMBA. Nelson Mandela University Business School is a member of the South African Business Schools Association (SABSA). The School is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education.

Business School
In 2014, the Nelson Mandela University Business School's new main campus and administrative head office building in Port Elizabeth became the first South African public education facility to receive a four Green-Star design rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). In 2015, the GBCSA recognised Nelson Mandela University Business School with its first 4 Green Star As Built rating for a public building or educational building in South Africa.

MBA Overview


The Nelson Mandela University Business School offers the same MBA programme delivered in two different options. The MBA can be taken part-time over 2 years in Port Elizabeth or by block release, also over 2 years, for students in Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban and East London.

The MBA programme aims to teach management and leadership techniques as effectively as possible whilst at the same time developing skills in applying their theoretical knowledge. A variety of learning and presentation methods are therefore employed which include the following:

  • Formal lectures;
  • Analyses of case studies;
  • Guest speakers;
  • Facilitated group discussions and teamwork;
  • Presentation of group assignments; and
  • Conducting applied research on real business problems.

Classes for the part-time programme are held weekly according to a pre-determined timetable. The block release programme is offered by way of 3 study visits of 5 full days by students to the Port Elizabeth campus per year, as well as a live video conference session on Saturdays or Sundays to student centres in Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban and East London.

Working in syndicate groups is an essential element of our MBA programme. We emphasise teamwork because it is a realistic replication of the way in which management and leadership issues are handled in the business world. By being part of a student group where members come from different cultural, educational and professional backgrounds, candidates learn to harness the strength of diversity and achieve synergies in business analyses and problem solving.

MBA Structure


Our MBA programme is offered in a trimester structure with three trimesters of 12 weeks each, per year. The first trimester is from February–May. The second trimester is from May–August and the third trimester from August–November. 


Trimester Structure 





Data Analysis & Decision Making
Strategic Marketing Management
Leadership 1 *

Accounting for Business *
International Business
Management Economics
Research Project Proposal
Leadership 2*



Financial Management
People Management (replaces Organisational Behaviour)
Management Accounting
Leadership 1*
Business Research Project
Leadership 2*



Strategic Operations
Business Strategy
Leadership 1*
Business Research Project
Leadership 2*
Exit: MBA Degree

* Leadership is a year module.

* Accounting for Business is a foundation programme for Financial Management.

ELECTIVES (can select any 2):

  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable Development
  • Lean Enterprise Management
  • Management of Technology
  • Project Management
Faculty & Staff
A lecturer is appointed for every module. They assume the roles of instructor, facilitator and module manager. Lecturers are drawn from the Nelson Mandela University, from other national and international universities and from the business community. The module material and the individual style of a lecturer determine the choice of his or her teaching method. Lectures, case studies, group work, management games, real-life projects and independent work all have a strong practical, as well as analytical orientation, which contributes towards enhancing the learning process.

Click here for further information.
Student Body
Our candidates occupy a wide variety of positions in business and industry and are amongst the high potential employees in their companies. Variety is an important ingredient on the MBA programme and we believe that apart from assimilating the course content, candidates can also learn a great deal from one another and from the organisations and/or businesses in which they work. The programme stimulates the exchange of ideas and information by requiring candidates to become involved in group projects. This enables group members to draw upon each other’s experience and strengths, while they also learn to cope with the ups and downs of working in a group/team context.
Facilities & Resources
Lecture & Leisure Venues 
Nelson Mandela University Business School is the first in South Africa to receive an official “green” design rating accreditation for a public and education building from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). This first “green” business school houses various classrooms, training venues, an auditorium, cafeteria and syndicate meeting rooms. The venues are equipped with the latest audio visual equipment and air-conditioning to ensure a quality training and educational experience for all our students on the campus.

Computer Lab
Business School students have access to a fully equipped computer laboratory where programme related computer training such as MS Projects is conducted.

Business School Library & Resource Centre
The on-campus library and resource centre provides a “one stop, first class” service on the campus to all Business School students.

The facility serves as the gateway to all information sources available at the NMMU which allow Business School students to access current and relevant sources of information for assessment and research purposes.

Business School students have access to a fully equipped cafeteria as well as vending machines.
Admission Requirements


At the Nelson Mandela University Business School, prospective MBA candidates are assessed against rigorous selection criteria. Prospective students are required to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • A minimum applicable, four-year Bachelor’s degree at NQF Level 8; a relevant Postgraduate Diploma (for instance in Business Administration (PDBA)) at NQF Level 8; or an applicable Honours degree. Students with a B-degree or National Diploma must first do the PDBA over 1 year to get access to the MBA.
  • A minimum of three years managerial, business-related working experience of five years general business working experience.
  • Applicants must reside within a 60 km radius from one of its centres (PE, Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban and East London).
  • Be fluent in English. Applicants not fluent in English will be required to produce an English Proficiency certificate to verify English language skills.

Once the above minimum requirements have been met, students will be asked to:

  • Write a Psychometric (SHL) test or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). All applicants are required to complete the psychometric test as part of the application process. Students need to score a 5 or higher on the SHL test. Students writing the GMAT test need to obtain a score of 520 or higher.
How to Apply


It is important that you follow the following step-by-step process to ensure that
your application is successful:

  1. Ensure that you meet the minimum admission requirements.
  2. Complete the electronic version of the Enquiry Form on the website and submit it electronically. (
  3. Submit your application forms and supporting documentation at: and fill in the Graduate School work experience related application form at:
  4. First review: Once you have submitted all the required documents, your application will be reviewed to ensure that you meet the minimum acceptance criteria.
  5. You will receive a notification of the first review outcome.
  6. If you meet the criteria for the first review you will be contacted to write the psychometric test.
  7. Second review: you will be informed of your psychometric or GMAT test score.
  8. Depending on your second review outcome, the test will be followed by an application interview.
  9. Final approval of your MBA application will take place and you will receive notification of the outcome a week after your interview.
  10. Registration: once you have received your letter of acceptance for the MBA programme you will be informed about the registration process.
  11. Please ensure that you provide all of the documents listed below or your application will not be processed for first review: Complete the Graduate School Application Form
  12. NMU Application Form
  13. Certified copy of your Identification Document
  14. Certified copy of your Qualification
  15. Certified copy of your Academic Record/Transcript
  16. Certified copy of your Senior Certificate
  17. Essay about life experiences, goals, attitudes and values
  18. On receipt of your fully completed and approved Application Forms, the Business School will provide students with information pertaining to the dates and availability of selection tests and interviews.
  19. A final decision regarding your application and admission will be communicated by letter no later than 7 days after your interview appointment. Information about registration will also be provided with this letter.
  20. A down payment is payable before registration and this deposit will be deducted from the full programme fee.
  21. The first closing date for applications is 31 October of each year. This will enable you to make sure that your admission process is finalised, and that you receive the outcome before the December recess. Late applications can be accepted until 20 January, but available places on the programme cannot be guaranteed. No late applications for international students will be accepted.
Dates & Fees
For a breakdown of our MBA fees, please visit:
Bursaries & Scholarships
Bursaries and Scholarships availability and options form part of the Financial Aid department mandate. For bursary and scholarship options, please visit:
Additional Information

Study guides and books
The Graduate School has invested substantial resources in the development of course material. This material is updated regularly to ensure that contentrelevance and high standards are maintained. Study guides and notes are supplied for each module. The cost of prescribed books is included in the total fee structure. A book list is issued to students upon registration.

Evaluation may be conducted in any of the following ways:

  • Conventional, unseen written papers;
  • Unseen, written papers, supported by open book appendices, formulae and tables;
  • Papers based on previously seen case studies;
  • Papers based on an open book approach; or
  • Continuous evaluation (in the case of a limited number of modules only).

Mark structure

Module work (weight 40%)
Module work comprises of individual assignments and tests (minimum of 60% of module work) and group assignments (maximum of 40% of module work).

Written examinations (weight 60%)
Examinations will be written at the end of each trimester and will contribute 60% to the final module mark.

Admission to examination and derivation of the pass mark
Students must have at least 40% for their module work to be admitted to the examination. A minimum of 40% is required in the examination and a weighted, composite final module mark of at least 50% has to be achieved to pass a module.

Policy for credits towards the MBA
Exemption from compulsory modules will only be considered if a student had already passed modules with a similar content on another accredited MBA programme and will be awarded at the discretion of the Nelson Mandela University Business School. Students must apply in writing and on the official Nelson Mandela University Application Form, available from the Graduate School programme coordinator.

Embarking on an MBA degree is a decision that cannot be made lightly. Participation in the programme requires a considerable commitment in respect of time and effort. Students are advised to spend at least 20 hours per week attending class, doing personal studies or being involved in syndicate work in order to cope adequately with the workload. It is a challenge to time-manage one’s work, one’s studies and one’s personal life and to establish an acceptable balance. However, the rewards will be most worthwhile for those who are willing and able to make the commitment. Added to the personal satisfaction, there is also the professional gratification that comes from knowing that you are able to make a material and significant contribution to the success of the organisation or cause that you serve.
Contact Us
Please feel free to contact us for further information:
Carlien Jooste (Head Marketing and Relationship Office: Graduate School)
Telephone: +27 41 504 2338
E-mail: Send me an e-mail

©Copyright SURREAL 2020. All rights reserved.