PORTFOLIO OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES
The USB offers an MBA, various PhD and MPhil degrees, postgraduate diplomas and executive education. All the programmes are internationally accredited by EQUIS of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), which serves as an international quality standard for prospective students.
Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA)
The MBA is the USB’s flagship programme. It equips students with critical thinking skills, leadership competencies and an astute understanding of how to manage organisations in a global, multicultural environment.
- International accreditation: AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA.
- Differentiating features and outcomes: To ‘future-proof’ your career, the USB emphasises the development of a resilient thinking style as part of its learning philosophy. Critical thinking skills will equip you with the ability to think well and argue soundly. This, combined with analytical and strategic skills, will help you to recognise economic, social and other patterns, and to create a robust action plan to respond to the unexpected. Differentiating features also include a strong focus on leadership skills which go hand in hand with personal development, and an astute understanding of the business, social and natural environment in which we operate.
- Portability and specialisation: The USB’s MBA follows a generalist approach to serve graduates well in any industry, anywhere in the world. However, students can customise about 10% of the programme to add depth and acquire areas of greater specialisation through the compulsory international study module at an overseas business school, research report, electives, exchange studies, internships and other programmes and projects.
- Delivery and language options: Full-time, part-time (Friday evenings and Saturdays) or in a modular format (blocks of classes). The USB offers three modular MBA options with intakes in January, February and May. All the formats are presented in English, except the February intake of the modular MBA, which is presented mainly in Afrikaans.
The demand for professionals with business-related PhDs is increasing in public as well as private institutions. Hence, the USB’s PhD focuses on in-depth research to develop employable knowledge which can be applied directly in the workplace.
- International acknowledgement: The USB’s PhD is the first PhD outside Europe audited and approved by the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA).
- Format: It is a non-structured programme that allows students to determine their own timing. Participants may enrol for a full-time or part-time doctoral programme
MPhil in Development Finance (MDevF)
Focusing on development finance and Africa’s growth needs, this degree in Development Finance is the first programme of its kind in Africa. Its distinguishing features include:
- Specialised knowledge of development finance: The MDevF covers all aspects of development finance to fill the enormous skills shortage in this area. This programme is from Africa for Africa with content focusing on Africa as a developing continent.
- Strong focus on sustainability and microeconomics: Most finance degrees focus on profit or returns. The MDevF focuses on both this and on sustainability development and the microeconomic aspects of development finance as opposed macroeconomic aspects to make this a critical-skills degree for Africa.
- Modular or block-release programme: This is a two-year modular programme. Students have to attend four blocks of two weeks each at the USB during this time. Students also have to complete a research report. This allows students from all over South Africa and other countries to attend – also those who work full-time.
- Off-campus support: The USB offers academic and administrative support at centres in South Africa and in other countries with significant concentrations of MDevF students.
- Advisory forums: The USB directly engages with development finance institutions by means of advisory forums – involving leaders from the business, public and NGO sectors.
- Academic year: Classes start in February/March each year. The closing date for applications is the end of October each year. All classes are presented in English.
MPhil in Management Coaching
This programme holds significant value for all people working with the human aspect of transferring knowledge and for those who support growth, help to enhance personal growth and performance, and facilitate the forming of meaningful relationships, teamwork and cultural shifts in organisations. It is therefore aimed at senior managers, leaders, human capital development experts and learning facilitators in all industries. The programme also emphasises work-based management coaching in a uniquely African context by taking the management of diversity and varied cultural backgrounds into account. At present, this is the only fully accredited Management Coaching Master’s programme in South Africa.
- Format: Modular programme over two years. Participants are required to attend four class-contact blocks (of a week each) on campus during the first year and complete the final block and a research report during the second year. Extensive support is given in terms of supervision, tutoring and peer support.
- Academic year: Classes start in February each year. The closing date for applications is the end of November each year. All classes are presented in English.
MPhil in Futures Studies
The Master’s degree in Futures Studies is offered by the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) in conjunction with the USB. This unique programme is the only one of its kind in Africa.
- Content: This programme in Futures Studies exposes participants to the nature of global change, its rapid pace and its ever-increasing complexity; an understanding of the forces and trends that shape the future; and a systemic and multi-disciplinary approach to managing organisational strategies so as to create a desired future.
- Format: The programmes uses telematic learning (technology-based interactive distance learning), which allows students to live and work anywhere in the world.
- Academic year: Classes start in February/March each year. The closing date for applications is the end of October each year.
Postgraduate Diploma in Dispute Settlement
This postgraduate diploma enables participants to acquire dispute settlement competencies – such as negotiation, arbitration and mediation skills – which are in high demand in South Africa, greater Africa and the rest of the world. This diploma provides participants with a deep-rooted knowledge of the theory and practice of dispute settlement to prepare them adequately for a profession in mediation and/or arbitration. In addition, participants can qualify as accredited mediators and arbitrators. This is the first qualification in this field to be presented on NQF level 8 at a business school in South Africa.
- Format: Modular format with two blocks spread over the course of a year. This enables professionals who are working full-time to register.
- Academic year: Classes start in February/March each year. The closing date for applications is the end of November each year. All classes are presented in English.
Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership
This is the programme that will take you beyond an MBA and beyond management into leadership as it acknowledges leadership as the prime differentiator that drives sustainable high performance. As South Africa and most other African countries are entering the complex arena of building democracy and market-based economic dispensations, leaders increasingly have to cope with the demands of competitive, globalised and multi-cultural environments while optimising the use of human, hard and intangible assets. Hence, this programme focuses on the development of personal, team, organisation as well as societal leadership. 120 credits at NQF Level 8.
- Format: Modular format with four blocks spread over the course of one year. This enables professionals who are working full-time to register.
- Academic year: Classes start in February. The closing date for applications is the end of November. All classes are presented in English.
USB Executive Development Ltd (USB-ED) offers a wide range of executive development programmes and interventions. These include leadership and management development programmes as well as discipline-specific and industry-specific programmes. USB-ED also offers corporate partnership interventions in the form of leadership and management programmes, as well as strategic consulting services.
CENTRES AND UNITS
Various centres at the USB undertake specialised research, publish articles and journals, and offer workshops, programmes and conferences.
- Centre for Leadership Studies: This centre develops knowledge and expertise on leadership through research. In particular, the centre focuses on the development of leadership models and frameworks that specifically address the leadership challenges in the South African context. The centre is responsible for the leadership track on the MBA programme, and it also conducts research in large companies and offers executive coaching.
- Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa: This centre conducts multi-disciplinary research and offers various interventions to improve the effectiveness of corporate governance in African organisations. Among others, the centre focuses on the development of the compliance and performance aspects of directors' attitudes, knowledge and skills, and the link between corporate governance, business ethics and total organisational performance.
- Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement: There is a growing awareness worldwide that disputes should be prevented or settled at an early stage using alternative forms of dispute resolution (such as dialogue and mediation), rather than being resolved through expensive litigation. The USB’s Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement provides an African hub for the research and teaching of dispute settlement, focusing on how to prevent, manage and settle disputes.
- The Base of the Pyramid Learning Lab: The Base of the Pyramid (BoP) Learning Lab is concerned with partnerships between corporates and micro-enterprises at the base of the income pyramid, underpinning the notion that ‘business is good for development and development is good for business’. Instead of only selling to the poor, companies are encouraged to co-venture with BoP communities to create value that is mutually beneficial and sustainable. The outcome is new business ideas and models that exceed what the partners can imagine or create on their own.
- Institute for Futures Research: The IFR specialises in futures studies primarily as a support service for knowledge and strategic management. It identifies emerging trends and organisational methods, and organisations join as associates. The Institute offers the MPhil in Futures Studies. The IFR’s research focuses on business futuristics and the systems approach to transformation management, long-term economic structure studies, applied demographics, technology foresight, socio-political studies and energy futures.
The USB's social impact initiative is aimed at sustainable human development through its academic, research and other activities. On the MBA, engaging positively with societal issues is made real through hands-on case studies and the programme’s strong focus on sustainability, social responsibility, ethics and corporate citizenship.
The social-impact initiatives of the school itself include a subsidised Management Programme for Non-profit Organisations organised by USB alumni, bursaries for financially challenged USB students, a small business academy and contributions to local worthy causes.
USB Executive Development Ltd (USB-ED), the executive education arm of the business school, was the first management development company in a business relationship with a university to obtain BEE accreditation. USB-ED currently has Level 3 BBBEE status.
The USB’s social impact efforts tie in with Stellenbosch University’s Hope Project. Two of the USB’s research units – the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement and the Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa – have been singled out as key drivers of the University’s social investment in this country and continent.