The MBA experience at the NWU Business School

The NWU Business School prides itself on supplying a personalised experience to students on one of our three sites of delivery: Potchefstroom, Vanderbijlpark and Mafikeng. Your journey starts when you apply as soon as applications open in April of the previous year. The selection process is rigorous with a paper selection stage, an online admission test for those that pass the paper selection and a personal interview. Registrations open in January of each year.

The academic year starts with a one-week on-campus study week (presently held online because of the lockdown status) during the last week of January, where students are orientated about the MBA journey, the learning management system and the MBA programme. At the first study school, students are divided into syndicate groups, because we strongly believe that the generic “soft” skills such as leadership, communication, conflict management, critical thinking and problem-solving that you need to be a good manager are honed while engaged in group work.

Each semester starts with a similar study school. At these study schools, you are also addressed by powerful guest lecturers and speakers to augment your knowledge with real-life experience from the trenches. At the study schools, you also engage in various practical management skills workshops. After that, classes are held every second Saturday, simultaneously broadcast to all three sites of delivery as well as online through Zoom. We believe that this allows students the maximum opportunity to network with each other and with faculty. The fortnightly classes are designed to allow for maximum engagement and unlocking of the learning content. Three modules are completed per semester where a student advances from basic to functional to strategic level in his/ her study.

Early in the year, students can apply to take part in a voluntary, free-of-charge leadership coaching process, where we arrange a series of one-on-one sessions with a professional leadership coach over a semester. This coaching is available during any of the four semesters of the MBA journey to be able to accommodate the maximum number of students.

Assessment during the semester consists of a 50-50 blend of individual and group assignments. The final assessment for each module takes place in one of three ways: a portfolio of evidence, an online examination or a sit-down invigilated examination, the latter at one of the university’s country-wide examination centres. In 2020 and 2021 no invigilated examinations were possible.

The course consists of 13 subjects (modules) each bearing 12 credits and ends with a mini-dissertation (54 credits) on a topic of the student’s choice, as long as it is business- or management-related. This is preceded by a Research Methodology module in the first year, where the topic for the mini dissertation is chosen, researched and a research proposal is produced. Therefore, in effect, the mini dissertation runs across the two years of the MBA. Our capstone module in the final semester of the second year is the company project, where each student syndicate group selects an organisation/business and do a full strategic analysis to come up with a proposed strategy and implementation plan. This project essentially ties all subjects together.

To conclude, the AMBA-accredited MBA you will receive when you graduate at the NWU Business school is earned through hard work, teamwork, discipline and focus, supported by an experienced team of professors and support staff that will make your journey worthwhile. As one alumnus remarked: “If I had to do this again at this business school without receiving a degree when I complete it, I would do it again”.

Useful resources:
NWU Business School
At the NWU Business School, we strive to change the way our students think about business. We want our students to become managers/leaders in their own right.
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