Stellenbosch Business School
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Admission Requirements


SBS’s stringent admission criteria result in higher retention and pass rates. From 2016 onwards, the Council on Higher Education (CHE) in South Africa will, based on new regulations, requires all MBA applicants to have a 4-year degree, a 3-year Bachelor’s degree plus a postgraduate diploma, or an honours degree. The minimum admission requirements for SBS’s MBA include:

Academic qualifications

  • An appropriate 4-year Bachelor’s degree at NQF level 8 and at least 3 years of relevant full-time working experience, preferably on managerial level
  • OR
  • An Honours degree at NQF level 8, plus 3 years of relevant full-time working experience, preferably on managerial level.
  • OR
  • An appropriate 3-year Bachelor’s degree at NQF level 7 and a Postgraduate Diploma at NQF level 8, and at least 3 years of relevant working experience, preferably on managerial level

Other requirements

Assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning:

SBS provides wider access to its programmes through its Assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) process. In line with the requirements of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), SBS may admit up to 10% of its student body under ARPL. Candidates who wish to be admitted under the ARPL policy will firstly have to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective MBA students have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 6 qualification.
  • Have at least SIX years of working experience after obtaining the above-mentioned qualification, of which at least THREE years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information on activities outside the work environment.
  • Provide SBS with at least two references (typically current or former line heads) who can testify about the candidate’s managerial or related professional abilities. These references will be required to give a detailed personal reference about the candidate on forms provided by SBS.
  • Next, SBS’s Admissions Committee (head of the programme and another academic) will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate.
  • If the Committee is of the opinion that the candidate has the ability to cope with the demands of the MBA programme, he/she may be admitted.
  • A recommendation of admission is sent via SBS’s Academic Planning Committee to the Board of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences for notification.
  • Note that ARPL candidates need to apply by 30 October each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.