University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business
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MBA Overview


The UCT GSB MBA programme is structured to refine your professional knowledge, stimulate your imagination and give you the skills and confidence you need to realise your ambitions. You’ll learn to see the world for what it is and what it could become and discover how you can transform simple inspirations into meaningful business solutions. Ranked number one in Africa and 94th in the world by the Financial Times, the UCT GSB MBA programme remains the only African business school ever to have been included on the FT list for full-time MBAs.

The programme will also give you a solid grounding in international business with a strong focus on emerging markets. Emerging market business is confronted with a high degree of uncertainty, complexity, and often, excessive inequality. Such a world needs new ideas and solutions, and we’re focusing our energy on developing teaching and research that responds to this need.

The MBA at the UCT GSB is offered as a one-year, full-time course or in a two-year, modular format for delegates who are unable to study full-time. Both programmes are structured around 15 compulsory core curriculum designed to address the fundamentals of management.

Students can then tailor their studies by selecting additional courses from a selection of 15 electives.

Our key learning goals:

  1. Demonstrate the necessary managerial knowledge, tools and techniques to be an efficient and effective manager.
  2. Exhibit personal leadership competencies that reflect values-based solutions and can be applied to the contexts in which you operate.
  3. Be able to adapt your management and leadership skills and apply these in diverse national and international contexts, with a sound understanding of sustainable development issues.
  4. Demonstrate entrepreneurial competencies based on innovation and creativity.
  5. Possess the pedagogical skills of critical thinking, problem solving, collection and analysis of data and effective written communication.

UCT GSB Executive MBA

The UCT GSB MBA specialising in Executive Management (EMBA) is an applied learning experience for executives and leaders that will help you to develop in your executive role so that it is more fulfilling and purposeful. The programme will develop your presence, conceptual ability, practical wisdom and prudence so that you are able to prioritise in complex situations and deliver effectively. Ranked number one in Africa and 56th in the world, the UCT GSB EMBA programme was the only African EMBA to rank in the top 100 globally by the Financial Times in 2020.

The business world offers up challenges that involve large sets of variables on consumer behaviour, trends, regulatory uncertainties, shifting competition, and new technologies. In order to illuminate insightful action, you need to develop a lens that helps you focus on the variables that matter. The EMBA uses systems thinking, design thinking and integrative thinking in the transformative learning process that enables students to build new lenses.

The EMBA at the UCT GSB is offered in a modular format over two years. The curriculum comprises five contact modules, plus a dissertation. The interactive nature of the programme requires that you attend all contact modules and contribute to the collective experience.

The EMBA return on investment:

  • Develop competence and mastery across the breadth of your management experience
  • Make sense of the totality of the messy experience of managing in a complex world
  • Go beyond knowledge and theory to include the felt experience of being in management
  • Become more authentic in how you engage with your self, your team and the world
  • Find new purpose and fulfilment in your role and develop greater resilience in the workplace
  • Understand the need for and be able to implement successful business model innovation
  • Develop the capacity to integrate multiple perspectives and strategies to build more holistic and sustainable organisations
  • Join a powerful network of your peers