FAQ's about our MBA Programme

1. Is your MBA Accredited?

We are fully accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and are members of the South African Business Schools Association (SABSA) and African Association of Business Schools (AABS). Our MBA programme is internationally accredited by the global Association of MBAs (AMBA)

2. What are Rhodes Business School's admission requirements?

Applicants should have an NQF8 qualification (i.e. an Honours degree, Post-graduate Diploma or a four year bachelor’s degree), be proficient in English; have 3 years full-time work experience and an NMAT by GMAC admission score. In the event that you obtained your tertiary qualification outside South Africa, then we require the South African Qualification Authority’s (SAQA) electronic certificate of evaluation. Please click on SAQA EVALUATION OF FOREIGN QUALIFICATIONS to initiate the process.

3. I do not have the requisite NQF8 qualification, what options do I have?

Option 1. You can apply for admission under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Each application is reviewed on its own merits and is subject to approval by the University’s Senate. We consider your academic performance in your Bachelor’s degree (the higher the results the better), management experience (the longer and more senior, the better), your reason for doing the MBA, your NMAT or GMAT admission score test and motivation given by your referees. It is important to note though that no more than 10% of the class may be admitted under RPL. So if the MBA class is 30, no more than 3 can be admitted. Under RPL. This means that we have to wait until the END of the application process (once the class size has been confirmed) and we will then choose those who we consider the best candidates. You could very well fall within this category, but there is a chance that you won’t. Click on the Portfolio of Evidence Form, to obtain the necessary template to be completed and emailed to mba@ru.ac.za .

Option 2. You can apply for the Post Graduate Diploma in Enterprise Management (PDEM) - Full time or Part Time or Postgraduate Diploma in Business Analysis (PGBA). These can be completed in 1 year. Passing the PDEM or PGBA, gives you access to the MBA the following year as long as you have the requisite three years’ work experience and you have sat the NMAT. Details of the PDEM and PGBA can be found at https://www.ru.ac.za/businessschool/studying/ 


4. How do I apply?

Step 1

Firstly, all prospective MBA students should perform initial registration online at https://ross.ru.ac.za/. Here you will receive a unique application reference number which will be requested on the next step.

Step 2

In order to evaluate the application, applicants are directed to complete the linked Google Form below: 

MBA Applications Google Form 

You should have the following documents on hand as they will be required for upload as you proceed with the application. 

  • Rhodes reference number (obtained from the initial registration process) on ROSS
  • A completed MBA CV Form 
  • NMAT or GMAT confirmation 
  • Certified copies of academic transcript(s)
  • Certified copies of degree certificates
  • Certified copy of ID
  • SAQA’s Certificate of Evaluation (if the qualification is obtained outside of South Africa).

Step 3

Following completion of the Google Form, applications will be evaluated & prospective students will be provided with details to complete the Rhodes application process.

5. What documents must I submit with my application?

In the application form, you are asked to provide: the contact details of two referees (note each referee must have known you for at least one year. One referee should be your current or most recent employer and the other an independent person who can provide insights into your academic potential), a certified copy of your ID or passport if you are not a South African citizen, proof that you have booked to sit the ESA, NMAT or the GMAT [Note we don’t need results if you are still to sit this, just confirmation that you have booked. Results can be sent later], certified copy/ies of transcripts and academic studies, certified copy/ies of your degree certificates as per the following checklist

Contact details of two referees


Certified copy of ID if SA Citizen or Permanent Resident, or PASSPORT if International Applicant


Proof that you have booked to sit the NMAT or the GMAT [Note we don’t need results if you are still to sit this, just confirmation that you have booked. Results can be sent later]



Certified copy of Transcripts of Academic Studies (Note: Requirement is to have an NQF8 qualification)



Certified Copy of Degree Certificate/s



SAQA’s Certificate of Evaluation (if Degree obtained outside of South Africa).


Ideally, if you could merge all documents into a single PDF in the order:

  1. MBA Application form
  2. Copies as per above (in the order ID, proof of ESA/NMAT/GMAT booking, Transcript/s & Degree Certificate/s, SAQA’s certificate [if applicable])

Then upload via ROSS at https://ross.ru.ac.za/ugadmissions

If you have any queries in completing this, you may contact the Business School by emailing: mba@ru.ac.za

or Tel: +27 46 6038617

The School’s website is: https://www.ru.ac.za/businessschool/

6. What personal characteristics do you look for?

One of our great strengths is the diversity of our student background, you will get to work with people from the private and public sectors, from diverse professions (doctors, lawyers, engineers) and from many different countries. First and foremost we look for candidates who demonstrate professionalism, integrity and respect for others. A high level of emotional intelligence, ability to work in a team, accept pressurized situations and achieving deadlines will put you in good stead. Lastly, we want people who absolutely committed to sustainability, are passionate about it and want to make a positive difference to their organisations and communities.

Teaching follows an integrated approach to management education characterised by our 4E Model.

 4E Model 

7. What is the deadline for application?

Closing date is 31st October. You may apply immediately. It is strongly recommended that international applicants do so as soon as possible so as to ensure you obtain your study visa in time. Rhodes University’s international office can be accessed at:  https://www.ru.ac.za/internationalisation/

8. How long after I have applied would I know the status of my application?
We normally work on a 2 week turn-around time for the applications’ review and approval.

9. Will I be required to write an admissions test?

  • NMAT by GMAC


Learn more about the NMAT Test and register

  • Graduate Admissions Test (GMAT)

Learn more about the GMAT Test and register

10. What modes of delivery do you offer?

The degree is offered on a part-time, modular basis over two and a half years, or full-time, modular basis over one and half years.

11. What subjects do you offer in MBA?

Our essence is ‘Leadership for Sustainability’, Leadership and Sustainability principles are fully mainstreamed in our teaching and learning.



Teaching Block 1 – February

  • Academic Skills
  • Research Methods
  • Sustainable Economics
  • Sustainability
  • Strategic Management

Teaching Block 3 – March

  • Finance and Management Accounting
  • Ethical Organisation and Governance
  • Quantitative Decision Making for Business and Research
  • Mini-Thesis

In between Teaching block – February to July

  • Business Development Consulting OR Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • Continuing work with self-study, tutorials and discussions on teaching block 1

In between Teaching block – March to July

  • Dissertation
  • Continuing work with self-study, tutorials and discussions on teaching block 3

Teaching Block 2 – August

  • Research Methods
  • Strategic Operations
  • Strategic Marketing
  • People Management
  • Strategic Management

Teaching Block 4 – September

  • Responsible Leadership
  • Research Methods
  • Ethical Organisation and Governance
  • Mini-Thesis

In between Teaching block – September to December

  • Business Development Consulting OR Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • Continuing work with self-study, tutorials and discussions on teaching block 2
  • Financial & Quantitative Skills (Only for candidates with insufficient Accounting knowledge)

In between Teaching block – September to December

  • MBA Mini-Thesis Write Up
  • Continuing work with self-study, tutorials and discussions on teaching block


Rhodes Business School reserves the right to modify the programme and dates as circumstances dictate.

NOTE: Where the choice is between modules, this is an elective. Students decide in Block 2 whether they will submit a research or teaching case mini-thesis. Supervisors are allocated at the end of the Research Methods module.

12. Am I required to submit a dissertation?

A      mini-thesis  of 15 000 words on a research or teaching case topic of the candidate’s choice but aligned with some aspect of resource- based theory, resilience theory, systems theory, and/or stakeholder theory and subject to suitable supervisory support.

13. Assuming I am accepted, how best should I prepare for the MBA programme?

This is an important question, as you should be under no illusion that embarking on this degree is a very tough process that will require hard work, effort and personal sacrifice.

Most importantly you should discuss the decision with your family first and then your employer whereby you weigh up the trade-offs.

Should you be concerned about any specific course/subject, self-preparation is advised and can be discussed with Rhodes Business School staff specific to the subject; alternatively, some short courses can also assist with additional preparation to the
1 Elective
MBA programme (i.e. Financial & Quantitative Skills) and prospective MBA students might want to enrol in these prior to starting the MBA programme.

14. I have completed some or most of my MBA in another institution (either inside or outside South Africa) and would like to transfer to Rhodes Business School but I do not want to start all over again. What is the procedure with transferring credits?

As a rule of thumb, no more than 50% of credits may be transferred and you are required to submit a mini research thesis according to our requirements. You would need to provide Rhodes Business School with an academic transcript from Business School you have attended as well as course outlines. Each case is dealt with on its merits. The principle that we apply is that should Rhodes Business School offer an equivalent subject you may be credited for the module, subject to us being satisfied that the requisite standard is being applied.

15. What is the intake each year?
Maximum of 40 students each year.

16. How much does your MBA programme cost?

The course fee for 2023 will be confirmed by the University Council in November 2022. For now, students may budget as follows:

Part-time Students

2023: R73 000

2024: R79 000

2025: R43 000

[Note if dissertation is submitted in Year 2, Year 2 fee = R79,000 + R39,500 = R118,500]

Full-time Students

2023: R146 000

2024: R39 500

This covers tuition, course material, textbooks and examination fees. In addition to this, you will have to bear the cost of transport to and from Grahamstown, your accommodation for the duration of the teaching blocks as well as subsistence for the time you are in Grahamstown.

17. What is the demographic profile of an average class?
For a recent class, the average age was 36, the oldest student was 58 and the youngest was 23. 54% of our MBA students are male and 46% female. We have had students from all over the world, specifically Afghanistan, China, DRC, Ghana, Kenya,
Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Russia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, United Kingdom, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

18. Does Rhodes Business School offer financial aid?

Rhodes Business School has partnered with Student Hero to help our applicants to learn about, apply and qualify for study funding. Student Hero is South Africa’s largest student finance facilitation service, an initiative aimed to help students be their future selves sooner. 

Learn about and apply for student finance here: 

Student Hero

Or connect to Student Hero on WhatsApp by following this link: Student Hero WhatsApp 

19. How am I assessed?
There is a mixture of assessments applied, namely participation in class, tests, assignments and examinations. It is also a requirement that you work in syndicates and some subjects may require that you hand-in group assignments. Assignments and exams generally contribute about 40% of the final subject mark. Assignments are normally required to be submitted 6 weeks after the completion of the teaching block and examinations (pertaining to subjects from the preceding teaching block) are written at the commencement of the following teaching block.

20. What are the main rules that I need to take cognisance of?
Once you have registered, you will be given a student guide which contains all the necessary information regarding the course rules. Some of the more important rules are that you are required to attend all lectures and syndicate work. We apply a sub-minimum of 40% on assignments and examinations. Achieving less than 45% for the overall module, requires that the student repeats the module. An overall mark of between 45% and 49% requires a resubmission of the assignment or rewriting the exam the next time it is set (depending on which of the two were underperformed). A module may only be repeated ONCE. All subjects must be passed. Rhodes Business School does not have aegrotats for missed exams. Should an exam be missed the student will sit for the exam the next time it is written i.e. the next academic year.

21. What is the procedure for requesting a leave of absence?
Leave from course or syndicate workgroup sessions is granted only in extra-ordinary circumstances. Reason for absence must be submitted 48 hrs in advance in writing and supporting proof e.g. a letter from a doctor. Leave of absence on compassionate grounds only applies to immediate family. Normal work obligations do not qualify for leave of absence. Please note, an attendance register is signed at every lecture.

22. I am an international student. I would like to embark on an MBA, how do I go about this?

We are delighted that we have had many international students who register each year with us. We have students from afar afield as Afghanistan, Botswana, China, DRC, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and closer to home Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. International students must make the application in the normal way. However, please note that you will be required to write the GMAT if the NMAT is not available in your country. In addition, in the event that you obtained your tertiary qualification outside South Africa, then we require the South African Qualification Authority’s (SAQA) electronic certificate of evaluation. Please click on SAQA EVALUATION OF FOREIGN QUALIFICATIONS to initiate the process. It is essential that international applicants apply as soon as possible so that your study visa can be arranged on time. Details relevant to international students can be found at: https://www.ru.ac.za/internationalisation/


23. Where exactly is Rhodes University? How do I get there?
Rhodes University has a long and proud tradition of teaching and research excellence. It has the best undergraduate throughput rates and highest research output per capita of any university in South Africa. Please refer to more information about Rhodes by clicking on: https://www.ru.ac.za/introducingrhodes/ It is based in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) in the Eastern Cape. The nearest main airports are Port Elizabeth (130kms away) and East London (160kms away). There are shuttle companies, which offer transport to and from the airport. For details of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, please look at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Cape

24. I was offered a place onto the Rhodes Business School programme previously. Due to circumstances I could not accept the offer. Do I need to reapply?
This depends on when the approval was granted and if there were any conditions attached to that acceptance. Rhodes Business School will assess this on its merits. Please contact us in this regard.

25. Can I use the Rhodes University Library, computer facilities and gym facilities for the two weeks that I am in Makhanda (Grahamstown)?
Yes, you are a registered student. In addition, the Rhodes University library is fully online so you can access it 24/7 from wherever you are in the world.

26. Does Rhodes Business School offer Doctoral degrees in Business Administration?
At present we do not offer a DBA. However, students can register for a PhD at Rhodes Business School as long as they have an NQF9 MBA and there is the necessary supervisory capacity. All potential PhD candidates are required to attend a pre-PhD workshop which is charged separately from the PhD fee (assuming that you are accepted). Details of our PhD programme, can be found at: https://www.ru.ac.za/businessschool/studying/phd/ 

27. What Short Course programmes does Rhodes Business School offer?
We have three categories of short courses on offer, namely:
i. Closed Corporate Courses (which are tailored for specific clients such as Barloworld, Mercedes-Benz South Africa, Engen, MMI, Sapia, SARS Spar and Standard Bank) which we offer wherever the client requires them to be conducted.
ii. Public Courses which are open to the public and have a generalist flavour, but are focused on key management development needs around leadership, encompassing the functional areas of strategy, marketing, people management, finance, sustainability. Other very popular courses are project management, operations & logistics, leadership and sustainability programmes. Public courses are offered mainly in East London and Makhanda (Grahamstown).
iii. MBA Aligned Courses which are only offered in Makhanda (Grahamstown). We generally reserve 5 places for non-MBA students to sit in and participate in the MBA classes. For more information on the courses please visit our website at www.ru.ac.za/businessschool  or contact Ms Aviwe Petsha on +27-046-603-7363.

28. Would I find affordable accommodation? Would it be close enough to Rhodes Business School?
The average rate in Makhanda (Grahamstown) for a BnB (bed & breakfast) is roughly R600/night. This is a small town; you will be able to walk anywhere. There is a shopping mall and restaurants in walking distance from the business school. For details on accommodation, please consult the internet and tourism information. For example www.grahamstown-accomodation.co.za . The University also limited accommodation that can be accessed through the https://www.ru.ac.za/conferences/accomodation/ 

Last Modified: Thu, 10 Nov 2022 12:55:04 SAST