Department of Management

Be Equipped. Be Confident. Be Empowered.

Enroll in a management course to be equipped in the key areas of the functions of a business, whether it's strategic management, human resources management, supply chain or other. Be empowered to confidently work in any industry, company or job role!

Department of Management

Why you should study a Management Degree

Add value to your resume and gain personal and professional recognitionSupport business, organisations and communities in achieving their purpose and strategic goalsLead others in social responsibility, sustainability and ethical behaviour

Department of Management

But what do past students have to say?

"It is stuch a friendly environment and the academic standards are very high. I'm currently doing my thesis and my supervisor and the rest of the Department of Management have been so supportive and been very helpful and want to ensure that every student reaches their full potential"


Professor Nadine Oosthuizen - Head of Department

Welcome to the Department of Management at Rhodes University! As the head of the department, I want to share with you what makes our department unique and why studying management here will be a rewarding journey for you.

About the Department

At the Department of Management, our goal is to educate managers for the future. We believe in equipping our students with the knowledge, skills, and mindset necessary to thrive in dynamic and ever-evolving business environments. Our curriculum is designed to blend theoretical foundations with practical applications, ensuring that our graduates are not only well-versed in management principles but also adept at solving real-world challenges.

Why study Management at Rhodes University?

  1. Small groups and personalised approach to teaching: We take pride in our small class sizes, which allow for personalised attention and meaningful interactions between students and the department. This approach fosters a collaborative learning environment where every student's voice is heard and valued. Whether it's through group projects, case studies, or one-on-one discussions, we are committed to nurturing your intellectual growth and professional development.
  2. Open-door policy: Accessibility is key to our department's ethos. Our department members have an open-door policy, welcoming students to seek guidance, clarification, or simply engage in enriching discussions outside of class hours. We believe in fostering mentorship relationships that extend beyond the confines of the classroom, supporting you every step of the way on your academic journey.
  3. Friendly and educated staff members: Our dedicated staff are not only experts in their respective fields but also approachable lecturers who are invested in your success. Whether you are grappling with a challenging concept or seeking career advice, you can rely on our friendly staff members to provide support, encouragement, and valuable insights.
  4. Cutting-edge curriculum: Our curriculum is continuously updated to reflect the latest trends, innovations, and best practices in the field of management. From strategic management to marketing, from entrepreneurship to human resources, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted nature of modern management.
  5. Guest lecture and networking opportunities: In the classroom, we offer a range of  learning opportunities, including guest lectures by industry experts. These experiences not only enhance your learning but also provide valuable networking opportunities and hands-on exposure to the realities of the business world.

In conclusion, studying management at Rhodes offers a transformative educational experience that will prepare you to excel as future leaders and innovators in the global marketplace. Our commitment to small groups, personalised teaching, an open-door policy, and a supportive learning environment sets us apart as a department dedicated to nurturing your potential and empowering you to make a meaningful impact in your chosen field.

I encourage you to connect with our staff members, and envision yourself as part of our vibrant community. We look forward to welcoming you and accompanying you on your journey towards success.


Senior Lecturer - Trevor Amos

"I think anyone would like to enter into that world and be able to play that influencing, determining role, to make things happen and to provide vision and to make a difference.
The Department of Management focuses on general management, so we don't focus on a specific functional area of management.
That means that in first year we focus on developing the understanding and the knowledge around being able to manage. "

What does the study of Management involve? 

This is a question which first year Commerce students and prospective Commerce students might well ask. To answer this question, one first needs to define the purpose of a business organisation.

In simple terms, the purpose of a business is to make a profit by selling products and/or services at an affordable price that satisfy the needs of consumers. This, however, does not happen by accident. It has to be made to happen and the management process is indispensable in ensuring that it happens. As such, management may be defined as:

a process whereby people in leading positions use human and other resources as efficiently as possible in order to provide specific products and/or services, with the aim of meeting the needs of consumers/customers as a means of achieving the stated goals of the business, of which profit is one of the most important.

To ensure that a business organisation fulfils its purpose and achieves its objectives, it is generally accepted that certain functions have to be performed as follows:-

Mission Statement

Purpose Statement

In pursuit of this goal, the Department of Management strives to equip both undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as practising managers, for the world of work in a national and global business environment which is competitive and dynamic.
In fulfilling this mission, the Department of Management undertakes:

  • To provide students both graduate and undergraduate with the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in General Management;
  • To provide postgraduate students from disciplines other than Management, with the skills and knowledge to start up their own businesses and/or pursue careers in business;
  • To provide management education to students which fosters a spirit of entrepreneurship and leadership;
  • To provide opportunities for staff development so that members of staff can enhance their skills and knowledge as professional teachers and researchers;
  • To pursue excellence in its teaching which involves being innovative and up-to-date at all times;
  • To foster good relationships and an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust between members of staff in the Department;
  • To mount external courses for individuals in private, public and non-profit sectors in order to provide them with relevant, up-to-date skills and knowledge to enable them to cope efficiently and effectively with an ever-changing business environment;
  • To publish its research in national and international journals, as well as to present papers at conferences, both nationally and internationally;
  • To contribute its expertise to the community.

Within the Discipline of Management

We set the trend in educating and developing students to be critical thinkers & responsible global citizens.
We pursue our business of management education and research with passion and curiosity.

Vision Statement

The Department of Management sets the trend through:

  • Generating research-based management knowledge and solutions
  • Graduating preferred leaders of tomorrow
  • Generating and applying best practice in teaching, learning and research
  • Dynamic staff dedicated to lifelong learning


  • Trust
  • Commitment
  • Co-operation
  • Respect
  • Excellence

A Brief Introduction

The goal of the Department is to prepare students for careers in management and leadership roles in a variety of industries, and to provide ongoing education and research opportunities for current managers.

The Department typically offers undergraduate level coursework, as well as Masters and PhD programmes for those interested in pursuing academic research careers.

The Department of Management at Rhodes University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the field of management.

The Department has a strong focus on research and teaching, with a commitment to providing students with a comprehensive education in the field of management.

The Department is committed to providing students with the skills and knowledge needed to become successful professionals in the business world.

We offer small classes and offer a personalised approach to teaching where individual students counts!

Should I study a Management Degree?

By studying a management degree, you are setting yourself up for entry into the world of work, and it allows you to play an influential role in organisations, be those organisations, non-profit organisations or small businesses or the bigger corporate organisation.

Department of Management Educating Managers for a better future

Department of Management

Academic Courses

Undergraduate Studies

Management 101

This semester course focuses on the world of business management, the role of an entrepreneur and manager in the South African business environment, and managerial competencies. Further the module focuses on the general management tasks of planning, organising, leading and controlling.

Management 102

This semester course continues to focus on the business organisation and management, and explores managing in various contexts which includes marketing management, financial management, operations management, human resource management and purchasing and supply chain management.

Management 211 - Human Resource Management A

The human resource management function with emphasis on human resource planning, staffing, compensation, labour relations, training and development, performance management, human resource information technology and international human resource management maintenance.

Management 212 - Supply Chain Management

An overview of operations and supply chain management with an emphasis on the concepts of supply chain strategy, integrated logistics, inventory, quality and quality tools, forecasting and supply chain management challenges and future trends.

Management 213 - The principles of Marketing

The marketing concept, the marketing mix with specific emphasis on product, price, place and promotion decisions; an introduction to marketing research; an introduction to consumer behaviour; and segmentation, targeting and positioning.

Management 214 - Financial Management A

The goal of Financial Management, financial statements, ratio analysis and working capital management.

Management 311 - Human Resource Management B

Building on Human Resource Management A, this module focuses on organisational behaviour, with the emphasis on understanding the behaviour and leadership of people in the organisation; labour relations, with the emphasis on South African labour relations systems and management.

Management 312 - Strategic Management

A study of the principles of strategic management, in accordance with the constraints and opportunities imposed by both internal and external environmental factors.

Management 313 - Principles of Marketing B

Building on Principles of Marketing A, this module focuses on a selection of the following topics – designing a customer-driven marketing strategy, marketing research, consumer behaviour, brand management, international marketing, marketing communications, services marketing, social and digital marketing.

Management 314 - Financial Management B

Building on Financial Management A, this module focuses on the investment and finance decisions.

Postgraduate Studies

This honours degree option consists of the following:

3 compulsory papers:

  • Paper 1: Strategic Management
  • Paper 2: Financial Management
  • Paper 8: Research

And any 2 papers out of the following:

  • Paper 3: Human Resource Management
  • Paper 4: Strategic Marketing
  • Paper 7: Project Management

Paper 1: Strategic Management

The aim of this course is to enable students to think strategically and be aware of the importance of ethical principles, values and responsible corporate citizenship.

Topics include:

  • Strategy, stakeholders and strategic direction
  • Strategic analysis
  • Strategy development and formulation
  • Strategy implementation control

Paper 2: Financial Management

The aim of the course is to enable students to understand and implement financial management strategies
to enhance organisational performance.

Topics include:

  • Capital structure and the cost of capital
  • Sources of finance
  • Capital budgeting
  • The dividend decision
  • Valuation of organisations
  • Working capital management
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

Paper 3: Human Resource Management

The aim of this course is to enable students to initiate and manage organisational change and development.

Topics include:

  • The skills, task and role of an organisational consultant
  • Organisational development (OD)
  • Organisational diagnosis
  • Organisational development interventions
  • Learning Organisations
  • Knowledge and intellectual capital

Paper 4: Strategic Marketing

The aim of this course is to enable students to solve contemporary topical marketing problems.

Topics include:

  • International Marketing
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Brand Management
  • Marketing Research
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • B2B Marketing
  • Services Marketing
  • E-Marketing
  • Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)

Paper 7: Project Management

The aim of this course is to familiarise and empower students to lead project teams, and to manage projects in the workplace, using a clearly defined and powerful set of knowledge resources, tools and techniques, while adding value to the overall organisational objectives.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Project Management, Knowledge Areas and Process Groups
  • Project, Program and Portfolio Selection
  • Project Leadership, Management and Team Selection
  • Project Scope, Time, Cost and Quality Management
  • Project Stakeholder, Procurement, Communication, Human Resource and Risk Management
  • Project Management Tools and Techniques

Paper 8: Research

The aim of the course is to enable students to conduct research independently within a team.

Topics include:

  • Identify a research project
  • Write a research proposal
  • Conduct a literature review
  • Analyse and explain research results in a meaningful manner
  • Write up the research in the form of a 5000 word research paper

This option consists of the following 5 compulsory papers:

  • Paper 1: Strategic Management
  • Paper 2: Financial Management
  • Paper 5: Investment Management 1
  • Paper 6: Investment and Risk Management 2
  • Paper 8: Research

Paper 1: Strategic Management

The aim of this course is to enable students to think strategically and be aware of the importance of ethical principles, values and responsible corporate citizenship.

Topics include:

  • Strategy, stakeholders and strategic direction
  • Strategic analysis
  • Strategy development and formulation
  • Strategy implementation control

Paper 2: Financial Management

The aim of the course is to enable students to understand and implement financial management strategies to enhance organisational performance.

Topics include:

  • Capital structure and the cost of capital
  • Sources of finance
  • Capital budgeting
  • The dividend decision
  • Valuation of organisations
  • Working capital management
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

Paper 5: Investment Management 1 & Paper 6: Investment and Risk Management 2

The aim of this course is to enable students to understand the investment environment, the risks involved in managing investments and enable students to compile and manage an investment portfolio taking into account the relevant risk management techniques.

Topics include:

  • Value, return and risk
  • Equity fundamental analysis and investment alternatives
  • Investment in fixed-income securities
  • Introduction to risk and financial risk
  • Risk assessment techniques
  • Specific types of risk
  • The use of financial instruments in risk management
  • Portfolio risk management

Paper 8: Research

The aim of the course is to enable students to conduct research independently within a team.

Topics include:

  • Identify a research project
  • Write a research proposal
  • Conduct a literature review
  • Analyse and explain research results in a meaningful manner
  • Write up the research in the form of a 5000 word research paper

Please leave the Master’s and PhD information as is, other than formatting changes should it be necessary.


Thank you for your interest in reading for the degree of Master of Commerce (MCom), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), with the Department of Management at Rhodes University. The information provided in this document contains important information that you must carefully consider before you proceed with a formal application.

There are five main factors that are taken into account when we evaluate applications from potential students at this level.

Firstly, we evaluate your potential to succeed with the challenges of a rigorous and necessarily demanding academic research programme. We do this on the basis of a detailed scrutiny of your previous academic results, both undergraduate and postgraduate. We will also read your prior research, in the form of an honours project (in the case of an MCom application), or a master's thesis (for the PhD). Our evaluation of your potential is informed by the specifications of the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework for master’s and doctoral degrees. See below for details relevant to the level of your application. A key implication of this qualification structure is that no doctoral candidate will require substantial remedial assistance from us, for any of the competencies specified at master’s level.

Secondly, we consider our research supervision capacity. Every year, we receive more applications than we have supervision capacity to accept. Therefore, if you choose to proceed with a formal application, you need to be aware of the highly competitive environment where not all the applicants will be successful.

Thirdly, we consider your research area. This will involve you sending us a preliminary research proposal, written in an acceptable and appropriately referenced academic style. Your preliminary proposal serves a number of important purposes. It provides further insights into your academic abilities. It also enables us to evaluate your perceived levels of commitment to, and enthusiasm for, your proposed research programme. Finally, it allows us to assess the alignment of your research interest with the general academic interests of the staff in the Department.

Fourthly, we wish to know your intended location for the duration of your studies. It is preferable that successful candidates will be in attendance on campus.

Fifthly, we expect that applicants will be interested in studying with us specifically because their proposed research is relevant to the current research activities of a potential supervisor within our Department. This will necessitate an investigation by you, to determine whether your topic is a reasonable match with the publication record (including recent working papers and conference presentations) of one, or perhaps two, of our staff members. Following your investigation, we require a letter of motivation from you, in which you identify your proposed supervisor or supervisors, and explain why your proposed work might be of interest to them.

Purpose of a Master’s degree

The primary purposes of a master’s degree1 are to educate and train researchers who can contribute to the development of knowledge at an advanced level, or prepare graduates for advanced and specialised professional employment. The master’s degree in the Department of Management is by full thesis, and there is no course work component.

The master’s thesis must show that the candidate: a) is sufficiently acquainted with the appropriate methods and techniques of research; b) is sufficiently acquainted with the relevant literature; c) has both satisfactorily understood the nature of the problem or topic and assessed the significance of the findings; and d) has satisfactorily presented the results of independent research for the award of the degree in a manner which is satisfactory as to literary style and presentation, and free from grammatical and typographical errors. Furthermore, the master’s thesis must show that the candidate is able to: a) deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively; b) make sound judgements using data and information at their disposal and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences; c) demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems; d) act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level; and e) continue to advance their knowledge, understanding and skills.

Purpose of a Doctoral degree

A doctoral degree1 requires a candidate to undertake research at the most advanced academic levels culminating in the submission, assessment and acceptance of a thesis. The doctoral degree in the Department of Management is by full thesis, and there is no course work component. The defining characteristic of this qualification is that the candidate is required to demonstrate high-level research capability and make a significant and original academic contribution at the frontiers of a discipline or field. The work must be of a quality to satisfy peer review and merit publication. The degree may be earned through pure discipline-based or multidisciplinary research or applied research. This degree requires a minimum of two years' fulltime study. A graduate must be able to supervise and evaluate the research of others in the area of specialisation concerned.

The doctoral thesis must show that the candidate:

  1. is sufficiently acquainted with the appropriate methods of research;
  2. is sufficiently acquainted with the relevant literature;
  3. has satisfactorily presented the results of independent research for the award of the degree;
  4. has made a substantial and original contribution to knowledge in the discipline, the substance of which is worthy of publication in a scholarly journal or book. (The doctoral thesis differs from a master’s thesis particularly in respect to this point). In addition, the thesis must be satisfactory as to literary style and presentation.

 1 Adapted from Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework. 2013. Notice No. 549, Government Gazette No. 36721. 2 August, Pp. 36-39. Emphasis added.

Period of registration

Minimum period of registration

A full-time Master’s candidate may obtain the degree one year after being awarded an Honours degree. Part-time Master’s candidates must be registered for two years before they can graduate.

The minimum period for which a candidate may be registered for the PhD degree is two years if the candidate holds a Master’s degree.

Maximum period of registration

Candidates are expected to have completed a Master’s degree within three years from first registration and a PhD within five years from first registration or six years if their PhD was upgraded from a Master’s degree.

Consequently, candidates should apply to Senate for the extension of their registration period as Senate may suspend or cancel the registration of a candidate if they are not satisfied that an extension is warranted.

Minimum academic requirements

The minimum academic requirements for postgraduate applicants are as follows: 

  • A minimum average of 65% of all subjects and a minimum of 65% for the research project at the honours level OR a minimum average of 65% of all subjects at the Postgraduate diploma and a minimum of 65% for the research project.
  • A minimum of 65% at the masters’ level and preferably a masters by full thesis, for doctoral applications.

Your compliance with the minimum result requirements does not guarantee automatic acceptance of your application, which will be considered in the full context of all evaluation factors specified above.

The process

Herewith the process that needs to be followed to register.

Stage 1:

You will first need to register on the Rhodes On-Line Students System (ROSS) at

A guidelines document on how to register can be found at ROSS Registration Guide.

Stage 2:

Once registered on ROSS, you will need to complete the online registration form that is available at On the webpage, scroll down until you find the application forms for Masters and PhDs.

Stage 3:

In addition to the online registration form, submit all the required information and documentation as indicated on the online application link and as outlined below.

  1. Provide a short preliminary research proposal (3 to 5 pages) outlining the intended research area (using this Research Proposal Template). Also indicate your familiarity with the research methods and techniques; your familiarity with the research context (i.e. where the field work would be done); and your relationship with the research context and the likelihood of you being able to access the required data.
  2. Provide a letter of motivation in which you identify your proposed supervisor or supervisors, and explain why your proposed work might be of interest to them. (Note: Even for master's level applicants, it is important that your research is generally aligned with the research areas supported by academic staff in the department.)

With regard to more practical matters, all applicants should also indicate the following in the letter of motivation:

  1. why you would like to study in the Department of Management at Rhodes University
  2. whether you will be in attendance or not and whether you intend to study full time or part time
  3. your proximity to Grahamstown over the period of registration, and the likelihood of you being able to attend research meetings with supervisor(s) at least twice a year;
  4. the number of years within which you intend to complete;
  5. how you intend to fund your studies; and
  6. the contact details of 3 academic references (one of which must be a current or past supervisor) indicating: name, title, university, phone, email, and relationship.
  1. A copy of your curriculum vitae which includes any publications and/or relevant work-related activities.
  2. Certified copies of your full official academic transcripts reflecting the detailed results, including percentage marks, of all previous qualifications and the award of degree(s). If percentage marks are not shown on the transcript, provide an interpretation of the results. Copies of degree certificates do NOT constitute an academic transcript. Non-South African (foreign) qualifications need to be verified by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).  

Please apply online to SAQA ( the verification process.

Please provide a copy of or access link to your most recent research work (usually an Honours research report if applying for Masters studies, or a copy of your Master’s thesis if applying for PhD studies).


Your application will not be considered until ALL the required information has been provided.

Note that the closing date for new applications is 1 May and registrations closes on 1 June of each year.   Furthermore, the Department of Management will process applications during the months of April/May and October/November of each year.  Your application will be evaluated in the context of all other current applications on the basis of your academic record, evidence of research ability, your preliminary research proposal, letter of motivation and the availability of supervisory capacity within your area of interest.  A potential supervisor may also contact you directly to further explore your research interests or available research projects.

Successful applicants are expected to make their own arrangements with regards to funding in respect of academic fees, accommodation, subsistence and travel. The Department of Management does not fund post-graduate studies. For all queries on funding please contact the Research Office for post graduate funding opportunities at

Research Projects

There is a need in Africa to develop not simply effective organisational management and leadership, but also that which is appropriate to Africa. Similarly, it is not sufficient to develop knowledge for Africa, but to develop knowledge from Africa. African knowledge and culture, pertaining to the science (theory) and practice of Management, has been largely denigrated, as has the knowledge pertaining to Chinese management in Africa.

Brief Summary

China’s presence in Africa is changing geopolitical dynamics impacting at organizational and community levels. Little extant literature focuses on these levels. These dynamics also influence the ways scholars view Chinese activity, often negatively so. Critical theories in international organizational and management studies that draw on Postcolonial Theory focus on North-South dynamics. This may now be inappropriate to critically understanding a new South-South dynamic.

Research at organizational level of Chinese corporations and organizations in Africa is practically non-existent. This may reflect a previous lack of interest by management scholars in sub-Saharan Africa as an area of study. More recently research on this dynamic and important region has increased, yet may still suffer from a lack of theoretical grounding. Contemporary interest in critical studies such as Postcolonial Theory has given theory development an impetus, but still may be falling behind developments in other areas of the social sciences. Similarly theoretical and empirical developments in the study of China abroad are in their infancy. China, of course is present in other ‘Southern’ regions, not just sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore the current work may have wider implications for the further cross-cultural study of organization and management of Chinese organizations in other parts of the world, and for Chinese management policy and practice generally.

This international research project sets out to develop colleagues and capacity within an international collaboration that seeks to:

  • Develop cross-cultural theory and methodology to study these dynamics
    at an organisational level; and
  • Investigate the nature of Chinese organisational activity and its implications
    for Africa’s economic, social and community development.

We believe this project will position the research partners at the forefront of research in this area, by leading an international network and through seeking to publish in top management journals in an area that is both topical, has implications for Africa’s future development and implications for geopolitical relations on the World stage. At the same time commitment has been gained from a team of researchers that has the potential to substantially develop their research capacity, together with training doctoral and masters students.

We are expecting to cover at least the following (perhaps some overlapping) areas:

  • Organization and management of Chinese firms in sub-Saharan Africa
    [organization and management]
  • The nature of HRM and employment relations in Chinese organizations in Africa [HRM]
  • Synergies between Chinese and African cultures and values and implications for managing organizations [cultural synergies]
  • Strategies in practice: managers’ interpretations of strategies
    and implications [strategies]
  • Stakeholder and community relations [stakeholders]
  • Negotiation relationships [negotiations]
  • The management of ethical values across cultures [ethics].

We are expecting to cover at least the following countries:

  • South Africa
  • Mauritius
  • Botswana
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Nigeria
  • Ghana
  • Cameroon (and other Francophone countries)
  • Tanzania
  • Kenya
  • Uganda

Initial funding of this project has been provided by the Sandisa Imbewu Fund at Rhodes University, with research cooperation between Rhodes University, South Africa; Middlesex University Business School, London; and Nanjing University, China. We are also expecting to involve colleagues from African universities as well as colleagues from the Open University Business School, UK; Stockholm University, Sweden; Catholic University of Lille, France.

The Sandisa Imbewu Fund, meaning ‘We are growing and multiplying our seeds” was initiated by Rhodes Unversity’s Vice-Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat to establish a seed fund for strategic new academic initiatives. The seed fund is aptly named Sandisa Imbewu as it reflects Rhodes University’s strategy to grow its postgraduate student numbers, research and development programmes and to multiply its postgraduate and research outputs towards enhancing its standing as the “Scholarly University”.

The ultimate goal of the Sandisa Imbewu funded project is to develop a research focus area in the Faculty of Commerce that specialises in cross-cultural research on management and leadership in African organisations. This will incorporate an understanding of the global dynamics associated with, in this instance, Chinese presence in Africa. The focus can in time be extended to western and other ‘southern’ presence, such as the other BRIC countries, and their interaction with indigenous leadership and management.  

Ultimately, the Department of Management would like to set the trend in this research area in South Africa in collaboration with its international colleagues, and increase its research scope to include the development of management and leadership knowledge from Africa, its capacity development and its ability to draw scholars from South Africa, other countries in Africa and internationally.

In addition to the Sandisa Imbewu funding, we are actively seeking further funding.


Department of Management