What are the MBA Requirements in South Africa? - RegInsights

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What are the MBA Requirements in South Africa?

The requirements for obtaining an MBA degree are simple and straightforward. This is the ultimate guide that explains all you need to know about the documents you must have to get an MBA in South Africa.

Acquiring the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree has been identified as one of the fastest ways to get to the very top of leadership and management positions.

It helps people in the corporate world to climb the ladder to the top swiftly, increasing their salaries by the way.

An MBA is not just another degree but the perfect piece of certification that thrusts you into mid-level and senior management positions.

It is no wonder, then, that millions of people desire to have this degree.

Be that as it may, not having the proper MBA requirements has proven to be one of the primary reasons many people don’t eventually get accepted into the programme.

So, what exactly are the requirements that would give you access to this high-worth degree; do you think you have what it takes to get enrolled?

Requirements for getting an MBA

Requirements for getting an MBA

To be considered suitable and qualified for a spot in an MBA class, the prospective candidate must possess the following:

1.   A Degree

Because the MBA curriculum is an advanced degree programme, potential candidates are expected to have a background or considerable understanding of a series of subject matters relevant to grasping the contents in the individual modules.

Some of these include Economics, Accounting, and Research Skills, among others – even if at the most fundamental levels.

For that reason, a high school matric certificate is not sufficient.

Consequently, only a relevant Honours Degree from a recognised educational institution would do.

Alternatively, a Postgraduate Diploma that serves as a bridge that closes the gap between an ordinary Bachelor’s Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours would do just fine.

Distinguishing between these two kinds of degrees is quite essential as far as entry into an MBA program is concerned.

Unlike a proper Honours Degree, an ordinary Bachelor’s Degree does not have a research (mini-dissertation) component.

This component is, on the other hand, a compulsory part of the requirements for acquiring an appropriate Honours Degree.

Be that as it may, most MBA programmes (including in South Africa) would accept a cognate (professional) Bachelor’s Degree at an NQF level 8.

This must, however, be acquired only from an accredited institution as per the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework.

2.   Relevant Work Experience


An MBA degree is designed to enhance a candidate’s effectiveness and improve his/her leadership and management skills in a formal or corporate environment.

Therefore, potential candidates are expected to have prior experience gleaned from working in such a place.

Further to that, having some substantial work experience is essential because the case studies used to convey knowledge and evaluate the candidate’s level of understanding revolve around such formal workplaces or businesses.

Thus, knowing how a corporate institution works and having cognate experience of the challenges and weaknesses of such environments would help the candidate appreciate and understand the modules better.

Such practical work experiences allow them to practice the new skills and knowledge they are getting from the study materials (and other sources of impartation) in real-life circumstances.

In any case, people without such work experiences can compensate for that gap with an appropriate, and relevant Postgraduate Diploma acquired from an accredited institution.

3.   Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Potential candidates wishing to apply for an MBA programme but without a formal Bachelor’s (Honours) Degree, Postgraduate Diploma or a Professional Bachelor’s Degree can still qualify for entry.

For this to happen, the admission board must be able to confirm a Recognition of Prior Learning in the applicant.

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an ingenious locally designed policy that South Africa uses to ensure that as many people as are yearning for an education are not shut out of the door.

This policy is essential, considering the historical disadvantages the country witnessed decades ago.

A potential candidate seeking an MBA could gain entry if they can demonstrate that they have acquired considerable skills, knowledge, and work experience – even though they have no formal degrees.

Such skills, knowledge, and work experience combine towards collecting credits for a full qualification (at par with a degree).

These qualities acquired from prior learning go through an evaluation process conducted by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

After that, the appropriate National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level is awarded subsequently.

The candidate is then enrolled if the admission board of the business school is satisfied that he/she is qualified and would be able to cope with the rigours and expectations of an MBA programme.

Click here to find out more about South Africa’s global MBA degree on the NQF 9-level

Are There Any Possible Exemptions in an MBA Programme?

Are There Any Possible Exemptions in an MBA Programme?

Individual business schools reserve the discretion to determine how they evaluate and choose prospective candidates for their MBA programmes as well as which modules candidates can be exempted from studying.

Such an exemption is, of course, subject to the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) considering that there is a basic minimum threshold which they cannot go below as highlighted in the section above.

Thus, the relevant office may consider such exemptions for some specific MBA modules while strictly following the academic rules and regulations laid down by the relevant government bodies.

In such a circumstance, the waiver from taking the module(s) (which is on a case-by-case consideration) must be approved by the Registrar on submission of the required information.

What Documents Do I Need to Get Ready before Applying for an MBA in South Africa?

Documents for Regenesys MBA

An MBA degree makes you thought leader – one who manages resources, leads people and makes strategic decisions that would affect a business or the public.

To get the degree, you would be required to present the following before getting admitted into an MBA programme.

  • A completed registration form (which you can complete online. Almost all MBA-awarding institutions offer this option)
  • A certified copy of your highest qualification
  • A copy of your Identification Document (ID)
  • A copy of your CV, which should include details of all of your work experience
  • Proof of payment of the registration fee so that the letter of acceptance can be processed

Register for a SAQA-recognised MBA programme

Last Words

There you have it! Getting admitted into an MBA programme is not rocket science, after all.

Knowing the requirements to get an MBA is the first step and preparing all your documents is next.

Given the way events are unfolding in the business or corporate world, it is clear that having an MBA education and certificate is one surefire way to boost your career.

An MBA would also help you earn better and impart in you the crucial skills and knowledge required to lead and manage people and businesses wherever you go.

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