“The average salary of MBA holders in South Africa is R718,000 per year. The salary increases to R3 million per year at CEO-level.” – PayScale

The MBA is growing in popularity and there are many reasons for this. The obvious reason is that having an MBA can advance your career and increase your earning potential.

It is a great way for professionals (such as lawyers, engineers and medical doctors) to acquire the business skills needed for changing careers or starting a business.

For example, Dr Judy Dlamini completed an MBA degree in order to transition from being a medical doctor to becoming a businesswoman (with a net worth of over R120 million).

The great news is that studying for an MBA in South Africa has become easier and cheaper (in some of the business schools). Today, there are about 19 business schools in South Africa that offer MBA programmes – most of which offer flexible learning options, such as studying part-time, on weekends, during evenings and via distance learning.

In this article, you will find MBA entry requirements for 9 business schools in South Africa.

Table of Contents*

1MBA @ University of Cape Town Graduate (UCT)
2MBA @ University of Johannesburg (UJ)
3MBA @ Management College of South Africa (MANCOSA)
4MBA @ Regent Business School (RBS)
5MBA @ Regenesys Business School
6MBA @ University of South Africa (UNISA)
7MBA @ Milpark Business School
8MBA @ North West University (NWU)
9MBA @ Nelson Mandela University (NMU)
*Use the table of contents to jump to the section you want to read

1. MBA Entry Requirements at University of Cape Town Graduate (UCT) School of Business (GSB)

UCT GBS MBA

You must:

  • Be 25 years or older.
  • Have a minimum of three years work experience.
  • Be fluent in English. If English is not your first language, you will be required to produce a TOEFL certificate to verify fluency in English. Some applicants might also be asked to complete the National Benchmark Test (NBT).
  • Have completed an Honours Degree or Postgraduate Diploma or a cognate Bachelor’s Degree equivalent at NQF level 8 through relevant work experience. If you don’t meeting the degree requirement, you can apply through the UCT GSB’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route.

You will also need to:

  • Write the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and obtain a score of 550+. UCT GSB offers a five-day GMAT Preparation Course to help students prepare for the GMAT.

UCT GSB also uses other indicators including essays about life experience, goals, attitudes and values, evaluations from two referees and details of work experience, educational and extramural activities. An interview might also be required.

Interesting Fact: In 1966, Marina Stander became the first woman to graduate with an MBA from UCT GSB. She went on to become the first female state prosecutor in the Supreme Court.

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UCT GSB MBA: https://www.gsb.uct.ac.za/mba

2. MBA Entry Requirements at University of Johannesburg (UJ) Johannesburg Business School (JBS)

UJ JBS MBA

You must have:

  • A completed and South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) accredited NQF 8 qualification e.g. Honours Degree or Postgraduate Diploma.
  • SAQA certificates for all qualifications completed outside South Africa.
  • A minimum of four years’ work experience for the part-time programme.
  • A level of mathematics literacy: NQF 4 matriculation pass in mathematics or equivalent (preferred but not essential) i.e., demonstrated mathematics literacy.
  • Be proficient in English (verbally and written format).
  • Successfully complete the JBS MBA admissions assessment requirements.
Fun Fact: The UJ MBA was only introduced in 2020.

UJ JBS MBA: https://www.uj.ac.za/faculties/cbe/johannesburg-business-school/Pages/UJ-MBA-Programme.aspx

3. MBA Entry Requirements at MANCOSA MBA

MANCOSA MBA

You must have:

  • An Honours Degree or Postgraduate Diploma; or A Bachelors Degree at NQF level 8 degree.
  • Five years’ working experience, of which two years must be in a supervisory or managerial capacity.

If you do not meet the degree requirement, you might gain entry into the MBA programme through the Recognition of Prior Learning route.

Notable Alumni: Amasi Mwela (CEO: Private Property & Ex-CEO: Fundi/ Eduloan) and Alistair Mokoena (Ex-CEO Ogilvy South Africa & Head of Google South Africa).

MANCOSA MBA: https://www.mancosa.co.za/programmes/postgraduate/masters

4. MBA Entry Requirements at Regent Business School (RBS)

Regent Business School MBA

You must:

  • Be 25 years of age or older and;
  • Have an Honours Degree, an Postgraduate Diploma, a Professional Bachelor’s Degree at NQF level 8 (480 credits) e.g. Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or equivalent qualification.
  • Have at least three years of working experience.

Regent also offers the RPL route. However, it limits it to a maximum of 10% of the cohort.

Notable Alumni: Dr Tebogo Phetla Mashifana (Engineer, Academic & Researcher) and Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng (Ex-Board Member @ South African Weather Service, Ex-Deputy Chairperson @ Brand South Africa & Board Member @ ICASA)

Regent MBA: https://regent.ac.za/programme/master-of-business-administration

5. MBA Entry Requirements at Regenesys Business School

Regenesys Business School MBA
  • You will need to be in possession of a relevant Honours Degree or a Postgraduate Diploma or a cognate (professional) Bachelor’s Degree at NQF Level 8 from an accredited institution as per the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework.
Notable Alumni: Owen Manasah (Finance Director at Tongaat Hulett) and Dr Cobus van Rensburg (Senior Manager: Presidential Infrastracture Coordinating Commission & Project Management Professional – PMP)

Regenesys Business School MBA: https://regenesys.net/course/master-of-business-administration-mba

6. MBA Entry Requirements at University of South Africa (UNISA) School of Business Leadership (SBL)

UNISA MBA

You must have:

  • A completed Bachelor’s Degree or any equivalent (provide a clear copy of certificate and transcript indicating the symbol or percentage obtained for each module).
  • A completed Bachelor’s Honours Degree or a Postgraduate Diploma (minimum 120 credits), or a 480-credit Bachelor’s Degree (provide a clear copy of certificate and transcript indicating the symbol or percentage obtained for each module).
  • Original documentary proof of at least three years’ managerial or professional work experience (e.g. a letter from your employer on an official letterhead), indicating your period of service or a certificate of service.  If you operate your own business, the statement can be made by your auditor, accountant, attorney or partner).
  • A two-page double-space document motivating why you want to obtain an MBA degree.  You have to certify that this motivation is your own work and prepared solely by you for the application process
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae/ resume.
  • A clear copy of your identity document/ passport

You will also have to:

  • Complete a compulsory selection test.
Notable Alumni: Dr Judy Dlamini (Ex-Chairperson: Aspen & Founder of the Mbekani Group, which owns Luminance and the Jimmy Choo store in Sandton City) and Busisiwe Sithole (Group Head: Transformation, Diversity & Inclusion at Absa Group)

UNISA SBL MBA: https://www.unisa.ac.za/sites/sbl/default/Programmes/MBA-%E2%80%93-Master-of-Business-Administration

7. MBA Entry Requirements at Milpark Business School

Milpark Business School MBA
Entry Route 1

You must:

  • Have an accredited postgraduate diploma, honours degree, a four-year Bachelor’s degree (that exits at Level 8) or equivalent.
  • Be at least 25 years old.
  • Achieve an acceptable rating in either the Milpark or NMAT assessments.
  • Have a minimum of three to four years’ relevant work experience.
  • Be proficient in English (Proof of proficiency may be required for international students).
  • Be computer and internet-literate.
  • Write a one-page essay motivating your admission into the MBA programme.
  • Present yourself for an interview with the Programme Manager.
  • Submit a CV using the Milpark Business School template.
Entry Route 2: Recognition of Prior Learning

In exceptionally limited cases, admission to the qualification may also take place via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If you’re in this category. You must:

  • Demonstrate that you have sufficient professional experience by submitting the following information on application: a condensed curriculum vitae and a biographical essay.
  • Present yourself for a challenge exam if in the opinion of the Panel this is necessity (on the merits of past work experience).
  • Be 40 years old or older.
  • Have 15-20 years’ relevant work experience.
  • Be in a Senior Management or Executive position.
  • Achieve an acceptable rating in either the Milpark or NMAT assessments.
  • Write a one-page essay motivating your admission into the MBA.
  • Present yourself for an interview with the Programme Manager.

Note: Milpark prioritises Entry Route 1 applicants. Therefore, it will only consider RPL applicants after finalising applications from Entry Route 1.

Notable Alumni: Dashni Naidu Vilakazi (Marketing Director: ABSA, Ex-Head of Retail Marketing: Old Mutual South Africa & Ex-Business Unit Director: Ogilvy) and Trinesha Reddy (Head Of Strategy & Insights: Nedbank)

Milpark MBA: https://www.milpark.ac.za/-/master-of-business-administration-mba-

8. MBA Entry Requirements at North West University (NWU) Business School

NWU Business School

You must have:

  • A recognised four-year degree qualification (or equivalent) on NQF level 8, an Honours Degree on NQF level 8; or a Postgraduate Diploma on NQF level 8 with a minimum average of 60% (International qualifications must be verified by SAQA).
  • A minimum of three years of working experience.
  • A successfully completed NMAT admission test.

NWU Business School: http://commerce.nwu.ac.za/business/mba

9. MBA Entry Requirements at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) Business School

You must have:

  • A four-year bachelor’s degree at NQF Level 8; a relevant postgraduate diploma (in for instance business administration) at NQF Level 8 or an applicable honours degree from a business faculty at NQF Level 8
  • A minimum of three years’ management experience or five years’ business working experience
  • English proficiency. Applicants not fluent in English will be required to produce an English Proficiency certificate to verify English language skills

Please note:

  • You must reside within a 60 km radius of one of the School’s centres: Port Elizabeth, East London, Cape Town, Gauteng or Durban.
  • If you meets the above criteria, you will progress onto the second phase of the application process: the writing of the Psychometric Test and score a 5 or higher
  • Those writing the GMAT test need to obtain a score of 520 or higher

NMU Business School: http://businessschool.mandela.ac.za/mba-degree

In the next article, you will read MBA entry requirements for 10 more MBA Business Schools in South Africa; namely, Tshwane University of Technology Business School, University of KwaZulu Natal, University of Limpopo, University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Free State Business School, Rhodes University Business School, Monash University Business School, Henley Business School and University of Stellenbosch