Block release


For many people, the frenetic nature of today’s organisations means that it is not possible for them to attend a full-time or part-time MBA programme. People in these situations need an MBA programme that can allow them to manage their study programme in a block format while providing them with the support that a good programme can offer.


Why Nelson Mandela University Business School?

As a student on Nelson Mandela University’s MBA programme (NQF 9) you will earn your MBA while gaining valuable, hands-on business experience. Working through case studies and group projects with real organisations, you will be actively involved in your educational experience. You will also learn from business professors, fellow classmates and guest speakers, who come from a variety of different backgrounds, industries and cultures.

Our focus on leadership development is distinctive and considered amongst the best offered in business schools in Africa. We individualise leadership development to fit your needs and to help you understand and leverage your individual strengths, challenges, drivers and capabilities.

Our MBA programme is nationally and internationally accredited. For all our accreditations and rankings, please click on this link


Admissions Criteria

At the Nelson Mandela University Business School, prospective MBA candidates are assessed against rigorous selection criteria.

Prospective students are required to meet the following criteria:


  • four-year Bachelor’s degree at NQF Level 8; a relevant Postgraduate Diploma (in for instance Business Administration (PDBA)) at NQF Level 8; or an applicable Honours degree in the Business Faculty at NQF Level 8.
  • minimum of three years management or five years business working experience.
  • Applicants must reside within a 60 km radius of one of our centres: Cape Town, Durban, Gauteng or East London.
  • Be fluent in English. Applicants not fluent in English will be required to produce an English Proficiency certificate to verify English language skills.

An applicant who meets the above criteria will then progress onto the second phase of the application process: the writing of the Psychometric Test.


  • All applicants are required to complete the psychometric test as part of their application process.
  • Students need to score a 5 or higher on each of the assessment criterias of the psychometric (SHL) test; or
  • Students writing the NMAT Test need to obtain a minimum score of 160 out of 360; or
  • Students writing the GMAT test need to obtain a score of 520 or higher.

Once the test has been completed the application will be reviewed and those applicants who meet the application criteria for phase 1 and phase 2 will be asked to partake in an interview (PHASE 3).

Those who do not meet the criteria for phase 1 or phase 2 will not be allowed to further partake in the application process, and their application will be deemed ‘not successful’.


The MBA block release programme is offered over two years to students residing in, and around, one of its centres (Cape Town, Durban, East London or Gauteng - within a 60km radius).

Trimester Module Structure:


Data Analysis & Decision Making

Strategic Marketing

Accounting for Business*

Leadership 1

International Business

Management Economics

Elective 2

Leadership 2


Research Project Proposal 

People Management

Management Accounting

Leadership 1 (continued)

Business Research Project

Leadership 2 (continued)



Financial Management

Strategic Operations

Business Strategy

Elective 1 

Leadership 1 (continued)


Business Research Project

Leadership 2 (continued)




Exit: MBA Degree

*Accounting for Business is a foundation programme for Management Accounting. If an applicant completed Accounting in their first year at university, they will not be required to enrol for this module.


ELECTIVES (can select any 2):

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Project Management
  • Lean Enterprise Management
  • Business in Society
  • Future Studies
  • Data Science for Managers
  • Sustainable Development
  • Management of Technology



Electives are offered over four (4) days in Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth), from 08:00 – 17:00. Compulsory for all MBA students (Part-Time and Block Release). Leadership 2 will require block release students to attend an additional block release lecture in Gqeberha.


The programme is presented as follows:

  1. A study visit to Gqeberha (PE). 
    Each year is divided into 3 trimesters (12 weeks per trimester). You will be required to travel to Gqeberha for a study visit at the beginning of Trimester One (January), Trimester Two (June), and Trimester Three (October). The study visit in PE normally runs from Friday to Sunday and attendance is compulsory.
  2. Live streaming of classes via the Zoom / Teams platform. The live video sessions allow for a virtual classroom experience where students and lecturers can interact with each other.


Delivery Sites

Cape Town


East London




Group Work

All students accepted onto the MBA programme are assigned to a syndicate group. Group members are selected and assigned according to their professional expertise and experience so as to best replicate a management team in the working environment. MBA students will work together in their groups over the two-year period. You will be required to meet with your group members on a regular basis (at least once a week) to work on assignments.


Tests and Exams

All exams are written at the delivery points (Gqeberha (PE), Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban or East London).  Tests are written on weekends (Saturdays) and exams in the week.


Main Campus & International Head Office

Nelson Mandela University Business School
2nd Avenue Campus
2nd Avenue
Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth), 6000
South Africa


Learning Methods & Techniques

Formal Lectures. Analyses of case studies. International Guest Speakers and Lecturers. International study visits. Facilitated Group Discussion. Presentation of Group Assignments. Conducting applied research on real business problems.


International Learning Experience

An international learning experience is offered through our network of Business School Affiliates around the world and the Nelson Mandela University Office for International Education as well as our cohort of international students.

Included in our programme are optional overseas fieldtrips as part of formal learning programmes, study abroad opportunities at partner universities and an international pool of guest lecturers.


Nelson Mandela University Lecturers

Our faculty and lecturers are the driving force behind our cutting-edge programmes and provide the best learning experience.

Media, industry, working individuals and professionals, government and leaders turn to our faculty for the latest insights, knowledge and expertise.

We are driven by a set of values geared to ensure that employees and students are holistically empowered as leaders, innovators, agents of change and independent thinkers that will contribute to ecological and economic sustainability and the upliftment of community and society.