Course information

Registration Closes:
1 September 2020
Course Starts:
7 September 2020
15 weeks, excluding orientation.
8–12 hours per week, self-paced learning online.
ZAR R25,900
Payment Options
University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development


The MBA Essentials online short course aims to equip professionals with the insight to make key strategic and operational decisions in any industry.

Using a practical, case study-based approach, you’ll learn from experts and thought leaders about the three key pillars of business covered in an MBA course: economics, quantitative methods and managerial accounting, as well as gain technical skills and broaden your knowledge of probability theory and cost behaviour.

You’ll develop these practical capabilities and gain a better-informed perspective of the economic climate, in order to set yourself apart as a business leader or as an MBA programme applicant.


Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

    • An understanding of the three vital components of business management: economics, quantitative methods, and managerial accounting
    • Practical business skills that will improve your management decisions and inform your perspective of the corporate landscape
    • A solid foundation supplied by global thought leaders should you choose to pursue a full MBA
    • A certificate from the University of Stellenbosch as proof of your new business management capabilities

Is this course for you?

This course is aimed at busy working professionals looking to sharpen their business acumen and develop the skills to stand out in the current corporate landscape. Senior staff, such as managers and executives, will develop a broad understanding of the various factors that influence strategies and the decision-making process.

Business owners and entrepreneurs will also benefit from the interactive approach to learning and networking opportunities. If you’re considering a full-time MBA, this course will help you prepare for some of the key subjects, as well as gauge your appetite for further study.


Course curriculum

Gain MBA-ready business management skills as you work through the weekly modules of this online short course.

Orientation Module Welcome to your Online Campus

Module 1 Introduction to key economic principles

Module 6 Time value of money Module 11 Introduction to accounting

Module 2 Basics of microeconomics

Module 7 Data analysis and summary Module 12 Interpreting the income statement
Module 3 Macroeconomics: Growth, development, and unemployment Module 8 Probability theory Module 13 The balance sheet
Module 4 Macroeconomics: Balance of payments and inflation Module 9 Probability distributions Module 14 Cost behaviour
Module 5 South Africa's economy in a global context Module 10 Using data to make decisions Module 15 Cash management

Your success team

In collaboration with the world's top-tier universities, we design online short courses around the insights of experienced faculty members and authoritative industry experts. On this preparatory MBA online course, you can expect to learn from thought leaders via online video lectures, which will be accessible to you anywhere, any time, allowing you to prepare for an MBA part time.

Brett Hamilton

Brett is an MBA lecturer of business finance and decision analysis. He received his MBA Cum Laude from the University of Stellenbosch Business School, and has over 10 years of experience in business ownership (FMCG, retail and media) and senior management. Brett is experienced in financial modelling, forecasting, valuation and budgeting,  consults in the fields of market/business intelligence and business strategy.

Prof Andre Roux



Professor André Roux has a Masters in Economics and a PhD from Stellenbosch University. He is an expert in economics and futures research, and has over 30 years of academic experience. He is the previous Director of the Institute for Futures Research (IFR), and currently head of the M Phil programme in Futures Studies. André is a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University.

Sonja Cilliers



Sonja Cilliers is a Chartered Accountant and is an expert in financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing, and executive coaching. She is an MBA lecturer at Stellenbosch Business School and a professional executive coach - allowing for a perfect blend of theoretical knowledge and practical business applications of managerial accounting.

Please note that the following documents are required to complete an online course from the University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development:

- Copy of identity document, passport, or driver’s license
- Copy of highest qualification achieved, or CV detailing relevant work experience

If you have queries about these requirements, please contact us on +27 87 551 7292.

Earn a certificate from Stellenbosch University

Explore economics, quantitative methods and managerial accounting and earn an official certificate of completion from University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 7 September 2020.

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a payment plan option. As the MBA Essentials is 15 weeks, you can opt for either a three-part or a four-part payment plan when you register.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for, please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.