The MBA curriculum is structured around a set of core courses, which are designed to give students a solid grounding in the fundamentals of management and integrate this learning into a holistic framework that is sensitive to the key challenges facing business today.
Please note that our curriculum is undergoing a review and may be subject to change.
The overall objective is to provide you with:
an ability to read, understand and interpret financial statements, and
the skills to appreciate the role of accounting in making decisions and controlling and planning the operations of an organisation, and to interpret and use financial information for decision-making purposes.
Business, government and society
The course is designed to introduce students to the following:
Familiarity with global environmental, social, economic and political trends and developments.
Understanding of the global business environment and issues facing companies entering this global marketplace.
Ability to evaluate governmental and social issues and strategies impacting on and operating in emerging market economies.
Awareness of global and national regimes of law, regulation and systems of rules for business conduct and an understanding of risk assessment, management, as well as corporate governance.
Understanding of business ethics.
Understanding of sustainable development issues, corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investment.
Further, students will begin to familiarize themselves with report and essay writing in preparation for the research report and group work in preparation for Company Analysis and other courses.
The core features of the course include: understanding behavioural principles related to decision-making (where the science is clear); developing procedural knowledge based on practice; monitoring of and feedback from the execution of decisions; and reflection on the process and outcomes of decisions making.
Evidence-based management is about developing and encouraging practices that draw on four sources of information:
- Practitioner expertise and judgment,
- Evidence from the local context,
- A critical evaluation of the best available research evidence, and
- The perspectives of those people who might be affected by the practice.
Evidence based management practice is characterised by behaviours that:
- Provide and demand evidence to support seemingly compelling claims- seeking and asking for supporting data.
- Examine the logic behind the evidence presented, looking for faulty cause-and-effect reasoning.
- Encourage experimentation to test the viability of proposed actions.
- Reinforce continuous learning by constantly expanding knowledge and acquiring increasingly more reliable evidence on which to base decisions.
- Encourage use of inquiry and observation to gather evidence about causes and potential solutions to business problems.
Whilst not the focus of the course we will, in the process, cover a number of elementary statistical concepts that are foundational to evidence-based practice and theory building and testing and which will further provide a foundation for the later research course. We will explore what it means to think critically, conceptually and reflectively as well as evaluate evidence and arguments in the evaluation of and/or building of theory about management and organizational practice.
The objective of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to explore the topic of personal leadership, by establishing the individual "ground rules" and, through self awareness, put in place a framework for future enhancement and development (lifelong enhancement). The purpose of the course, by its very nature, is not to provide a single, ‘correct’ perspective, instead, it is intended that the course be a catalyst for personal reflection and insight (mirroring-principle) into processes and concepts critical for completing the MBA successfully, as well as provide a platform for future work- and personal success.
This course has three key learning outcomes:
- Generate an understanding of the current situation of the world economy and the various challenges faced by developed and emerging economies.
- Develop a framework in which to understand the workings of a modern macro economy.
- Develop an awareness of the need to look forward and explore methods of achieving this.
On completing this course you should be able to:
- Understand the role of marketing of marketing in contemporary profit and not-for-profit organizations
- Formulate effective marketing strategies and programs
- Apply marketing concepts and analytical tools appropriately
- Understand how marketers
- assess diversity within and across markets and use these insights to craft marketing strategies,
- build a shared sense of organization-wide strategic intent and endorsement of marketing programs and
- interact with stakeholders to manage responsive implementation of strategies.
- Develop and consolidate your problem-solving, presentation, and team-working skills and develop confidence in your ability to apply marketing theory in business practice.
The MBA core finance course has three major objectives.
It aims to provide students with a conceptual and theoretical framework for understanding corporate finance. Without a sound theoretical base, graduates may find it difficult to keep up to date with the continual developments in the field during their subsequent careers.
Through the use of assignments and case studies, students develop an understanding of the practical aspects of corporate financial management and the relationship between theory and practice. By the time the course ends, students will have been exposed to the three central issues in modern finance, namely; the investment decision, the financing decision, and the financial planning process.
Finally, the course lays the necessary foundation for students wishing to specialize further by taking some of the advanced finance options offered during the second half of the MBA.
Upon completion of the course students should be able to:
Calculate present value and understand the concept of opportunity cost of capital.
Appreciate the relationship between risk and value.
Use a range of valuation models to value shares, firms and projects.
Apply a financial planning model to project the financial implications of growth strategies.
Select appropriate sources of funds for a company
Understand the relationship between the investment and financing decisions.
Manufacturing and Operations
Achieving effective and efficient outputs for manufacturing and service firms requires wide-ranging skills of planning and execution. The skills are needed for the control of product quality and process capability, materials management, capacity planning, operations scheduling, productivity improvement, facilities location, and physical distribution. The M&O course serves to strengthen the ability to fulfil such tasks. Operations management principles are equally applicable in managing manufacturing and service organizations. Fast, low-cost, accurate, and uniform operations are important in service areas such as healthcare, government, transportation, retail, fast-food franchises, airlines, insurance, and banking, among others.
Innovation and entrepreneurship
The goals of the course are to:
- Consider the nature of the uncertainties, risks, and pressures associated with innovation and entrepreneurship in different environments
- Explore the challenges and opportunities that innovation and entrepreneurship present to managers and entrepreneurs
- Investigate how the decisions and actions of managers and entrepreneurs influence an organization’s ability to respond effectively to these challenges and create significant value through innovation
- Examine organisational attempts to improve innovation & entrepreneurship performance
Strategic People Management
The MOHR course covers three main themes:
- The Individual in the Organisation,
- Leading and Managing People; and
- High Performance work practices.
The course will provide an overall organisational approach to people management strategies. The first theme sets the context by creating a rationale and frame for the course. Centring on the changing world of work, it examines the different assumptions about people, their motivation, how they work and what they want out of their experiences. The second theme illustrates how organisations go about leading and managing their employees. The final theme focuses on the specific practices within organisations that can assist them in being more effective. Guest lecturers will attend some of the class sessions and play their role in the learning process.
The course aims to introduce you to the fundamental principles and concepts of strategic management. It serves as an opportunity to develop your skills for strategic thinking and analysis. Students learn about business (i.e. competitive) strategy and corporate strategy formulation relevant to the macro-environmental, industry and competitive drivers facing the organization, as well as the role that purpose, resources and capabilities play in strategy formation and action. An important aim is that the student develops rigour and confidence in their own ability to think and work in a strategic context.
Company Analysis Project
The company analysis project (CAP) occurs toward the end of the MBA in Term 3 and is a practical application of strategic management concepts within a real organisation. It has the further objective of providing a major integrative opportunity for students to consolidate and apply the theory, perspectives and learning from the entire MBA, together with their own work experience, to an integrated analysis of an established organization (profit or non-profit). The primary focus of this group capstone project is to understand how the organization currently is positioned strategically, how it functions at a high operational level and how the various aspects of the organization fit together to deliver on the purpose of the organization.
Professional Development (Runs throughout the year)
The overall objectives are as follows:
- To ensure that UCT MBA graduates have developed personal, interpersonal and group effectiveness as organisation members and leaders in addition to a sound academic foundation in Business Management and Leadership
- To provide practical skills to support and enhance the student’s learning process during the programme, i.e. ensure that students are (for example) able to present well, structure their arguments correctly, and work well in their syndicate groups
- To ensure the development of self management, relationship, group, time management, thinking and communication skills in students who are then able to be immediately effective in the workplace
- To develop the students’ capacity to recognise personal and group psychodynamics and intervene appropriately from a leadership or facilitation role
- To develop the students’ capacity to reflect on their participation in interpersonal and group situations, in order to enhance their self-awareness and consciousness
- To reduce the stress experienced by students on the course caused by the impact of the lack of these skills such as the dysfunction experienced in groups who are not able to resolve conflict.
Research Report (The last deliverable of the MBA)
Students are required to conduct an investigation, which adds substantive depth to their MBA studies. The output may take the form of a report, which is based on a research proposal formulated during the year, or a case study.
The research report tests the ability of students to apply the analytical skills and knowledge gained on the programme to a particular area of business research. The exercise challenges the student to become acquainted with the current literature in a specific field, to make independent critical evaluations of contending points of view and to show understanding of the theory and its implications for decision-making and practice. To do so, students need to research a specific topic, collect methodologically robust data, interpret the data and apply the findings to resolution of the research questions.