CEMS MIM PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

The MIM Programme consists of three terms: two academic terms (Term 1 & Term 2) and the internship term (Term 3). The two academic terms are consecutive (August–July), while the internship (Term 3) can take place at any time during the graduate period of studies, but not overlapping with Term 1 and Term 2. Students will spend one out of the two academic terms at the UCT GSB as their home school. 

The Block Seminar is a one-week course that takes place at the beginning of Term 1. Block Seminars bring together professors and students from various CEMS institutions. Subjects derive from different cultural and academic perspectives; many topics are not a part of the universities’ standard curricula. 

Students are automatically assigned to the Block Seminar of their Term 1 school. However, if places are available and with the permission of the school hosting the student during Term 1, students may apply for a Block Seminar different from the one held at their “Term 1 school”.
Depending on when Term 1 begins at different CEMS institutions, Block Seminars can take place between August and mid­-October. As the Block Seminar is a mandatory element of the programme and cannot be postponed, class attendance is mandatory. 

UCT GSB Block Seminar: Business Development and Doing Business in Africa Block Seminar

This is an intensive and immersive week-long seminar on Doing Business in Africa. Students will hear from top academic and corporates, engage in intensive projects and delve deeply into the nuances of doing business in an emerging markets context, with a special focus on Africa. This block seminar topic is unique to the UCT GSB and students from across the CEMS network will be invited to participate.

The Global Strategy course is offered in Term 1. The course addresses the issue of how companies operate in world markets. From a corporate and firm context rather than a functional standpoint (e.g. marketing) or individual domain, the course will examine the key questions in strategic management. Moreover, this course will examine ethical dimensions of strategic frameworks. 


Topics include:

  • Competitive advantage of nations: How do companies differ across countries and how can we extend our understanding of defining and assessing the quality of a firm’s international competitive strategy? 
  • Management/Strategy of MNC’s: What are the types of challenges and opportunities that change in the global environment and how are they likely to be handled by multinational organizations and managers over the coming decades?
  • International expansion: How do firms shape their international strategies for high growth? What are the processes, planning techniques and tools for strategic analysis, strategy formulation and implementation in a global setting? How do we realize international growth and innovation while sustaining competitive advantage? 
  • Cross-border competition: What is the role of strategy for a company facing international competition? What is the interaction between globalization and corporate social responsibility? 
  • Institutional contexts: What are the management challenges associated with developing strategies and managing operations of companies whose activities go beyond national boundaries? 
  • Digitalization: How are new digital technologies disrupting industries and how does this create opportunities/threats for MNEs and new ventures in their internationalization process? 
  • International Entrepreneurship: How can entrepreneurs set up and scale new ventures internationally? 
  • Sustainability & Social Value Creation: How can foreign firms implement a triple bottom line approach in low-income markets that create value for the local population? 
The Research Methods online course taking place in term 1. It will equip students with the necessarily skills to conduct research. This will enable the student to complete the minor dissertation required as partial fulfilment of their master’s degree.


Skills covered by the course include conceptualising a research idea and turning it into a researchable proposal. 

The course covers aspects such as:

  • problem identification, 
  • formulation of research questions, 
  • understanding whether they will be testing or generating theory;
  • familiarising students with electronic literature archives and key databases; 
  • literature review and writing skills; data gathering and analysis techniques, and 
  • interpretation of results. 
In the end, students should be able to conduct research whose results will offer both theoretical and practical solutions to challenges encountered in the business world. The content of the course will be addressed virtually through various synchronous and asynchronous activities such as reading material, tasks, deliverables, video clips

The Business Communication Skill Seminar (BCSS) is a two-day element of the programme in Term 1. 

During this seminar, students learn how to use a variety of techniques to effectively communicate in a business environment. The BCSSs are offered in English, with the aim that students will be able to transfer the acquired skills to other languages.

During the interactive sessions, each participant will have the chance to express themselves both orally and in writing and receive feedback from the facilitator both during, and after the seminar.

The Global Citizenship Seminar takes place at the beginning of Term 2. The Global Citizenship Seminar brings together representatives from Corporate and/or Social Partners, professors and students, for an experiential learning experience. 

Within the Global Citizenship seminar, students will have the opportunity to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals. The seminar will also provide application of ethical thinking to one, or more, management challenges. The creation of a well-reasoned thought leadership position on any of the challenges discussed and the effective communication of that position to stakeholders will also be examined. Knowledge of where to go to gain more information and support around specific leadership challenges e.g. anti-corruption bodies, environmental support agencies will be discussed as the seminar aims to examine the characteristics of a responsible leader and the challenges presented today.

The Global leadership course takes place in Term 2. This course will address managing people in international settings and from different cultures. Students will engage with the main challenges of leading globally in a diverse and multicultural context. The course aims to build a global leadership competence that can understand and effectively leverage on diversity. Students will develop skills in order to pursue an effective global career while keeping the core CEMS values of being responsible leaders contributing to a more open, sustainable, inclusive world. 

Topics include:

  • Embracing the global-leader role: What is the new role of the leaders in the 4th industrial revolution? 
  • The roots of leading globally: fostering collaboration: How leaders can foster collaboration and knowledge integration in a global setting and managing diverse workforce? 
  • The challenges of leading multicultural and diverse teams: What are the main challenges of leading diverse teams? 
  • Leading with agility in a global setting: What are the main challenges of leading geographically dispersed teams?

Business projects reinforce the partnership between universities and companies in jointly shaping the students’ learning processes in international management. Term 2 includes a compulsory group project that requires significant involvement and commitment from corporate partners. The business project offers a platform for students to work on a real-life company problem. 

Students will develop a consultant-client relationship with the organisation to
1) analyse and diagnose the organisation’s request, and
2) propose a course of action to develop the identified opportunities or challenges while applying the latest knowledge in management research. 

Students will present the project to a committee comprising selected faculty from within the university in addition to representation from the respective corporate partner.

Consultancy ­like projects are designed as a real ­life learning experience for students: international student teams solve a real business problem as a one term, part-time activity. The amount of time spent on the project within the company may vary depending on its requirements. However, a business project will amount to about 50% of Term 2’s workload. Student teams work independently and are co­tutored by academic and corporate representatives.

In addition to coursework, students will complete a minor dissertation on an international management topic of their choice, under the supervision of a UCT GSB faculty member. This allows students to deeply explore their area of interest, conduct rigorous research, and make impactful, data-driven recommendations – all key skills that are relevant to today’s workplace.

Students are required to undertake an internship of at least 8 weeks. In certain cases, students may claim credit for a recent internship or for relevant work experience. The international internship is a compulsory part of the course requirement and students are required to complete their internship with a satisfactory performance in order to graduate from the programme.

Students either spend the internship abroad or students may apply to their Academic Director to be allowed to do their internship in the home school country when their personal background justifies this interpretation, e.g. when originating from another country or having acquired secondary education or Bachelor's degree in different countries.

Skill Seminars are training seminars in practical skills. They are essential to kick­starting an effective professional career and fundamental to adjusting easily to an international management environment.

Topics may include:

  • Strategy skills
  • Personal development
  • Consulting skills
  • Marketing tools
  • Group work abilities
  • Negotiation techniques
  • Career development
  • Presentation skills

Skill Seminars are offered by the CEMS member schools, in close cooperation with companies.

All CEMS Master of Management specialising in International Management students graduate with competence in three languages, one of which must be English.

Language 1: English (home language or proficiency)
Language 2: Any language (home language or B2 oral/ B1 written level) 
Language 3: Any language (home language or elementary level)

Students who have proficiency in two languages will be expected to gain a third during the programme. Similar languages, for example Dutch and Afrikaans, do not count as separate languages. Click to read more on CEMS language requirements for graduation...

Students are required to choose 4-6 electives in Term One, and 2-3 electives in Term Two. The CEMS electives are a selection of the best courses relating to International Management chosen from the portfolio of the member institutions. More information about the MIM electives offering at each of the CEMS Partner institutions can be found by visiting each institution’s Programme Offer tab at: https://www.gsb.uct.ac.za/cems-international-exchange

Elective courses have either a weighting of 5 or 10 South African credits and usually consist of 16 two-hour lectures plus syndicate group work and individual preparation. The total workload per 5 credit Elective course is around 50 hours (including lecture contact sessions, syndicate group work and individual preparation).

Elective courses are offered each year depending on student interests, and our offering changes from year to year. During Term 1, MIM students can participate in MBA elective courses with the UCT GSB MBA students. During Term 2, students participate in special international student electives with students from the UCT GSB partner schools.

Examples of the CEMS elective topics for 2021/2022 are:

  • Applied Social Responsible Investment (5 credits)
  • Branding in Emerging Markets (5 credits)
  • Change Management (5 credits)
  • Economics of Emerging Markets (10 credits)
  • Emerging Market Economic Development (5 Credits)
  • Lean Thinking and Operational Excellence (5 Credits)
  • Marketing Metrics (5 Credits)
  • Negotiation (5 Credits)
  • Political Economy of Doing Business in Africa (10 Credits)
  • Social Finance (10 Credits)
  • Social Innovation Lab (10 Credits)
  • Strategic Marketing (5 Credits)