Postgraduate Diploma: Leadership Development| PGDip Course Skip to main content

Learn to lead on 4 levels: Me, We, Work, World

Stellenbosch Business School’s internationally accredited Postgraduate Diploma Leadership Development (PGDip Leadership) acknowledges responsible leadership as the prime differentiator that drives sustainable high performance. It focuses on the development of personal leadership, team leadership, organisational leadership and societal leadership (me, we, work, world) to strengthen your capability to grow as leader.

Shift from manager to leader: At this point in your career, you may know how to manage well. But can you lead? The PGDip Leadership will help you unlock the skills you need to show up as a leader. You will find your own authentic leadership voice, develop your leadership competencies, learn how to get people to work together to enhance performance, see the bigger picture, and make strategy ‘come alive through people’.

Make a significant impact by consciously developing your leadership skills: Most people slide into leadership without being fully prepared for this. Discovering and growing your leadership skills over the period of one year will give you the grounding you need to confidently take on leadership positions.

Invest in your career: This qualification will serve you well if you want to acquire leadership skills without doing a comprehensive degree like an MBA. At the same time, should you wish to grow your skills set, this PGDip can give you access to a Master’s degree because it is presented at NQF level 8, the equivalent of an Honours degree.

Study while you work: The study format allows for dedicated, focused block weeks to immerse in the learning experience. In-between the blocks, learning is continuously reflected upon and applied in the context of your work environment.

Postgraduate Diploma

Postgraduate Diploma Leadership Development

Applications: Open SA Application Closing:
RPL Application Closing:
SADC Application Closing:
Rest Of The World Application Closing:
Start Date:
Application closing: 30 November 2024
R109 640 (2024)
1 year
Apply Now
*Approximate dates. Final dates will become available later during this year.


Dates for 2025

  • Block 1: 10 – 15 February (on campus)
  • Block 2: 7 – 12 April (remote)*
  • Block 3: 2 – 7 June (on campus)
  • Block 4: 11 – 16 August (remote)*
  • Block 5: 20 – 25 October (on campus)


  • 3 blocks on-campus and 2 remote blocks, plus
  • A number of online masterclasses

*Remote classes from 08:00-18:15 daily for blocks 2 and 4.

Key purpose

Shifting from manager to responsible leader who can:

  • Make an impact by consciously developing your leadership skills
  • Unlock team effectiveness and harness diversity
  • Cope in complex environments
  • See the bigger picture
  • Find your own authentic leadership voice

Learning to lead on the 4 levels of Me, We, Work, World

The PGDip acknowledges responsible leadership as the prime differentiator that drives sustainable high performance. Using the framework of Me, We, Work and World, it focuses on the development of personal leadership, leading with others, organisational leadership, and impact in society to strengthen and deepen your ability to grow as leader.

Duration of Course

Study while you work

3 on-campus and 2 remote block weeks spread over 1 year

Formats of Course

Drive performance

Research shows leadership is the prime differentiator that drives sustainable high performance

How to apply

Language of tuition


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Gateway to Master’s degree

This PGDip can give you access to a Master’s degree because it is presented at NQF level 8 (same as Honours degree)


Application deadlines

Applicants from South Africa, SADC countries and rest of world: 15 November 2024


Recognition of Prior Learning applicants: 31 October 2024


Course Structure and Content

Responsible leadership as key driver of sustainable high performance

A transformative learning pathway awaits you – in particular if you see yourself leading a team, department or organisation in the private or public sector in future.

The content of this programme is rooted in academic research and internationally benchmarked theory and practices. The main objective is to encourage you to combine academic rigour and experiential learning, which is applied within the larger framework of internationally benchmarked action-based and work-based learning. The learning philosophy of this programme is based on:

  • Integrating theory and practice
  • Finding your authentic personal leadership style
  • International application with local specialisation
  • Adult learning practices
  • Extensive support.

You need to complete seven compulsory modules. The modules establish the foundations of the four dimensions of leadership development, namely Me (personal leadership), We (interpersonal and team leadership), Work (organisational leadership) and World (societal leadership). You also need to choose one elective in order to develop a specific leadership attribute or a more specialised core competence.

Programme format

This PGDip is delivered via 3 on-campus block weeks and 2 remote block weeks spread over 1 year and a number of online masterclasses. The blocks are spread over the course of one year, and run from Monday to Saturday from 08:00 to 18:15. The on-campus classes are presented at our campus in the Tyger Valley business district in Northern Cape Town. In-between these blocks, students attend online masterclasses. The two-hour masterclasses are presented on Monday afternoons from 16:00 to 18:00. Students need to select six of the eight masterclasses offered.

This format allows you to start applying your newly acquired skills in your workplace right from the start while receiving support throughout your studies.

This one-year programme is presented at NQF level 8, the equivalent of an Honours degree.

  • People in both the private and public sector who are advancing into middle, senior and general managerial levels requiring increasing levels of leadership
  • Working professionals in specialist positions who have a minimum of five years of working experience and who want to prepare themselves for managerial and leadership roles
  • Professionals with degrees in fields such as engineering, medical sciences, education, law and accounting who are progressing into managerial roles
  • Those who want to broaden their leadership competencies without doing a comprehensive management degree like an MBA


You need to complete seven compulsory modules:

Module 1: Personal Authentic Leadership (14 credits)

This module covers various leadership frameworks to demonstrate leadership diversity. It explores the diversity of leadership roles and competencies, and the requirements for high-impact leadership and teaming. It also covers the productive contributions and peculiar dynamics of diverse leadership styles, and the importance for leaders to undergo a personal leadership values shift.

Module 2: High-impact Leadership and Teaming (10 credits)

This module covers the dynamics of leadership diversity in teams and optimising the diversity of teams to achieve sustainable high performance. It also covers the develop­ment of high-impact leadership and teaming as a corner­stone of sustainable organisational performance and team interaction skills.

Module 3: Leading High-performance Organisational Culture (14 credits)

This module unpacks the requirements of creating a high-performance organisational culture and offers case studies on leadership interventions that have achieved sustainable transformation in organisations. Organisational status and the development of high-performance transformation programmes are analysed. The evolution of organisational change and development is also covered.

Module 4: Leadership, Transformation and Inclusivity (10 credits)

This module reviews the research on the successes and failures in transformation. It covers the impact of historic and prevailing socio-economic and political dynamics on leadership and organisations. It looks at how to integrate the imperatives of transformation related to multicultural and class challenges and how this affects the need for sustainable competitiveness. It includes case studies of successful BBBEE transformation.

Module 5: Strategic Leadership (14 credits)

This module covers multiple frameworks for strategy de­velopment and execution, and the use of strategy to drive execution and alignment across the organisation. It also looks at how to make strategy accessible and concrete to all levels and functions, how to use disciplined processes to optimise successful strategy implementation, and how to build continuous improvement and innovation into strategy execution.

Module 6: Leadership and Society (10 credits)

This module explores the role of business in society and the challenges that contribute to active citizenship and sustainable development. It looks at the social and environmental challenges facing society and at the role of organisations in in achieving future sustainability. It also identifies ways in which organisations can integrate responsibility and sustainability internally and collaborate with stakeholders externally to build a better world for all.

Module 7: Growth and Application of Personal Authentic Leadership (28 credits)

This module spans the entire programme. On completion of this module, students will be able to define their personal authentic leadership “fingerprint”. They will be able to define and leverage personal styles and strengths as the primary foundation for growing per­sonal leadership impact. They will also be able to apply reflection and feedback as a core leadership competence.


You need to complete one elective. Electives are confirmed at the beginning of the year. These are examples of electives presented in the past:

  • Negotiation and Conflict Management:  This elective offers comprehensive knowledge and understanding of conflict theory to analyse the origins and manifestations of conflict and conflict behaviour.
  • Leadership and Coaching: This elective is about mastering and applying a range of skills required to coach others, specifically reflective listening, non-directive dialogue, and providing coachees with the capacity to create a personal development programme.
  • International NPO Leadership: This elective covers the wide range of possibilities of leadership in non-profit organisations globally and an understanding of the influence of the context on these organisations and their leadership.
  • Digital Leadership: This elective covers the skills leaders need to lead both technology and people in an increasingly digitised world. In today’s digital age, this includes facilitating team collaboration, learning how to build a shared mindset, identity and understanding, and connecting with ‘digitised’ stakeholders.

Stellenbosch Business School provides additional access to its programmes through its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process, as recommended by the Council on Higher Education (CHE). The purpose of the Council on Higher Education’s policy on Recognition of Prior Learning is to develop and facilitate the implementation of RPL across the higher education sector and to base this on the principles of equity, access, inclusivity and redress of past unfair discrimination with regard to educational opportunities.

In line with the requirements of the Council on Higher Education, the Business School may admit up to 10% of its student body per programme under RPL.

Candidates who wish to be admitted under the RPL policy will firstly have to submit all the documentation as required for all prospective students. In addition, prospective students applying for this PGDip need to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an NQF 4 qualification.
  • Have at least 10 years of working experience after obtaining a school leaving certificate, of which at least 5 years should have been in a management or related professional position.
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information of activities outside the work environment.
  • Provide the Business School with the names and contact details of at least two persons who can testify about the candidate’s managerial or related professional abilities (typically current or former line heads). These persons will be required to give a detailed personal reference about the candidate on forms provided by Stellenbosch Business School.
  • Write and submit three motivational essays (specific topics are provided) 

The RPL selection process entails the following:

  • The Business School’s Admissions Committee (programme head and another academic) will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate and make a recommendation about admission.
  • The Admissions Committee will consider the full application including the interview recommendation and the inputs received from the references for admission.
  • A notice of admission is sent via the Business School’s Academic Planning Committee to the Board of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at Stellenbosch University.
  • RPL candidates need to apply by 31 October of each year to allow sufficient time for the assessment process.
  • Note that the learning acknowledged in terms of RPL cannot also be used to grant exemption of credits within the same programme.
This PGDip will provide you with a transformative learning experience
to find your way forward – whether you see yourself as
a future executive, manager, specialist or entrepreneur.

Programme Fees

Application fee for 2024

Application fee (non-refundable; applicable to all students):

Tuition fees for 2024

South African
Provisional Quote
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission (Included in tuition fees)
R12 000.00
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PGDip Leadership Development- Blended
R109 640.00
Southern African Development Community
Provisional Quote
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission (Included in tuition fees)
R55 703.00
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PGDip Leadership Development- Blended
R111 405.00
Non-Southern African Development Community
Provisional Quote
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission (Included in tuition fees)
R55 703.00
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PGDip Leadership Development- Blended
R111 405.00
Rest of the world
Provisional Quote
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission (Included in tuition fees)
R72 890.00
Generate Quote
PGDip Leadership Development- Blended
R145 780.00
These are the fees for 2024. The fees for 2025 will be published here once they become available.



  • Payment of full programme fees for South African students: Students can pay the full programme fees upon registration, or they can pay 80% of the annual fees by the end of May and the balance of 20% by the end of September.
    Payment schedule (calculated on outstanding fee after deposit payment):
    28 February - 31 May - 20% x 4 months (80%)
    30 June - 20 September - 5% x 4 months (20%)
  • Payment of full programme fees for international students: International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The remainder is due one month before commencement of the programme. The South African exchange rate favours international students.
  • Deposit: All students pay a deposit on acceptance of admission. South African students must pay a set deposit on admittance. International admitted students pay 50% of the annual fee as deposit. The deposit payable is non-refundable and will be deducted from the total programme fees.
  • Application fee: The application fee must accompany the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • Additional fees for international students: International students pay an International Registration Fee (IRF) per academic year. Students from countries other than those in the Southern African Development Community also pay an International Tuition Fee (ITF) (i.e. students from SADC countries are exempt from the ITF).
  • Study materials: Fees include books and study materials.
  • Travel and accommodation: Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and costs.
  • Programme availability: The Business School reserves the right not to present a programme or programme stream if the enrolment numbers are not sufficient to make the programme sustainable.
  • Fee changes: Stellenbosch Business School reserves the right to change the fees at any time.

Please use your Student Number as reference | Email proof of payment to [email protected] | Quote your student number in all correspondence.


Capitec’s credit-for-education solution

Capitec offers credit for education at a discounted rate, which allows prospective students, or their parents or guardians, to apply for a loan of up to R500 000 and pay it back over 84 months.

Applicants must be permanently employed and have a valid SA ID. A provisional quote or admission letter from Stellenbosch Business School is needed to process the credit application. Apply for credit at Capitec’s credit solution through the Business School

Initiation, service fees and T&Cs apply. Capitec Bank is an authorised financial services provider (FSP 46669) and registered credit provider (NCRCP13).

Admission Requirements

Academic qualifications and work experience

  • A relevant Bachelor’s degree, Higher National Diploma or Recognition of Prior Learning
  • Proven relevant working experience of at least 5 years

What if you don’t have the academic qualifications to apply?

You can still apply based on your management experience. You need to submit all the documentation and assessments as required for all prospective students, plus additional requirements as explained under Recognition of Prior Learning elsewhere on this page.

International students

International students require a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluation certificate to evaluate their degrees according to South African standards. Students need to complete the online application and upload all certificates with their application. The Business School’s International Affairs Office will, as part of the application process, conduct an in-house credential evaluation after you have submitted your application.

How to apply

  • About the online application process: The online application form consists of various sections. To progress from the one section to the next, all the information in the current section must be completed and accepted by the information management system. You will be able to complete the form in steps without losing information (i.e. you do not have to complete the application form in one sitting). The application process is the same for South African and international students. It is best to use Google Chrome as web browser when completing your application.
  • Determine the NQF levels of your previous qualifications: To find out whether you qualify for this programme, please check the NQF levels of your previous qualifications with the academic institution(s) where you have studied, or contact [email protected].
  • Assessment of international students’ applications: International students require a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) evaluation certificate to evaluate their degrees according to South African standards. The Business School’s International Affairs Office will first handle the credential evaluations of international students free of charge. For this to happen, you need to complete the online application, upload all certificates with your application, and pay your application fee. The International Affairs Office will then, as part of the application process, conduct an in-house credential evaluation after you have submitted your application. However, should the International Affairs Office be unsure about the status, recognition or accreditation of your qualification, we reserve the right to refer you to SAQA before we consider your application further.
  • Checking the status of your application: You can go back to your application and check the status of your application.
  • Vetting process: All degrees undergo a formal vetting process to eliminate fraudulent applications.

Click on the APPLY NOW button and complete the online application form by completing each of the required sections. You also need to upload the following supporting documentation:

  • Completed and signed application form
  • Certified copies of all academic records and degree/diploma certificates
  • Detailed CV
  • A copy of your ID (or passport for non-South African students)
  • A marriage certificate (where the applicant’s new surname does not match that on the degree certificates)
  • Consent form to verify your qualifications (please download, complete and upload the form in order for Managed Integrity Evaluation (Pty) Ltd to verify your qualification documents)
  • Signed declaration form

Payment of your application fee can be done online:

  • Bank details: Bank: Standard Bank; Type of account: cheque account; Account name: US Business School; Account number: 073003069; Branch name: Stellenbosch; Branch code: 050610; Beneficiary name: Stellenbosch University; SWIFT code: SBZAZAJJ.
  • Enquiries about payments: Please send an e-mail to [email protected].

What happens next?

Your application can only be assessed by the selection panel if it is accompanied by your completed online application form and all the supporting documents, and if you have paid the application fee. The outcome of the selection process will be made known within 30 days or as soon as possible thereafter. If you are uncertain whether your application is complete and is being processed, contact [email protected] for assistance.

Deadlines for PGDip Leadership Development applications: 

  • 20 January for applicants from South Africa
  • 20 January for applicants from visa-exempt SADC countries, and the rest of the world
  • 31 October for Recognition of Prior Learning applicants.

Also note the following:

  • Deadline for RPL applicants: Note that application deadline for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applicants is earlier than those for other students.
  • Study permits for international students: Obtaining a study permit (study visa) from the South African authorities can take up to 12 weeks from the date of being offered a place on a programme at the Business School. An early start with the application process is therefore recommended.
  • Multiple-entry visas: Students from non-SADC African countries and other countries with visa requirements who need to apply for study visas can obtain a letter from Stellenbosch Business School confirming the duration of registration at the Business School. This will help students to obtain multiple-entry study visas in case of modular studies.

Study visa requirements for international students

All residential students who are non-South African citizens and are studying at Stellenbosch Business School require a study visa. Prospective students should contact their nearest South African Mission (South African Embassy, Consulate or High Commission), normally in their country of origin, to enquire about the requirements for study visas for South Africa. Applicants are required to present themselves in person so that biometric data may be captured. All international students can contact the Business School’s International Affairs Office at [email protected] for assistance. All international students must hold a valid visa for their intended activity prior to entering South Africa.

Notes on obtaining a study visa

  • Obtaining a study visa from the South African authorities takes approximately 12 to 16 weeks from the date of application. However, some missions may process applications sooner. Sufficient time should be allowed for study visa applications to be processed.
  • Your study visa application should include a copy of the letter offering a place on the Business School’s study programme. This letter will be provided by our Centre for Academic Administration once the application has been approved. A place on the programme must be confirmed before a study visa application can be considered by the South African Department of Home Affairs. Students should not proceed to Stellenbosch University or its Business School without a valid study visa.
  • Although applicants are expected to determine exactly what they require to apply for a study visa, they can be expected to provide the following, among others: a police clearance certificate, proof of medical insurance recognised in South Africa, a radiology report, proof of sufficient funds, and an admission letter from Stellenbosch Business School. Your nearest South African Mission will be able to advise in this regard. The onus falls on the student to make sure that he/she submits a complete application pack.
  • All documents should be certified and translated into English before submission (in order not to delay the outcome of the application).

Contact Us

Please contact us if you need more information on this programme or the application process:

Programme enquiries and support with the application process
Henry Booysen
Telephone : +27 (0) 21 918 4243
Email: [email protected]

Admission and registration enquiries
Joanne Sleigh
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 918 4239
Email: [email protected]

Contact Us

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Frequently Asked Questions

You may know how to manage well. But to lead, calls for a journey of personal development. That is one of the reasons why this postgraduate degree starts with leadership of the self (me). You cannot lead others (we) if you cannot lead yourself (me). You cannot lead society (world) if you do not know how to get smaller groups or teams to work together (work). It is a daily choice to show up as a leader. This requires a level of consciousness, courage, discipline and strong values. As one PGDip Leadership alumnus said, “Taking this one year to really get to know your own leadership strengths, and where they come from, will bring a sense of clarity and groundedness that nobody will be able to take away from you.”

Most people “slide into leadership” rather than consciously develop leadership competencies. This PGDip Leadership Development gives you an opportunity to really dig deep to find out what drives you to lead a particular way and what your blind spots are. This leadership development journey can make a significant impact on your way of leading and your company’s performance, brand perception and employee engagement. You will get exposed to the latest thinking on leadership – like neuroleadership, strategic leadership and societal leadership. So, even if you already in a leadership position, this postgraduate degree will provide you with a better underpinning to consciously show up as a leader every day.

You will qualify to apply for an MBA. However, you still need to meet the additional entrance requirements in order to be accepted for an MBA. You will also qualify to apply for the MPhil Leadership Coaching.

Main Campus at Stellenbosch University will be in a position to provide you with more information:

This one-year programme combines on-campus classes (three blocks of on-campus classes and two remote blocks) with blended learning classes (the masterclasses), allowing you to study while you work. This also enables you apply your newly acquired skills in your workplace right from the start. It is better to work consistently and to manage your time well. To keep up and really enrich your experience of the PGDip Leadership Development you should be doing between 10 and 12 hours of work a week. Like with all worthwhile things in life, what you put in is what you will get out.

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