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PDBA – Early Career Advancement

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Offered fully Online - Applications are currently closed.

For recent graduates looking at catapulting their careers.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PDBA) - Early Career Advancement from the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), is designed to give the recent graduate an in-depth holistic view of business, complemented by a practical skill set that will provide a competitive edge at the start of their careers. Aimed at young individuals in the early stages of their careers, this programme provides an edge that will set them apart from other graduates and position them to be high-flyers in any industry.

This intensive honours level programme will be offered fully online using a variety of technologies. It is an ideal programme for an individual that has recently graduated and is currently either not employed, employed part-time or in their first or second year of employment. Students will gain business knowledge from world class faculty in thirteen subjects, develop competencies through targeted coaching and applied workforce learning. A curated set of development activities, will develop what is required to be successful in the digital era. This will drive their attractiveness to employers by adding business acumen, general management skills and experience to their CV.

Organisations interested in sponsoring GIBS students can acquire skills development points on their B-BBEE scorecard in addition to contributing to the further education of young South Africans. Click here for more information.

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Application Dates

Applications Open

Phase 1: 24 July 2020
Phase 2: 1 October 2020

Applications Close

Phase 1: 31 August 2020
Phase 2: 1 December 2020
Applications for Phase 1 and Phase 2 have closed.

We highly recommend you apply as early as possible. No late applications will be considered.

Minimum Requirements
  • A minimum of a degree or equivalent qualification;
  • Postgraduate level of intellectual ability (as assessed via the GIBS Entrance Test);
  • Leadership potential (in accordance with your letter of motivation and references);
  • Good English language skills to actively participate in academic debate;
  • A minimum of Matriculation-certificate-level competence in Mathematics;
  • Competence in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and a web browser (own laptop essential);
  • Ongoing access to WiFi

International Students/Foreign Qualifications: Applicants who hold a foreign qualification need to send their qualifications to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for evaluation before applying to GIBS. We require the SAQA certificate to verify the NQF level of your qualification. Visit or email: Alternatively, you can call: +27 (0) 12 431 5070 or the helpdesk on: +27 (0) 860 111 673 

Applicants from Non- English speaking countries will have to complete an English Proficiency Test


Total tuition : R108 966

Application fee: R1 500 (non-refundable, will be payable upon application).

Deposit: R9 000 (non-refundable, will be payable upon acceptance onto the PDBA programme).
GIBS does not charge VAT on tuition fees and all prices are subject to change. 

Please click here for a quote/ proforma invoice. Note no payment can be made against a quotation and you can only receive a tax invoice once you have been officially accepted onto the programme



1 Year


Online via Zoom


​Online on Monday and Thursday evenings. 

Click here to view the class schedule
Note: This is the tentative schedule and the confirmed online schedule will be sent to all accepted students closer to the start date of the programme. This format is subject to change and applicants will be notified of any changes timeously. 

Admission Process
Step 1

Compile all supporting documents. Click here for the list of supporting documents

Step 2

Submit your online application along with all supporting documents and pay the application fee. 

Step 3

Forward the reference link  provided to your referees.  Application is processed and documents verified (2 weeks). 

Step 4

You will be assigned a test date for the GIBS Entrance Test (You will receive an invitation to the test once your documents have been verified).

Step 5

Complete the Entrance Test (all degreed applicants) OR submit GMAT results (if non-degreed). 

Step 6

Await for test results from the assessor and references will be verified (2 weeks). 

Step 7

Applicant profile is reviewed and you will receive feedback from the admissions team.

All accepted students are required to pay the deposit within 3 weeks of acceptance to secure your place on the programme. 

Feedback will be received +/- 8-10 weeks after application has been received. Click here for the application form guideline.

Please ensure the billing details are correct when completing the application form as any request to make amendments will delay your application. Ensure you have the VAT number should your company be funding the tuition fees.

Special Requirements

Special Needs: If you have a special need or disability, GIBS will look into accommodating this. However, it is a requirement that the student will need to provide medical certificates and supporting documentation as requested by the GIBS Admissions Office. We recommend you contact the Admissions Office before you complete your application. 

Religious Observance: Observant students must contact the GIBS Admissions Office before you start your application to ascertain if or how your specific needs may be accommodated. Note all programmes include weekend classes and attendance is compulsory.

Information Sessions

The next session will be in 2021
For any further enquiries regarding the information sessions, please contact the Admissions Department : / +27 (0) 11 771 4000


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Who should Attend?

This management course is aimed at graduates that are currently either unemployed or in their first or second year of employment. Participants are not required to have any work experience to attend this programme. This programme is aimed at catapulting the career of a young go-getter by providing a competitive edge in any workplace. 

How you will Benefit
  • Develop fundamental business knowledge and skills; 
  • Apply learnings gained from classroom interactions;
  • Solve a variety of management challenges through the completion of a business project; 
  • Complete a consulting project with a real business that needs real solutions; 
  •  Have the opportunity to work under ongoing pressure in a simulated professional business environment; 
  • and Gain ongoing support and engagement from a dedicated career support service.
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