Change the world


Nelson Mandela University Business School is making history on the continent by offering an internationally recognised, new doctoral programme for business professionals and specialists.

This unique, solutions-driven degree programme is designed to develop crucial skills for executives who have to navigate organisational complexity. “We are indeed proud to add this distinctive qualification to our basket of offerings,” said Dr Randall Jonas, Director of the Business School.

The University is only the second business school in Africa to be admitted to the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA) to have its Professional Doctor of Business Administration (ProDBA) accredited.

Business School Research Director, Prof Cecil Arnolds, said this EDAMBA recognition, which followed a rigorous application process of over two years, will allow for greater international collaboration – while shining a spotlight on the continent of Africa.

“This means that our research on African issues will be recognised and held in high esteem. EDAMBA provides a network platform for international collaboration, including international supervision of topics. Transdisciplinary, global and cross-cultural construction of industry solutions is made possible through the EDAMBA networks,” said Prof Arnolds.

Prof Arnolds, who is the Programme Leader for the ProDBA, said students enrolled for the degree at the  Business School will gain access to not only a network of 78 of the top universities in the world that belong to EDAMBA, but will also receive lectures from world-renowned scholars and leading international and local industry experts.

The ProDBA is replacing the outgoing thesis-based DBA, which has been offered since 2006 at the Business School. The ProDBA will be delivered in block lectures, with the first one commencing on 7 February 2022.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, all lectures will be virtual in 2022 with the expectation that face-to-face interaction will be available from 2023 onwards.

The purpose of the ProDBA is to reinforce the application and development of theoretical frameworks, methods and techniques to solve practical business problems on the continent, and in South Africa.

“Professional doctoral degrees seek practical solutions for practical business problems. Research studies often start with a practical industry related weakness or gap in the professional management of organisations. Industry experts are often part of the supervision team of the envisaged doctoral study, but academic research is harnessed in the pursuit of the solution,” said Prof Arnolds.

Professional DBAs often make important theoretical and practical contributions to business administration knowledge and competencies.

“The qualification will be ideally suited to managers, middle to top executives, experienced consultants, strategic high-tech staff members or full-time or part-time academics seeking a career specifically focussed on management consulting. Entry requirements include an MBA or any other relevant, approved master’s degree and at least five years of middle to senior management experience,” said Dr Sam February, Head of the Graduate School.

The degree includes a taught component for credit and culminates in a thesis that is presented for examination.

Application for the ProDBA closes on 1 November 2021. To find out more visit

For more information on the ProDBA, contact: Dr Carlien Jooste, Head: Relationship and Marketing Office, Graduate School, Nelson Mandela University Business School and cc

Contact information
Ms Carlien Jooste
Head: Marketing and Relationship Office, Graduate School
Tel: 041 - 504 2338