Master of Business Administration

An MBA is considered a key professional milestone for many aspiring and accomplished business leaders. The primary focus of the UC MBA is to develop leaders who create vibrant, internationally competitive organisations and contribute to the wellbeing of their communities.

We offer an innovative programme taught by internationally recognised staff.

By joining our MBA programme you will gain a highly credible qualification and make invaluable connections within our extensive network of alumni. UC Executive Development Programmes support those who want to make the transition into business ownership, consultancy or significant leadership roles.

Our programme is accredited by AMBA which is the global standard for MBAs. Only the top 2 per cent of Business schools internationally are AMBA accredited.

Research confirms that an MBA is a significant long-term investment, with remuneration increasing considerably after graduation, and continuing to rise well into graduates' careers. In addition, there are strong indicators that a correlation exists between the MBA qualification and future employment at the strategic level of an organisation.

Though a demanding programme, there are significant proven long-term returns of gaining a UC MBA.

  • Develop leadership capabilities and strategic perspectives.
  • Gain a more holistic outlook of how local businesses thrive in global markets.
  • Launch your entrepreneurial career and start your own venture as a part of your project.
  • Expand your professional networks.

Our MBA programme is ideal for experienced professionals who are ready to take the first step in this important transitional stage of their professional and personal lives. MBA participants are typically senior level professionals and executives from organisations of any size or sector. Experienced and aspiring entrepreneurs also find our programme beneficial.

Multiple entry qualifications offer you a number of pathways depending on your existing level of education and experience.*

Postgraduate Certificate

6x Core Courses

  • Leading Ourselves
  • Leading Others
  • Leading Change
  • Business Strategy
  • Managing People and Performance
  • Leading Resilient Enterprises

60 points

Postgraduate Diploma

Core courses from PGCert
6x additional core courses

  • Strategy and International Business
  • Operations Management
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Marketing Principles
  • Managerial Finance
  • Business Economics
  • Leading Sustainable Enterprises

120 points


Core Courses from PGCert and PGDipBA
5x Electives

Business Research Methods
Capstone Project

  • Interpersonal Skills for Leaders
  • Project Management
  • International Business Negotiations
  • Design Thinking
  • Business Law
  • Innovation in Business
  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business
  • Corporate Governance
  • International Study Tour

240 points

1. Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership (PGCertStratLdrship)

If you do not currently have the time to undertake the full MBA programme, or do not have a degree, our Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership is the ideal solution.

Our certificate offers flexibility and part-time study options. The six courses can be taken in any order over a one to three year period. All courses taken as part of the Postgraduate Certificate are creditable towards the Postgraduate Diploma and MBA.

Duration: Up to 2.5 years and at full-time study it will take 8 months.

2. Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDipBA)

Like the Postgraduate Certificate, the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration offers a pathway to the MBA if you do not have a degree.

The diploma combines the six courses from the PGCertStratLdrship, with six additional core courses for a total of 12 courses. It can be completed in eight months full-time, or over four years part-time. Studying full-time, you will complete your PGDipBA between February and September. If you would like to study part-time, you can develop a personalised timetable in consultation with the MBA Director.

As a PGDipBA candidate you will attend the same lectures as MBA candidates, which means you will follow the same term structure, study in the same manner, sit the same exams and complete the same assignments. The difference between the MBA and PGDipBA is that diploma candidates do not complete any elective courses or the MBA project. Having satisfied all requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma with a B average or above you can apply to transfer to the MBA.

Duration: Up to four years and at full-time study, it will take eight months.

3. Master of Business Administration (MBA)

In addition to the course requirements for the certificate and diploma, by completing a further six courses and the capstone project, you can graduate with the full MBA. The MBA gives you the flexibility to take further study in areas that interest you, with the freedom to tailor your project and take your choice of our diverse electives. The MBA takes 15 months to complete full-time or up to five years part-time.

If you choose to study full-time, you will complete 12 core courses and six electives in your first year. Your MBA Project will then be completed over the summer period and during the first term of your second year, which is approximately 20 weeks (once your project is approved). At any stage during the MBA, you can apply to defer completion or change to part-time study.

Should you choose to study part-time, you will complete your MBA within five years. You will develop a personalised timetable in consultation with the MBA Director. It is recommended that candidates study a minimum of two courses per term. Part-time candidates can be expected to complete their project in 38 weeks (once the project is approved). 

Duration: Up to five years part-time and at full-time study it will take 15 months.

*In consultation, a personal course of study that differs from that outlined above can be completed, subject to the approval of the MBA Director.

All lectures run Monday to Thursday, 5pm to 8.15pm, with the exception of block courses which run from 9am to 5pm, Friday and Saturday. Block courses may also fall outside of normal term dates.

Term One
Leading Ourselves
Strategy & International Business
Leading Sustainable Enterprises
Operations Management
Term Two
Leading Others
Leading Change
Marketing Principles
Managerial Accounting
Design Thinking**
Term Three 
Managerial Finance
Innovative Business Strategy MBAD631 Business Economics MBAD604 Managing People and Performance
International Business Negotiations in Multicultural Environments**
        Leading Resilient Enterprises
Term Four
Entrepreneurship and Small Business**
Business Research Methods** MBAD679 Project Management** MBAD652 Business Law**
Corporate Governance**
        Innovation in Business**
Block Courses  
September Special Topic: International Strategy in Asia**
Interpersonal Skills for Leaders MBAD644. This course is delivered in a modular format and has multiple occurrences throughout the year. Courses are limited to 7–10 participants. For further details and to secure your spot, contact an EDP Administrator
Term Five 
Ongoing MBA Project

** Elective

David Shearer MBA Director Executive Development Programmes, UC
Professor Sonia Mazey Pro-Vice-Chancellor College of Business and Law, UC
Professor Paul Ballintine Head of School UC Business School
Assoc Professor David Stiles Associate Professor UC Business School
Mike Killick Managing Director Deep South Ice Cream
Carl Davidson Managing Director Research First
Andrea Bankier Senior Consultant Sheffield
Kendall Langston CEO Advisory Works
Michelle Sharp CEO Kilmarnock Enterprises
Stephanie Feldbrugge Support Services Manager Foodstuffs
Mike Blackburn (Alumni) Consultant Blackburn Management (Chair, UC MBA Alumni Association)
Shannon Goldsmith (Alumni) Development Manager Ngāi Tahu
Charan Ashokraj Student representative MBA Student Management Team
Kinest Jin Student representative MBA Student Management Team

The largest capstone project in Australasia, the UC MBA project typically addresses issues of strategic importance and results in the production of a written strategy document. Past projects completed by students include:

  • A strategy to address seasonal fluctuations in consumer demand
  • Strategies to effectively develop and deliver new services to construction projects
  • A strategy to increase purchase order policy engagement and compliance
  • A strategy for how high-performance directors can be retained within the New Zealand high-performance sport system
  • A strategy to address ways of introducing and adapting a goal setting process into a local Pacific community group
  • A strategy to address the efficiency and effectiveness of international transport operations
  • A strategy to best utilise information systems technology to provide a competitive advantage, increase productivity, retain high-quality staff and support the achievement of its business strategic objectives
  • A strategy to deliver organisational stability and agility to meet the needs of the community that it serves
  • A strategy to assess which social investment models are the best fit for New Zealand how to integrate them
  • A strategy for the most effective implementation of knowledge-driven product development
  • A strategy for UC to increase international student enrolments from the Philippines
  • A strategy to increase acquisition of start-up business customers in the New Zealand cloud computing market
  • A strategy to optimise bitumen supply model in order to achieve sustainable continuity of supply
  • Development of business model and market entry strategy
  • A positioning strategy for University of Canterbury MBA programmes
  • A strategic evaluation of transport optimisation approaches for Christchurch

Learn from our students' experiences

Key contacts:

David Shearer

MBA Director
Law Rm 521
Internal Phone: 93667

Leigh Ellis

Administrator - MBA Programme
Business & Law Level 5-Rm 528A
Internal Phone: 93707