Master of Business Administration

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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. It supports 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 two 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

60 points

Postgraduate Diploma

Core courses from PGCert
6x additional core courses

120 points


Core Courses from PGCert and PGDipBA
5x Electives

MBAD679 Business Research Methods
MBAD680 Capstone Project

  • MBAD652 Project Management
  • MBAD653 International Business Negotiations in Multi-cultural Environments
  • MBAD654 Entrepreneurship and Small Business
  • MBAD658 Business Law
  • MBAD661 Corporate Governance
  • MBAD644 Interpersonal Skills for Leaders
  • MBAD666 Innovation in Business
  • MBAD669 Design Thinking
  • MBAD671 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.

MBA/PGDipBA Lectures and Block Courses 2019


(Download: MBA 2019 Timetable)

All lectures run Monday to Thursday, 5:00 pm to 8.15 pm, with the exception of block courses, which run from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Friday and Saturday. Block courses may also fall outside of normal term dates.


Term 1: 11 February to 7 April

Eight Weeks Per Term - (2 weeks' break between each term)



Leading Ourselves
Peter Cammock

Strategy & International Business
David Stiles

Leading Sustainable Enterprises
Misha Balzarova

Operations Management
Pavel Castka


Block courses (1)


International Business Negotiations in Multi-cultural Environments
Patrick Rottiers

Block 1:

22 March, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Block 2:

29 March, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Block 1: 

23 March, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Block 2: 

30 March, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Design Thinking
Christian Walsh

Block 1:

12 April, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Block 1:

13 April, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm


Term 2: 22 April to 16 June

Eight Weeks Per Term - (2 weeks' break between each term)



Leading Others
Ian Brooks

Leading Change
Venkataraman Nilakant

Marketing Principles
Ekant Veer

Managerial Accounting
Catherine McMillan


Block courses (2)


Design Thinking
Christian Walsh

Block 2:

3 May, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm


Block 2:

17 May, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm



Term 3: 1 July to 25 August

Eight Weeks Per Term - (2 weeks' break between each term)



Managerial Finance
Moritz Wagner

Innovative Business Strategy
Jamie Collins

Business Economics
Stephen Hickson

Managing People & Performance
Kris Cooper


Term 4: 9 September to 3 November

Eight Weeks Per Term - (2 weeks' break between each term)



Entrepreneurship & Small Business
Christian Walsh

Business ResearchMethods
Carl Davidson

Project Management
Mike Roberts

Business Law
Annick Masselot and Matthew Barber


Block courses (3)




Corporate Governance
Murray Strong

Block 1:

27 Sept, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Block 2:

25 Oct, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Block 1:

28 Sept, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Block 2:

26 Oct, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Innovation in Business
Piet Beukman

Block 1:

11 Oct, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Block 2:

18 Oct, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Block 1:

12 Oct, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Block 2:

19 Oct, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Leading Collaborative Partnerships
Chris Jansen

26 July, one-day, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

16 August, half-day, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

27 September, one-day, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

25 October, half-day, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Tuesday 12 November, one-day, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm 



Other courses


Study Tour
September (dates to be confirmed)
David Stiles

MBAD680-19A - Anytime Start
MBA Project
Christian Walsh

Year 1 part-time study programme suggested Mondays and Wednesdays - Year 2 part-time study programme suggested Tuesdays and Thursdays

Christopher Vas MBA Director UC Business School
Professor Sonia Mazey Pro-Vice-Chancellor College of Business and Law, UC
Professor Paul Ballantine 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

As the capstone, 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

UC MBA Graduate Association

The UC MBA Graduate Association is where you continue your MBA journey.

The Association exists to bolster and continue the MBA experience via professional growth and personal engagement. This is accomplished through varied programmes of events. Some events are informal and simply a catch up time. Others like MBA Masterclasses are exclusive opportunities to learn and upskill alongside current students.

The association is exclusively for graduates from the University of Canterbury MBA and its pathway programmes (DipBA, GradDipBA and PGDipBA).

To join, attend an event, register via UC Alumni or join the Association's LinkedIn group UC MBA Graduate Association (Official)


The Association is governed exclusively by UC MBA graduates and seeks to cater to the unique requirements of the members:


Mike Blackburn

After a successful career in various media and marketing roles, Mike completed his MBA in 2002. His final project on "the potential for Interactive Digital Television in New Zealand" led to a role with TVNZ in Auckland, where he worked alongside the teams developing the company's website and then introduced Freeview Digital Television. While in Auckland, Mike joined the New Zealand MBA Association, serving 5 years on the board with 3 years as president.

Mike runs his own management consulting practice, working mostly with builders, other trades and professionals across the construction sector. He helps owners and managers with systems, administration, general management, business development and marketing.

Mike sits on several 'not for profit' and commercial boards including the National Council of the Scouts Association of New Zealand and Blue Ribbon charitable trust. He is an active Mentor through Business Mentors New Zealand.


Matt Williams

Matt is a globally experienced and influential senior leader. He has held a variety of senior roles in the technology sector where he brings not just the technical insight, but the business acumen to deliver the desired outcome. Central to his experience is a passion for resolving complex business problems.   

Matt completed his MBA in 2018 where his capstone project involved leading the development of a method for a district health board to assess which treatments and technologies provide safe, effective and efficient outcomes. 

Whenever he can, Matt takes the opportunity to crank out some miles on his mountain bike. 


Andrew McCarthy

Andrew gained his MBA in 2006, then joined NZ Windfarms as a project engineer to help build the Te Rere Hau windfarm in Palmerston North.  He purchased GJ Gardner Homes Christchurch North in 2008, and hasn't looked back. He has since expanded his business interests to include 5 Just Cabins franchises and recently acquired the Hue hair colouring salons chain.

Andrew is a keen environmentalist, constantly badgering family, friends and colleagues to get on board and reduce, reuse, recycle.  He owns 3 all-electric cars, and has helped GJ Gardner Homes become the principal sponsor of the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust.

Andrew's engineering background helps keep him grounded, and his keen sense of humour is always searching for a new victim, but most often skewers himself.


Laura Jones

Laura Jones has an extensive background in 'for purpose' sector management, also known as non-profit. She completed her MBA in 2015 with a special interest in corporate social responsibility.  She has worked in health, mental health and addiction sectors.

She is passionate about applying what she has learned on her own and in the MBA and making the workplace a better and more meaningful experience.

Laura specialises in change management, evaluation, health impact assessment, collaboration, systems analysis, stakeholder management, programme management, recruitment, hiring and staff management, program evaluation and development, strategic planning, appreciative inquiry, project management, staff coaching and development.

She is active in the community through her interest in running and her position as head referee for roller derby, and she is co-chair on the board of Qtopia, a local rainbow youth organisation. 


Michelle Polglase

Michelle has a passion for disruptive innovation. She successfully exited her first business in 2010 and has since held senior business and management roles in the technology sector. Michelle is also involved with the entrepreneurial ecosystem and works with small business owners through NZ Business Mentors. 

Michelle completed her MBA in 2017, taking the opportunity to head to F&P Healthcare for her project to work with their international sales team on digital strategy.

Michelle also teaches yoga and flies planes. 

Developed as a taster to our programmes, our Professional Development Series keeps you informed of the latest industry updates and insights. Through combining industry perspectives and the latest academic research, these session offer practical takeaways for professionals in the workplace. With tailored sessions for accounting, information systems and HR practitioners, we also run general management workshops for team leaders and managers.

Previous sessions have included:

  • Consultant of the Future with Kendall Langston of The Results Group (watch video)

Career and Skills Development

An opportunity for enrolled students, our Career and Skills Development Series includes a range of workshops and presentations that aim to develop key professional competencies. Designed to complement course work, these workshops cover both preparation for employment and personal development.

Employment Preparation

To get you prepares for the workforce, these workshops cover key practival skills to help get you into employment post-study. Workshops cover interview skills, CV preparation, how to sell yourself to employers and will also introduce you to recruitment firms.

Personal Development

Personal development workshops aim to help you get the most out of your career. Workshops include goal setting, team dynamics, professionalism, consulting, stress management, wellness and workplace diversity.

Learn from our students' experiences

To learn more about the MBA programme

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