MPhil Business Management Research Programme on Responsible Leadership

Purpose of the Programme

The ALCRL is committed to developing a new generation of responsible leaders. This is in line with the vision of the University of Pretoria:
To be a leading research‐intensive university in Africa, recognised internationally for its quality, relevance, and impact, and also for developing people, creating knowledge and making a difference locally and globally.
The aim of the degree is to develop an critical appreciation for the emerging theories on leadership and alternative views (shaped by the mandate of sustainability) on the role and nature of leadership. The programme further aims to facilitate a critical exploration of the role of business in a complex multi-stakeholder society, and the connectedness (impact and dependency) of business with society and the natural environment. The programme follows a problem-based learning approach, and participants will be expected to demonstrate how they have utilised their ‘projects’ as vehicles for learning in this course, by integrating and building on perspectives from the course and the literature, and their own contexts.
Admission Requirements

Students who wish to apply for admission to this programme must adhere to the following minimum requirements:
  • A 60% average for a Honours qualification or a relevant four-year qualification with competency level of NQF 8.
  • Adequate language proficiency – As the course will be presented in English students are expected to have the necessary language proficiency to engage verbally or in writing on a sufficient level. The department might require students to pass a language proficiency test. Students are free to complete all assignments, tests and examinations in Afrikaans.
  • Basic research skills – As the bulk of the course is dedicated to the successful completion of the mini-dissertation, students need to have mastered basic research skills to stand a chance of graduating.
  • Basic computer literacy- Much of the material is provided via online platforms and assessment takes place online. As such students are required to have sufficient computer literacy.
  • The Head of the Department has the right to prescribe any additional modules on Honours level to ensure that the candidate complies with all the requirements. Any additional modules will serve only as prerequisites for admission into the program and 
will not count towards the credits required for the degree.
Fees and Funding

Full particulars concerning university fees and applicable regulations are contained in the Student Fees Guide of the University of Pretoria. It is the responsibility of students to acquaint themselves with the various regulations. Fees and regulations are available from
Programme Structure

The programme is offered on a part time basis over one-year, with classes taking place in the evenings and over block weeks.
All lectures, colloquia and examination sessions will be conducted at the University of Pretoria Hatfield Campus. Attendance is obligatory for all of these contact sessions.  Please refer to the link below for the full brochure.
The student is expected to write a mini-dissertation on a topic approved or provided by the centre. Candidates must pass all of the coursework as well as the Research Methodology module (NME 804) before they are allowed to start their mini-dissertation.

Depending on the module the students will be expected to attend block weeks or evening contact sessions. Attendance of these sessions are not only obligatory, but much of the learning takes place in the class environment. The sessions can include formal lectures, case studies, individual and group presentations and discussions as well as guest speakers.
The course makes use of formative assessment methods to try and keep track of the progress of students over the two semesters. Email and internet access is vital, as much of the work will be submitted online.
Pass Requirements

  • A semester mark of 40% is required to be admitted to the examination. The semester mark will be compiled from assignments, written tests and a research colloquium mark.
  • Examinations will take the form of written evaluations during May/June/ or October/November each year.
  • A three-hour examination paper is written in each of the coursework modules.
  • A final mark of 50% is required to pass a module.
  • It is important to note that there are no re-examination opportunities for 800-level modules.
  • The degree is conferred with distinction if an average of at least 75% for all the modules 
and mini-dissertation is obtained.
  • A student who fails a module more than once will not be allowed to continue their studies.
What do past students say?

Personally, the journey has been very fulfilling and has taught me to interrogate every decision I make, whether in my personal or professional space. The course opened my eyes on general matters of accountability, ethics, dependability, and sustainability. But most importantly, the views of the discipline on the stakeholder theory; the responsibility that one has with multiple stakeholders; how one builds and sustains relationships with different stakeholders - Bosa Ramantsi 
As a professional mining engineer, the course has taught me that Responsible Leaders recognize, respect and reconcile multiple demands, interests, needs and opposites stemming from their intrinsic responsibility towards employees, organizations, customers, suppliers, communities, shareholders, the society at large, NGOs and the environment.  Most importantly, effective leaders are distinctive in that, they take responsibility and accountability for their actions - Letuka Moorosi
The course has been great in opening my eyes to the various and modern ways of approaching leadership as well as on how leadership plays a critical role in all the situations one finds themselves in. Responsible Leadership speaks of being responsive and responding positively and responsibly; knowing very well that the decisions of today have impact on tomorrow - Neo Raliphada

Applicants that meet these requirements are asked to send a motivation letter as well as a short research piece on a topic (to be provided). Based on these submissions students are then invited for interviews with a panel. On the basis of these interviews, the panel will make recommendations to the faculty administration for admission to the programme.
Please note: Selection is not guaranteed as there are many applications and only a limited number of students can be accommodated. Acceptance letters are sent out by faculty admin early in December and this will set out conditions for acceptance. The course coordinator cannot provide applicants with the outcome of their application.
Application Process

  • An application for admission to the University must be completed and the application fee must be paid to the cashier at the Client Service Centre, or the fee may be paid into the UP account.
  • The application form, together with a full academic record of previous studies, must be submitted to the Client Service Centre.
  • Online applications can be done at and the application fee paid with a credit card. Alternatively, the form can be downloaded at
  • All postgraduate students with international qualifications need to submit an evaluation from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), 1067 Arcadia Street, HATFIELD, 0083; Tel:+ 2712 431 5000 or 0860 010 3188,
  • Students with international qualifications who want to apply for Masters degree courses at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences also have to write the international TOEFL ( or IELTS ( test in the English language.
  • Applications will not submitted to the department for selection if the English test result (if required), as well as the SAQA evaluation is not available.
  • If all the required documents have not been received by the end of November, the application will not be taken into consideration for admission the following year.
  • If applicable, a valid study permit to study at the University of Pretoria as well as proof of membership to medical insurance as prescribed by the University, are also requirements for admission.
  • International students may contact the International Office for more information at
Closing Dates

  • The closing date for applications for South African students for admission is 31 October preceding the year of first registration.
  • The closing date for applications for International students is 30 September annually.
MPhil Programme Coordinator:  Albert Luthuli Centre of Responsible Leadership
Mr Ben van der Merwe, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002
Tel: +27 (0)12 420 4373    |    Email: [email protected]
Last edited by Carto Abrams-Swarts

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