Degree details

The UniSA MBA is Australia’s No. 1 Online, delivering rigorous curriculum informed by research expertise which ranked ‘Above World-Class’ in Business Management and Marketing in the 2015 Excellence in Research (ERA) rankings. The program is taught by leading business experts from our broad range of research concentrations, research institutes and centres.
This includes the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, one of the world’s leading centres for research in marketing, making fundamental discoveries about consumer behaviour for global corporations, providing students with the opportunity to learn from the same marketing scientists that advise senior marketing executives from all over the world.
With a focus on individual and business growth along with innovation and entrepreneurship, UniSA supports the development of skills, knowledge and networks

UniSA MBA Graduates will demonstrate:

  • a progressive understanding and innovative capacity to apply advanced theoretical and technical knowledge and skills in areas of business leadership and senior management decision making to solve multifaceted problems and drive business growth while demonstrating a capacity for critical reflection, self-development and resilience as a business leader and senior executive.
  • competency in critically reflecting, reviewing, analysing, identifying and providing meaningful resolutions to complex business leadership and senior executive problems.
  • a high level of personal autonomy, adaptability and the ability to motivate teams, applying judgement in an ethically and socially responsible manner in sustainable business leadership and senior executive decision making.
  • good communication skills and technologies in business leadership and senior executive practice, with a variety of stakeholders. Display sensitivity to the audience in leading and presenting challenging ideas in a diverse workplace, and to the senior business, industry, government, and global community.
  • demonstrate the ability to critically reflect, analyse and evaluate the impact of global cultural, legal, business and other disruptive factors on the business leadership and senior executives of organisations, including responsibilities of a globally responsible citizenry.

The UniSA MBA has been developed for experienced managers and executives, providing the knowledge and skills to advance your career in senior management or leadership roles in business, government and industry.

Company Directors Course
Offered through a unique partnership with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), this highly-regarded course is offered as a recognised elective or capstone course of the MBA curriculum. The course will give you the specialist knowledge and skills to advise boards, join boards, and to better understand the contribution a high functioning board makes to an organisation’s success. You will also be eligible to use the post-nominal GAICD (Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors) upon successful completion. More information about the AICD can be found here:

Alumni Network
UniSA MBA graduates join a dynamic, global network of more than 50,000 business alumni. As part of UniSA’s alumni network, you’ll continue to sharpen your skills and knowledge, access UniSA’s continuing development and resources, and enjoy the benefits of a global network. The Alumni Network at UniSA is over 55,000 strong, made up of an international community of enterprising professionals, managers, and scholars with a range of ongoing networking opportunities and events available to UniSA MBA Alumni.

Notable graduates include:

  • Elaine Bensted, CEO, Zoos SA;
  • Chris Stathy OAM, Managing Director, Hazelwood Industry Solutions;
  • Bill Le Blanc, Executive Director and Chief Information Officer, SA Health, Government of SA;
  • Prof Brenda Wilson, Lieutenant Governor of South Australia;
  • Alexandrea Cannon, Chair, Credit Union SA, SATAC, Director Hood Sweeny, Credit Union SA, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Bizbuild;
  • Kym Myall, Director, Australian Tax Office,
  • Rob Ellis, Executive Director, Tokin Consulting;
  • Paul Stevenson, CEO, RSPCA SA;
  • Philip Cheesman, Principal, Philip Cheesman and Associates;
  • Tony Vaughan, Chief Operating Officer, Royal Flying Doctors;
  • Philip Ayres, CEO, Cycling NSW;
  • Helen McLean, CEO, Girl Guides SA Inc;
  • Sam Shahin, Director, Peregrine Corporation;
  • Cos Cardone, Chief Executive Officer, JAMTV;
  • Jenny Richter, Cheif Executive Officer, Centra Adelaide Local Health Network;
  • Simon Schmidt, Managing Director, Vinnovate;
  • Ryan Thomas, Partner, Andersons Solicitors;
  • Pauline Wong, CEO, Million Rank (HK) Limited.

Higher education

Applications seeking admission to the degree are required to meet the following entry criteria:

  • A minimum of three (3) years full time management experience and a recognised university undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualifications; OR
  • A Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the University of South Australia with an average of at least Pass Level 1 (55%) across four (or more) courses, or an equivalent qualification from the University of South Australia or from another recognised university; OR
  • The Program Director may, under exceptional circumstances, accept candidates with substantial and proven managerial and/or entrepreneurial experience who have demonstrated the potential to meet the learning requirements of the MBA

All applicants are also required to submit a detailed curriculum vitae or equivalent with at least one referee who can validate work experience.

Work and Life

If you do not currently hold an undergraduate qualification but meet the management experience requirements, you may be eligible for the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (four subjects which provides a pathway into, and credit towards the MBA.

Special requirements

In a landmark collaboration between the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the University of South Australia, students in the Master of Business Administration have the opportunity to undertake the Company Directors Course as an elective or capstone option during their program. In this Australian first, UniSA MBA graduates who complete the AICD Company Directors Course as part of their MBA program will also receive recognition from the AICD and may be eligible to use the GAIDC graduate post nominal.

On campus requirements

All core subjects in the MBA are available online or face-to-face online. Some elective options may only be offered in intensive, face-to-face mode. The program can be completed entirely online, enabling the MBA to work for you and your lifestyle.
Successful applicants are required to attend or view a Commencement Seminar, held prior to the start of the study period into which the applicant is accepted.

Credit transfer and exemption may be offered through recognition of prior learning for up to one third of your program to eligible applicants, at the discretion of the Program Director. If you have completed appropriate postgraduate management courses at recognised institutions, you may apply for a credit transfer. Graduates of the following courses are recognised as eligible to receive credit towards the MBA program:

  • Australian Centre for Business Growth (CBG) nine-month Business Growth Programs - one elective course and one core course (9 units)
  • CPA Australia CPA program - one elective course and two core courses (13.5 units)
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors Course - one elective course credit (4.5 units)
  • Government of South Australia, Department for Education and Child Development Graduate Diploma Strategic Leadership - two elective course credits (9 units)
  • Leaders Institute of South Australia Governors Leadership Foundation Program - one elective course and one core course (9 units)

As Australia’s No. 1 Online MBA1 and ranked in the top ten MBA programs in Australia for ten years in the Australian Financial Review BOSS Rankings, UniSA’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) has been developed for experienced managers and executives.* The program delivers a strong applied and practical focus, embedded in senior management decision-making and the latest in management research.

You will gain real-world insights through access to academic and industry experts, and through curriculum informed by current research and professional practice to maximise your career progression. You will engage with a cohort of experienced peers from diverse industry backgrounds, in a highly interactive online learning environment.

You will deepen your expertise in fields such as strategy, marketing, finance, leadership, law, international business and ethics and sustainability, providing real-time application in the workplace.

Flexible learning options mean you can tailor your studies to your busy lifestyle and offers Global study tours including a two-week Business in China Intensive School or the European Summer School of Advanced Management, providing a global perspective. One of the benefits of this degree, is that you can complete the Company Directors Course, as part of the MBA curriculum offered in a unique partnership with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

The University of South Australia Business School is ranked in the top one per cent worldwide2. The five-Star MBA3 is recognised and respected globally for its excellence, and has been ranked in the top ten MBA programs in Australia for ten years, ranked number four in Australia for graduate satisfaction and number seven for value for money4. It offers a dynamic, engaging, and completely flexible degree that delivers invaluable networking opportunities, preparing you to think and act as a global business leader.

If you are driven to create new solutions, lead innovative teams, and deliver exceptional results in the context of disruptive change and global uncertainty, an MBA from UniSA will prepare you to do so.

12018 Global MBA Rankings, CEO Magazine

2The University of South Australia Business School is one of just nine institutions in Australia and 169 globally to be accredited by EQUIS. There is a total pool of 16,585 Business Schools worldwide, as reported by the AACSB, May 2017.

3Awarded by the Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA) for ten consecutive years.

4Australian Financial Review, Boss Survey

* Australian Financial Review, BOSS Survey.


The University of South Australia Business School is proud to support aspirational and high achieving women and Indigenous Australians with the Women in MBA (WiMBA) and Aboriginal MBA (AMBA) partnership scholarships.

It is well known that a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a pathway to leadership and career progression. Our dedicated scholarships actively address leadership inequality and champion women and indigenous Australians with leadership potential, to advance their careers into senior management and executive roles.

The WiMBA scholarship actively addresses leadership inequality and champions women with leadership potential to advance their careers into senior management and executive roles.

The Aboriginal MBA scholarship offered to Aboriginal Australians to develop their careers as leaders and senior managers in business, government and industry.

The scholarships are offered by the UniSA Business School in partnership with employers, matching contributions of 50% of MBA tuition fees, to cover the scholarship recipient’s full MBA tuition costs. To maximise success, employers are required to provide flexibility in working arrangements to support study, a career mentor and supportive career pathway options, in addition to the financial contribution. 

For more information on the entry criteria and application process, please visit the UniSA website.

Recommended Study Pattern

Students are required to commence the MBA program with the subject BUSS 5424 Strategic Thinking: Concepts and Tools. Several prerequisites may apply depending on the capstone subject undertaken, and this capstone subject should be completed towards the end of the program.
As a guide, full-time MBA students generally undertake two subjects and part-time students undertake one subject per study period. Completing the MBA full-time will normally take 18 months, however there are options to fast-track your learning to complete the program in 12 months. Part-time students taking one subject per study period can typically complete the MBA in three years.

  • Strategic Thinking: Concepts and Tools (BUSS5424)
  • Accounting for Decision Making (BUSS5247)
  • Managerial Finance (BUSS5249)
  • Managing People and Organisations (BUSS5425)
  • The Law for Managers (LAWS5016)
  • International Business (BUSS5251)
  • Strategic Marketing (BUSS5245)
  • Ethics, Governance and Sustainability (BUSS5385)
  • Leadership for Growth (BUSS5428)
  • Elective 13
  • Elective 23

Capstone options: Select one of the following (generally taken when all compulsory subjects have been completed successfully).

  • Strategic Research Project (BUSS5423)
  • Company Directors subject (BUSS5417)1 Taught by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Intensive, face-to-face mode of delivery
  • Business in Chine Tour Project (BUSS5416)2
  • International Study Tour Project (BUSS5422)2


1. This subject may be taken as either an elective or as a capstone option. It may be taken prior to completing all core subjects subject to meeting the prerequisite requirements of a GPA of 5 or greater with eight subjects completed. (See subject homepage for full requirements.)

2. This subject must be taken in conjunction with the relevant Study Tour subject as a co-requisite (see subject homepages for further explanation). If undertaken as a capstone option, the Study Tour will count as one elective and the Study Tour Project will count as the capstone subject. If not taken as a capstone option both subjects will count as elective subjects.

3. Not all electives will be offered each year. Students should refer to the University of South Australia’s online timetable for details of subjects offered in the current year as additional electives may be offered on a once-off basis.

Award Requirements

To successfully complete the requirements of the MBA, students must complete 9 core subjects, 2 electives and a capstone subject.