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Master of Business Administration (MBA)



The Master of Business Administration (Otago MBA) degree is an intensive two phase programme. Phase One comprises nine months of on-campus study of core papers. This is followed by a highly flexible Phase Two of electives, international exchange or online distance learning, plus a business project. Phase Two can range between six to twelve months.

The programme takes on a strong global perspective. Together with the diversity of our classes and opportunities for international exchange to renowned universities worldwide, we prepare students for success in the highly competitive global economy. Our comprehensive MBA programme also goes well beyond the academic syllabus to include career development guidance, practical experience and networking activities.

Lecturers on the Otago MBA programme are drawn from three areas - the University, other reputable global business schools, and consultants or business practitioners. They are carefully selected for both academic excellence and strong practical experience in running successful businesses. The small class size ensures a large degree of personal mentoring and guidance from staff.

The style of learning is highly interactive, and participants learn as much from one another as from the course leader or facilitator. Students are assigned to teams, which reflect the diversity of professional and educational backgrounds, demographics and work style preferences. These teams work together on projects, presentations, and assignments to apply business knowledge learned in academic class in real live settings, as well as hone skills such as time management, conflict resolution and problem solving.

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Information for New Applicants

The course commences each year in early April. Student applications are processed as they are received on a rolling basis, and we will endeavour to complete the application process within a month. As class size is small and seats are limited, applicants are advised to submit their application early to secure their place.

Start your application by completing the ‘Register your Interest’ form on the Otago MBA website: or contact the MBA Admissions Manager, Susan Steer on 479 4514 or email

International students are reminded to allow sufficient time to make travel arrangements and visa application if required. Also, the full time Otago MBA requires a minimum Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score as part of the entry requirement and students need to plan for this if they have not already done so.

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Contact Details

Otago MBA


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Subject Area

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Programme requirements

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Module Papers
Phase 1

BMBA 502  Marketing
BMBA 503  Organisational Leadership
BMBA 504  Statistics and Decision Tools
BMBA 505  Economics
BMBA 506  Human Resource Management
BMBA 507  Accounting
BMBA 508  Investment and Global Financial Markets
BMBA 509  Strategic Planning for International Markets
BMBA 510  Leading Sustainable Enterprises
BMBA 511  Operational Excellence
BMBA 512  International Business
BMBA 513  Strategy Implementation

Note: One BMBA 500-level paper not listed in the schedule may be substituted for another BMBA 500-level paper, with the approval of the Director of Executive Programmes in Business..

Phase 2

BUSI 540 Professional Consulting Engagement

or a minimum of 60 points for elective papers taken at the University of Otago (grouped together as BMBA 550 MBA Elective Papers) selected from approved ENTR, FINC, MANT, MART and TOUR papers, normally at 400-level, and/or from approved 700-level PUBH papers, PHCY 524, PHCY 541, PHCY 542, HEIN 702, HEIN 703, and/or from other postgraduate papers approved by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce).

or 60 points from international exchange (the papers involved shall be grouped together as EXCB 00F Exchange Scheme Course (MBA)).

or 60 points for a course of study, approved by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce), at another tertiary institution (on successful completion, a student will be eligible for ad eundem credit for BMBA 550).

Note: Entry into specific elective papers will be subject to approval by the head of the host department based on the background of the student applying and on performance in the relevant MBA core papers.

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Regulations for the Degree of Master of Business Administration (MBA)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce).
    2. Every applicant must either
      1. be a graduate, or
      2. hold an acceptable professional qualification, or
      3. have experience in management or administration acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce).
    3. Applicants will be expected to have first obtained a satisfactory result in the Graduate Management Admission Test.
    4. Applicants who wish to enter the programme from the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration programme will be exempted from the provisions of regulation 1(c) if they have average grades of at least B+ in the six papers taken for the diploma.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The programme of study consists of compulsory papers from Phase 1 (the core) together with a choice of a business project, or a selection from a list of elective papers, or papers from an approved international exchange partner. The core papers, the business project, and the elective papers are set out in the MBA Schedule. Papers to be taken through international exchange must be approved by the Director of Executive Programmes in Business. One BMBA 500-level paper not listed in the schedule may be substituted for another BMBA 500-level paper, with the approval of the Director of Executive Programmes in Business.
    2. A candidate must normally pass all papers from Phase 1 before proceeding to Phase 2.

      Note: A Candidate who enters the programme from the Diploma in Business Administration programme may be permitted to take one or more papers from Phase 2 before completing all papers in Phase 1.

    3. A candidate with insufficient grounding in Accounting, Mathematics and the use of computers may be required either
      1. to attend short programmes of instruction, or
      2. to carry out prescribed reading and study.

      A formal examination may be required.

    4. Before commencing the investigation undertaken for the purposes of the project report, a candidate shall seek the approval of the Director of Executive Programmes in Business for the topic, the supervisor(s) and the proposed course of the investigation.
    5. A candidate may not present a project report which has previously been accepted for another degree.
    6. Phase 1 of the MBA programme may be undertaken on-campus or by distance learning.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    A full-time candidate must complete the requirements of the degree within a minimum of 14 months, and a maximum of 20 months, of commencing the programme. A part-time candidate must complete the requirements within 36 months of commencing the programme.

  4. Examination

    1. On the recommendation of the examiners, the Director of Executive Programmes in Business may permit a candidate to sit a special examination in not more than three papers from Phase 1 of the programme.
    2. The project report shall be assessed by at least two examiners. If the project report is assessed as unsatisfactory on first submission, the examiners may recommend to the Director of Executive Programmes in Business that it be revised and resubmitted by a specified date.
    3. Where the examiners cannot agree on a result for the project report, the Director of Executive Programmes in Business should so inform the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce) who shall reach a decision after consulting a referee.

  5. Exemptions

    A candidate who has passed papers for the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration shall be exempted from those papers in the programme for the degree which have previously been passed for the diploma.

  6. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

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