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Online MBA summary

2020 03 18 Distance Learning-118

Quick facts

  • Fully online programme - no need to attend classes in Dunedin or sit exams at a local centre
  • Live classes held twice a week through video-conferencing
  • Study one paper at a time over an eight week term (one preparation/reading week, six weeks of classes, one assignment week)
  • Six terms per year (therefore maximum six papers can be taken in any one year)
  • 240 credits in total:
  • Phase One (180 credits): 12 core papers (15 credits each)
  • Phase Two (60 credits): Individual Professional Consulting Engagement
  • MBA can be completed in less than three years
  • 150 hours of study per paper (breaks down to five hours of classes per week and approx. 15-20 hours of study per week)
  • Two new cohorts/intakes per year: April and September
  • Maximum 28 students per cohort/class
  • Live classes usually held on a Monday and Thursday evening 7pm – 10pm (occasionally Tues/Wed)

The application process

With a maximum of 28 students per cohort we recommend that you apply early to secure your place on the programme (you should apply four to five months before the start date of each intake).

How to apply

  1. Check our web page for full details of our entrance requirements
  2. Fill in our quick online application form and a member of our MBA team will be in touch to chat to you further about the programme, and to arrange an online interview (through Zoom video conferencing)
  3. If accepted, you will be guided through the University admission process which may involve sending us evidence of your previous qualifications, ID, and English language proficiency (if applicable)

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Phase one

  • When you join the programme you will be placed in a cohort of students (e.g. cohort 13)
  • Prior to the start of your first paper you will complete an MBA Preparation Programme. This will include key programme information, University resources, and online tutorials. There will also be a live Orientation session where you will have the opportunity to meet your classmates before studies commence.
  • You will normally take all papers with the same cohort throughout the duration of the programme.
  • There is a recommended order of papers (see FAQs) for all cohorts
  • It is possible to miss a paper or take a longer break at any time.
  • If you are unable to attend two or more classes for any one paper, we may advise you to skip the paper and take it a later date with a different cohort.
  • You can catch up on any missed papers - the MBA team can advise you of a suitable study plan so that you can continue to take papers in the recommended order.
  • We expect you to attend 100% of classes.
  • The timetable for terms and papers is available on our website

Prior to each paper

  1. The MBA team will contact you to check you are still able to attend the paper.
  2. All the information you require for the paper will be made available online through Blackboard (the student learning portal).
  3. You will be placed into a syndicate group (usually four or five students per group) and you will work with this group throughout the paper on group assignments. (Syndicate group members change for each paper you take so you will have the opportunity to work with most of the students in your cohort)

Live classes

  • You should have access to a strong internet connection
  • We will send every student a headset (it is important that everyone uses the same headset for audio quality consistency)
  • You should attend all live classes
  • Classes are run using the Zoom video-conferencing software (
  • Classes will be a mix of teaching, debate and discussion, group break-out sessions, videos and presentations.
  • Classes usually run on a Monday and Thursday evening from 7pm – 10pm with a 30 minute break.
  • Classes are generally recorded so you can go back and watch the recording at any time to help you with your studies and assignment preparation. Recordings are available via Blackboard, the student learning portal. You should not rely on recordings it is not always possible to record every class.
  • An IT Support member will be on hand during every class to assist with any technical problems

Assessments & exams

Each paper will typically include the following assessments:

  • an individual assignment (worth 70% of the overall grade)
  • a group assignment, usually a report or presentation (worth 30% of the overall grade)

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Phase Two – Professional Consulting Engagement (PCE)

Phase two is made up of the Professional Consulting Engagement (PCE). This is a major piece of work worth 60 points, taking approximately 600 hours of work over 30 weeks.

During the PCE, you will conduct research for a company on a specific business problem/opportunity and produce a report which makes recommendations to the company to solve the problem or exploit the opportunity.

Students undertaking the PCE will attend online classes which will include preparatory classes, project management classes, and optional drop-in/support classes. These classes will take place over the 30 week period.

There may be alternative options for phase two which include elective papers (attending classes at our Dunedin campus), and international exchange opportunities. Please contact the MBA team for more information.

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Tuition fees

  • Full fees information is available on our website
  • There are several options for payment of your tuition fees; personal funding (one paper at a time), through your employer or sponsor, and/or through a Studylink loan if you are eligible.
  • Fees must usually be paid within 20 days of enrolling in a paper.
  • The MBA team will manage your enrolment and fees preference for you throughout the programme, enabling you to pay by your chosen method.
  • The cost of all textbooks and course materials are included in your tuition fees.
  • Please note it is not possible to pay for tuition fees by credit card.

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Admission to the Programme

  1. Does my previous qualification certificate/transcript need to be verified?
    This will vary from person to person. The University admissions department will contact you through eVision to let you know what you need to provide.
  2. Where do I send my documentation to be assessed for admission?
    You may be able to upload documents into eVision, however if an original copy is required the University admissions department will contact you through eVision to let you know where you need to send it.
  3. I don’t live in New Zealand, can I still join the programme?
    As long as you can attend live classes (held 7pm – 10pm NZ time) then you can join the programme from anywhere in the world.
  4. Can I connect with the MBA alumni to discuss the programme?
    You can connect with MBA Alumni through our Linkedin page:

Planning your study

  1. What is Zoom?
    Zoom is a video conferencing software used by the Otago Online MBA to deliver all classes. More information can be found at:
  2. What is the recommended order of papers?
    If you remain with the same cohort throughout phase 1 you will automatically take papers in the recommended order.
    If you have to miss a paper with your cohort and take papers with another cohort, please plan your studies using the ideal order of papers listed in the table below. There is some flexibility, however Strategic Planning for International Markets, and Strategy Implementation should be taken towards the end of phase 1. Please contact us and we can advise you on the best study plan to suit your circumstances.

    1 Organisational Leadership

    7 Investment and Global Financial Markets

    2 Economics

    8 Leading Sustainable Enterprises

    3 Business Law

    9 Operational Excellence

    4 Marketing

    10 Strategic Planning for International Markets

    5 Accounting

    11 International Business

    6 Human Resource Management

    12 Strategy Implementation

  3. What student support and study resources are available to me?
    There are a range of support services offered by the MBA, the Library, Student Learning Centre, the Business School and the wider University. Once you are an enrolled student you will have access to these services.

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