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Master of Business Administration (MBA)

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The Master of Business Administration (Otago MBA ) degree is an intensive two-phase programme. Phase One comprises ten months of on-campus study of core papers. This is followed by a highly flexible Phase Two of on-campus electives, international exchange or a business project. Phase Two can range from 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.

Information for new applicants

The course commences each year in early March. 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 application form on the Otago MBA website, or phone the MBA Admissions Manager +64 3 479 4181, 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.

Complete the application form


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 or the Otago MBA 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, elective papers, papers from an approved international exchange partner, or a combination of the above. Papers to be taken through international exchange must be approved by the Programme Director and the MBA Academic Leader.
      One BMBA 500-level paper not listed in the schedule may be substituted for another BMBA 500-level paper, with the approval of the DProgramme Director and the MBA Academic Leader.
    2. Candidates may be permitted to progress to Phase 2 before completing Phase 1 only with permission from the Programme Director and the MBA Academic Leader.
    3. 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 been previously passed for the diploma. With prior approval, papers worth up to a maximum of 120-points in a relevant subject offered by another tertiary institution, may be credited to the programme and/or used as the basis for an exemption from papers in Phase 1. Such exemptions and/or credits will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    4. 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.

    5. 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.
    6. A candidate may not present a project report which has previously been accepted for another degree.
    7. 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 BUSI540 project (60 points) and the BMBA540 project (45 points) shall be assessed by at least two examiners. The BMBA530 project (30 points) will be assessed by one examiner.  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. Variations

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

This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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