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Higher Certificate in Business Principles and Practice

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE)

The business environment is becoming ever more competitive which necessitates individuals to acquire certain business management skills. This Higher Certificate develops and provides students with a broad range of essential business management skills including communication, accounting and project management and administration skills.

This Qualification is an entry level qualification which is vocational and industry orientated. It encapsulates introductory knowledge in the areas of general business administration and project management and will prepare the successful graduate for a junior position in the general business environment.

The cognitive and conceptual tools and practical techniques which are incorporated in this qualification will equip students to advance their studies in higher education and provide them with the basic business management skills needed for employment and progress in business administration.

In addition, the inclusion of the Experiential Learning module provides the student with the basic practical knowledge which can be applied in an occupation or role in the workplace.

What is this Higher Certificate’s accreditation status?

The IIE Higher Certificate in Business Principles and Practice (HBPP) is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and is registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as a 120-credit qualification on level 5 (SAQA ID: 71637).

Who is the Higher Certificate aimed at?

If you are interested in obtaining a sound one-year management qualification and learning about the business environment, activities and functions, then this is the qualification for you.

What entry requirements will I need to study this Higher Certificate?

National Senior Certificate (NSC)
Higher Certificate pass with English (30%)

National Certificate (Vocational) (NC(V))
Higher Certificate pass with English (40%)

Senior Certificate (SC)
Endorsement – none; with English (33.3%)

Senior Certificate (Amended) (SC(a))
Please contact us for more information.

How is this Higher Certificate structured at The IIE MSA?

The IIE Higher Certificate in Business Principles and Practice is a one-year programme and consists of 9 modules. The modules are delivered on a full-time basis with lectures from Monday to Friday. The IIE Higher Certificate in Business Principles and Practice is run over two semesters, with final examinations being written at the end of each semester. In addition to attending lectures you will be expected to spend time conducting your own research and working on assignments.

The curriculum below is correct at the time of print. Please note that in line with academic practice, The IIE’s curriculum is reviewed annually thus changes may occur in module structure and sequence in order to ensure that the qualification remains relevant. The exit level outcomes of the programme do not change. Registered students receive an updated programme curriculum on an annual basis.


The IIE Higher Certificate in Business Principles and Practice

Semester 1NQF LevelCredit valueSemester 2NQF LevelCredit value
Thinking and
Management and
Introduction to
Accounting 1A
Management &
Administration A
Management &
Administration B
Digital and Academic
Work Integrated

What about timetables?

Our full-time programmes are aimed at students wishing to dedicate themselves to full-time face-to-face studies for the duration of their qualification. This means that students are expected to be available throughout the day for class in the academic year depending on how the timetable is structured. At the moment the classes are all structured in the late afternoon and early evening. Students may also be required to write assessments or submit coursework or assignments outside of normal class-time.

Students must understand that timetables remain subject to change throughout the year. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that timetable structures will remain the same during each year of your studies with us. In addition, where students are repeating modules, these modules may be offered in the evenings or on weekends. Students are required to attend classes in order to remain up to date with the academic programme. Students who would like to pursue part-time employment opportunities outside of the academic programme must prioritise their studies and avoid committing to work schedules until after they have received their timetables and academic calendar from the institution.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

The aim of this practical component is to provide students with the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge learnt in this programme. You will work with other students in groups to develop a project plan and carry out research. This will require you to survey other students and then present their findings in a report. The implementable proposal will be presented before a panel.

What must I pass in order to graduate with this Higher Certificate?

In order to be awarded this qualification, you must have achieved a minimum final year mark of fifty percent (50%) for each module of the programme; and have met all the Work Integrated Learning requirements, where applicable.

How long do I have to complete this qualification?

Students have a maximum of 2 years to complete this qualification.

With what qualification will I graduate?

You will graduate with The IIE Higher Certificate in Business Principles and Practice (SAQA ID: 71637).

Career opportunities: what career areas can I pursue once I have completed this Higher Certificate?

This qualification will open up an attractive range of career options in:

  • Project Administration
  • Office Administration
  • Assistant Project Manager
  • General Assistant to a manager


Call the IIE MSA campus to discuss your career options with one of our Student Advisors. Tel: +27 11 950 4009 or email

Disclaimer: Please note that this fact sheet is accurate at the time of publication. The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) reserves the right to alter any of the content prior to commencement of registration due to changes in regulation, policy, market requirements or any other valid reason.

British Accreditation Council

The IIE is not only accredited in South Africa but its dedication to providing quality education also led to it being accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) in 2014. The British Accreditation Council is an independent authority in the United Kingdom that accredits private providers globally, including Greece, Switzerland, Singapore, India, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. In 2017 The IIE had its accreditation status confirmed by the BAC as an Independent Higher Education Institution confirming our confidence in the international comparability of our standards.

“South African students need to know, when they select a private higher education institution, that the standards offered are equivalent to those of a public University. Our students get this from our extensive local accreditation and registration. The students also benefit from knowing that we meet international standards too. The IIE is accredited as an Independent Higher Education Institution by the British Accreditation Council. Locally and internationally we have demonstrated the quality of what we offer,” said Dr Coughlan, Director, The Independent Institute of Education. IIE MSA students can be confident that their IIE learning experience meets international best practice standards.”