IIE Advanced Diploma in Brand Innovation - Distance

Qualification information
  • COURSE: Diploma
  • MODE: Distance
  • DURATION: 18 months | Part-Time
  • NQF LEVEL: 7
  • CREDITS: 120
  • SAQA ID: 73369


The IIE Advanced Diploma in Brand Innovation focuses on the development of applied competence in innovative thinking and brand building. Students gain insight into the strategic components that contribute to sound brand building; the practice of research in the real world and the nature of innovation in building healthy organisations. This qualification provides access to, and a solid foundation for, the IIE BA Honours in Strategic Brand Communication as well as the IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Brand Building, subject to meeting requirements.


The Principles of Strategic Thinking
Focuses on new brand paradigm thinking and is based on the concept of strategic and holistic thinking. Students are introduced to the definition and theories of strategy. The term strategic conceptual thinking is explored by introducing students to the nature, forms and elements of logical thinking and argumentation.

Integrated Brand Communication Management
This module provides an overview of the contemporary nature, trends, and future of the brand communication industry. The module consolidates students’ knowledge of key concepts of Integrated Marketing and Brand Communication with the ultimate aim being for students to develop the competencies required to formulate integrated brand strategies.

Research and Market Intelligence
This module introduces students to the role and relevance of research and how insight can be created from research in brand communication. It provides an overview of the research process, research designs and sources of research information.

Context Planning and Channel Innovation
Examines the emergence of the consumer society within a stakeholder-driven environment. Emphasis is placed on consumerism and consumption in a post-modern era and provides an overview of the trends within channel and context planning.

Structure of the advanced diploma for distance delivery:

The IIE Advanced Diploma in Brand Innovation consists of 4 modules and has been set up to support an 18-month journey with a maximum completion time of 3 years. Students are required to register per academic year.

Year 1
Semester One

  • Integrated Brand Communication Management
  • Research and Market Intelligence (year module)

Semester Two

  • The Principles of Strategic Thinking
  • Research and Market Intelligence (year module)

Year 2
Semester Three

  • Context Planning and Channel Innovation

Study further with IIE Pathways
The successful completion of the IIE Advanced Diploma in Brand Innovation enables you to progress into the IIE BA Honours in Strategic Brand Communication delivered at IIE Vega, subject to meeting the admission requirements.

Distance delivery includes:

  • An online learning system that leads students through the content, prescribed material and activities.
  • Online academic navigators (tutors) who are subject experts and maintain the human experience of the learning process.
  • Weekly live sessions with your distance navigators.
  • A dedicated success navigator who supports students throughout the learning journey.
  • Access to our online information centre and resources.


While you can generally structure your study time as you need, there are scheduled online sessions during which you will get mediated support. Scheduled assessments in the form of online activities, assignments and exams are paced to ensure your studies progress.

What you need in terms of technology, time and materials:

  • The appropriate technology equipment and tools are essential to succeed in distance study.
    A reliable internet connection (we recommend 5-10 GB of data per month), your own device with at least Windows 8 or macOS 10.15 (Microsoft Office 365 is available as a free download for IIE students), and Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge Chromium or Firefox.
  • An uninterrupted power supply is also highly recommended.
  • Prescribed textbooks are available for online purchase.
  • Online students need to commit to approximately 20-25 hours a week for online engagement (most of which is after hours) with material and assessments to succeed.
  • All final semester exams need to be written at an IIE campus or other approved exam centre.

Please note synchronous sessions generally take place after hours.

To succeed in your distance journey, you need to be:

  • Self-motivated and invested in your learning journey.
  • Disciplined and able to balance studying with work and family commitments.
  • Able to direct your own studies, maintaining a diligent pace.

To assist you in succeeding in your distance journey, our teaching approach is:

  • Student-centric: we facilitate your thought processes to foster innovative ideas and creative solutions.
  • Authentic: we use real-life examples and case studies.
  • Activity-based: We move your learning forward through applied activities and assessments.
  • Discussion-based: we ask you questions and stimulate debate to provoke deep thought and insights about course content.

Examination centre options for assessments written on campus

  • All final semester exams as indicated on your Programme Assessment Schedule (PAS) can be written online, at an IIE campus, or at an approved exam centre where appropriate. 
  • From 2024, we are planning to offer you the ability to write your exam online, which will be invigilated.
    Your device needs to fulfil the minimum requirements as above with internet connectivity, a working webcam and audio recording ability, with battery life sufficient for the exam duration in case of power outage once the exam has started.
  • Whilst Android devices and tablets can be used for your studies, they cannot be used for online exams.
  • You are responsible for making contingency plans in case of planned power outages. 
  • You need to be alone in a quiet environment for writing your exams online.

Where assessments cannot be written online or students do not have access to an appropriate device

  • For students based in South Africa, online students may select any campus of The IIE’s Varsity College, Rosebank College, Vega, or IIE MSA as their Examination Centre.
  • An alternative examination centre is only permissible for students studying abroad and those located in a province of South Africa where there is no IIE campus. If there is no IIE campus within reach, an alternative venue will need to be sourced by you. For non-IIE venues, there is an alternative venue levy per module.

Tuition Fees

Total Fee for 1st year modules for new registrations starting in 2024
R47 700 Full Settlement Total Fee
R50 130 Instalment Total Fee (6 Monthly Instalments)
R51 090 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)

A *Pre-Registration Fee of R2 500 is included in the Total Fee
Deposit of R15 039 is included in the Total Fee for the 6 Instalments option.
*Refundable if admission criteria for the qualification is not met.

Total Fee for 2nd year modules (subject to an annual fee increase)
R15 900 Full Settlement Total Fee
R16 710 Instalment Total Fee (6 Monthly Instalments)
R17 030 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)
Deposit of R5 013 is included in the Total Fee for the 6 Instalments option.

Please note:

  • Applications for the 2024 intake are subject to a non-refundable application fee of R400.
  • You will be required to complete a new contract annually which will include fees for that year.
  • Returning students can consult the bill of costs on the website to obtain their 2024 fees based on their basket of modules.

Entry Requirements

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • An appropriate Bachelor’s Degree or a Diploma or relevant equivalent (at least 360 credits, NQF level 6).
  • If the discipline of the degree or diploma is not considered sufficiently cognate, a student may still be admitted but may be required to do additional coursework.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) – Where candidates do not satisfy the formal admission requirements for this qualification, The IIE may consider an admission application in terms of the Credit Accumulation and Transfer, Recognition of Prior Learning and Qualification Completion Policy (IIE010).
  • If applicant does not meet minimum admission requirements and there is no alternative (such as completion of NQP modules) but they have relevant experience, the following must be requested:
  1. Certificates for all formal (Accredited Higher Education qualifications) and/or informal qualifications/modules (SLP’s, Microcredentials etc). SAQA certificates must be provided for any international qualifications.
  2. CV to determine whether the following are related to the qualification that the applicant is applying for:
  1. Formal (Accredited Higher Education qualifications) and/or informal qualifications/modules (SLP’s, Microcredentials etc)
  2.  Relevant work experience

International Admission

  • A SAQA NQF L6 Evaluation Certificate in an appropriate field.
Jobs in this field:
  • Communication Manager
  • Promotional Manager
  • Assistant Brand/Marketing Manager


Olivia Smith

Class of 2018

Olivia is the Marketing & Communications Officer, at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. “Vega added value to my career and helped me understand the importance of an Integrated Brand Communications approach.

Lucille Chetty

Class of 2019

Lucille Chetty is the Marketing Assistant at Artemis Brands. “Irrespective of the course you are interested in studying.