IIE BA in Strategic Brand Communication – Distance

Qualification information
  • COURSE: Degrees; Undergraduate Degree
  • MODE: Distance
  • DURATION: 4 years | Part-Time
  • NQF LEVEL: 7
  • CREDITS: 360
  • SAQA ID: 91723


Acquire the kind of complex problem solving and strategic skills required to forge the paths that unlock the true potential of the brand. The IIE BA in Strategic Brand Communication equips students with the kind of strategic thinking and inspired planning skills that are in high demand across the brand communications industry. The programme develops crucial strategic skills required to identify, explore, analyse and solve pressing brand communication challenges through the development and implementation of innovative, original and accountable strategies.

So, you are about to enter higher education, or you are pursuing a career and want to accelerate to the next level, or you may be at a time in your life where you can finally follow the path you’ve desired for so long.

This is exactly why online learning with The IIE’s Vega School is the perfect fit for ambitious individuals who lead full lives and want to pursue a rewarding career as an innovative strategic brand builder. Whether you are entering higher education for the first time or returning to studies to make a career move, you will benefit from the flexibility that online learning offers. More importantly, you gain access to hands-on specialist training unique to The IIE’s Vega.

IIE-Vega is distinctively a brand-centric school enjoying high respect in industry. Our tutors possess the requisite expert knowledge and experience to encourage and develop strategic thinking, creativity and innovation.

By joining us you can pursue your purpose, advance your career and become part of an influential network of industry partners and alumni.

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.
  • Our flagship Brand challenges project – an online transdisciplinary collaboration with real world challenges and clients.
  • 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.

Structure of the degree for online learning:

The IIE BA in Strategic Brand Communication consists of 24 modules and has been set up to support a four year journey with a maximum completion time of eight years. Students are required to register per academic year; and each academic year consists of two semesters.


Year 1:

  • Strategic Brand Communication 1A, 1B & 1C
  • Principles of Innovation
  • Business Communication and Digital Media 1
  • Brand Communication Project Management A

Year 2:

  • Critical Thinking and Media Studies 1
  • Brand Communication Project Management B
  • Strategic Brand Communication 2A & 2C
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Practice of Innovation

Year 3:

  • Sustainable Business Practice
  • Strategic Brand Communication 2B: Channel Planning
  • Brand Activation
  • Critical Thinking and Media Studies 2
  • Innovation Management
  • Digital Brand Building

Year 4:

  • Strategic Brand Communication 3A & 3B
  • Experiential Brand Building
  • Introduction to Research
  • Research Practice
  • Brand Challenge

*If you wish to complete the undergraduate qualification in 3 years, please speak to your Contact Navigator.

Brand Activation in Year 3 and Brand Challenge in Year 4 are hallmark IIE-Vega projects that provide exciting opportunities to engage with real-life briefs and apply what it means to be creatively strategic and strategically creative. Students participate in online collaboration with real-world challenges and clients.

Students have the option to complete 120 hours (in one or several periods) of industry immersion and receive an IIE Vega Industry Immersion certificate of completion before they graduate. These immersions create unique opportunities for students to explore their professional interests and potentially secure an internship programme or full-time position in a company, agency or consultancy.

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

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.
  • Software licence requirements: Year 1: Adobe Photoshop CC 2018.
  • 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

Fees for Semester 1 modules for new registrations starting in July 2024
R21 750 Full Settlement Total Fee
R22 860 Instalment Total Fee (6 Monthly Instalments)

A *Pre-Registration Fee of R2 500 is included in the Total Fee
A Deposit of R6 858 is included in the Total Fee for the 6 Instalments option. 
*Refundable if admission criteria for the qualification is not met.

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

  • A National Senior Certificate (NSC) with Degree admission- A minimum of 30% for English;OR
  • A National Certificate (Vocational) NC(V) with Degree admission – A minimum of 50% in English; OR
  • A Senior Certificate (SC) (with endorsement) with 33.3% in English
  • A Senior Certificate (Amended) SC(A) with degree admission- A minimum of 30% in LOLT in NSC/ SC(a) OR with a min. of 33.3% in SC; OR
  • Alternatively, a cognate Higher Certificate or cognate 240 credit Diploma OR an Advanced Certificate OR 360 credit Diploma may satisfy the minimum admission requirements to degree studies. If discipline not cognate at least 20% of credits must be academic literacy or numeracy related.
  • For international qualifications: An USAf Exemption Certificate is required and meeting the relevant English requirements.

Senate Discretionary Admission
Mature Age Exemption: A USAf Exemption Certificate is required

  • Candidates having attained the age of 23 before or during the first year of registration with a Senior Certificate with a minimum of 40% in at least four higher or standard grade subjects, at least three of which shall have been passed simultaneously and one of which shall be a recognised higher grade subject; OR
  • Candidates must have attained the age of 45 before or during the first year of registration.
  • An USAf exemption Certificate is required.

Senate Discretionary Mature Age Admission for students with a Senior Certificate with endorsement

  • Candidates 23 years and older at point of registration, with an endorsed Senior Certificate can be accepted on a senate discretionary mature age admission. Their academic progress will be tracked and reported at Senate. An USAf Exemption Certificate is not required.

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).

USAf approved cognate foundation programme

  • Candidates who have completed an USAf approved cognate foundation programme from a registered and accredited provider may be admitted.
  • An USAf Exemption Certificate is required - the Office of the Registrar will facilitate, on behalf of the student, an application for degree admission to USAf, once the student has provided proof of payment to USAf.

Transfer students

  • Candidates who have successfully completed at least 120 credits on the first year of a cognate degree may be admitted. However, if a student completed less than 120 credits, the admission criteria on the NSC or equivalent apply.

OQSF qualifications

  • Candidates with an OQSF Level 5 cognate qualification may be admitted, provided the OQSF qualification has at least 120 credits at NQF Level 5. An USAf Exemption Certificate is required - the Office of the Registrar will facilitate, on behalf of the student, an application for degree admission to USAf, once the student has provided proof of payment to USAf.

Should you have any other school leaving qualification not mentioned above, please reach out to a contact navigator.

Jobs in this field:
  • Brand and Communications Planner
  • Strategic Planner
  • Account Executive
  • Event Manager
  • Public Relations Planner
  • Sponsorship Planner
  • Channel/Media Planner
  • Digital Marketing Planner
  • Research Communication Manager
  • Internal Communication Manager