IIE Master of Arts in Creative Brand Leadership - Distance

Qualification information
  • COURSE: Master's; Postgraduate Degree
  • MODE: Distance
  • DURATION: 2 years | Part-Time
  • NQF LEVEL: 9
  • CREDITS: 180
  • SAQA ID: 90621


This is an entirely research-based qualification where the completion of a dissertation is the outcome, along with the preparation of an article for publication in a peer reviewed scientific journal. Candidates engage with research, critical thinking, argument development and academic writing at an advanced level. Candidates will thus gain the knowledge, skills and competencies identified by industry as critical for senior brand management and business leaders. Graduates will be well-prepared to direct and contribute to the innovation of brands to establish a purposeful and sustainable position for an organisation in the marketplace.

*Admission to the two-year Master of Arts in Creative Brand Leadership requires a preparatory year devoted to the successful completion and acceptance of a Research Proposal. (See Admission Requirements and Procedures: Proposal Development for Master’s Studies.)


The Master of Arts in Creative Brand Leadership aims to graduate a new class of leaders and innovators who are:

  • Visionary designers who build brands of substance that are unique and add genuine value to people's lives.
  • Holistic and systemic practitioners who understand that delivering on the brand's promise is dependent on the performance of every single link in the value chain.
  • Creators of innovative and collaborative internal cultures who respect that the quality of performance and ideas is absolutely dependent on how inspired and driven staff are.
  • Scholars who can make a unique contribution at the interface of brand building and transdisciplinary research.

 Structure of Pre-Masters: Proposal Development for Master’s Studies.

  • All applicants who are eligible for admission to the Master of Arts in Creative Brand Leadership degree are required to register for the Proposal Development for Master’s Studies, successfully complete a research proposal and receive provisional ethics clearance for the proposed study in order to be formally registered for the Master's qualification.

Structure of the Master of Arts in Creative Brand Leadership
A series of academic seminars will be held to support the development of the dissertation. These seminars fulfil a dual role:

  • to explore and guide research design and practice;
  • to investigate key challenges, with expert industry input, in the field of creative brand leadership, which may cover topics such as leading brand innovation, building sustainable brands and building brands in developing markets.

Participation in the seminars is beneficial and will demonstrate an ability to apply one's mind and express meaningful opinions on key creative brand leadership challenges.

Admission Procedures

  • As part of the application process, candidates will need to submit a brief CV, full academic record of completed undergraduate and postgraduate NQF level 8 qualifications. Master’s applications will be reviewed and assessed by the Head of Postgraduate Research & Studies, the Office of the Registrar and the Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies.
  • Candidates who meet the admission criteria will be requested to complete a research Statement of Intent to be submitted within 4 weeks.The Statement of Intent will enable candidates to put forward thoughts and ideas of their chosen field of research as well as assess the feasibility of the candidate’s research idea.
  • The Statement of Intent is submitted to three expert reviewers for feedback. More than one feedback and submission cycle may be required.
  • Candidates who are provisionally admitted, will register for the Proposal Development for Master’s Studies.
  • The Proposal Development for Master’s Studies involves a research proposal writing workshop after which candidates are assigned a preliminary supervisor who will serve as a guide and mentor in the proposal development process. This programme also includes an academic eSeminar in which candidates present their research proposals.
  • Two formal readers are appointed to review the proposal and provide feedback.
  • Upon further crafting of the proposal, candidates submit the final proposal to The IIE Higher Degrees Committee (October/November).
  • Upon approval of the research proposal by The IIE Higher Degrees Committee, candidates can formally register for the Master of Arts in Creative Brand Leadership. Candidates are then in a position to implement their research proposals, guided by their appointed supervisors. The community of Master’s candidates and supervisors participate monthly in a dedicated discussion session and annually in an eSeminar to ensure continuous academic engagement and progress tracking.

Distance delivery includes

  • Distance dissertation supervisors who guide students’research design, development and learning.
  • A dedicated success navigator who supports students throughout the learning journey.
  • Access to our distance information centre and resources.

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.

Tuition Fees

Pre-Master’s registration: Proposal Development for Master’s Studies – 1 year (compulsory)
R16 500 Full Settlement Total Fee
R17 700 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)

Pre-Master’s registration: Brand and Marketing Management Short Course – 1 year (non-compulsory)
R15 000 Full Settlement Total Fee
R15 300 Instalment Total Fee (2 Monthly Instalments)
Deposit of R4 590 is included in the Total Fee

Master of Arts in Creative Brand Leadership - per year for new registrations starting in 2024 (subject to an annual fee increase)
R41 000 Full Settlement Total Fee
R44 000 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)
A *Pre-Registration Fee of R2 500 is included in the Total Fee
*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 R700.
  • You will be required to complete a new contract annually which will include fees for that year.
  • Should a Master’s qualification not be completed within the minimum completion time, the new annual fee structure at that point in time will be applicable for any subsequent years of registration that are allowed.
  • 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 NQF level 8 Honours degree; OR
  • A relevant Postgraduate Diploma or appropriate equivalent; OR
  • An appropriate Level 8 Bachelor's Degree (480 credits) may also be recognised as meeting the minimum entry requirements to a cognate Master's Degree programme
  • An overall qualification average of at least 65%.
  • All applicants who are eligible for admission to the Master's in Creative Brand Leadership degree are required to register for the Proposal Development for Master’s Studies (SRPW018). Successful completion of the Proposal Development for Master’s Studies requires of applicants to complete and present a Research Proposal for approval at the Higher Degrees Committee. In order to register for the Proposal Development for Master’s Studies, applicants develop and submit a relevant Statement of Intent for review and acceptance into the programme.
  • Applicants who do not hold an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the fields of Marketing, Branding or Communication but have graduated from the broader fields of Commerce and Arts may be considered. In these instances, the Statement of Intent must clearly reflect a research problem related to Creative Brand Leadership. These applicants will be required to attend a SLP in Brand and Marketing Management. This SLP will be completed concurrently with the Proposal Development for Master’s Studies in order to be registered on the Master’s in Creative Brand Leadership degree.

Please note:

  • If an applicant meets the above requirements, registration is subject to faculty supervisory capacity. 
  • The applicant has the right to request a written reason for any refused admission and may appeal to the Research and Postgraduate Committee in writing.
    • If the Research and Postgraduate Committee upholds the refusal, the decision is final. The candidate may re-apply in the following academic year if they have been able to address the issues concerned and The IIE may invite the candidate to reapply if a suitable supervisor is employed.

International Admission

  • A SAQA NQF L8 Evaluation Certificate in an appropriate field and meeting the additional admission requirements.

Senate Discretionary Admission

  • 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
Jobs in this field:

The programme builds career pathways for those involved / interested in brand building positions.