IIE Master of Commerce in Strategic Brand Leadership - Distance (Online)

Qualification information
  • COURSE: Master's; Postgraduate Degree
  • MODE: Distance (Online)
  • DURATION: 2 years | Part-Time
  • NQF LEVEL: 9
  • CREDITS: 180
  • SAQA ID: 111305


This IIE programme provides marketing and business managers and executives with the brand-business leadership competence required to further their careers to senior executive level. The master's programme engages students in innovative strategic brand-business leadership for business growth and sustainable future brand-business performance in local-, emerging- and/ or global economies, with a strong focus on problem-solving and decision-making. This qualification is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in private, government and NGO sectors.

The IIE Master of Commerce in Strategic Brand Leadership consists of a coursework component followed by a minor dissertation. The coursework modules focus on contemporary manifestations in the respective disciplines of brand, strategy and leadership. The dissertation will allow you to approach an industry-related problem from a scientific angle.


The IIE Master of Commerce in Strategic Brand Leadership aims to graduate a new class of leaders and innovators who:

  • Demonstrate the ability to predict, investigate, analyse and critique complex inter-dependent brand and business challenges and opportunities within emerging economies.
  • Demonstrate sophisticated problem-solving competencies t o generate, select, and apply innovative strategies for brand-business.
  • Demonstrate the ability to make and promote ethical brand-business decisions.
  • Communicate and defend ideas, discourses and strategies that will influence and engage diverse audiences.
  • Complete an independent advanced research project in the inter-related fields of brand and business.


The IIE Master of Commerce in Strategic Brand Leadership consists of five modules. Four core modules, including the research component comprising the mini-dissertation, and one elective module out of a possible two elective modules.


Year 1

  • Advanced Brand Strategy
  • Advanced Business Strategy
  • Advanced Brand-Business Leadership

Year 2

  • Mini-Dissertation

One elective module:

  • Brand-Business Leadership in Emerging Economies OR
  • Brand-Business Performance Management and Valuation

Admission Procedures

Applicants need to contact the Senior Contact Navigator, Rolinda Schultz (rschultz@vegaschool.com) and complete The IIE Master of Commerce application form. As part of the application, you need to submit a brief CV, full academic record as well as short concept document on your chosen field of research for which a template will be provided to you. Your application will then be forwarded to the National Master's Programme Head who will schedule a personal or telephonic interview with you. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of this interview via email.

Online 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.
  • Regular live online workshop blocks with your online navigators throughout the semester.
  • Online dissertation supervisors who guide students’ research design, development and learning.
  • A dedicated success navigator who supports students throughout the learning journey.
  • Purpose coaching pods that enable you to explore and develop your professional identity and potential.
  • 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:

  • A reliable internet connection (we recommend 5-10GB of data per month), your own device with at least Windows 7 (Microsoft Office 365 is available as a free download for IIE students), and Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge Chromium or Firefox.
  • Prescribed textbooks are available for online purchase.
  • Online students need to commit to approximately 20-25 hours a week for online engagement (some of which is after hours) with material and assessments to succeed.

Please note synchronous sessions generally take place after hours.

To succeed in your online 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 online 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.

Tuition Fees

Master of Commerce in Strategic Brand Leadership
Total Fee for 1st year modules
R52 500 Full Settlement Total Fee
R56 037 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)
A *Pre-Registration Fee of R2 000 and *Deposit of R6 406 are included in the Total Fee.

Total Fee for 2nd year modules(subject to an annual fee increase)
R42 500 Full Settlement Total Fee
R45 363 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)
*Deposit of R6 805 is included in the Total Fee.

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 obtain the 2023 fees from their Relationship Navigator.
  • 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.

Entry Requirements

  • An appropriate HEQSF Level 8 Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in strategic management, marketing and/ or strategic brand management or equivalent discipline; OR
  • A relevant HEQSF Postgraduate Diploma or appropriate equivalent; OR
  • Level 8 Bachelor’s Degree (480 credits) may also be recognised as meeting the minimum entry requirements, preferably with evidence of NQF 7 commerce related modules (strategic brand management, brand management, and marketing management)
  • An overall qualification average of at least 65%, normally.
  • For international qualifications: A SAQA NQF L8 Evaluation Certificate in an appropriate field

Additional Admission Requirements:

  • All students are required to complete the Research Proposal Writing short learning programme (SLP) in which they need to successfully complete and defend a research proposal and obtain ethics clearance for the research for their mini-dissertation. The SLP will run concurrently with the coursework modules in the first year of study.

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).
Jobs in this field:

The programme builds career pathways for those involved/interested in Strategic Brand Leadership positions.