IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Brand Building - Distance

Qualification information
  • COURSE: Diploma; Postgraduate Degree
  • MODE: Distance
  • DURATION: 2 years | Part-Time
  • NQF LEVEL: 8
  • CREDITS: 120
  • SAQA ID: 111309


The IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Brand Building is designed for the student who may not have an undergraduate degree (NQF level 7 qualification) in brand or marketing communication or management but wants to obtain an NQF level 8 qualification specifically in the field of brand building. Postgraduate Diploma programmes are typically undertaken by students and working individuals wishing to add a dimension to their fields of undergraduate study, or to enable a change in career path. Students from various undergraduate fields will be introduced to the concepts of brand and brand building, and the importance of brand communication in growing a business. Students will participate in a ‘live’ brand challenge where they will develop and present a brand communication strategy to a real-world client. This programme includes a research module and project to support students to enroll for a Master’s degree, subject to meeting the admission requirements, should they wish to continue their studies.


  • Principles of Brand Building
  • Brand and Business
  • Brand Contact and Communication
  • Channel Planning and Digital Media
  • Integrated Planning for Brand Building (Brand Challenge)
  • Research Methodology

Brand and Business
The module focusses on the relationship between brand, marketing, and business that guides planning for brand building. Students will consider macro, market and microenvironments, as context for leveraging holistic brand and business strategies. Emphasis will be placed on profiling target markets and determining objectives on which to base strategic decisions regarding brand offerings, logistics, and pricing options.

Principles of Brand Building
Students will develop an understanding of the core frameworks, principles and concepts used for constructing and building purposeful brand identities and architecture. The role of brands in adding value to stakeholders and society will be explored utilising design and systemic thinking to develop innovative brand building solutions. The principles of brand leadership and brand management will be discussed.

Brand Contact and Communication
Students will construct integrated brand communications plans driven by positioning statements derived from brand elements and stakeholder insights. A variety of communication tools and platforms will be assessed, including advertising, public relations, sponsorship, and promotions. Emphasis is placed on practical application in context of a multichannel everchanging communication landscape.

Channel Planning and Digital Media
This module exposes students to the various media channels and platforms available for the practical implementation of a brand communications plan. Both ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’ media options will be evaluated, and a multichannel approach is taken to communicating coherent and authentic brand messages to various stakeholder audiences across multiple contact points.

Integrated Planning for Brand Building
This module provides the opportunity to apply theory covered in all programme modules to a given practical brand building scenario. Student teams will engage in the development and execution of original and meaningful solutions to briefs provided by members of industry. Emphasis is placed on research-based collaboration and ideation to develop practical innovative solutions which could be implemented in the workplace.

Research Methodology
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the process of research and to develop their understanding of the techniques of gathering, analysing, interpreting, and evaluating data. Emphasis is placed on a controlled application of methods and techniques to solve a practical problem in the field of brand building. This module introduces the ways in which the processes and outcomes of research can be constructively embedded within professional practices.

Study further with IIE Pathways
The successful completion of the IIE PGDip in Brand Building enables you to progress into the IIE MA in Creative Brand Leadership 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.
  • Our flagship Brand Challenge 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.

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
R42 400 Full Settlement Total Fee
R44 560 Instalment Total Fee (6 Monthly Instalments)
R45 400 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)

A *Pre-Registration Fee of R2 500 is included in the Total Fee
Deposit of R13 368 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)
R21 200 Full Settlement Total Fee
R22 280 Instalment Total Fee (6 Monthly Instalments)
R22 700 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)
Deposit of R6 684 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

  • An appropriate HEQSF Level 7 Bachelor’s degree; OR
  • An appropriate Advanced Diploma; OR
  • An equivalent NQF Level 7 qualification
  • 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).

International Admission

  • A SAQA Evaluation Certificate with NQF L7 equivalence in an appropriate field.
Jobs in this field:
  • Brand Communications Planning and Management
  • Corporate Communications
  • Product Management
  • Marketing Coordination
  • Client Services
  • Customer Relations
  • Experiential Marketing


Julia Jonsson

Class of 2018

Julia works in the UK as a fundraising and impact executive for a charity in the horse racing industry. “Vega challenged me to think differently and to try new things. I learnt valuable group skills and how to work in a team.