IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Strategy - Distance

Qualification information
  • COURSE: Diploma; Postgraduate Degree
  • MODE: Distance
  • DURATION: 2 Years | Part-Time
  • NQF LEVEL: 8
  • CREDITS: 120
  • SAQA ID: 119823


Digital transformation, throughout the world and especially in Africa, has prompted organisations to focus on digital initiatives for greater visibility in the market and resultant profitability and equity. The IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Strategy is designed for the student who has an appropriate undergraduate degree (NQF level 7 qualification) and work experience in strategic brand and business management, or strategic marketing, communication and/or channel planning, and is looking to adopt a digital approach to brand-business strategy.

This qualification focuses on digital strategy for the purpose of building brand identity, reputation and equity. Strategic brand building and management principles are leveraged to facilitate analysis and systemic consideration of the digital aspects which enable corporates, not-for-profit organisations, entrepreneurial ventures and start-ups to be well-positioned and visible in the market, and to increase both equity and profitability.

In line with the global transformation footprint, organisations are actively recruiting working professionals with the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to integrate all aspects of strategic digital communication for building a brand-business.


  • Principles of Brand Building
  • Digital Channel Planning
  • Digital Experience Design
  • Creativity Skills
  • Digital Strategy Implementation and Measurement
  • Research Methodology

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.

Digital Channel Planning
Students will develop a working knowledge of the digital planning landscape, tools and platforms to enable them to construct fundamental digital omnichannel plans which align with other brand building elements. Various brand building scenarios will be considered when applying the digital toolkit. 

Digital Experience Design
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the process of digital user profiling and digital brand contact point analysis to facilitate the design of seamless brand experiences. The focus is on understanding the needs of stakeholders and constructing comprehensive profiles to guide the development of a digital brand experience plan to increase engagement and retain clients.

Creativity Skills
Principles of design thinking are utilised universally to create innovative solutions to brand-business challenges. Whilst digital strategists are not necessarily designers nor content creators, students are provided with the guidelines required for creating basic visual and verbal digital content. These guidelines will also provide a framework against which more specialised creative work can be evaluated in context of strategic objectives.

Digital Strategy Implementation and Measurement
The purpose of this module is to construct feasible digital strategy implementation and performance measurement plans. Emphasis is placed on the way in which a digital strategy is implemented, forecasted, budgeted and measured against strategic and financial objectives. Students will be able to forecast the return on investment for a digital campaign and analyse the effectiveness of a digital brand building strategy.

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 digital strategy for brand building.

Study further with IIE Pathways
The successful completion of the IIE PGDip in Digital Strategy enables you to progress into an appropriate Master’s qualification, subject to meeting the admission requirements. 

Distance delivery includes:

  • A distance learning system that leads students through the content, prescribed material and activities.
  • Distance 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 distance information centre and resources.


While you can generally structure your study time as you need, there are scheduled distance 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.
  • Distance students need to commit to approximately 20-25 hours a week for distance 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
R31 800 Full Settlement Total Fee
R33 420 Instalment Total Fee (6 Monthly Instalments)
R34 050 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)

A *Pre-Registration Fee of R2 500 is included in the Total Fee
Deposit of R10 026 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)
R31 800 Full Settlement Total Fee
R33 420 Instalment Total Fee (6 Monthly Instalments)
R34 050 Instalment Total Fee (10 Monthly Instalments)
Deposit of R10 026 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

  • A HEQSF Level 7 Bachelor’s degree, 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).
  • 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 Evaluation Certificate with NQF L7 equivalence 
Jobs in this field:
  • Digital Strategist
  • Digital Brand Manager
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Digital Communication Manager
  • Digital Experience Designer
  • Digital Channel Planner