IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Instructional Design - Distance

Qualification information
  • COURSE: Postgraduate Degree; Diploma
  • MODE: Distance
  • DURATION: 18 Months | Part-Time
  • NQF LEVEL: 8
  • CREDITS: 120
  • SAQA ID: 119824


The Postgraduate Diploma in Instructional Design prepares individuals from different fields such as education, corporate learning and experience design with the knowledge and skills to plan and design engaging, user-centred learning material and experiences. You will learn how to create face-to-face, online and blended learning solutions. The course covers the theoretical foundations and learning contexts for formal education, short courses and the corporate sector. You also get the opportunity to build a portfolio of evidence using innovative design thinking and different teaching media and approaches. This qualification allows you to explore various career opportunities in the Instructional Design field.


  • Approaches to Teaching and Learning in Africa
  • Instructional Design and Innovation
  • Multimodal Content for Online Learning
  • Instructional Design Research
  • Project Management for Instructional Design
  • Instructional Design Project

Approaches to Teaching and Learning in Africa
This module will develop your understanding of the core frameworks, philosophies and theories of teaching and learning within the African education landscape and corporate sector. You will design a basic curriculum with appropriate assessment practices and principles aligned with appropriate teaching and learning theories.

Instructional Design and Innovation
This module develops your understanding of instructional design processes and equips you with design thinking and collaborative approaches that result in innovative learning designs.

Multimodal Content for Online Learning
In this module you will be exposed to different technologies and platforms to enhance your content and make it more engaging. You will learn to choose appropriate modes guided by the learning context and outcomes.

Instructional Design Research
The Instructional Design Research module provides you with much-needed research skills that you can use to create evidence-based courses and materials. You will learn about data collection, analysis, interpretation, and how to communicate findings that support your instructional design. It will also cover the skills to evaluate course outcomes and user experiences.

Project Management for Instructional Design
In this module you will strategically plan the outcomes and resources required for an instructional design project. You will learn the relevant theories and processes to logistically manage, evaluate, and report on a such a project.

Instructional Design Project
This module allows you to theoretically and practically plan and design courses under the guidance of experienced instructional designers. You will design a learning journey by creating and integrating contents with design thinking and suitable media to create a positive learning experience.

Study further with IIE Pathways
The successful completion of the IIE PGDip in Instructional Design 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
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

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • A HEQSF Level 7 Bachelor’s degree, an 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:
  • Instructional Designer
  • Learning Manager
  • Instructional Design Project Manager 
  • E-learning Content Developer
  • Short Course Developer and Entrepreneur: local and global
  • Learning Designer in the corporate sector (Inhouse)
  • Learning Facilitator