The Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship (PDE) aims to provide graduates with an intensive, one-year introduction to the theory and practice of entrepreneurship. The course is designed to enable enterprise start-ups, but also to equip students for entry into a broad range of organisational settings. Within the context of a rapidly changing and challenging global business environment, key to the course is the appreciation of competitive advantage, and how creativity and innovation may be harnessed to achieve this. An action learning framework is applied throughout.
In 2009 the PDE was awarded the prestigious UCT CHED award for collaborative education practice.
Central to the PDE curriculum is its action learning component: the Genesis Project. On Genesis, in groups of six or seven, students conceive, start up and run their own small businesses for the duration of the academic year. Any profits made by the groups are theirs to keep. First and second semester business-theory courses are tied to Genesis, enabling students to apply taught theory in the real lives of their own businesses. Although the Genesis project is a group project, candidates are also evaluated on an individual basis.
Whilst running their own business, students concurrently attend a suite of courses that have been developed both specifically for the PDE, and for other management diplomas as well. The first half of the year concentrates on a number of key functional business areas and includes courses like Entrepreneurial Strategies, Introduction to Corporate Finance, Business in Context, Marketing and Business Computing. In the second half of the year the attention falls on additional areas related to entrepreneurship and enterprise management. Courses here include: Management Theory in Practice, The Politics of Enterprise, Effective People Practices, and E- Marketing. Students also attend a course in Business Communication and Career Development.
The PDE is a full-time two semester course and commences in early February and concludes with final exams in October. Lecturers make use of lectures, skills workshops and regular evaluations in each course, and students are expected to participate fully in all aspects of the course.
Students from different countries, and even different continents, from social science, arts, science, medicine, music,engineering and architecture have benefited from this course. Whether you have a general undergraduate degree (e.g. humanities) and want to learn first-hand about starting up and running your own business, or have a specialised degree(e.g. quantity surveying), and want to combine your specialised knowledge with sound enterprise practice and management skills, the PDE is worth exploring.
Our graduates are working in different industries all over the world. They can think on their feet,work well with each other and apply their knowledge in almost any situation.