DBL - Doctor of Business Leadership degree

Important dates

Registration opens Registration closes

Semeste modules

10 January 2024 23 February 2024 

Year Modules

10 January 2024  29 March 2024

The more informed you are, the more empowered you are and the greater your chances of achieving success.  Beyond gaining knowledge, DBL students are given the platform, skills and competence to make a significant contribution to new knowledge in business management and leadership.

Admission requirements and supporting documents

  • An MBL, MBA or equivalent Master's degree from an accredited tertiary institution (provide a clear copy of degree as well as transcript indicating the symbol or percentage obtained for each module and indicating that the qualification was completed)
  • An average pass mark of 65% and above for the Master's degree
  • Submit a 2,500-word research outline fitting the research focus areas of the SBL displayed below
  • Submit a recent Curriculum Vitae
  • Submit a clear copy of ID or passport.

From 2020, first time Master’s and Doctoral candidates are required to submit a manuscript(s) for publication to a peer reviewed accredited journal as part of the thesis or dissertation phase. Colleges should notify prospective students of this requirement prior to registration. Acknowledgement of submission of manuscript (s) from the journal editor should be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies: Master’s and Doctoral Examination section by the supervisor. The submission of the manuscript(s) should be done before the final submission of the thesis or dissertation for external examination. The submitted manuscript(s) should be based on the research undertaken during Master’s and Doctoral studies; and should be deemed acceptable to the supervisor. Results will not be released until the submission of proof of acknowledgement by the Journal Editor is submitted by the supervisor.

a) In the case of:

i) a mini-dissertation, no manuscript is required
ii) a dissertation, one manuscript; and
iii) in the case of a thesis two manuscripts should be submitted for publication.

b) Candidates should play a role and/or major role (in formulating the ideas and the results) in writing the manuscript for publication. The candidate should be the first author in a co-authored manuscript.

The Graduate School of Business Leadership may institute additional selection criteria as deemed necessary.

Click here to view the research focus areas for the Graduate School of Business Leadership.

Contact our dedicated DBL Finance Officer to assist you with your DBL finance queries.

Finance Administrator: Noxolo Damane
Tel: +27 11 652 0312
Email: damannc@unisa.ac.za 

For all your general finance queries, kindly use the contact information below:

Landline: +27 11 652 0312
E-mail: SBLfinance@unisa.ac.za

DBL 2024 payment structure and tuition fees

    • Online application fee: R 135 (non-refundable and in addition to tuition fees) – Not applicable if you have a student number)
    • A once-off: R 2 500 administration levy for first time students.
    • Tuition fees; split into acceptance deposit and subsequent payment plan.
    • A foreign levy: R3 335 will be charged for students not residing in South Africa.

DBL Thesis

  • Payable on registration R18 693 plus Levies
  • Balance payable before 15 May 2024 R 9 347
  • Balance payable before 15 August 2024 R 9 346
R 37 386

Disclaimer: *Please note that the fees reflected herein are provisional pending Council approval later this year*

Kindly note that Unisa is a cashless environment. The non-refundable application fee may be paid using the my Unisa online payment platform http://www.unisa.ac.za/sites/corporate/default/Apply-for-admission/Student-fees-and-funding-your-studies/Unisa-payment-methods-and-banking-details  or electronic fund transfer (EFT) or credit card or cash deposit at your nearest bank.

Kindly note that Unisa is a cashless environment. 

Registration fees

The acceptance/registration fee is payable on or before registration. Registration will only be processed once the registration fee is settled in full or a valid purchase order is provided. The bursar/sponsorship letter is not sufficient proof of payment for registration. Invoices will only be generated upon receipt of a bursary/sponsorship letter.

Withdrawal from programme

Subject to Section 12(2) of the Consumer Protection Act, a cancellation fee is payable as follows:

 Withdrawal before the programme commencement date will be refunded in full.

  • Withdrawal after the programme commencement date, but before 15 May 2024 will result in a liability equal to 50% of tuition fees.
  • Withdrawal after the programme commencement date, but before 15 August 2024 will result in a liability equal to 75% of tuition fees.
  • Withdrawal after 15 August 2024 will result in full liability of tuition fees.

Registered students who wish to withdraw from any SBL programme or offering for any reason must do so in writing to the Programme Administrator and the Fees Office. Failure to comply with this condition will result in the student being liable for the full tuition fees of the programme.

Unsettled accounts

Unsettled accounts are subject to financial blocks or/and cancellations. Accounts that are cancelled or blocked will not have access to academic results on the myUnisa platform. Failure to settle any outstanding fees, could further result in the following financial penalties:

  • The student will be unable to access statement of results.
  • Final year student will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.
  • The student will not be accepted into the next academic year of study.
  • Hand over to a third party for the collection of outstanding amounts. The student will be liable for legal costs of recovery.

About the bursary

Click here for more information on how to apply for the Doctorate bursary.



Telephone: +27 11 652 0248 / +27 11 652 0291

Email: sbl@unisa.ac.za

Physical Address:
Cnr Janadel and Alexandra Avenues
Midrand, 1686
Gauteng, South Africa
Download map & directions (PDF)