Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management


The PGDip in Public Management aims to instil a commitment to the public good. The programme equips public managers with appropriate managerial and leadership skills to ensure consistent delivery of high-quality services to the people of our country, thereby contributing to the advancement of South Africa as a democratic, developmental state.


  Codes:    Curriculum code:          1BCD01         Programme code:        L501P



The language of instruction for this qualification is English.
This qualification is offered in the following manners:

  • Limited contact (For individual students - Compulsory contact sessions offered in Potchefstroom only)
  • Distance mode (Departments that prefer an in-house programme can contact the School to obtain a provisional course schedule and a quotation. The in-house programme is then offered via "distance mode" of delivery; as per an agreed contact schedule and at a location as per the request by the Department. A minimum of 20 delegates must enroll for the programme to be presented via this mode of delivery)

The minimum duration is one year and the maximum duration is three years, calculated from the date of first registration.


  Admission Requirements:

The admission requirements for all formal academic qualifications offered by the University are set out in the NWU Admission Policy as approved by Senate and Council.

For this PGDip, the minimum admission requirements are:

  • An Advanced Diploma in Public Administration at NQF level 7 or any other relevant Advanced Diploma at NQF level 7; or
  • A Bachelor’s degree or similar  at NQF level 7; and
  • A minimum of 3 years appropriate work experience in the public sector.

It should be noted that the number of candidates accepted into the programme every year is subject to the School’s capacity so as to ensure quality service delivery to all candidates.


  Programme Purpose:

In view of the rationale for the development of the PGDip in Public Management, the primary purpose of this qualification is to develop in public managers a commitment to the public good, and to equip them with appropriate and necessary managerial and leadership skills to ensure the consistent delivery of high-quality services to the people of our country, thereby contributing to the advancement of South Africa as a democratic, developmental state. 

Not only will students master essential knowledge in different focus areas of the public sector, but they will also develop effective managerial, leadership and problem solving skills, and learn to analyse and implement policy directives.  Such skills are necessary to facilitate the country’s transformation by promoting stability at the political-administrative interface while increasing responsiveness of public officials and accountability to citizens. 

Furthermore, the PGDip aims to develop the ability to do basic research within the sector, effectively work within teams, lead teams in task completion, and to take responsibility for personal and team goals while realising the importance of ethical and professional behaviour in the public sector.

Public Management is seen as an important contributor to the realisation of South Africa as developmental state. The qualification will help providers in higher education to establish appropriate curricula in Public Management related fields. During the design of the curriculum, consideration was given to specialisations and career opportunities in the field with specific reference to the SMS Competency Framework. Successful completion of the qualification will further prepare students from the South African public sector for study on Masters' level. 


  Programme Rationale:

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) envisages a Public Service that is professional, accountable and development-oriented. The 2030 National Development Plan (NDP) identifies specific steps that need to be taken to promote the values and principles of public administration contained in the Constitution and build an efficient, effective and development oriented public sector as part of a capable and developmental state.

The NDP highlights the need for well-run and effectively coordinated state institutions with skilled public officials who are  committed to the public good and capable of delivering consistently high-quality services, while prioritising the nation’s developmental objectives.  In response the Department of Public Service and Administration(DPSA) introduced the Senior Management Service (SMS) Competency Framework as the key in ensuring that the public sector achieves its objective of promoting professionalism, especially at the senior management level. In developing the SMS Competency Framework focus was placed on critical generic competencies which senior managers in the public sector are expected to possess. 

The NWU Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Public Management was specifically developed with the NDP focus and the requirements of the SMS Competency Framework in mind, and to provide in our country’s need for better skilled and more professional public sector managers.

Offering the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management via distance mode of delivery will ensure that public officials (non-residential students) from various geographical locations in South-Africa can access a postgraduate qualification that is aligned to the SMS Competency Framework for purposes of professional as well as occupational development whilst also attracting students from countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).


For a course fee estimate:


Please note that only Online applications will be accepted for 2022.
  • No email applications will be accepted.  If you have sent your applications via email, please re-apply via the online application system. 
  • Previous applications will also not be moved over this new academic year. Students who previously applied, must also re-apply via the online application system.
Applications closes: 30 September 2021 - NO extension can be granted for this closing date.
<< Download your step-by-step how to apply online guide here >>