PGD – Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration

Would you like to add the most sought-after MBA qualification to your CV? The Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGD BA) not only paves the path to a Master of Business Administration (MBA), it also helps professionals with specific skills to succeed in managerial roles as their careers progress, providing that you meet the admission requirements of the program of choice.

This programme provides a thorough grounding in functional issues in management and is a qualification in its own right. It also empowers those who seek to gain entry to our MSc and MBA programs.

We aim to introduce you to a wide range of management disciplines that develop your abilities to:

  • Synthesise diverse theoretical issues
  • Analyse complex business situations from theoretical and practical perspectives
  • Understand team dynamics
  • Build confidence in articulating and presenting solutions to a critical audience
  • Why study this course?
  • A flexible Diploma route to MBA and MSc program
  • An essential and recognized qualification in business
  • Students experience a wide range of teaching and learning methods
  • The GDBA enhances employment opportunities for participants

Course overview

We employ many teaching and assessment methods on this program that reflect the standards required by our MBA program.

The student group consists of those studying the GDBA as a standalone qualification, as well as those preparing for the MBA program.

The program offers 12 modules in blended-learning (Online and In-class).

Students on this program have gained employment in both private and public sector organizations, and it has launched many successful careers. It offers opportunities for higher study to those candidates whose experience, qualifications or language ability may be insufficient for direct entry to our MBA program.

Every Module/Course carries 5 ECTS, totaling 60 ECTS.

Classes and seminars supplement lectures, where fuller analysis and discussion takes place and important business skills, such as analysis, argument and synthesis, can be developed. Case studies are used as a means of relating theory to practical situations and students will often work in small groups with other students on assignments designed to develop problem solving and interpersonal skills.

Core Courses

Business Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Strategy forms the basis of competitive advantage. Strategy development happens at the organizational-level which include a range of activities that firms engage in. These activities include market and industry analysis, product/service design and development, feasibility of business ideas, financial resources, operations and technology management, customer development, and institutional norms and culture, shared value system, and vision. Thus, the course aims to instruct in the basic techniques of Strategic Analysis.
Compared to established firms, entrepreneurial firms face more challenges through the uncertainties surrounding the market place. As they enter or create new markets with limited resources they struggle at the initial stages. Entrepreneurs create new markets and enable the making of new strategies, which establish infrastructures for economic change. Finally, they engage in learning/adaptation strategies to deal with ambiguity so they can move quickly past less attractive opportunities and then select and exploit more valuable ones.
This course focuses on consistent and structured analysis of opportunities than on some of the more complex issues arising from entrepreneurial activities. When basic techniques have been mastered and understood, you students will be ready for the more in-depth analyses, which are examined in the second year of the programme.
Entrepreneurship is not exclusive to small start-ups but can happen both in large and existing organisations, as well as small which are economically important as a source of employment and growth, but many entrepreneurial activities fail relatively quickly. In this module, entrepreneurial characteristics and behaviour are examined through the problems of ownership, looking into a business plan and managing subsequent growth.
Learning by doing is essential to this course and the central theme is to apply components of the analytical framework raised in lectures to the conception and planning of a new business as the group assignment.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Understand the nature, scope and role of strategy and entrepreneurship in firms and how this relates to wider subject of management;
  • Display an understanding of the pervasiveness and changing business environment, as well as its impact upon the upstream strategic decision-making practice of firms through the use of strategic analysis tools;
  • Integrate the analytical with the creative aspects of entrepreneurship to produce informed arguments about the strategic issues which firms face in institutional and global markets;
  • Critically evaluate entrepreneurial opportunities using a range of strategic tools and theoretical perspectives;
  • Analyse the causes for premature and mature failures in entrepreneurial firms;
  • Put forward arguments and counterarguments about strategic issues;
  • Use analytical and creative judgment to develop new business ideas in a team using persuasion techniques through critical thinking.

Cases in Global Business

The aim of this module is to help participants to gain a practical understanding of the international environment in which global business takes place. There is an interdisciplinary approach to both teaching, where environmental issues are explored from macro and micro perspectives, and learning where participants are continually assessed both as individuals and as team members. Topics covered include the identification of comparative advantage, the use of competitive advantage models to assess country and industry competitiveness, political risk and socio-cultural factors, technological impact and the economic components of country environments.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Identify issues in the international business environment;
  • Plan appropriate responses to new environmental circumstances;
  • Maintain a historic, current and future interest in world events which shape the global competitive environment;
  • Plan and present reports on country environments;
  • Plan and present reports on industry sectors; Demonstrate evidence of learning through written assignments and case study presentation.

Cases in Marketing

The aim of this module is to help participants to gain a practical understanding of the international environment in which global business takes place. There is an interdisciplinary approach to both teaching, where environmental issues are explored from macro and micro perspectives, and learning where participants are continually assessed both as individuals and as team members. Topics covered include the identification of comparative advantage, the use of competitive advantage models to assess country and industry competitiveness, political risk and socio-cultural factors, technological impact and the economic components of country environments.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Identify issues in the international business environment;
  • Plan appropriate responses to new environmental circumstances;
  • Maintain a historic, current and future interest in world events which shape the global competitive environment;
  • Plan and present reports on country environments;
  • Plan and present reports on industry sectors;
  • Demonstrate evidence of learning through written assignments and case study presentation.

Financial Accounting

The module introduces students to the contents and preparation of Profit and Loss Accounts, Balance Sheets and Cash-flow Statements and other financial information provided in companies accounting reports. The emphasis is on using accounting information as a manager, with little emphasis on the mechanics of book-keeping. Some exercises in preparation of accounting statements are included in order to give students the necessary familiarity with the statements. The module concludes by looking at the analysis and interpretation of financial statements, including the use of financial ratios. It also provides students with practice in performing these analyses.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Understand the contents of reported financial statements;
  • Prepare simple financial statements from source material;
  • Calculate and understand the purpose of appropriate financial ratios;
  • Discuss the bases of preparation of financial statements and their strengths and limitations in providing information on companies;
  • Review financial statements in order to express opinions on the performance of the companies concerned.

Financial Analysis for Managers

The module will aim to cover some of the basic building-blocks of finance that are of primary concern to corporate managers, and some of the basic considerations needed to make financial decisions both inside and outside the firm. At its core, the module will extensively consider the fundamental concept of time value-of-money, and its application to capital-budgeting/investment decisions and the valuation of financial assets. It will then introduce the theory and practice of risk management. Although the module will contain some material of a technical and theoretical nature, it is designed for a cohort of aspiring general managers, rather than finance specialists. As such, no prior knowledge of finance is presumed for the module. However, knowledge of accounting to a level equivalent to the Semester 1 module 07 15828 Financial Accounting is presumed.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Discuss the financial system and measure return and risk;
  • Apply the quantitative techniques, and explain the principles, for the evaluation of future cash-flows (time-value-of-money);
  • Use and explain discounted-cash-flow-analysis (net-present-value and alternative investment rules) for the evaluation of real investment projects (capital-budgeting);
  • Use and explain valuation models for financial assets (bonds and common stocks);
  • Discuss the idea of risk management, and compare and contrast hedging and insuring using derivative securities (forwards, futures, and options).

Managerial Accounting

The module explores the theory and practice of managerial accounting in its roles of decision making and planning in organisations. It equips students with the ability to identify types of situations and choose appropriate analytical techniques for each. It uses examples and case study material throughout to enable students to understand the concepts which underlie the provision of management accounting information. The module looks at the classification and tracing of costs and revenues to cost objects for different purposes, techniques of full absorption product costing, marginal costing, break-even analysis and relevant costs for different purposes are covered. Issues and techniques relating to budgeting, standard costing, responsibility accounting and measurement of management performance are defined and discussed. The course concludes with a brief review of developing areas in management and their impact on managerial accounting.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Understand and explain the concepts and terminology of managerial accounting;
  • Identify and Analyse financial data and draw appropriate conclusions in a variety of different ways;
  • Prepare basic budgets and analyse variances between budgeted and actual outcomes;
  • Understand the role of management accounting information in the monitoring and performance measurement of different units within an organisation;
  • Discuss the strengths and limitations of the managerial accounting processes studied in the programme.

Marketing Concepts

Introduction to Marketing, Marketing Management, Marketing Research and Information, Segmentation, Buyer Behaviour, Product Management, Pricing Decisions, Distribution Decisions, Communications Decisions.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Understand marketing-related aspects of the changing business environment;
  • Critically apply marketing and consumption theory to practice;
  • Evaluate and design marketing strategies and tactics for different types of organisations.
  • Understand the role of ethics and ethical behaviour in marketingoduction to Marketing.

Operations Management

The process of simulation and its practical application together with the introduction of systems analysis, Just-in-Time, Planning of Networks, and Decision Theory will be studied. Case studies and project work of a practical nature form an important part of this course.

Learning outcomes: During the course students will study the concept and development of systems and their analysis together with model building techniques.

Organizational Behavior

The discipline of OB draws heavily from the behavioural and social sciences such as psychology, sociology, philosophy, politics and economics. As a result it also shares some of the problems, doubts, questions and logics of those areas. During the course we aim to develop awareness concerning the conceptual processes anyone engages in when attempting to make sense of a complex and ambiguous situation i.e. the “theory-laden” nature of observation.
This is precisely what Gareth Morgan considers in his book “Images Of Organisation” (2005, Sage, London) which we will draw upon when considering different approaches towards organisational analysis.
This course aims to critically develop student knowledge in the range of theoretical and practical issues to do with the management of organizations. The student will understand how organizations are structured, how they function and how people behave in organizations. The material will provide the behavioural aspects underpinning Human Resource Management.
Lectures and workshop activities of three hours duration will be held weekly. In addition to the lectures, students are expected to contribute to tutorial discussions and to make presentation on a selected topics.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Describe and critically evaluate various concepts, theories and models of organisational behaviour;
  • Apply those concepts, theories and models in the analysis of their own behaviour and the behaviour of others;
  • Explain, from a critical perspective, the advantages to managers of understanding all aspects organizational behaviour;
  • Identify the key questions which those responsible for designing organization structures need to answer;
  • Explain the critical significance for contemporary organizations of the classical school, bureaucracy, scientific management and the human relations school;
  • Explain how organizational culture, power and politics impact on the behaviour of people in organizations;
  • Critically evaluate the research comparing group and individual performance;
  • Compare and contrast alternative approaches to the management of change.
  • Explain how personality influences behaviour and describe the various methods available for personality assessment;
  • Compare and contrast alternative approaches to and theories of leadership.

Quantitative Management Techniques

The module falls into two complementary parts: The Data Analysis component aims to familiarise students with statistical methods and their application to business and economic problems. In addition to lectures and conventional tutorials students will be expected to learn to use simple software packages in the computer laboratories. EXCEL will be the basis for this, although reference will be made to other, more specialised applications. The techniques should assist students later in analysing quantitative information relating to the environment in which business operates (e.g. in Marketing and strategic management) and also in assisting decision making in business problems (Marketing again and Operations Management, for example). The second, Special Topics, component examines the use of mathematics in model building to assist in decision-making and in understanding some fundamental aspects of market economics. This should reinforce work done in the International Business Economics and operations management courses in the first year and will provide students with some very important basics which are absolutely necessary for Finance courses in both years. The EXCEL package will assist in routine calculations, as will more specialised applications to aid modelling and decision-making.

Learning outcomes: This course equips students with the mathematical techniques commonly used and necessary for business financial and economic analysis. The course is more than a ‘stand-alone’ since most of the techniques will be used or developed in other courses during both the first and second years of the programme.

Strategic Purchasing and Supply Management

This module discusses in detail how organisations might effectively manage their supply inputs. Such inputs could be basic supplies, IT services or critical manufacturing sub-assemblies. In a world where many organisations have been very active over the last 10-15 years in outsourcing, the effective management of these inputs can be critical for the success of the organisation overall – particularly in industries with low margins.
The module is organised in accordance with the different stages of the purchasing and supply management process ¿ from the specification decision to the development activities that might occur during the contractual period. The module also revisits the outsourcing decision, bringing to the fore issues of strategic positioning within supply chains.
To discuss the challenges that the purchasing and supply management process poses to managers, the module accesses a range of different literatures: strategic management, organisational buying behaviour, information economics, inter-organisational relations, behavioural economics, institutional economics, contract law and conflict theory. Whilst making extensive use of theory, the module also draws upon considerable original case evidence.
By the end of the module, students should not only have a firm grasp of the economic concepts relevant to the purchasing and supply management process, but also recognise what a challenging and critical activity the process is for many of the organisations for which they will work in the future.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Show a detailed and sophisticated understanding of the objectives of managing the purchasing and supply management process;
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of how the management of supply is linked to the strategic posture of the organisation;
  • Explain the standard purchasing and supply management process;
  • Critically evaluate the economic concepts that are relevant to the different stages of the process;
  • Apply those concepts to real-life business and public sector situations
  • Develop a complete demand and supply management plan for an area of expenditure.

The Global Business Environment

Learning outcomes: By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Have an appreciation of the evolution of the global economy and of current topical debates surrounding ‘globalisation’;
  • Have a solid understanding of basic economic theory underlying the importance of the transnational corporation, of international trade, and of competitiveness;
  • Have background knowledge of the institutional, economic, political, cultural and technological environments that constitute today’s global business environment;
  • Use the theory and background knowledge learned to enhance your general understanding of the significance and likely impacts of different business decisions.

Admission Requirements

A 2:2 degree or equivalent from a recognized University or Business School

A Bachelor Degree (of three-years minimum) in Business Administration or Business related sciences

Post-graduation work experience is desirable but not mandatory.

Cost of the programs

Application fee€ 400 – due immediately, non refundable
Enrollment fee€ 3,300 – due after Provisional Acceptance
First Installment€ 3,500 – due after three months
Second Installment€ 3,400 – due after six months
Third Installment€ 3,400 – due after nine months
Total Tuition Fees:€ 14,000

IMPORTANT: The above tuition and fees are for the SSM Learning Centers in Rome and Brescia. At Swiss School of Management we firmly believe in equity by giving people around the globe the same opportunities to earn an SSM degree. For students applying from areas of the planet with unequal social or economic conditions, we offer different rates. Please contact our Learning Centers in UAE, GCC, & Cairo as prices vary.

Learn more about our Refund Policy.

Application fee
€ 400 – due immediately, non refundable

Enrollment fee
€ 3,300 – due after Provisional Acceptance

First Installment
€ 3,500 – due after three months

Second Installment
€ 3,400 – due after six months

Third Installment
€ 3,400 – due after nine months

Total Tuition Fees:
€ 14,000

Application Procedures

The application process to all Swiss School of Mangement programs is fully electronic. Click here to go to the form.

Swiss School of Management
Via Pellandini 4
6500 Bellinzona
Switzerland
Phone: +41 041 520 68 26
info@ssm.swiss

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