IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education

Please note, not all programmes are available on all IIE Varsity College campuses. To find out if your programme of interest is available, contact the campus directly.

Course Information
  • Course: Postgraduate Diploma
  • Mode: Distance (Minimum 2 Years)
  • NQF Level: 8
  • Credits: 130
  • SAQA ID: 90646
  • 2024 Fees: Click to view

The Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education is accredited by the Council on Higher Education and is registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as a minimum 130 credit qualification on level 8 (SAQA ID No:90646). This challenging yet stimulating qualification will equip teachers who wish to further their studies, lecturers and those responsible for developing lecturers, with a deep understanding of the teaching and learning process in the context of higher education. The programme is aimed at subject matter experts who require deeper insight into education theory or its application and will strengthen the ability of lecturers to promote student learning in their own disciplines. The curriculum of this programme includes a focus on higher education in the contemporary social and political context; education leadership and policy; contemporary learning theories and approaches; transformational curriculum theory and design; education research; and assessment practice. These curricular elements are all focused on students’ personal disciplines in the context of South African higher education and as such, assessment activities on this programme centre on the application of these topics to real or scenario-based learning environments. Students will develop their own teaching identity through an examination of the values and beliefs around higher education, and through an exploration of their own development in ethical and reflective educational practice. As an IIE distance student you will receive all your support online from a dedicated team of IIE Varsity College Online tutors.

For admission requirements please click here

​SAQA ID: 90646

NQF level 8 (120 credits)


The modules are presented via a distance mode of delivery; supported by online mediation sessions. Students will be required to complete various forms of assessments and activities; different assessment approaches are integrated throughout all modules on the programme. Informed by the principle of flexibility, a selection of modules will be offered each semester to accommodate a study journey to suit the personal needs of the student within the qualification progression rules. The curriculum below is correct at the time of print. Please note that in line with academic practice, The IIE’s curriculum is reviewed annually thus changes may occur in module structure and sequence in order to ensure that the qualification remains relevant. The exit level outcomes of the programme do not change. Registered students receive an updated programme curriculum on an annual basis.

​The IIE is not only accredited in South Africa but its dedication to providing quality education also led to it being accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) in 2014. The British Accreditation Council is an independent authority in the United Kingdom that accredits private providers globally, including Greece, Switzerland, Singapore, India, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. In 2017 The IIE had its accreditation status confirmed by the BAC as an Independent Higher Education Institution confirming our confidence in the international comparability of our standards.

"South African students need to know, when they select a private higher education institution, that the standards offered are equivalent to those of a public University. Our students get this from our extensive local accreditation and registration. The students also benefit from knowing that we meet international standards too. The IIE is accredited as an Independent Higher Education Institution by the British Accreditation Council. Locally and internationally we have demonstrated the quality of what we offer.

The IIE's Varsity College students can be confident that their IIE learning experience meets international best practice standards.

The IIE’s Varsity College Exam Centres

Eight IIE Varsity College Campus exam centres are available within South Africa for selection as the exam centre at which you would write exams. You will receive operational support from the Online Centre.

Alternative Venues

An alternative examination centre is only permissible for international students and those located in a province of South Africa where there is no IIE campus. It is your responsibility to identify an examination centre (educational or religious site or embassy or consulate) if you have not already done so. Once you have secured your examination venue, we require a letter confirming availability from the examination centre you have chosen. If a change of examination venue is required – it is again the student’s responsibility to locate a new venue and provide the confirmation letter together with the supporting documentation which details the reason for the examination venue change. Students registered in the distance mode must select an Examination Centre at which to undertake the sit-down summative assessments per module. These are usually scheduled at the close of each semester. A student based in South Africa may select any campus of The IIE’s Varsity College, Rosebank College, Vega, or IIE MSA as their Examination Centre. If there is no IIE campus within reach of the student, an alternative venue will need to be sourced by the student. For these non-IIE venues, there is an alternative venue levy per module.

Please note, once the examination venue is selected and confirmed, it cannot be changed within eight weeks prior to the summative examination.