Higher Certificate in Business Studies

(Minimum one year, maximum 3 years, 124 credits)


The Higher Certificate Business Studies aims to introduce students to the building blocks of business and the new world of work.

It is targeted at:
● preparing those who have just left school for a future in the business world
● supporting budding entrepreneurs to extend their business knowledge
● assisting those who are already in work to advance and develop their careers

The programme introduces business management, finance, human resources, marketing, economics, and entrepreneurship in local and international settings. Its highly applied learning is designed to ensure our students are strongly sought after by prospective employers.

Students will be engaged by senior lecturing staff with many years of practical business experience who can guide their studies and support them through regular formative assessments.

The programme is delivered within the framework of Cornerstone’s strong ethical foundations and its collaborative community, where students will be challenged to grapple with real-world problems of the day.

Time Commitment

One year full-time.
Two years of part-time
January and July intakes


Cornerstone Institute (RF) NPC is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997, Registration Certificate No. 2001/HE08/006; NQF 5; SAQA ID 96415.



Admission Requirements

  • A National Senior Certificate or National Certificate Vocational (with certificate pass)
  • A Matriculation Certificate or equivalent
  • Mature age of 45 years can be admitted, determined by the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) portfolio of evidence provided.
  • The National Benchmark Test (NBT) results.

Sharon Brand completed her BPharm degree at UCT in 1986 and her BCom degree at Unisa in 1996. Subsequently, she completed Hons BB&A (Cum Laude) and MBA (Cum Laude) degrees at the University of Stellenbosch Business School and is pursuing a Ph.D. in new product forecasting.

Sharon spent 16 years working in the pharmaceutical industry at WarnerLambert and Pfizer, achieving a senior National Supply Chain Manager position. Next, Sharon became Deputy Director in the provincial government to manage the supply chain of medicines. Afterward, Sharon joined the Linde group’s local affiliate, Afrox, as regional supply chain manager, SAP business coach, and Six Sigma Black Belt to lead and improve supply chain processes. For the past 12 years, Sharon has researched and codified supply chain management best practices that drive continuous improvements in multinational corporations’ value chains.

Sharon’s focus areas at Cornerstone Institute include business management, operations and supply chain management, business analytics, economics, and finance.

Students who have completed the qualification should be able to:

  • Fully engage with modern business environments
  • Bring applied skills and critical thinking to contemporary business challenges
  • Advance the development and scaling of their own business
  • Apply ethically sound judgement and sustainable models
  • Collaborate effectively with peers and other stakeholders
  • Use data analytics and problem-solving to make well-informed business decisions
  • Seamlessly continue with further studies in business

Students who complete this programme will be eligible for two bridging modules to move into their second year of Bachelor of Commerce.

Module descriptions and credits

For a description of each module, see ‘Module descriptions’ herewith above. Otherwise, get in touch with us via helpdesk for further inquiries.

Cornerstone Institute
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