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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.

Time Commitment

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

Mode of Delivery


Course Cost

R315 per credit to enable you to choose modules at a pace that fits your budget.


The Higher Certificate (Business Studies), NQF Level 5, is accredited with the Council on Higher Education (CHE), reference no. PR096/9026/HEQSF and is registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) with qualification ID 7339.

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.

Course Modules:

Academic Reading and Writing
Information Technology and Skills
Business Management
Financial Accounting Fundamentals
Human Capital Management
Business Communication

Business Analytics Fundamentals
Ethics and Global Citizenship

Bachelor of Commerce

(Minimum 3 years, 360 credits)


This qualification equips students to be ethically effective in business and the new world of work with specific skills in human capital management, marketing, operations management, and economics.

Time commitment

Two intakes: January and July
Full or part-time
Minimum 3 years, maximum 6 years.

Mode of Delivery


Course Cost

R565 per credit to enable you to choose modules at a pace that fits your budget.


The Bachelor of Commerce, NQF Level 7, is accredited with the Council on Higher Education (CHE) reference no. H/PR096/E016CAN and is registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) with qualification ID 99752.

Admission requirements

National Senior Certificate (NSC) with a bachelor's pass or equivalent, a Matriculation Certificate (with university exemption) or equivalent, a Higher Certificate or an Advanced Certificate or Diploma in a cognate field. National Benchmark Test (NBT) results. The prior qualification must include a minimum of 50% in Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy.

Course Modules:

Basic Level
(First Year) 

Academic Reading and Writing
Information Technology Skills
Financial Accounting
Business Management
Human Capital Management
Business Communication
Core: Ethics and Global Citizenship  
Business  Analytics

Intermediate Level
(Second Year) 

Financial Accounting
Ethical Self Leadership
Customer Experience
Managing Constant Change
Industry 4.0 in Manufacturing
Strategic Management and Innovation in the New World of Work
Project Management
Digital Marketing and Sales
Strategic Branding and Integrated Communications
Talent, Diversity and Development
Aligning Supply Chains
Advanced Level
(Third Year) 

Market Research and Analytics 
Employment Relations  
Teamwork in a Digital Era 
International Economics and World Trade  
Strategic Value Chain Management  
Marketing Work-integrated Project  
Human Capital Work-integrated Project  
Economics Work-integrated Project  
Operations  Work-integrated Project 
Responsible, Customer Centric Organisations  
Strategic Human Capital Management  
Development Economics  
Lean, Sustainable Continuous Improvement


🎓 Enroll Now in Our Business Studies Programmes for July 2024! 🎓

Are you ready to lead and innovate in the business world? Join our Business Studies department at Cornerstone Institute for July 2024!

Spots are limited, so don’t wait too long! Secure your place before registration closes on 5th July 2024.

📧 Contact Zezethu: 📞 Phone: +27 21 448 0050


Global cutting-edge best practices in business

Excellent student and stakeholder support

Ethical integrity for all

Our focus is on students and employees who have yet to have the opportunity of post-school education. For those without the necessary level of Maths, we offer an entry-level Higher Certificate in Business Studies, which scaffolds into our BCom, where we offer a choice of majors in Operations, Human Capital Management, Marketing, and Economics.

We recognize that the world of work is changing fundamentally and that many of the old ways of doing things are no longer relevant. We aim to ensure that we equip our students with relevant knowledge and practical skills to prepare them to build their careers in these new times.

Our modules are underpinned by 21st-century skills imperative to the changing world of work. These modules are informed by research with employers in the private and public sectors and introduce our students to topics such as artificial intelligence, strategy deployment, business process automation, agile design, human capital, and customer experience.

Our teaching and learning are based on well-tested theoretical models combined with new pedagogical research, and we offer a flexible set of schedules to accommodate those currently working and those who are not. Our senior lecturing staff have multiple years of experience in the business world, so they are keenly aware of the requirements to develop a successful career in business.

Nowadays, to fully understand business, it is imperative to understand what is happening in South Africa and on our continent and appreciate developments across the globe. We are committed to ensuring our students leave Cornerstone with this perspective and these insights. Thereby, whatever setting they end themselves in, they will be empowered to change their own world and the worlds of others around them.


frequently asked questions

General Information

To apply you may visit our website here, select your preferred course and click on apply now. Our entire application and registration process is online.

Applications for July 2024 will close on 30 June 2024.

  • Certified ID/Passport
  • Certified Grade 12 certificate or NQF equivalent.

Course Details

Yes, you will be credited for the HCBS modules. In addition, students will need to complete two 8-credit bridging modules to enter 2nd year BCom.
For every credit, 10 hours of study is required, i.e. for a 12-credit module, 120 hours of study is required.
Students need to select two majors from the following: Operations Management, Human Capital Management, Marketing and Economics.
Yes, the Entrepreneurship module is a mandatory module offered in HCBS and 1st year B.Com.
Yes, Basic Applied Psychometrics is a 2nd year module and is part of the Human Capital Management major.
Each module is assessed through online formative assessments (e.g. tests, critical essays and group projects) and through online summative assessments (i.e. examinations).
Yes, there are group projects in most modules which address practical real world business challenges and in your final year of B.Com, you will complete a work-integrated project in each of your majors.
Yes, our module content is constantly updated and to provide knowledge and skills required in the 21st century New World of Work.

Financial Information

The cost of the Higher Certificate in Business Studies is R315 per credit and for the BCom is R565 per credit to enable you to choose modules at a pace that fits your budget.

You are able to structure your payment in line with the modules which you select.

You are able to make application for financial aid and we will endeavour to secure funding for you from external sources.

Student Support

Yes, we have Modules dedicated to providing you with this guidance in year one - your lecturers are also available to be of assistance with your assessments.

If you are struggling academically, you can reach out to our Faculty Administrator Zezethu Mgweba ( who will help to direct you here. For student wellness support, you can contact Student Services student development and support.

Online Study

Good Wi-Fi, a reliable laptop, a working laptop camera, Office 365 and a quiet place to work.
Yes there is a Module dedicated to providing you with this guidance in year one – you can also ask for technical support through our Help Desk

The digital library, EBSCOHost, which offers a vast expanse of scholarly resources is freely available to students. This premier online research platform provides academic journals, magazines, newspapers, e-books, and much more.

Certain prescribed ebooks are available by ordering from online bookstores. In addition, hard copy physical resources can be found in our on-campus library.

It is helpful to set time aside at the start of a semester to ensure your set up for online teaching and learning is properly in place and also to spend some time on our FUNDA LMS.

Lectures and Interaction

Live online lectures take place from on weekdays from 4pm to 8pm. Lectures are recorded and can be accessed on our FUNDA learning management system at a later time, if students are unable to attend the live lecture.

Yes, lecturers can be contacted through our learning management system or via the class WhatsApp groups. Lecturers are also available for individual face-to-face or online interaction when necessary.
Both, there are individual and group assessments for each module.

Technical Support

For any technical issues we have our Technology team available on

Our Academic Administrator is also available to assist if you experience any problems on our FUNDA learning management system.


Application Enquiries


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