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Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management



One year, full-time; part-time options

On campus with an internship

Until start date
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    22 February 2021
    5 July 2021 - 23 July 2021
    19 April 2021 - 30 April 2021
    4 October 2021 - 15 October 2021
  • Dunedin
    21 February 2022
    27 June 2022 - 15 July 2022
    18 April 2022 - 29 April 2022
    3 October 2022 - 14 October 2022

Are you a planner? Do you enjoy managing systems and helping shape the future? Are you calm in the face of change?

This Graduate Diploma is for people from a variety of different work backgrounds who want to upskill and gain a targeted management qualification without having to complete a full degree. Learn how to analyse the strategic environment in which businesses operate and how to respond appropriately. This qualification could lead to future employment as a manager, director or organisational leader across government departments, NGO’s or private sector companies. Alternatively, with the skills you have gained you will be in a perfect position to go into business for yourself as a consultant.

Learn from a series of compulsory courses and then apply your cumulative learning in a practical industry project. Benefit from the guidance and support of highly experienced staff to help you gain industry-relevant skills that you can apply directly to the real-world of business. 

Entry requirements
  • A bachelor's degree in any discipline OR equivalent skills/experience.
  • You may NOT enrol in a major that you have already studied at undergraduate level.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure they meet the entry requirements. Click here for equivalent academic entry requirements by country. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identify, academic records and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Additional costs

You will be required to purchase some textbooks during this programme and also cover any costs associated with fieldtrips or the industry project.

You will study

You will complete 120 credits of learning, of which 75 must be at Level 7.


Principles of Leadership: Develop an understanding of the nature and scope of personal leadership, and learn how to plan for your ongoing development as a leader. You will also learn to apply leadership knowledge and skills to the management of change. 

Strategic Planning for Small Business: Work on developing a strategic plan for a business, including start-up business or business at another stage of the business life cycle, to develop guidance for future action. Consider a wide range of small business issues including marketing, human resources, budgeting, and internal and external analyses and work out how to implement these plans.

Services Marketing Management: Look at the implications of customer satisfaction and relationships, design thinking, service recovery and other important elements in management of services marketing. By the end of the course, you can expect to have a clear understanding of the organisational issues facing companies who are developing service as a source of competitive advantage. 


Business and Society: Analyse the influence different societal factors have on business, and apply these understandings in an organisational context. Look at the impact of business ethics, and global and local issues on corporate social responsibility. Critically evaluate theories and concepts of sociology as they apply in managerial or organisational contexts and recommend strategies that address ethical and sustainability issues and their impact on society.

Strategic Management: Focus on the development of practical skills in strategic analysis, planning and implementation. Understand the nature and purpose of strategic management and its importance to organisational success and undertake and interpret an environmental (external and internal) scan of the context in which organisations operate. Learn how to formulate and evaluate strategic options, and implement plans for success in response to changing circumstances.

Industry Project: This provides an opportunity to balance theory with applied learning in your workplace or host organisation and tailor your studies accordingly to your interest. The project involves a workload of 200 hours, completing a written research project investigating an issue/problem that adds value to the organisation. This industry project will be useful in developing team work, communication and other soft skills/capabilities and in helping establish industry connections post-graduation. 

Compulsory Courses Level Credits
Leadership in Action 6 15
Strategic Planning for Small Business 6 15
Services Marketing Management 6 15
Business and Society 7 15
Strategic Management 7 15
Organisational Research Design 7 15
Industry Project 7 30
Total   120
Your workload

Your programme of study will generally include lectures and seminars/ tutorials. You will be expected to contribute at least 20 hours per week of your own time in self-directed study to allow for successful completion of the qualification. You will also complete a 200-hour industry project, gaining hands-on experience and developing important industry and business connections.

Further study options

Progress into higher levels of learning and enhance your employment potential with postgraduate study in Strategic Management.

Student loans and allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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