NZQA Approve Change of Work Experience Pre-Entry Requirement to AIS MBA and PGDBA

NZQA have approved the AIS application to amend the pre-entry requirement of 2 years of work experience for entry into the Master of Business Administration and the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration programmes.

Work Experience Now Optional for Cognate Degree Grads

Students without work experience may now enter the PGDBA/MBA programmes by an alternative pathway which includes a compulsory three-month internship.

This pathway is open to graduates with a previous undergraduate degree (at least equivalent to NZ pass standard) in cognate disciplines. These are typically degrees with a major in a business or management discipline such as accounting, finance, marketing, logistics, etc.

Graduate diplomas, bachelor honours degrees, or postgraduate diplomas or degrees may also be accepted upon approval by the Academic Board of AIS.

The AIS MBA Programme

The AIS MBA programme is currently one of the largest in NZ, and is studied over weekends at the AIS St Helens campus in Mt Albert, Auckland. The MBA is an 18 month professional degree in which business management knowledge and skills are acquired through a practical programme of study. The programme offers opportunities for students to specialise in one of four areas: Finance, International Business, Marketing and Operations and Logistics. Students can choose between a research component which may be a field study, dissertation or internship.

Students entering the MBA without 2 years of work experience will be required to complete 25 modules + the 30 credit course 4.798 Internship.

The AIS PGDBA Programme

The PGDBA is a one year 20 module programme, which has now been approved to include the option of the internship for those students wishing to join without work experience.

Students entering the PGDBA without 2 years of work experience will be required to complete 15 modules + the 30 credit course 4.798 Internship.

Rationale for the change

AIS proposed the amendment to entry requirements to the programmes in order to allow more flexible options for those wishing to enter the degrees. Many talented applicants have not had the opportunity to enter the work force before entering into further studies.

Over 90% of AIS postgraduate students are international, and in the majority of students’ home countries MBA degrees without the work experience requirement are common. Many of the most prestigious business schools at universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Wharton do not require work experience.

Hands On Experience

The possibility of obtaining a professional internship is becoming increasingly popular as more and more students look to obtain NZ work experience in order to prepare for entry into the post study job market.

AIS has made a commitment towards providing students with the skills to succeed in industry nationally and globally with the approval of the MBA/PGDBA pathways, the expansion of its Student Job Search Centre, and the recent launch of the Graduate Diploma in Hospitality Management.


Cindy Hu during her internship with Toll, where she proposed procedures to optimise stock rotation