Instil MBA

Flexible online MBA program

Since 2003, the University of South Australia has had a strategic partnership with Instil (formerly Australasian Mutuals Institute) to deliver the MBA to eligible managers and supervisors working in the customer-owned banking sector – Credit Unions, Building Societies and Mutual Banks.

This program equips participants with a range of skills required to become effective leaders and opens up promotional career opportunities in addition to personal development.  You can study from wherever you are working or living, as the program is undertaken entirely online - anywhere, anytime, anyplace.

Participants in the mutual sector have the chance to learn online with other people in the mutual sector, as well as with people from such industries as manufacturing, services, professional services and government, in a dynamic learning environment where participants interact, ask questions and learn from participants’ experiences in other industries. The interaction creates a rich and rewarding learning experience for all participants.

The program has involved mutual sector participants from South Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

Each course runs over a 10 week period, plus a week for assignment submission, and the UniSA Business School MBA can be undertaken as three or four courses each year. Assessment is continuous and online, with each course culminating in a work-based applied management project.

For eight consecutive years, the UniSA Busines School MBA has been rated as one of Australia’s elite 5-Star MBAs by the Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA). The MBA is also listed in the Top 10 MBA programs in Australia by the Australian Financial Review Boss Survey 2007-2015. UniSA Business School is ranked in the Top 1% of Business Schools worldwide by Quacquarelli Symonds 2015 rankings and is one of only nine Business Schools in Australia with EQUIS Accreditation, the European quality standard for business schools.

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The UniSA Business School MBA consists of 12 courses, and is structured in three stages. The first stage of four courses achieves the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. Building on those four with successful completion of another four courses means the participant achieves the Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. Successfully undertaking a further four courses means the participant will be awarded a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Each course runs over a 10 week period, plus a week for assignment submission, and the UniSA MBA can be undertaken as three or four courses each year. Assessment is continuous and online, with each course culminating in a work-based applied management project.

For eight consecutive years, the UniSA MBA has been rated as one of Australia’s elite 5-Star MBAs by the Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA). The MBA is also listed in the Top 10 MBA programs in Australia by the Australian Financial Review Boss Survey 2007-2015. UniSA Business School is ranked in the Top 1% of Business Schools worldwide by Quacquarelli Symonds 2015 rankings and is one of only nine Business Schools in Australia with EQUIS Accreditation, the European quality standard for business schools.

Any participant can take a break from the education program at the completion of each stage in the Program. At each stage, the award (Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Masters) is recognised in Australia and internationally.

Note: For those managers who are considering further studies towards an MBA, it is important to keep in mind that the individual courses within the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are identical to the MBA courses, thus ensuring full credit for those courses will be granted.


Graduate Certificate in Business Administration
  • Strategy and Management Research
  • Accounting for Decision Making
  • Responsible Leadership
  • Strategic Marketing

Graduate Diploma in Business Administration

The four courses completed successfully in the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, plus:

  • Structure, People and Change
  • Managerial Finance
  • and any two of the following courses: International Business, The Law for Managers or Ethics, Governance and Sustainability 

Master of Business Administration

The eight courses already completed in the Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, plus:

  • any of the following courses: Managerial Economics, International Business, The Law for Managers or Ethics, Governance and Sustainability
  • plus two electives.
  • Strategic Research Project

The UniSA MBA has 12 courses in total.

Study Period 1 (Term 1) 11 January - 25 March
Study Period 3 (Term 2) 4 April - 17 June
Study Period 4 (Term 3) 27 June - 9 September
Study Period 6 (Term 4) 19 September - 2 December

In line with the University's policy on recognition of prior learning, students who have completed appropriate postgraduate management courses (achieving the equivalent of a Credit level) in programs at recognised institutions are granted status in relevant courses, pending assessment by the Program Director.

Teaching and learning

The delivery of this program is online in its entirety.  Most courses develop an interactive learning environment online, challenging groups to think collaboratively about issues critical to the strategic goals of their organisation. Individual and group projects are part of both the course work and assessment.

Assessment is linked to applied learning projects, so that theoretical concepts are applied to work situations and critical management issues.

Online learning

Online (or distributed) education is an integral component to the Program. Online education involves highly interactive group learning. Concepts on learning that underlie the method are:

  • Learning is primarily derived from dialogue. It is an interactive, collaborative process in which the learner, the lecturer and other learners work together to create and maintain a learning conversation.
  • The lecturer's role is to facilitate, engage and empower learners to fully participate in a learning conversation. Lecturers do not only transfer information: they also exercise leadership in order to facilitate and point the way along possible learning paths.
  • Online education methodologies emulate the interactive classroom, tutorial and syndicate group experience. This approach combines theory with practical application to the workplace, using familiar situations to apply concepts discussed in each of the course modules in a structured framework.
  • Flexibility is built into a participant's study schedule as the courses have 24x7 accessibility, within the scheduled study period of 11 weeks of a course.

There is no need to be logged-in at the same time online as other participants. The lecturer and participants enter the dialogue as it progresses. Each course is constructed as a series of modules with each module completed within a set timeframe before progressing to the next.

Online technical requirements

As courses are conducted via the internet, it is essential that participants have email and internet access either at home or their workplace. It should be noted that in order for participants to be able to devote an appropriate amount of time to their studies, access at home is highly recommended. Online delivery accommodates both PC and Macintosh users.

Once you are enrolled in a course, the Program Executive Officer will be in contact by email with the URL for the course and provide assistance with accessing the system if required.

Fees and Payments

While fees are paid under employer sponsored arrangements, most participating managers will be required to pay  for their text books.

Sandra Walker
Strategic Partnerships,

University of South Australia 
Level 5 Way Lee Building 
City West Campus 
North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

T: 08 8302 0801 
E: sandra.walker@unisa.edu.au

Areas of study and research

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