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Postgraduate Diploma: Information Systems in E-Skills Development 
90715  Postgraduate Diploma: Information Systems in E-Skills Development 
University of the Western Cape 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
Postgraduate Diploma  Field 10 - Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences  Information Technology and Computer Sciences 
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 091/21  2021-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The purpose of this qualification is to:
  • Provide South Africa with skilled human capital in the field of Information Systems, specifically in the area of e-skills development, to help ensure that the country will be able to effectively compete in the global information/knowledge economy.
  • Equip learners to understand the role and function of computers, as well as the required e-skills, in an organisation and in the modern world of business, in such a way that they can make appropriate analyses of e-skills needs and can make recommendations regarding training and other related interventions in the workplace.
  • Enable both IT practitioners and IT users to get the appropriate up-skilling and re-skilling required for their workplace.
  • Enable learners to make decisions about e-skills development in organisations through an understanding of the e-skills issues and an analysis of the needs.
  • Equip learners to understand the digital divide and to develop innovative solutions for bridging the digital divide in developing countries.

    The major driving force of many changes experienced in industry and society today is Information Technology. Information systems of various kinds are at the core of most innovations used by organisations to succeed or even survive. Unfortunately, there are very large e-skills needs at all levels in organisations. In addition, there is a continuous requirement for upgrading skills and/or for re-skilling.

    In order to assist organisations in employing, developing and re-skilling IT professionals, various e-skills frameworks have been developed around the world. Some of these frameworks are also implemented in South Africa. In implementing these frameworks, the national qualifications framework has to be kept in mind. This should be done by skilled people understanding both the world of computers and the e-skills frameworks. Currently, this function is often undertaken by people coming from the IT side, but without an understanding of e-skills frameworks, or by people coming from the HR side, but without a good understanding of both the computer side and the e-skills frameworks.

    The Postgraduate Diploma will equip learners (both professionals already working in organisations and learners having completed a degree and wishing to enter the world of work [or qualifying in terms of RPL]) to do e-skills development in an informed way and in line with international best practice. A Postgraduate Diploma is the best qualification for this purpose, since it provides the space for an interdisciplinary approach to e-skills development at a relatively high cognitive level. 

  • Computer Literacy at NQF Level 3.
  • Ability to use resource materials to evaluate positions in the subject literature and to do well-documented assignments.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL can be used to grant learners:
  • Access to the qualification if they do not meet the minimum entry requirements.
  • Credits towards the qualification.

    Access to Qualification:
  • A relevant Bachelor's Degree or equivalent qualification.
  • A foreign qualification evaluated and equated by the South African Qualifications Authority as similar to a NQF Level 7 qualification.
  • Learners not meeting the minimum admission requirements may be granted admission through RPL. 


    All modules are at NQF Level 8 and are compulsory.
  • The Knowledge Society and the Related Labour Market, 15 credits.
  • Tools of the Digital Era, 15 credits.
  • The South African Regulatory Environment for Learning and Development, 15 credits.
  • International e-skills Frameworks, 15 credits.
  • E-skills Analysis And Interventions, 15 credits.
  • Organisational Behaviour and Development, 15 credits.
  • Research Project, 30 credits. 

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the role and function of computers in organisations, and the levels of e-skills required.
    2. Evaluate and discuss the applicable e-skills frameworks.
    3. Analyse applicability and needs of e-skills.
    4. Make recommendations regarding training and other related interventions in the workplace.
    5. Design appropriate training programmes/courses based on the applicable e-skills frameworks.
    6. Undertake a research project related to e-skills development.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    The Critical-Cross Field Outcomes are addressed throughout the qualification. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcomes 1 to 5:
    The following Assessment Criteria are applied in an integrated way to determine competence against the Outcomes:
  • The nature and characteristics of the information/knowledge society are described.
  • The role of information systems and information technology in the information/knowledge society are described.
  • The changing nature of the working environment is described.
  • The South African labour market needs and provision in as far as e-skills are concerned are described particularly in the context of current (BB)BEE theory and practice.
  • An understanding of the functioning of information technology in business/organisations is demonstrated.
  • The systems concept in information systems is described.
  • An understanding of the Internet and the World Wide Web is demonstrated.
  • The modern application of the various types of information systems in business/organisations are described.
  • An understanding of the major trends in the development of the tools of the digital era is demonstrated.
  • The role and function of the various regulatory authorities for learning and training in South Africa is described.
  • The nature of formal qualifications and certification, as well as the concepts of the following: the various NQF levels, credits, learning outcomes, RPL are described.
  • The realistic expectations that can be held of the various providers of learning/training is described.
  • The resourcing of appropriate e-skills qualifications from public and/or private suppliers, in the case of specific e-skills needs is described.
  • An understanding of various e-skills frameworks, the environment within which they originated, and their use is demonstrated.
  • E-skills frameworks are linked to the South African regulatory environment for learning and training.
  • Specific e-skills requirements and qualifications are positioned on e-skills frameworks and linked to the NQF.
  • A coherent e-skills framework for a specific hypothetical company is designed.
  • An understanding of the link between business processes, information systems and e-skills requirements is demonstrated.
  • The essential traits of company policy (e.g. a hypothetical company), and specifically the strengths and deficiencies regarding e-skills are identified.
  • The various kinds of interventions in the workplace relating to e-skills development are described.
  • A programme (in broad outline) for in-house training and development relating to e-skills is designed.
  • A set of specifications for outsourcing a training programme regarding e-skills is developed.
  • A coaching programme for e-skills development of mid-level and managerial staff is developed.
  • An understanding of contemporary organisational theory is demonstrated.
  • An understanding of the organisation as an open system is demonstrated.
  • The different theories of motivation are discussed.
  • Complex organisational problems are diagnosed using the Socio-Technical Model and the action research paradigm implemented in organisation development.
  • An understanding of resistance to change and interventions to minimise such resistance are explained.
  • Technical interventions to support technological advances are critically evaluated and implemented.
  • Individual and group level interventions to enhance individual performance in relation to proposed technological changes - based on a Socio-Technical diagnosis are critically compared and implemented.
  • Appropriate organisational/system wide interventions are Evaluated and implemented in a planned change process to enhance organisational performance.
  • The effectiveness of organisation development interventions are analysed and evaluated and appropriate steps taken to make corrections.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • A topic suitable for a research project is identified and the research problem clearly identified.
  • Research methodology principles are applied in developing the proposal meeting the specific requirements of the EMS Faculty.
  • A framework for the study is created by using accepted research design principles.
  • An effective literature study is conducted of the relevant subject literature, identifying the key propositions, extracting the important or significant issues and building a suitable foundation for the study.
  • In the case of an empirical study the ability to develop a suitable measuring instrument for a specific population or sample, administer the instrument, analyse the data, draw suitable conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.
  • In the case of a conceptual or interpretive study, demonstrate the ability to develop the necessary framework, identify key academic propositions, intelligently argue or analyse a case, present the findings, draw suitable conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Write a well-reasoned and properly documented research report acceptable for examination using scientific, nuanced writing skills.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Within each module learners will be subject to continuous evaluation via assignments, projects and presentations, the precise combination varying with the nature of the module. In addition, each module will be examined through a written examination.

    Assessment takes place according to strict assessment criteria as outlined in the prescribed module descriptor. Lecturers set assignments, class tests and the final assessment papers in terms of module outcomes viz. Adequate level of relevant text comprehension to be demonstrated, adequate range of relevant sources to have been accessed and relevant problems to have been grasped, and appropriate theoretical and practical assignments and case studies as well as solutions to problems to have been presented.

    This ensures that assessments maintain a certain standard in accordance with the standards as set out in the syllabus. An external moderator moderates assessment papers set. The same principle applies to the final marking of the assessments. This ensures that skills and concepts are mastered, thereby maintaining a standard of assessment relevant to this offering. 

    The Post Graduate Diploma in Information Systems in E-Skills Development was compared with qualifications from USA, UK, China and India. The qualifications from USA, China and India only focus on IT Information systems and do not address the e-skills aspect. There comparison was then based on the qualifications from University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland and The Open University.


    University of Abertay Dundee:
    Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology:

    Duration: Full time: 1 year/Part time: 2 years.

    This course is designed for graduates in any discipline, who wish to further their professional development by gaining skills and experience in both theoretical and practical areas of information technology. The emphasis is IT applications, with a web bias (e-skills).

  • Develop sound knowledge in web development, IT systems, databases, security and interface design.
  • Gain practical and teamwork experience while integrating your skills in realistic practical developments.
  • Project - you can elect to take a research based project based on research expertise within the School or develop your own ideas based on previous study.

    Applicants should normally have a minimum of a lower second class Honours degree in any degree specialism, and be IT literate to ECDL/ICDL level.

    Course Details:
    The course considers various types of information systems which includes the study of the fundamentals of security, IT and Informatics (working with information). There is also a strong emphasis on Web systems, with focus on aspects of interface design, such as usability and requirements. Web related technology ranging from databases, mobile applications and GIS are considered. Learners apply and integrate skills from all modules in a large case study. In addition learners willl study research methods in preparation for Masters Project.

    Masters Projects are either suggested by academic staff or students can devise their own projects. Potential areas of project study include intelligent information systems, human computer interaction, web usability, ethics and cultural issues in e-commerce and other computer systems, systems analysis and design, on-line learning, language aids and many more. Many projects are carried out in collaboration with one of the University's Research Centres.

    Various assessment methods are used as appropriate, and include portfolios, coursework, mini research projects, presentations and prototypes, and some class tests.

    United Kingdom:

    The Open University:
    Postgraduate Certificate in IT Professional Practice: e-skills Professional Programme:

    The e-skills Professional Programme is for IT staff who already have degrees and has been created with the full involvement of employers to help companies of all sizes, across all sectors.

    The objectives of the programme are to:
  • Help IT recruits progress more quickly into widely demanding roles.
  • Overcome the lack of business experience that is inevitable if time is not spent in entry level roles.
  • Make high quality professional development for IT staff available to, and convenient for, all organisations.

    Course Details
    There are two parts to this postgraduate certificate, which can be studied over 12 or 18 months:
  • Six teaching modules (see below).
  • A portfolio assessment relevant to the modules and to the student's own work projects.

    Module 1: Professional Foundations:
    Provides an overview of the IT-enabled business, covering aspects of the use of information technology in organisations that will be explored more thoroughly later in the programme.

    Module 2: Problem solving for business analysis:
    Begins with an introduction to basic problem analysis and solving techniques. It emphasises the importance of understanding the organisational context of problems and how to intervene in this setting.

    Module 3: Foundation of leadership and personal skills development:
    Enables participants to develop as effective leaders engaged in IT-led change. As well as self-knowledge, this process requires employees to understand and apply a range of leadership models and styles to help successfully implement organisational change.

    Module 4: Introduction to management of change for IT professionals:
    Focuses on theory, research and practice of both 'planned' and 'unplanned' change, with emphasis on an understanding of change techniques in terms of analytical frameworks.

    Module 5: Foundations of IT project management:
    Although computing and information technology have long been essential for every organisation, the successful design, development and implementation of information systems remain a significant challenge.

    Module 6: Foundations of business solution design and development:
    Emphasises practical business requirements analysis and introduces the other stages of the information systems life cycle.

    The Post Graduate Diploma in Information Systems in E-Skills Development compares favourably with both qualifications in terms of the qualification content and the focus on research. 

    Students who completed the PG Diploma (Information Systems) (e-Skills Development) of the University of the Western Cape can enrol for the M.Com (Information Systems), Level 9 They will be limited in the themes in which they can do Master's research. 

    The programme will be moderated via a system of external peer review and evaluation. At least one internal supervisor/assessor and at least two external assessors will be appointed. The minimum qualifications for assessor will be a Masters degree plus 3 years' experience in the specific focus area. 

    All assessors must be in possession of a relevant qualification at least one NQF Level higher than that of this qualification.
    All assessors should have practical experience in the areas being assessed and should preferably have practical experience in the areas being assessed. 



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    1. University of the Western Cape 

    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.