MBA (Leadership) Overview

Whatever the size and scope of your role in business, now or into the future, CQUniversity’s MBA (Leadership) will give you the practical leadership and management skills to excel.

Accelerate your career as a successful, transformational leader within domestic or international business spheres with CQU’s MBA (Leadership). Designed with the corporate manager, aspiring C-suite leader, entrepreneur or business owner in mind, the MBA (Leadership) is a university-accredited MBA which will help future-proof your career with globally recognised business management credentials. 

Find out more about CQUniversity’s MBA (Leadership) below, or read the course outline for detail on the included units. 

MBA (Leadership) - Sarah Fraser O'Brien and Sunny Wijeratne


I really love the information that I've learnt in the course so far, when we're applying it to a workplace for example, innovation changes disruption project management, it's just brilliant because we're looking at current case studies which i can apply to my workplace straight away and not only do you you know have the confidence you've got relevant information that you can apply to the workplace and people are pretty impressed with that.
So what I've found is that the topics that I'm studying in this degree are directly applicable to my work so I was actually quite shocked in some cases where I'll study in the evening and even the very next day I might walk into a meeting with a customer and I'm able to educate them and talk about contemporary issues in their industry and work with them to solve challenging organizational problems using some of the content from the degree
MBA (Leadership) - Kate and Tobias



My name is Kate Ames and I'm the Director of Learning, Design and Innovation at CQUniversity. I came on board with the MBA Leadership because I have a background, a really long background, in teaching in by distance, you know and, I started teaching by distance in the mid 90s actually. So one of my interests was in the different ways that students are learning and I was really particularly interested in this concept of self-paced approach and those students who you know could possibly work a little bit more independently than we were expecting other you know students normally when we design a course.

So for example there's this notion that students have to learn better by groups but in our instance the question was well actually maybe the groups that they're working with in their workplace are as good as perhaps the groups that you might encounter in a normal classroom. So just really unpacking some of the different ways that we could approach education really intrigued me so I, I, came on board. I'm also particularly interested in the concept of equity for education and the idea that you know everybody deserves the best possible education regardless of where they live and you know the idea that you might be a student in you know Tennant Creek or in Longreach or Alice Springs or wherever and you just really want to be better at your own backyard, not necessarily you know change the world, although you may also want to change the world but at the moment the way that MBAs in particular are structured it's very very difficult to get a really good MBA experience without having to go and do intensive workshops or travel to a metropolitan region.

So one of the questions that we asked ourselves was well how can we possibly provide that experience for students and cater for a different range of experience and so then thinking also helped you know inform our course design my experience.

With the MBA is also informed by my experience as a Military Officer, I'm a part-time Australian Army Aeservist and have been since 1997 and I've been a Military Public Affairs Officer since 2001. I've deployed internationally I was involved as the advisor to the National Coordinator of the Australian Defence Force operation bushfires assist, so I've had significant experience, I suppose, over a long period of time in providing strategic communication advice, you know, at a range of levels you know in fairly high pressure contexts.

So every day that I've been an academic for the last 20 years I've also been really a public relations practitioner working at a strategic level so, you know, I bring a lot of that to the course and I'm particularly interested in that leadership component you know and, you know I've been involved in training in leadership within the army, I'm also in a training role and I'm currently a Lieutenant Colonel I'm heading up a public affairs joint training capability so I'm really interested in seeing how people grow personally and learn from their experiences and are able to inform their views and their practice through both learning and experience and bringing those two together, and you'll see many many opportunities within our degree to do authentic reflection, reflective practice linking theory to practice and that's some of the thinking behind how we designed the program.

So I'm really excited about the MBA Leadership here at CQUniversity, we've seen significant growth, and most of that growth has been through word of mouth actually as students really come to appreciate the flexibility associated with being able to really genuinely pace themselves online. They can cope with a life crisis and just drop the program and then come back and intensely study as they need without the administration need of extension requests and dropping out and and all of that sort of stuff and also the fact that it is it is a lower cost because we've thought about the design of the program and we've you know stripped away some of the things that are quite expensive for students and staff and really focused on the main thing, which is being able to provide a forum for students to connect with one another and for staff to communicate and create a personalised feedback model. So, I'm a marker in the MBA Leadership I really look forward to seeing you as you progress I'm sure I'll encounter you on your journey.


An affordable, hyperflexible university MBA

Delivered entirely online, with no assessment constraints or unit deadlines, CQU’s hyperflexible online delivery mode allows you gain a high-quality MBA on your own schedule. 

Choose to fast-track in as little as 12-18 months or up to five years for completion. You can start anytime, without having to wait for intake dates.

Fully accredited Master of Business Administration Australian qualification from a QS five-star rated* University recognised as a leader in online education.

*Times Higher Education and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS Rankings) 2020.

Pay less than traditional MBA degrees with our 100% online, low-touch design. Priced at $19 134 with FEE-HELP options for domestic students, and A$20 880 for international students with options to pay as you go. Fees cited are for 2023, calculated upon enrolment and recalculated after any enrolment change made prior to census date.

Delivered entirely online, with no assessment or unit deadlines constraints, the ultra-flexible delivery mode allows you to self-pace your studies.


Smart systems for self-motivated learners

The MBA (Leadership) is designed for self-motivated and independent learners, who require little to no support in the form of lecturer or teaching staff contact. It’s part of the course’s lean nature and affordability. Students have access to academic-student and peer-to-peer support via dedicated MS Teams and LinkedIn groups, and the Be Different platform (from which the MBA (Leadership) is delivered) features a Chat Bot that houses answers to common questions regarding the course and platform. Students are also supported by the course curriculum team, which includes the Head of Course and a dedicated Course Manager. Learn more about the MBA (Leadership) team below. 

Kate Ames

Professor Kate Ames PhD, MLitt (Cultural Studies), Grad Cert Tert Ed, BBus (Comm), Cert IV Training and Assessment, is the Director, Learning Design and Innovation at CQUniversity. Kate has been nationally recognised for her approaches to teaching via distance education including receipt of an Australian

Award for University Teaching (AAUT), a National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2015) and an Award for Australian Teaching Excellence (Humanities) (2019). Kate leads our team of educational designers, academics, administrators and multimedia experts. In common with most of our students, Kate juggles academic work, life in the Reserve Army, team leadership, innovative ideas and a family with a sense of humour and perspective. ORCID: 0000-0002-1819-8137 and Google Scholar.


Dr Anja Pabel PhD, BBus (Hons) is the Manager & Academic Lead of CQUniversity’s hyperflexible online Leadership and Innovation Courses. In her role, Anja leads the development and monitoring of the leadership and innovation courses with particular emphasis on course performance and improvement, student support, and maintenance of educational standards consistent with university policy. Her research interests include tourist behaviour, sustainable tourism, and student experience in higher education. She has a demonstrated track record in the publication and dissemination of her research activity, with more than 50 publications, and is regularly invited to review papers for international journals. Anja has been teaching at CQUniversity since 2015 including various business, marketing, and tourism units. She has received awards for her commitment to learning and teaching. ORCID: 0000-0003-1409-5496


Dr Michelle Thompson PhD, BTourismMgt (Hons)/BHRMgt, Diploma of Management, is an Academic in the Learning, Design and Innovation Directorate. As part of the academic team, Michelle works with the Head of Course to review and update course content and provide academic support to students. Michelle supervises Masters and PhD students, and her research interests focus on aspects of regional tourism development, including agri-tourism, food tourism, nature-based tourism and sustainability. She has delivered specialist workshops on agri-tourism development and engaged in consultancies for industry associations, Local Government Authorities, Regional Development Australia and Indigenous Land Corporation. ORCID: 0000-0002-7909-3523 and Google Scholar.

Noal Atkinson

Mr Noal Atkinson PhD Candidate, BBus, BArts, Grad Dip Arts, TAE cert IV, coordinates the recruitment and contracting of the academic team responsible for marking and course review processes, ensuring all meet university moderation policies, procedures and response timeframes. Noal is responsible for developing strong internal stakeholder relationships related to the MBA (Leadership) and providing advice and recommendations regarding emerging issues. He is also responsible for analysing student data and assisting with identifying issues relating to student progression, attrition, assessments and results, developing insights and making recommendations about changes into all elements of the course and course delivery. ORCID: 0000-0002-4390-5665.


Danielle MacRae holds a Cert III in Business (Office Administration) and a Cert IV in Training and Assessment. She works closely and collaboratively with Course Manager Noal Atkinson and all staff in their roles to support the MBA (Leadership) students during their journey with CQUniversity. Danielle also liaises with other university services and external stakeholders to facilitate and coordinate policy and financial matters.

For Employers

Invest in your staff with an MBA

Excellent opportunity to upskill employees with management and leadership skills with the MBA (Leadership) representing incredible value for fully funded or supported professional development. Download the brochure to find out more, or get in touch with the Course Manager to talk next steps.

  • Tony George laughing with crossed arms
    Running my own business, it was really important that I would be able to study on my terms. If I had an hour between meetings, the Be Different module showed me an estimate of how long that section was going to take. That flexibility of the course was so important to me.

    Tony George

    Master of Business Admnistration (Leadership)

Next Steps

Interested? Learn more about the MBA (Leadership), including the units you'll study, on the course page.

Be Different – Hyperflexible learning

Designed for busy professionals. Explore self-paced, 100% online postgraduate degrees with no group work or assessment deadlines.

Frequently Asked Questions

It certainly is. Our MBA (Leadership) is accredited in Australia and recognised globally through the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australia.

Furthermore, the University sector is audited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) who review courses offered against AQF guidelines.

You can read more about the AQF online – for reference, the MBA (Leadership) is a level 9 qualification.

We have over 40 years of experience delivering distance education and are one of Australia's largest online learning providers, backed by modern and advanced online tools. So when we say CQU knows about studying remotely – you know it’s true.

The MBA (Leadership) is fully accredited by CQUniversity Australia as a postgraduate qualification in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Level 9.

The qualification comprises 1730 hours of work (an average of 6 hours per week over 5 years, although you manage your own time) as per any other similar qualification.

In April 2020 we had more than 470 students enrolled in the course. More than 95% of these students are professionals already in the workplace looking to advance their careers.

CQUniversity’s international reputation is high and its degrees have a strong international reputation.

At $19,134*, our MBA offers highly competitive pricing in comparison to traditional MBA’s, and it’s all possible because of the low administration fees. By allowing students to study where and when they like, we are free of timetabling for lectures, rooms and equipment, and this is passed onto students.

The MBA(Leadership) is structured to offer 11 units, all in which are key to making you a more effective leader. In 2023, this equates to $1,594.50 per regular unit and $3,189 for the final Capstone unit. By removing the choice of electives, and not including Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) as an option, our admin costs are minimised.

*Fees listed are based on 2023 indicative fees.

None. If you enjoy working autonomously and excel in individual work, this course is perfect for you. If group work is really important to you, you may like to explore our other MBA course options.

There is a LinkedIn group of MBA (Leadership) students who share interesting articles, but your participation is entirely optional. We believe that emerging leaders create their own networks of associates using relational skills and relevant online platforms.

While the content is similar, the delivery processes and options are very different.

  1. Students don’t attend campus, or work to a university timetable. You have five years to finish everything. You progress at your own pace. Studying units at the time and order that suits you (except the Capstone – which is the big summary unit at the end.)
  2. Enrolment is not restricted to a specific time. After you apply and enrol in a unit, which takes a matter of days, you can get started anytime of the year.
  3. There are no due dates for assessments. You have to be self-motivated to make this happen but the benefit is that this MBA can fit with your lifestyle and changing availability.
  4. Many people choose our on-campus courses for smaller class sizes and teaching staff who make the time to get to know students. Which is awesome. But this course is completely different. Independent learners commit to complete all units online, with only 10 hours of contact time over 5 years.

Yes, the full cost of the MBA (Leadership) is $19,134*. No GST needed. Once you've applied and enrolled into a unit/s you will need to pay for each unit by census date. Individual units cost $1,594.50 per unit (and $3,189 for the final Capstone unit which is the equivalent of two units of study). Fees are indicative only, and are calculated upon enrolment and recalculated after any enrolment change made prior to census date.

If you need assistance with the MBA course fees, you might be eligible for FEE-HELP, a loan scheme that helps eligible students pay their tuition fees. Provided you meet the FEE-HELP eligibility criteria, you can choose to use FEE-HELP to cover all or part of your tuition fees. To find out more about FEE-HELP view the FEE-HELP information booklet available on the Australian Government’s Study Assist website.

*Fees listed are based on 2023 indicative fees.

We’ve recently opened credit transfer for the MBA (Leadership) and as such there are currently no articulation agreements for units in this course from other education providers. However, if you are able to provide evidence of potential equivalence with your previous studies, you may be eligible for a credit transfer.

You’ll need to have signed up as a student for the MBA (Leadership) course before we’ll assess a credit transfer application, but not have enrolled in the specific unit you are seeking credit for.  We recommend you review each unit and its’ learning outcomes (found in the CQU Handbook) in advance.  If you identify any potential equivalence, you can begin a credit transfer application.

Assessment ranges from evaluative self-practice, online tests, case study reviews, reports and business simulations. Our academic assessors include high-profile professors, PhD and MBA qualified researchers and teachers with strong international profiles. We provide helpful, non-judgemental and respectful feedback with a strong backbone of academic rigour and excellence.

You will have access to extension activities and will be supported via a CQUniversity MBA (Leadership) LinkedIn group, where our aim is to “connect without pressure”.

To find out more about assessment, register to access our orientation unit, ‘About the MBA (Leadership)’.

The MBA (Leadership) is comprised of 11 units: 10 standard and one Capstone (equivalent to two standard). The course has been designed to be completed in 1730 hours of study, which equates to 12–18 months of full-time study for the full course. You will have up to five years from enrolment to complete the course at your own pace.

The course is designed specifically so it can fit in with what is happening in your life. You may choose to fast track completion, or put on hold when life happens. Choose to spread it out evenly with 6–10 hours per week, do larger sections all at once on weekends or holidays, or anywhere in between – it’s entirely up to you.

If you’re an independent learner and meet the ideal entry requirements for this course, you should find everything you need to undertake the course in our user-friendly Be Different learning platform. Students are also supported by the course curriculum team, which includes the Head of Course and a dedicated Course Manager, and have access to academic-student and peer-to-peer support via dedicated MS Teams and LinkedIn groups.