Department of Applied Language Studies | Short Courses


Short Learning Programme (SLP)


About this course

The Business Writing SLP aims to develop basic writing principles for the writing of effective internal and external business documentation such as letters, memoranda and emails by applying basic writing principles and demonstrating the ability to relate business writing principles to practice. Important business writing techniques and principles will be presented and you will apply this knowledge by revising and redrafting examples of ineffective business correspondence.

You will be introduced to writing a variety of business letters, memoranda and emails which effectively fulfill their purpose.

This SLP will simultaneously focus on the concept of effective communication and you will be introduced to relevant communication theory to frame effective practice.


Who should attend?

This course is ideal for any professional who is required to communicate within business environments and contexts. If you are required to send emails or draft letters or memoranda with a particular focus on the quality of your writing, then this course is an ideal start to effective business and professional communication.  


How will this course help you?

Business Writing will help you by creating an awareness of your professional communication and how others might receive it.

You will be shown professional formats for written communication – enabling your future correspondence to be written more effectively.


What will you learn?


Learning Outcomes

A delegate of this course should be able to:

  • understand and apply principles of the Interpersonal Model of Communication;
  • describe barriers to effective writing;
  • identify strategies for effective writing;
  • demonstrate awareness of analyzing an intended audience and purpose in business communication;
  • identify different business writing styles;
  • identify basic writing principles;
  • write appropriate business documentation;
  • write cohesive and coherent paragraphs; and,
  • apply effective business writing plans.


The following will be covered in this course:

  • Communication Theory (Interpersonal Model of Communication)
  • Audience and Purpose in Communication
  • Register in Communication
  • Communication Techniques
  • Business Correspondence Formats (letters, memoranda, emails)
  • Business Writing Plans
  • Writing Principles (clarity, conciseness, tone)


How will this course be taught?

This course will be taught using face-to-face instruction and self-paced learning (readings, tasks and activities, and online/home-based learning). You will be welcomed into a small group of delegates and taught by a qualified and experienced facilitator.

The face-to-face sessions will be interactive and the facilitator will engage with all delegates. Group numbers will be kept to a minimum to ensure increased delegate engagement during facilitation. The facilitator will utilise the face-to-face sessions to present the course content and interact with you by completing class-based activities and tasks that will apply your knowledge.

Depending on the delivery mode of this course, you might also be given access to our online learning platform so that you have access to course resources and be able to complete certain activities. 

The language of teaching and learning (LOTL) of this course will be English.


How will you be assessed?

A final task will be assigned that has to be submitted for review and formative feedback will be provided thereafter. The course facilitator will provide the task instructions during the course.


Learning Support

Your learning will be supported by a qualified and experienced facilitator. A dedicated administrative assistant will be assigned to assist you with any administrative matters. A tutor will be assigned when group numbers are high and the facilitator requires assistance in supporting your learning.


How will this course be delivered?

This course can be offered in the following delivery modes:

Mode C: Full-time

Duration: 2 days, full-time (consecutive weekdays)

Requires 16 hours of teaching and learning:  12 hours of face-to-face facilitation* (over 2 days) + 4 hours self-paced learning


*Face-to-face sessions will be offered at one of the Port Elizabeth campuses unless arranged otherwise and stated explicitly.

Kindly check the provisional schedule to see if this course will be offered soon and the applicable mode of delivery.  If this course is not included in the schedule, you are still encouraged to apply.


Admission Requirements

A delegate:

  1. has to be older than 16;
  2. has to be able to communicate in the language of teaching and learning (LOTL) of this course;
  3. should have completed a relevant level of education deemed suitable for entry into this course (usually a high school qualification); and,
  4. should be currently employed at Nelson Mandela University.

No prior knowledge is required for entry into this course.


Course Completion Requirements

In order to complete this course successfully, delegates have to attend the face-to-face sessions, complete assigned activities, and complete and submit the final course assessment.



This course has been accredited by the Unit of Continuing Education of the University in accordance with the regulations of the Council of Higher Education (CHE), South Africa.

Upon meeting the requirements and successfully completing this course, you will be awarded a Certificate issued by Nelson Mandela University.

Delegates who complete their courses online or via distance learning (where applicable) will receive both a digital and hardcopy of their certificates.

A certificate of completion will be awarded to delegates who attended the course and completed the final assessment.

A certificate of attendance will be awarded to delegates who attended at least 70% of the total notional hours of the course but did not complete the final assessment.


Suggested study path

Should you wish to study more than one DALS short course, then we recommend that you complete the following:

  1. Business Writing
  2. Report Writing
  3. Professional Presentations


How to Apply

If you would like to apply, then click on the APPLY link.

See all the DALS Short Courses here.



What would you like to do?

Request more info

Apply for a course