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Directorate of Distance
Education and Open Learning

About Us

Historical Background

The Directorate of Distance Education and Open Learning (DDEOL) previously known as Centre for Lifelong Education (CLLE) was established as a Department under the Institute of Consultancy, Applied Research and Extension Studies (ICARES) in December, 1990. Its main functions then were to run short courses, seminars, and conferences.

The need was felt for it to be autonomous due to the increasing demand for University education by the wider membership of the society. The Centre became an independent Department in January 2001 and has significantly developed offering courses ranging from Certificate to degree level programmes.

The Directorate which assumed its new name in August 2009 also engages in a variety of programmes that include seminars and workshops besides offering academic programmes through part-time face-to-face programmes and distance learning programmes as well as through affiliation of selected colleges.


To provide quality education that is accessible to the nationally dispersed clients.


To deliver quality education to meet the current and future needs of Zambia and its citizenry by :-

  1. Developing and coordinating policy, funding, planning and provision of tertiary education in consultation with stakeholders and in partnership with the other providers, local and international;
  2. Ensuring that infrastructure is of acceptable standards and that there are adequate teaching and learning materials;
  3. Attracting and sustaining a qualified, professional and motivated staff and
  4. Monitoring and evaluating educational standards.


  • To offer adequate and effective programmes geared towards meeting the needs of working adults and the ever growing population of school leavers for remedial and vocational education.
  • Organize regular on-the-job vocational and professional training for different categories of workers and professionals in order to improve and up-date their skills.
  • Offer informal schooling for those who need additional training to get into productive or self-employment.
  • To facilitate, coordinate and administer part-time programmes, short courses, distance education, external examinations, seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Identify popular courses that are in high demand and that may be offered on part-time basis and explore the possibilities of offering them in distance mode.
  • Liaise with commerce and industry on their training needs with a view to designing ‘tailor-made’ programmes to address those particular training needs.

The Dean

The Dean

Prof. Patrick Azere Phiri

B.Sc., M.Sc., (UNZA) Ph.D. (Leeds)


love knows no distance , neither does education.


About the Director

Programmes of Study

Diploma Programmes - Evening

  • Diploma in Business Administration
  • Diploma in Human Resource Management

Degree Programmes – Evening

  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management

Distance Learning Programmes

Diploma Programmes

  • Diploma in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Degree Programmes

  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing
  • Bachelor of Accountancy
  • Bachelor of Science in Banking and Finance
  • Bachelor of Science in Purchasing and Supply



To qualify for admission to a programme of study leading to a degree or diploma of the University under DDEOL, a candidate must have:

  1. Four (4) ‘0’ levels including English and Mathematics for the Diplomas in Business Administration and Human Resource Management
  2. Four (4) ‘0’ levels including English and Mathematics, Primary School Certificate and two years teaching practice for the Diploma in Mathematics and Science Teaching
  3. A CBU Diploma in either Business Administration or Human Resource Management to enter the 3rd year of (BHRM). Appropriate Diploma qualifications may be used for exemption consideration
  4. Five (5) ‘0’ levels including English and Mathematics for all Degree programmes

Rules & Regulations


Exemptions may be granted to a student in courses that have been studied and passed in this University or any other recognized institutions, subject to the approval of Senate. The exemption fee is as current Senate fees list. All applications are to be received not later than one month after registration.

Change of Programme

A Student who, having completed registration process, wishes to change his course of study, may apply to the Director – DDEOL.


A two-tier system of evaluation is followed whereby proportionate weightage is given as follows:

  • Final Examination - 60%
  • Continuous Assessment - 40%
  1. Continuous Assessment of a student will be done through quizzes, assignments, tests and any other exercises to be determined by the respective Lecturers.
  2. A student who fails to satisfy the requirements for Continuous Assessment shall not be allowed to sit for the sessional examinations.
  3. A Lecturer is mandated to bar a student from writing the final examination if that student’s continuous assessment is deemed unsatisfactory or the attendance was inadequate (i.e. less than 80%).

Assesment Grades

In assessing the performance of a candidate in a course, the Examiners shall:

  1. Take into consideration the work done by the candidate during the year along with performance in the examination.
  2. Give due weight to a report on practical work done by the candidate, wherever these are required.
  3. Where oral work is required for a course or subject, unless otherwise provided, a pass in it shall be necessary.

There shall be grade codes as set out below:

A+ Distinction
A Distinction
B+ Meritorious
B Very Satisfactory
C+ Clear Pass
C Bare Pass
D+ Bare Fail
D Fail
P Compensatory Pass
NE No Examination Taken
LT Left Without Permission
DQ Disqualified
WP Withdrew with Permission

The following marking scheme is used for grading student performance :

Diploma (Mathematics and Science Teaching)

Marks % Grade Description
90 - 100 % A+ Distinction
85 – 89 % A Distinction
80 – 84 % B+ Meritorious
70 – 79 % B Very Satisfactory
60 – 69 % C+ Definite Pass
50 – 59 % C Bare Pass
40 – 49 % D+ Bare Fail
0 - 39 % D Fail
WP Withdraw with Permission
NE No Examination Taken
EX Exempted
DEF Deferred

Other Diploma Programmes

Marks % Grade Description
86 - 100 % A+ Distinction
76 – 85 % A Distinction
68 – 75 % B+ Meritorious
62 – 67 % B Very Satisfactory
56 – 61 % C+ Definite Pass
50 – 55 % C Bare Pass
40 – 49 % D+ Bare Fail
0 – 39 % D Fail
WP Withdraw with Permission
NE No Examination Taken
LT Left Without Permission
EX Deferred
DEF Deferred

Degree Programmes

Marks % Grade Description
86 - 100 % A+ Distinction
76 – 85 % A Distinction
68 – 75 % B+ Meritorious
62 – 67 % B Very Satisfactory
56 – 61 % C+ Definite Pass
50 – 55 % C Bare Pass
40 – 49 % D+ Bare Fail
0 – 39 % D Fail
WP Withdraw with Permission
NE No Examination Taken
LT Left Without Permission
EX Deferred
DEF Deferred

Progression Rules

  1. To proceed to the next year of study, a candidate must pass ALL the courses taken during the academic year of study.
  2. The Board of Studies may permit a candidate who has failed in no more than one (1) course to proceed and repeat the failed course along with the full load for the subsequent year; except where the failed course is a pre-requisite to a higher course in which case the candidate shall not be allowed to take the higher course for that year
  3. To complete a course a candidate shall :
    1. attend at least 80% of such classes, tutorials, practical exercise or field work as may be prescribed by the Board of Studies in consultation with the Lecturer concerned.
    2. perform to the satisfaction of the Board of Studies such prescribed practicals, written and other course work as shall be required.
    3. obtain an overall Pass grade in the course.

Compensatory Pass

A student who fails in a course with a D+ shall be granted a pass, P , in the failed course subject to the following conditions:

  1. A candidate should not have failed in more than two (2) courses in an academic year.
  2. A candidate should not have failed in more than one (1) course in an academic year of three courses.
  3. A candidate should be doing more than two (2) courses in an academic year.
  4. A candidate should have passed (S) in the Continuous Assessment component of the course being considered for a compensatory pass.
  5. If on full time study, the candidate must have obtained an average grade of C+ or better in (X – 2) number of courses passed, where X stands for the full load of courses in that particular year.
  6. If on part time study, the candidate must have obtained an average grade of C+ or better in the courses passed.
  7. Up to a maximum of two (2) compensatory passes may be given to a candidate in any particular year.


No student will be excluded from any programme under the Directorate of Distance Education and Open Learning.

Repeat Course

Subject to regulations governing progression, all courses failed with D+ and D must be repeated.

Deferred Examinations

  1. A candidate, who through illness or other reasonable cause is unable to present himself/herself for an examination, sessional or otherwise, may make an application to the Directorate for the consideration of his/her case. Such application shall be forwarded to the Director before commencement of sessional examinations. It should be noted that misreading the examination time-table and pressure of work shall not be considered reasonable cause. The said unwritten examination shall be written at the next set of sessional examinations.
  2. The Director after consideration of any application may permit the applicant to present himself/herself at a deferred examination. The results of a deferred examination shall be treated in a similar manner as those obtained at scheduled sessional examinations.

Minimum Duration for Programmes

Diploma : 3 years
Degree : 5 years


To graduate, a student must successfully complete ALL required courses in the programme or be exempted there from.

Classification of the Qualification

Grade of Degree

The Bachelor’s degree shall be classified as Distinction , Merit , Credit or Pass .

Calculation of the Grade of Degree

  1. In calculating the grade of Bachelor’s degree the following shall be applied for the grades obtained in the fourth and fifth years   :  
    Full Courses Half Courses
    A+ - 5 A+ - 2.5
    A - 4 A - 2.0
    B+ - 3 B+ - 1.5
    B - 2 B - 1.0
    C+ - 1 C+ - 0.5
    C - 0 C - 0
  2. The points classification of the bachelor’s degree shall be taken in the last two (2) years as follows:
    1. Business Administration/Marketing
      Where there are 12 courses
      Distinction 42.5 and above
      Merit 30.5 - 42
      Credit 18.5 - 30
      Pass 0 – 18
    2. Human Resource Management
      Where there are 9 courses
      Distinction 35.5 and above
      Merit 25.5 – 35
      Credit 15.5 – 25
      Pass 0 – 15


  1. No student shall register for courses for which he/she does not have the necessary pre-requisites.
  2. A student shall not change his/her course enrolment or programme without the written approval of the Director. A student wishing to change courses or programmes of study is required to apply to the Director within three weeks of the commencement of the academic session.
  3. A student who wishes to interrupt his/her course of study shall seek leave of absence by giving written notice addressed to the Director. The Board of Studies or the Director acting on its behalf shall grant permission of withdrawal in writing if upon investigation, there is good cause.
  4. Except with the express permission of Senate, a student who without permission withdraws from his course of study shall be barred from further studies at the Directorate.
  5. Appeals from the decisions of the Director or Board of Studies shall lie to the Senate.
  6. A copy of the current examination regulations is given to each candidate before the commencement of sessional examinations.


Students are encouraged to timely communicate to the Directorate issues of withdrawal, incapacitation and other situations with a bearing on the studies. This is important as no authorization will be granted in retrospect in regard to any request.

The Bachelor's Degrees Through Distance Learning

This handbook has been written to provide practical information about degree programmes as well as an introduction to study skill.

The Distance Learning materials cover a range of topics and provide sufficient information to enable a student pass his or her courses, though resource persons at the Copperbelt University do encourage students to do further background research and reading and to draw on their own professional experience when working through the course.

Studying for a degree by Distance Learning is a managerial experience in itself. It is not intended to be a puzzle, but require a student to develop certain skills such as time management, collecting and organizing your own notes, producing a regular output of written work and assimilating your lecturer’s feedback on your assignments in a positive and productive manner.

The advantages of Distance Learning include the fact that you work at your own pace, the course is flexible, it breaks down the traditional barriers of location, inflexible schedules and impractical deadlines. Distance Learning gives you access to learning materials in your home or place of work.

We hope that you will find this guide useful, and welcome any suggestions you have about improving the content to better suit your needs. We wish you well as you proceed through the course.

The Way Programmes Work

Resource Persons

There are specialist resource persons at CBU who are responsible for overseeing each course on the programme. The specialists are engaged in the preparation of learning materials as well as marking assignments.


Students are requested to address all their correspondence to the address below:

Submission of Assignments

Assignments must be typed in double spacing and a 40mm margin on the left-hand side of the page for marker’s comments.

In addition, we ask you to keep a copy of your assignment and proof of posting – as a safeguard against it getting lost in the post.

Your assignments are always returned to you by express mail, ensuring a prompt return. We work on the principle that your work should be returned to you within 21 days of us receiving it. A copy of the feedback form is retained in your personal file and the mark awarded is recorded.

At the beginning of each study pack, you will be issued with a number of Assignment Forms. We require you to complete one form for each assignment and attach it to the front of your work before submitting it for marking.

Assignments are your responsibility. If an assignment is not received by the due date, it will be considered to be late or a non-submission and a lecturer may not mark it. Plagiarism and cheating – Representation of another’s work or ideas as one’s own without appropriate acknowledgement or referencing, where the owner of the work knows of the situation and both work towards the deceit of a third party, will lead to disqualification in the course.

Marking System

While it is impossible to ensure complete uniformity of marking because it is a somewhat subjective process, all resource persons at CBU are aware that reasonable consistency is important to the students.

The marking system is standardized as far as possible and linked to the examination marking system, helping you to evaluate your progress and your readiness for an examination.

Below are some of the considerations which Lecturers will take into account when marking your assignments:

  1. Your interpretation of and critical use of course material and examples based on your own experience are more important than the straight recapitulation of notes. Length of an assignment is less important than evidence of clear understanding and a relevant and focused response.
  2. The fact that students come from different backgrounds means that standards of literacy will vary. Surely a poor standard of literacy will hinder the intelligibility of the paper, thus affecting the grade. However, the lecturers are concerned with the structure of the submission and due allowance is made for literacy problems when marking.
  3. Originality of thought and analysis are more important than a catalogue of facts. Where an assignment sufficiently demonstrates original thought and analysis, the capacity for critical judgment and the ability to use ideas to illuminate the student’s own experience, it is deserving of an A grade.
  4. Where the application of analytical techniques forms part of assignment (for example, in accounting and quantitative subjects), appropriate weight is given to competence in this area.
  5. Examiners may require a student to submit her/himself for oral examination on any course.

Residential School

A seven-week residential school is designed to avail ‘Distance Learning’ students the opportunity to meet their Lecturers and discuss the courses, as well as to meet other students and share experiences. A typical day of the residential school would consist of short lectures, question and answer sessions, and case study exercises in teams and group presentations.

In the main, the residential school assists the students to revise and prepare for sessional examinations.

Tentatively the residential school will run as outlined on the Distance Learning Calendar.


Research & Projects

Linkages & Partnerships


The following Institutions have been affiliated to CBU through the Directorate :

  • Zambia Institute of Business Studies and Industrial Practice (ZIBSIP) in Kitwe for Diploma in Business Administration
  • Zambia College of Open Learning (ZAMCOL) – Solwezi
  • Immaculata Visitation Teacher’s College – Kabwe
  • Zambia Information and Communications Technology College (ZICTC) of Ndola for Diploma in Business Administration, Diploma in Human Resource Management and Diploma in Marketing

Co-operation With Outside Bodies

The Directorate of Distance Learning and Open Learning (DDEOL) co-operates with various international examining bodies by offering accommodation and invigilation services twice a year – May/June and November/December. These are :

  • Association of Business Executives (ABE)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA)
  • Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS)
  • College of Estate Management (UK)
  • University of New England (Australia)(UNE)




Academic and Administrative Staff

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Phiri, P.A. (Prof.) , BSc, MSc (UNZA), PhD (Leeds)

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Coordinator ( Academic Programmes )

Mapala, Wezzy , Dip. ED (Nkrumah/UNZA), B.A.ED (UNZA), MBA (CBU)

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Assistant Registrar

Nondo, B.J. (Mrs) , , Cert. Computer Programming & Dbase IV, Dip.HRM (CBU), BA HRM (CBU), MAHRM (CBU)

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Assistant Registrar

Mate Kufanga , BA (UNZA)

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Management Secretary

Mubiana, Tabo Ing’utu (Ms) , Cert. Data Programming & Dbase IV, Advanced Dip.Secretarial Management Development

Calendar & Resources



The Director Directorate for Distance Education and Open Learning Copperbelt University P.O. Box 21692 KITWE


Email :