How to apply:

Before applying please read this step-by-step guide that will help you to complete all sections of your application successfully.

How to apply for this MPhil programme

Step one: Explore your options, interests and availability of time.

  • The programme is full-time. Check your calendar, make sure you are able to set aside at least 20 hours a week to read, research, write and attend all courses, as well as fulfil all Stellenbosch University and OCRPL’s requirements.
  • If you are a full-time church leader or a teacher, please first talk to your organization, make sure they support you and are willing to reduce your workload so you can focus on your studies.

Step two: check your qualifications:

  • Must have an Honours degree in theology (four years)
  • Or a BA and PG Diploma/MDiv.
  • If your degrees are in languages other than English, please first improve your English and gain a language qualification before applying for the MPhil programme. Alternatively, you may provide us a sample of your academic writing skills.

Step three: write a one page letter addressing the questions below:

  • Why you plan to do an MPhil in Religion and Culture focusing on Islam (your interest).
  • How an MPhil degree is going to help you.
  • What your plans are after finishing your degree.

Step four: in order to demonstrate your academic ability, please write a short academic essay on a topic of your choice (please do focus on Islam) – no more than 2000 words.

Step Five: make sure you have enough funds for your study and living costs as well as the cost of possible residential seminar. (At the moment, because of the pandemic, residential seminars are not required.)

  • List your expenses including university tuition fees.
  • List your supporters and their financial contributions including your own contribution.
  • Please note that you can apply for financial support from Barnabas Fund. You will need to use a separate application form.
  • Barnabas Fund provides up to 50% of tuition fees to those in need of financial help. In some circumstances, they may provide 75% of tuition fees.

Step six: if you need more information before applying please write to Dr Sara Afshari at


Registration:    15 April 2021, Ends: 20th May 2021

Semester 1: Starts 1st June 2021 – Ends 31 Nov 2021

Semesters 2 & 3: Start Jan 2022 – Ends 20th Dec 2022

Semester 4:  starts Jan 2023 – Ends 30th June 2023