Master of Philosophy in Arts for 2024

Why study the Master of Philosophy in Arts?

If you would like to hone your specialist skills and research their application in communications and media, criminal justice and criminology, international studies, philosophy or sociology, the purpose-built Master of Philosophy in Arts (MPhil Arts) offered at IIE MSA is just what you’re looking for.

As part of this programme you will be teamed with a leading researcher who will act as your supervisor and sounding board while you undertake your research study and write your thesis.  This is a research degree enabling students to tailor their topic to speak directly to their own interests.

Research degrees build skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, statistics and data management, knowledge transfer and effective leadership.

The aim of postgraduate research at IIE MSA is:

  • To create an environment that values, supports and nurtures future research and development leaders.
  • To expand a broad range of disciplines in 10 faculties and over 36 specialist research centres and institutes to serve the African content.
  • To provide South African and African students access to generous scholarships, grants and funding opportunities.
  • To expand the world-class level of academic and technical expertise to enhance the research experience.

Who is the Master of Philosophy in Arts aimed at?

The purpose of a Master’s Degree is to educate and train researchers who can contribute to the development of knowledge at an advanced level or prepare graduates for advanced and specialised professional employment.

The successful student will be able to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements using data and information at his/her disposal, and communicate conclusions clearly. Students will be able to demonstrate self-directed learning and originality in tackling and solving problems, act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level, and continue to advance own knowledge, understanding, and skills.

Successful completion of this programme leads to an IIE qualification.

Career Opportunities

Graduates may work in the public, private, or non-profit sectors, and take on roles like policy making and implementation, management, education and teaching, public health management, or research.


2 years full-time
4 years part-time


Accredited by the CHE. Registration: NQF Level 9, SAQA ID 79306

Programme code:


Discuss your study options with a Student Advisor

Throughout the year

  • On-campus at IIE MSA : part-time
  • On-campus at IIE MSA : full-time

Entry requirements

Minimum Admission Requirements

An appropriate HEQSF Level 8 Honours degree; OR                                                                                                                                 
A relevant Postgraduate Diploma or appropriate equivalent; OR                                                                                                          
An appropriate Level 8 Bachelor’s Degree (480 credits) may also be recognised as meeting the minimum entry requirements to a cognate Master’s Degree programme.

An overall qualification average of at least 65% is required, normally 

Additional Notes:

Please Note:

Applicants must clearly indicate upon admission in the Statement of Intent the core discipline they would like to focus on and provide evidence of having the relevant NQF8 background on these disciplines. The disciplines are:

  • Communication and media studies.
  • Criminal justice and criminology.
  • International studies.
  • Geography and environmental studies.
  • Philosophy.
  • Sociology.
  • Psychology

If an applicant meets the above requirements, registration is subject to faculty supervisory capacity.
The applicant has the right to request a written reason for any refused admission and may appeal to the Research and Postgraduate Committee in writing.
If the Research and Postgraduate Committee upholds the refusal, the decision is final. The candidate may re-apply in the following academic year if they have been able to address the issues concerned and The IIE may invite the candidate to reapply if a suitable supervisor is employed.

Please note, requirements for entry to this qualification are correct at the time of publication. However, these may change.

English proficiency requirements must be met.


Apply now

Entry requirements

International Students

A SAQA NQF L8 Evaluation Certificate in an appropriate field.

All applicants who are eligible for admission to the Master of Philosophy in Arts degree are required to register for the Research Proposal Development Programme (SRPW0001). Successful completion of the Research Proposal Development Programme requires of applicants to complete and present a Research Proposal for approval at the Higher Degrees Committee. In order to register for the Research Proposal Development Programme, applicants develop and submit a relevant Statement of Intent for review and acceptance into the programme.

Please note, requirements for entry to this qualification are correct at the time of publication. However, these may change.

Please note English proficiency requirements must be met.


Apply now

Study areas for Master of Philosophy in Arts


The last decade has been one of unprecedented change in communications and media content, forms, technology and policy with wide-ranging implications for business, politics, public administration and everyday life. The graduate program in communications and media studies examines these developments from a historical, political and theoretical perspective and seeks to further students' understanding of communications and media systems both locally and globally.


When you consider it away from the glamour of books, movies, television programmes and sensational media coverage, crime is revealed to be both a fascinating and incredibly complex subject.

If you have an interest in deviance, conflict, crime, victimisation, society and the need for creating and maintaining safety then a major research piece in criminology and criminal justice is for you.

You may choose to focus your research on the forms of crime that can have a significant negative impact on society, the economy and the environment, or you might propose new ways to deal with crime, conflict and victimisation.


As the world globalises and nations and economies become more integrated, understanding our world and the ideas and beliefs of our neighbours is vital. International studies criss-crosses history, politics, international relations, sociology and economics. It starts by looking at the history of the 20th century and then moves to the issues facing our world as we move into the 21st century. Students can also pursue studies in one of two streams: Asian studies; European studies.


What sorts of things exist in the world and how are they related? How are the mind and matter related? Philosophy raises questions such as these about the basic assumptions of every form of human inquiry - and attempts to find the answers. Students explore the notions of logic, critical reasoning, and both personal and professional ethics.


Psychology draws on a range of phenomena including remembering and forgetting, thinking, learning, problem solving, how we communicate, our emotions, and our social interactions. It allows us to examine how we respond to the world around us, providing valuable insights in how we can interact with the world more effectively and safely.


Sociology explores people and the relationships that they have in different contexts such as families, schools and workplaces. Sociologists look to things like social class, gender, ethnicity, power and culture to understand and explain the differences in how people live, think and feel. Students can also pursue studies in a Gender Studies stream.