Religious Studies

University of Cape Town

Master On Campus
24 months
3764 USD/year
1608 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Students of the Religious Studies programme at the University of Cape Town are encouraged to tailor their postgraduate degree structure so that they specialise in an area pertaining to their interest, such as a particular religion, comparative studies or a cognate topic that can be adequately supervised under the umbrella of the Department of Religious Studies.


Why to study

Religion has been central to human history and the diversity of civilisations and remains a formative and pervasive aspect of human culture and experience. The need to understand religion has never been more pressing than it is today, and at the University of Cape Town we are concerned with studying all aspects of religion, particularly in contemporary African society.

Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town takes as its subject all religions and their interaction with other aspects of life, intellectual, political and artistic. It is essentially pluralistic: committed to no particular faith but endeavouring to understand each religion in its own terms, using the tools of textual, historical, sociological and philosophical analysis.

Religion has been studied at the University of Cape Town since 1967. Grown from humble beginnings, the Department today is home to four journals, three Institutes, and has consistently maintained a post-graduate enrolment of around 70 students. The Department has made important contributions to South African society, including playing a central role in designing a new curriculum for religious education in schools.

Graduates from our department have gone on to make significant contributions to South Africa’s social and political transformation, among them Philip Dexter, formerly Executive Director of NEDLAC; N. Barney Pityana, Vice-Chancellor of UNISA; Darrel Wratten, founder and director of the Consumer Information Agency (CIA); Jannie Hofmeyer, Founder and Director of Research Surveys; and Ruben Richards, head of the Scorpions Unit in the Western Cape

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Reading Religious Texts
  • Critical Terms in Religious Studies
  • Buddhism
  • African Religious Movement
  • Issues in Contemporary Jewish Thought
  • Explorations in Islam

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines




On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  • A major in the discipline or a cognate discipline
  • Applicants with an initial qualification in another discipline may be required to complete certain courses to achieve equivalence with the requirements for a major in Religious Studies
  • Applicants with an initial qualification in the discipline other than a bachelors degree may be required to register for the extended Honours programme
Acceptance is on the recommendation of the Head of Department.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    3764 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 3764 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    1608 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1608 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • National : R 27 000
  • International fee: R 63 200


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Due for update

Updated over a year ago

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

Religious Studies
University of Cape Town


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