MPHIL in Education and Training for Lifelong Learning

Facilitate learning and development

The target group for this programme is mainly educational leaders, lecturers, facilitators, and staff of public and private higher education institutions working with students to facilitate learning and development. Currently, no statutory board or professional council dictates any formal requirements concerning teaching qualifications of lecturers in Higher Education. This programme, in the interim, meets these requirements.


Admission requirements

A person will be admitted to the MPhil: Education and Training for Lifelong Learning if he/she meets the following criteria:

  • An applicable Honours degree with an average performance of 60% and be employed in an education/training environment; or
  • Any other academic-professional combination of studies equal to a Honours degree which is deemed suitable for the purpose of joining the programme and be employed in an education/training environment; or
  • Evidence that a candidate has reached a standard of competence in Education and Training for Lifelong Learning, as indicated by a process of the evaluation of prior learning, which is deemed sufficient for this purpose by the Senate.
  • A candidate must have at least two years experience of / involvement in lifelong learning or other relevant experience to be admitted to the MPhil programme.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

    The University of Stellenbosch has accepted a policy for the assessment and recognition of prior learning (RPL) on which the Centre currently draws to assess RPL applications, which is based on the premise of access rather than credit. Based on the information you provide if you do not meet the criteria for acceptance into the programme, we shall assess your application and let you know about the outcome as soon as possible. For more information about the RPL process, please contact Prof Peter Rule at

    Learning outcomes

    Except for critical/generic outcomes such as problem solving, group functioning, effective self-management, critical evaluation, effective communication and systems thinking, the programme aims at achieving the following outcomes:

  • National and international perspectives on, principles of and attitudes towards lifelong learning
  • Insight into and competence in interpretation and formulation of policy and the management of lifelong learning
  • Insight and competence in the theory and practice of lifelong learning
  • Competence in the facilitation of lifelong learning through a variety of appropriate approaches
  • Knowledge of and the ability to apply research methodologies and methods to lifelong learning as a field of study.
  • Students are required to develop and demonstrate research skills, critical thinking, reflective skills, writing skills, planning and evaluation skills, as well as the skill to integrate and apply knowledge in lifelong learning contexts.

    Structure and credit value of modules

    Module Topic Credits
    Year 1
    1 Lifelong learning : theory and practice 20
    2 Facilitation skills 20
    3 Leadership and management of lifelong learning * 10
    4 Community education * 10
    5 Continuing professional development * 10
    6 Adult basic education and training * 10
    Year 2
    7 Research in lifelong learning 10
    8 Foundations of research 10
    9 Research thesis ** 90
      Total 190

    * Three modules from 3, 4, 5 and 6 should be selected.

    ** The major part of the thesis is usually completed in the second semester of the second year of study.


    The following formative/continuous assessment techniques are applied where applicable in modules:

  • Module assignments completed within organisational/institutional context;
  • Group tasks and assignments during residential periods;
  • Learning opportunities facilitated by learners during the residential period;
  • Self-reflective learning portfolios; and
  • Demonstrations of practical applications of theories and principles such as needs assessment, programme design, facilitation, evaluation and reporting.
  • Summative assessment includes the following:

  • Demonstrations of skills and integration of knowledge by means of demonstration of learning facilitation;
  • A research project culminating in a thesis on chosen and approved focused topic in the field of study, determined and completed in consultation with an appointed supervisor.
  • Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q. Who facilitates the programme?

    The chief facilitator is Prof Peter Rule at the Centre for Higher and Adult Education, supported by Prof Liezel Frick and Prof Magda Fourie-Malherbe. Guest tutors are also used to ensure the best available expertise. The knowledge and experience of adult learners are utilised as valuable contributions to the programme.

    Q. How is the programme facilitated?

    The above-mentioned modules are presented over a period of two years using a combination of contact and electronic communication. Contact sessions (residential period) are limited to a two-week session in the first year and a one-week period in the second year (usually in January/February). Contact sessions are compulsory. Learning during the remainder of the year is facilitated through completing projects and assignments. Structured study guides and written, telephonic and electronic contact are utilised.

    Q. How can I obtain more information on the programme and application procedures?

    Should you require more information on the learning outcomes of the modules or if you would like to complete an application form, please get in touch with the Centre for Higher and Adult Education at the following address:

    The Secretary and Course Administrator - Ms Rhoda van Rensburg
    Centre for Higher and Adult Education
    Faculty of Education
    University of Stellenbosch
    Private Bag X1

    Phone: + 27 (0)21 808 2277/78/94
    Fax: +27 (0)21 808 2270

    Q. Enquiries with regard to Student Fees:

    Contact Mr Deon Immelman

    Phone: + 27 (0)21 808 4527

    Q. General information for students

    Go to Prospective Postgraduate Student website for information on application procedures, academic programmes, student fees, accommodation, student activities and other useful information for students.

    Graduates (2007-2017)

    Smit, N (2017). Exploring artisanship through workplace learning at a South African mine. Supervisor: A/Prof BL Frick.

    Bonzet, R (2017). Exploring the experiences of women in leadership positions in Western Cape Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges through a narrative approach. Supervisor: A/Prof BL Frick.

    Van Schalkwyk, R (2017). Exploring the role of ontological identity in the development of workplace literacy. A/Prof BL Frick.

    Machera, RP (2016). Student perceptions of factors influencing throughput in an Accounting programme in Botswana. Supervisor: A/Prof BL Frick.

    Muller, J (2015). Electrical engineering professionals continuing professional development needs within one South African company. Supervisor: dr BL Frick. Cum laude.

    Van Kerwel, F (2015). Persepsies van geselekteerde Universiteit Stellenbosch voorgraadse studente binne Lettere en Sosiale Wetenskappe aangaande die Woorde Open Wêrelde projek. Perceptions of selected Stellenbosch University undergraduate students in the Arts and Social Sciences on the Words Opens Worlds project. Supervisor: dr BL Frick.

    Truman, K (2014). Perceptions of small business owners on the effects of the voucher training programme offered by the Wholesale and Retail Sector, Education and Training Authority. Supervisor: dr BL Frick.

    Langeveldt, F (2013). Die erkenning van vooraf leer as 'n meganisme ter voorbereiding vir ouer volwassenes se sukses binne 'n Hoëronderwysinstelling. The recognition of prior learning as a preparatory mechanism for older adults success within a higher education institution. Supervisor: dr BL Frick.

    Van Wyk, JM (2012). The post-literacy perceptions of newly literate adult learners at a rural community learning centre. Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Supervisor: dr BL Frick.

    Adams, TB (2011). A conceptual framework for leadership development in the South African Police Service based on transformative learning theory. Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Supervisor: dr BL Frick. Cum laude.

    De Waal, H (2010). Youths predispositions to learning: Case studies within a place of safety (Western Cape, South Africa). Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Supervisor: dr BL Frick.