Centre for Applied Ethics

MPhil in Applied Ethics

Centre for Applied Ethics

MPhil in Applied Ethics

This programme is offered every second year. Applications for the 2025 intake will open in July 2024.


The Centre for Applied Ethics, in conjunction with the Department of Philosophy, offers a one-year MPhil degree in Applied Ethics. This degree programme aims to equip professionals in the fields of medicine, business, the environment, government, policy-making, IT, education, and the NGO sector with the knowledge and skills required to address the moral issues they confront in their respective fields. 

Students register for the MPhil (Applied Ethics) programme and select one of the following specialisations: Biomedical Ethics, Business Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Ethics of Artificial Intelligence or Social and Political Ethics. For information on the different specialisations, please click on the links on the right.

Teaching format

Students complete the taught component of the programme during two contact sessions of one week each: one week in the first semester and one week in the second semester. The first contact session will take place in January or February 2025, depending on the specialisation. The language of instruction is English. It is not necessary to reside in Stellenbosch in order to enrol for this programme but it is compulsory to attend the contact session.

Programme structure

Two different programme structures are offered.

The first option consists of a 90-credit elective module and a 90-credit thesis that is submitted for external examination. The taught modules are assessed by means of examinations and/or research projects.  The thesis is submitted for external examination in accordance with the regulations of Stellenbosch University. Selection for this option is at the discretion of the appropriate Unit Head. 

The second option consists of a 120-credit elective module and a 60-credit research report that is internally examined. ​ The taught modules are assessed by means of examinations and/or research projects. 

Admission requirements

In order to be considered for the MPhil programme, you must have one of the following qualifications at NQF level 8:

      • Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Ethics
      • Appropriate Honours degree
      • Appropriate Postgraduate Diploma
      • A qualification approved by Senate as equivalent
      • An MBChB degree or another health sciences qualification (for the specialisation in Biomedical Ethics), provided that this qualification incorporates, in the judgement of the Department of Philosophy, adequate proficiency in ethics or ethics-related fields.
      • An average final mark of at least 65% for the previous qualification.

Articulation with other programmes

If you are interested in this programme but do not meet the requirements, please see our Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Ethics. This diploma programme is designed to facilitate entry into the MPhil in Applied Ethics. 

Students may apply for admission into the PhD (Philosophy) or the PhD (Applied Ethics) programmes at Stellenbosch University on the basis of attainment of the MPhil (Applied Ethics) degree with an average mark of 70% plus.​ 

Admission is at the discretion of the Department of Philosophy, based on the availability of research expertise, as well as the successful submission of a doctoral proposal to the Higher Degrees Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.


For additional information, please see the following contact details: