Applying to GPISH

Please note that applications for the GPISH 2024 cycle, with entry in 2021, will open shortly. Please revisit the GPISH webpage for more information soon. 


Application and Admissions Procedure

Entry Requirements

  • A completed first degree of good standing from an accredited university, equivalent to a British Bachelor’s degree.
  • An acceptable level of English language proficiency. The minimum requirement is an overall band score of 6.5 in the IELTS for UKVI (Academic) qualification, and a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-score. Please note the IELTS for UKVI (Academic) is the only test we can accept. We will not accept IELTS Academic as this is a different test. Please see the Tier 4 requirement below for exemptions.
  • The GPISH programme has been developed to meet the specific human resource needs of the Ismaili community; therefore, candidates are recruited from the Ismaili community only. It is essential that candidates can demonstrate engagement at a professional or voluntary level with the Aga Khaninfo-icon network of institutions.

All students applying to GPISH or STEP need to prove English competency according to IELTS. For more information, please read the pdf below.


  • Exposure to the academic study of Islam, the social sciences or the humanities is desirable.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed and will be required to sit a written examination.
  • Interviews are intended to ascertain intellectual breadth, analytical skills, and an interest in issues relating to the study of Muslim societies.
  • We welcome applicants from all academic backgrounds, but all applicants must be able to demonstrate a serious and motivated informed interest in studying Islamic studies and humanities.

Tier 4 Student Visa Requirement

  • You will be required to take an English language test unless you are a national of an English-majority speaking country (as defined by UKVI ) or have completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree taught in the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. If you are a national of Canada you are also exempt from taking the test. If you have completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Canada and are not a Canadian national you will be required to take the test.
  • Please note that UKVI limits how long a student may spend in the UK studying at degree level (and above) to a total of 5 years. This may affect your application if you have already studied in the UK. Please promptly notify Student Services if you have any queries in this regard. For further information please visit the UKVI website.
  • Statement of Comparability, for students who are not nationals of the above countries but hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from one of these countries, you will be required to provide a statement of comparability from UK NARIC. Please check UK NARIC for further information.


GPISH is a fully-funded scholarship programme. Successful applicants receive housing, as well as a living allowance for the duration of the programme Programme-related fees and travel costs are also covered. Students who wish to contribute to their fees may make an unconditional donation to the IIS via the Aga Khan Foundation office in their country of residence.

How to Apply

To request a full GPISH application pack please complete the pre-application form.

The application closing date is 10 January 2020.  

The Institute of Ismaili Studies is a registered charity. For our higher education teaching and learning provision, we are registered with the Office for Students (OfS), the independent regulator of higher education in England, and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), the independent student complaints scheme for England and Wales.

Please note: Admission to GPISH does not guarantee admission to a degree-granting university for the third year of study. While staff are on hand to advise, students are fully responsible for gaining their third-year admission.