Postgraduate Certificate in Islamic Studies (Bridge to MA)

> Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

No. English language certification is not a requirement for any of the IOU programs. However, you should be aware that English is the medium of instruction for the entire program and you need to have a good command over the language to enroll into the program. You must display the ability to communicate effectively in terms of reading, writing and speaking fluently in English. This is vital for your success as a university student.

Yes, these uncommon courses will appear on the student's permanent academic record with the final course mark and noted as "Additional Courses". However, they are not included in calculating the student's Grade Point Average and do not count towards the degree, diploma or certificate credit.

Alhamdulillah, in order to make the process easy for students, IOU has decided to undertake the translation for some languages. Please verify with the IOU admin to ensure we have a translator for the language your certificate is in. If we do not have one, your non-English transcripts of the high school certificate must be fully translated into English and authorized by a notary. You must also send an authorized notary copy of the original transcript with the translated copy. The copy of the translated notarized copy should be uploaded during the online registration process.
The course content is explained very clearly with the help of lectures recorded by the instructors and supplementary recorded sessions conducted by the tutorial assistants. Students can contact the teachers for any clarifications or doubts by phone or email. Although the study is simplified as much as possible, it is preferable that you register for a free diploma course HERE and try to do at least one diploma course. If you are able to understand the lectures and texts here, Insha'Allah you will be able to study Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS).

Please note that If you realize later that you are not capable of understanding the courses being taught and need to drop out from the program, then no refund of fees will be possible due to the modest amount being charged. Therefore, we request that you proceed to make your payment only after careful consideration.
The IOU BAIS students who have Bachelors degrees in other fields and have completed some or all of the 16 core BAIS courses which are taught under the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) may apply for Internal Credit for the completed courses and after approval they may apply for admission into the MAIS program if they have completed all 16 courses taught under the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS). If there are any courses to be completed then they may complete them by changing the stream to Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) after the CT approval. A modest stream change fee will be applicable for this. Please contact the administration for details.
However, we suggest that the BAIS students complete all the 48 BAIS courses before moving to MAIS so that they may benefit from the other BAIS courses which are not taught under MAIS.
No. Course waiver is not applicable to Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS).
There is no fee charged by IOU separately for examinations. Students only need to pay a modest semester registration fee before enrolling into the semester. This depends on the country of residence of the student. Please click here to see the fees for your country. However, students will have to pay any associated fees to the exam center, if the center administrator/manager demands it (usually the centers do not ask for any fees).
Module tests and Midterm exams can be taken anywhere,within the prescribed time. The final exams must be taken only in an IOU approved exam center. There are several designated IOU centers present across the globe. You may look for a center near your city, prior to the start of semester exams, and register for it. If there is not an IOU approved exam center nearby, you can suggest an exam center and we will approve it even if you are the only student taking exams there, Insha’Allah. Please read the exam center requirements here
Alhamdulillaah, just like the the IOU BAIS, the Bridge Diploma for MAIS is also completely tuition free program. There is a very modest registration fee charged per semester.

Please see here for details

Click here and select your country of residence to see the course fee

This is the only MODEST fee we charge per semester. The course is completely tuition free and the course material is also provided free of cost. Plus, there is an E-Library provided as a study aid for the Bridge Diploma for MAIS students.

For first time registrations (new students): No matter when the semester is scheduled to start, once you complete the payment procedure you will be given access to the lessons taught in the first semester, Insha'Allah.

Registration is open all year round though we advise you to register right away. You will be able to register in the current semester if the deadline has not passed. If the deadline has passed, you will be registered for the following semester and you may enroll into courses via the early enrollment system.

The deadlines of registration are broadly divided into three categories:

Early Registration Period:
Spring: beginning of October to mid-February
Fall: beginning of April to mid-August

Regular Registration Period:
Spring: mid-February to mid-March
Fall: mid-August to mid-September

Late Registration Period:
Spring: mid-March to end of March
Fall: mid-September to end of September

Registered students will be sent the exact dates of each semester a couple of weeks before the semester starts.

The International Open University offers two terms each year.

Spring Semester - March to July

Fall Semester - September to January

The exact dates for the enrollment during the regular period, which is at the beginning of the semester, are announced on the site news before the semester begins. The early enrollment for those who want to enroll during the non-regular period can be accessed via this link.


Upon the completion of the 3 registration steps and the payment of the fees included, you will receive an email with the enrollment instructions a few days before the start of the semester during the regular enrollment period. If you have completed the registration before or after the regular enrollment period, you may enroll via the early enrollment system by visiting this link. Please note that you have only two attempts to enroll. Therefore, you should choose your courses carefully. IOU Staff will be able to help you, but only if there is a genuine reason.
The International Open University is an "online educational resource". The entire program is taught online via internet. Anyone from any part of the world can join easily and benefit from it, Insha'Allah.

IOU Admissions are open throughout the year. You will be enrolled into the present semester,if the enrollments for it are open. In case the enrollments have closed for the present semester, you will be accepted for the next semester. Insha’Allah.

The registration form is available here:

Please select the stream Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS)

You will get a reply from the registrar regarding your admission confirmation and fee payment details in a few days, Insha'Allah.

Before you start the registration process, make sure you have the required document scans (a scan of your degree certificate, a recent color photograph, a scan of your passport of national ID card) ready on your PC

Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) comprises the core courses of the IOU BAIS program, it is taught on the same campus/learning area as that of the BAIS so that the students can follow the same study patterns and have a similar learning experience.
No. And we do not recommend this under any circumstances. The maximum number of courses a full time student is allowed to take is 8. It will not be possible for a student to concentrate and fully understand the concepts if he or she takes more than 8 courses. A student has to devote approximately 3 to 4 hours per course, per week, to understand the concepts well. This will not be possible by taking more than 8 courses. Plus, a well-researched assignment for every course has to be submitted as part of the examinations.
Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) is a 1 and a half year program (3 semesters - 6 courses in the first semester and 5 courses in the second and third semester) which may be completed in a maximum of four and a half years (nine semesters).
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements but would like to study the courses taught under Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) without doing the complete BAIS program may join the IOU Advanced Diploma stream and enroll in these courses.

Please click here for more details

The minimum requirements for the admission into the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) program are:
(1) Graduation in any field other than Islamic Studies.
(2) Post Graduation or above in any field other than Islamic Studies.
(3) Graduation/Post Graduation in Islamic Studies, for those who want to enhance their understanding of the courses and familiarize themselves with the IOU study patterns before the IOU MAIS begins, Insha’Allah


Yes, the Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) is an accredited program. Students who successfully complete BMAIS will be given a certificate.
There are three options for graduates of the BMAIS program:

  • Students are automatically eligible for the IOU MAIS degree program the following semester.
  • Students may join the MAIS degree program later if they choose to take some time off.
  • Students may follow the MAIS program with any other institution of their choice.

For more information click here.

It is recommended that the IOU students try to have a high speed internet connection to make the best use of all the services. However, if a student is unable to obtain a high speed connection, we have audio and video lectures available which can be downloaded and saved to listen or watch later.
The International Open University is an "online educational resource". All the IOU programs are taught online via the internet. Anyone from any part of the world who has access to a computer and a high speed internet connection may join easily and benefit from it, Insha'Allah
The IOU Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) is an intensive program that consists of 16 core courses of the IOU BAIS program. The complete knowledge of these 16 courses is a pre-requisite to join the IOU MAIS program. Therefore, students who have a Bachelor's degree in fields other than Islamic studies and would like to do IOU's MAIS may join the IOU Higher Diploma (Bridge to MAIS) and upon completion be eligible to join the IOU MAIS.

We cannot claim that ALL universities will accept IOU's degrees, as it each country has its own practices and standards for recognition of university credits and studies, accreditation and/or recognition of prior learning (RPL). As such, IOU can only focuss on meeting requirements for registration, accreditation and endorsement in our host countries. Through international higher education conventions, a registered and accredited university of a particularly country is recognized globally, however, some countries and universities may reserve the right not to recognize another’s qualifications - which is completely beyond the control of the degree-issuing university. The Islamic Online University (now renamed to the ‘International Open University – The Gambia’) is fully registered and accredited with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education in the Somali Federal Republic. Our newly-relocated head offices are in The Gambia. We are registered with the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) of Gambia and awaiting finalization of our institutional accreditation. The ‘Islamic Online University’ also holds provisional registration with the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) in Malawi. We have multiple satellite campuses in various countries world-wide that operate under the registration and accreditation obtained in our host countries (Somali Federal Republic, The Gambia, and Malawi). Whilst every effort is made to fulfill, meet and maintain registration and accreditation requirements in our host countries; as per international practice, the recognition of IOU-issued qualifications in non-host countries is at the discretion of their relevant national councils, that have diverse criteria for accepting foreign qualifications. As such, we encourage all our students not residing in our host countries to validate the recognition of the qualification with their national authorities. IOU is governed by the regulations and quality assurance practices and policies of our host countries.

While it is quite difficult to keep track of this, we have been notified of some of our graduates pursuing postgraduate studies in Indonesia and Gambia.

IOU is registered and accredited in Somalia. This was the first country in which IOU received full registration and accreditation. IOU then subsequently applied for registration in Gambia and has established a headquarters there. The finalization of registration is underway in The Gambia. We hope to conclude the finalization soon, In sha Allah. IOU also has provisional registration by the National Council of Higher Education in Malawi. We are also busy with the finalization of registration in Malawi currently. Once full registration is granted in Gambia and Malawi, IOU will then shift completely over to their systems and legislation.

The onus lies with the applicant seeking credit transfer externally to apply using the standard IOU-issued documents. In the motivation of the application, the student may naturally refer to an MoU in place.
The other university will follow their procedures to determine the validity and scope of the MoU. If the MoU explicitly cites credit transfer/recognition, then the applicant should not face challenges.
However, there are instances where admissions departments of partner universities might not grant credit transfer of some/all courses because the MoU might not have been intended for the purpose of credit transfer, or there could have been changes to syllabi that prevents credit transfer, as courses between IOU and partner university are no longer aligned.
It would be best to check the conditions of the MoU in place with the specific partner university to explore its scope.

The maximum duration allowed for completing the accredited BMAIS program is 4 years and 6 months.
If a student exceeds the allotted time duration without completing the required number of courses, then he/she will need to repeat their oldest courses which were taken before the maximum time period allowed.

The National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) has granted the International Open University a three year Provisional License to operate as a higher education institution in The Gambia effective 29 April, 2019. This license also serves as an institutional accreditation of International Open University, the Gambia, by National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority.

Moreover, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology has granted to the International Open University a license to operate an online university in The Gambia with effect from May 13, 2014.

For more information about accreditation click on the given link

There is no fee charged for course materials, which consists of a PDF file. Flash videos and mp3 audios are available for online streaming as well as for download. We also provide an E-Library for students free of charge. If a student wishes to purchase hard copies of the required texts, they may do so from external sources.

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