What is Hawza Online?

Hawza Online is a not-for-profit education initiative that offers high-quality, flexible programmes in Hawza Studies and classical Arabic. The programmes combine the rich heritage of classical Shi‘i scholarship with the latest online learning and teaching methods.

Why should I study at Hawza Online?

Hawza Online offers seekers of knowledge and spirituality the opportunity to deeply understand the traditional Islamic sciences and enhance their spiritual development. From the comfort of their homes, students learn from hugely experienced scholars via a state-of-the-art platform at a pace that suits them.

Who are the teachers?

We are honoured to have expert teachers join us at Hawza Online. Our team of Academic Staff includes well-known scholars who have completed advanced hawza and university studies and have decades of teaching experience. Our list of teachers is growing all the time; click here to see our Academic Staff to date.

Does this hawza have the blessing of marja’iyyah?

Absolutely! Click here to see the message of thanks and support from His Eminence Sayyid Ali Husayni Sistani (may Allah protect our scholars) to Hawza Online.

What programmes do you run?

We run two programmes: Hawza Studies and Arabic.

How flexible are the programmes?

We appreciate that trying to fit a new programme of study into a busy lifestyle is challenging. This is why we have kept our courses very flexible. You can study at a pace that suits you.

How does the credit system work?

Students accumulate credits as they complete modules. Each module is worth 10 or 20 credits or 40 credits, depending on the number of hours required to complete them. There are 440 credits in total: 80 credits for the Arabic programme, and 360 credits for the Hawza Studies programme.

Do you give any certificates at the end of the programmes?

Yes. Upon completion of both the Arabic and Hawza Studies programmes (i.e. all 440 credits), you qualify for a Certificate; and on completion of 220 credits, you qualify for a Diploma.

In a nutshell, what’s the difference between Certificate, Diploma, and Non-award?

The differences are as follows:


  • Half the price
  • You can apply for a scholarship.
  • You get 1st priority in terms of getting a place on a course if it is oversubscribed.
  • You must do Arabic before or alongside Hawza modules. An exception is made for students joining for the first time in Semester 2 (February). Such students must take Arabic in the following September, i.e. in Semester 1 of the new academic year. This is because the Arabic course can only be started in Semester 1.
  • You need to complete both the Arabic and Hawza programmes (440 credits) to get the Certificate.



  • Full price
  • You cannot apply for a scholarship.
  • You get 2nd priority in terms of getting a place on a course if it is oversubscribed.
  • You do not have to do Arabic (but can if you want to).
  • You only need 220 credits to get the Diploma.



  • Full price
  • You cannot apply for a scholarship.
  • You get 3rd priority in terms of getting a place on a course if it is oversubscribed.
  • You do not have to do Arabic (but can if you want to).
  • You take individual modules as stand-alone courses.
How is the Hawza Studies Programme delivered?

The Hawza Studies Programme is delivered through a combination of pre-recorded lectures and live tutorials. The programme consists of over 20 modules.

The flexible nature of our programme means that you do not have to take all the modules that are offered in each semester. Whether you do the Certificate, Diploma, or Non-award, you can take up to 60 credits each semester (excluding Arabic) and progress through the course at a pace that suits you.

Click here for more information about the programme.

How much time should I put aside for the Hawza Studies modules?

On average, with everything put together (lectures, tutorials, private study, and assessment):

  • Each 10-credit module will require approximately 5 hours a week.
  • Each 20-credit module will require approximately 10 hours a week.
How is the Arabic Programme delivered?

All the Arabic lessons are live and highly interactive.

There are 2 levels. Students choose either to study 8 hours a week and complete both levels in 1 year; or, they can study 4 hours a week and complete the 2 levels over 2 years.

We are unable to accommodate students who wish to do the Arabic programme on its own (i.e. without intending to do any Hawza modules alongside or after doing the Arabic Programme). Therefore, students wishing to apply for the Arabic Programme must have the intention to do some Hawza modules.

Click here for more information about the programme.

What are the timings for the live Arabic lessons?

We have several options for the Arabic lessons for you to choose from. These options will be sent to you once we have processed your application.

How will I be assessed?

A variety of assessment methods are used in our programmes; these include essays, debates, open-book exams, tests, presentations, and quizzes.

How long are the programmes?

The flexible nature of our programmes allows students to study at a pace that suits them.

On average, students will take 1-2 years to complete the Arabic Programme, and 3-5 years to complete the Hawza Studies Programme. The two courses can also be studied side by side.

Each academic year consists of 2 semesters, with each semester lasting 12 weeks.

Click here to see the academic calendar.

How much is it?

For Certificate students:*

  • Each 10-credit module is £100.
  • Each 20-credit module is £200.
  • Each 40-credit module is £400.

For non-Certificate students:

  • Each 10-credit module is £200.
  • Each 20-credit module is £400.
  • Each 40-credit module is £800.

All fees include essential books and other resources.

Click here for more information about the modules and their number of credits.

* Certificate students are those who do the Arabic and Hawza Studies programmes, i.e. all 440 credits.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes. We have called them ‘The Sayyidah Khadijah (a) Scholarships’ in honour of the holy lady whose support helped the Messenger of Allah (s) fulfil his mission. Students who are doing the Certificate can apply for a scholarship by contacting us in strict confidence.

Will I be able to discuss things with the teachers directly?

Sure! A good teacher-student relationship is one of the distinctive features of the hawza tradition. At Hawza Online, we aim to continue this tradition by supplementing the pre-recorded lectures on the Hawza Studies Programme with live tutorials. These tutorials will provide you with ample opportunity to ask questions and discuss matters directly with your teachers.

As for the Arabic Programme, all the lessons are live and highly interactive.

What if I don’t want to do either the Certificate or the Diploma – can I still enrol for the Hawza Studies modules?

As places on our courses are limited, priority is first given to Certificate students, then to Diploma students. You are most welcome to join as a Non-award student if there is space and your application is successful.

What about books and other resources?

All the notes and slides the teachers use will be available to you. Essential books which are not available online will be provided to you at no extra cost. Other resources will need to be purchased by yourself.

Which language are the modules delivered in?

The language of instruction is English.

What sort of equipment will I need?

You’ll need a computer, webcam, and microphone. You’ll also need to have a good internet connection.

What are the entry requirements? And what documents do I need to submit?

The entry requirements are:

  • Minimum of 18 years of age
  • A-levels / HSC / High School or other equivalent qualification (predicted grades are acceptable if you have not finished your course or are waiting for your results)
  • Fluency in English (speaking, reading, and writing)

The documents you’ll need to submit are:

  • Application Form
  • A copy of your main passport page
  • A passport-style photo
  • A copy of your highest qualification certificate

Applicants who meet the entry requirements and have submitted the necessary documents will be invited to a short online interview.