Friday, 27 May 2011

Islamic Education


This unique programme is designed to explore diverse interpretations of ‘Islamic Education’, and to examine the historical, theological and philosophical aspects of classical Muslim educational thought and its institutions.

The programme looks at contemporary Western educational theories and practices to initiate a dialogue between Western models and Muslim educational practice. The use of critical thinking/active learning/teaching skills in Muslim education will also be discussed.

The programme focuses on modern social-scientific research methodologies, and is aimed at Muslim teachers, and at teachers of Religious Education who want to increase their understanding of Islamic Education to address the needs of Muslim students. It is also aimed at those working in higher education in the Arab/Muslim world.

Programme Aims

The core programme areas are: educational modernisation in the Muslim world, specific educational challenges facing the Muslim diaspora in Europe, and British Muslims. Issues covered include: faith based schooling; underachievement of Muslim children, the educational needs of Muslim children in the mainstream educational system; and developing educational intervention programmes to tackle religious extremism among British Muslims.


There are no exams. All assessment is by coursework, with most subjects assessed by:

  • A Critical Review (2,000 words)
  • An Essay (3-4,000 words)
  • A Seminar Presentation

Students who undertake an MLitt are required to complete a research dissertation of 15-18,000 words.

Further Study & Careers

This programme will be useful for those who want go onto to teach in the field. Others may use their expertise and the qualifications they have gained to go on to further studies, or to work in areas such as: government services at local, national and international levels; diplomacy; consultancy and project work, developing cooperation in non-governmental and international organisations; the voluntary sector; social and not-for-profit organisations.

The courses at the Al-Maktoum Institute are designed to equip our students with the skills and knowledge to face the challenges of the contemporary world.

Programme Elements

This programme is made up of five taught courses and a dissertation. Students who successfully complete the three courses of the Autumn Semester may exit with a PgC. Students who successfully complete all five courses may leave the programme with a PgD. Students wishing to attain the MLitt must also undertake the dissertation.

Educational Studies: An Introduction

The course examines the social, historical and philosophical foundations underpinning modern conceptions of education, and explores contemporary perspectives on defining the educational process and its central aspects – the nature of learning and teaching. The relationship between education, culture and identity formation is given a special attention. Other content areas are: the role of education in multicultural/multifaith social politics, education and social inclusion, and education and social change.

Core Sources & Approaches in the Study of Islam & Muslims

This course introduces students to approaches and critical scholarship in the core sources of the study of Islam and Muslims – particularly the Qur’an and Hadith. The course focuses on the history, context, structure, theology and interpretations of these texts, with a key goal of placing these issues within a scholarly framework. It also examines academic methodologies for the application of these texts, including tafsir (Qur’anic interpretations), the processes of authentication of hadith (isnad and matn), and the principles of jurisprudence (usul ul-fiqh).

Optional Course 1

Choose one course, subject to availability, from:

  • Islam & Muslims in History & Society
  • Islam & the West: Multiculturalism, Globalisation & Muslims
  • Multiculturalism in Theory & Practice
  • Case Studies in Multiculturalism

    Islamic Education: Theory & Practice

    The course introduces the concept of Islamic Education through critically examining different perceptions and academic approaches developed to define the subject. It explores traditional and contemporary Muslim educational thinking and educational institutions, and discusses the possibility of developing a learnercentred approach in Islamic Education.

    Emphasis is placed on the importance of contemporary educational research into Islamic Education, especially research springing from social sciences and directed towards pedagogy and curriculum.

    The course also looks at the theory and practice of Islamic Education in the modern Muslim world and in Muslim communities in the West.

    Optional Course 2

    Choose one course, subject to availability, from:

    • Globalisation & Political Islam
    • Islam & Muslims & International Relations: Contemporary Issues & 21st Century Challenges
    • Islamic Education: Theory & Practice
    • History of Bayt al-Maqdis 2: From the Late Crusades to the Contemporary Era
    • Women in Islam
    • Political Islam
    • Islam & Muslims in Multicultural Britain
    • Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh)
    • Editing Islamic Texts & Manuscripts
    • Qur’anic Arabic (for non-Arabic Speakers)

    Postgraduate Research Methods

    This course addresses various research methods in the humanities and social sciences (e.g. analytical, comparative, historical and social) and introduces an in-depth critical analysis of contemporary research methods. Students engage with qualitative and quantitative methodologies in historical, textual, anthropological (ethnographic) and social scientific disciplines. They are also expected to reflect on different methodologies and select appropriate methodological approaches for their own research.


    The dissertation is an independent piece of work of 15-18,000 words in length. The topic to be studied is selected by the student in consultation with a member of academic staff, under whose supervision they develop and write the dissertation.


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