The study of Islam and Muslims spans a number of subject areas and approaches, looking at the religion of Islam and also at Muslims in particular, social and historical contexts. As such, this programme provides interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary training, within a number of different methodologies, e.g. history, political science, anthropology, sociology, geography, and area studies, as well as traditional areas in Islamic Studies.
The aim is to encourage students to gain an understanding of a broad range of issues relating to the Study of Islam and Muslims, looking at the subject in many different ways, and in many global contexts, spanning a variety of subject areas and methodologies.
The course provides an innovative and distinctive programme of study on Islam and Muslims, taking an approach which is postorientalist, post-traditionalist, multicultural, and interdisciplinary. The programme includes courses on core texts and sources of Islam, along with examination of Muslim cultures, societies, and civilisations and the changes affecting the Muslim world in terms of politics, economics, society and particular global and local issues. The programme may be taken either as an end in itself or as preparation for postgraduate research.
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 to go on to teach in the field. Others may use their expertise and qualifications 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 media; 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.
This programme spans a number of subject areas, and looks at Islam and Muslims in different social and historical contexts.
This programme is made up of six 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 six courses may leave the programme with a PgD. Students wishing to attain the MLitt must also undertake the dissertation.
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).
Islam & the West: Multiculturalism, Globalisation & Muslims
This course introduces contemporary academic debates on the complex interactions between what are broadly labelled ‘Islam’ and ‘The West’. Adopting a mainly socio-scientific viewpoint, it emphasises the issues of multiculturalism and globalisation, which frame these transnational relations and networks. Students reflect on the history of encounters between Muslims and ‘The West’ (and Europe in particular), exploring concepts such as the ‘clash’/ ’dialogue’ of civilisations. This is related to sociological literature on globalisation and multiculturalism, with particular reference to examples of Muslim cultures and societies in contemporary contexts.
Optional Course 1
Choose one course, subject to availability, from:
- Islam & Muslims in History & Society
- Theoretical Framework of Bayt al-Maqdis
- Multiculturalism in Theory & Practice
Optional Courses 2 & 3
Choose two courses, subject to availability, from:
- Globalisation & Political Islam
- Islam & Muslims & International Relations
- 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.