Friday, 27 May 2011



This is a unique programme on a subject of crucial relevance to the debates and issues of today’s world. The concept of multiculturalism is much debated at many different levels and in a variety of social and cultural backgrounds – both within the UK and around the world.

Some writers have argued that the issue will be one of the defining elements of the twenty-first century and it is very clear that the idea and practice of multiculturalism has dominated political and media agendas consistently through this current decade and is likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Programme Aims

The programme aims to explore in depth the concept of multiculturalism, with specific reference to the development of the concept in academic studies (particularly the past 15 years). The main understanding of the term ‘multiculturalism’ for this programme is as a means to describe contemporary contexts of cultural and religious diversity, and the processes by which such diversity are experienced (by individuals, societies and countries) and managed (by nation states).

Students will be expected to reflect on the ways in which the term ‘multiculturalism’ is used in the wider public debate, in a variety of contexts across the globe.


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 is a unique programme on a subject of crucial relevance to the debates and issues of today’s world.

Programme Elements

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.

Multiculturalism in Theory & Practice

This course examines theoretical issues within academic debates on multiculturalism, and focuses on the ‘politics of recognition’; the construction of ethnic identities; the creative interface between national, ethnic and religious boundaries; and the political implications of multicultural diversity. Students engage with the theoretical concepts that shape these debates, such as ethnicity, nationality, identity, integration and assimilation, and explore and examine the practicalities of specific contexts of multicultural practice, mainly using examples from European countries.

Case Studies in Multiculturalism

This course examines experiences of multiculturalism in different national, cultural and geographical contexts. It highlights the effect of context and place on multiculturalism, by looking at different levels of cultural and religious diversity around the world, and puts particular emphasis on state efforts to manage them.

Optional Course 1

Choose one course, subject to availability, from:

  • The Theoretical Framework of Bayt al-Maqdis
  • Islam & Muslims in History & Society
  • Educational Studies: An Introduction

Islam & Muslims in Multicultural Britain

This course examines the historical and demographic developments of the Muslim presence in the UK. It places them in the context of the emergence of a politics of multiculturalism in the past 50 years, along with the processes of settlement and integration of diverse ethnic, religious and cultural minority communities, and their relations with wider society. A major theme of the course is the diversity of British Muslim identities, and communities and the social, cultural and political contexts in which they have developed.

Optional Course 2

Choose one course, 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

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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