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Advanced Diploma in Islamic Studies

The Advanced Diploma in Islamic Studies is a unique programme is designed to develop your knowledge in the key areas of Islamic Studies

  • Tuition fees: £3,300 - £6,750
  • Programme level: SCQF level 10
  • Start date: September or January
  • Study mode: Full-time
  • Duration: 1 year

What will I study?

The Advanced Diploma in Islamic Studies will introduce Islam in terms of its fundamental beliefs, history and development from the Arabian Peninsula to other parts of the world and you will examine the key teachings of Islam as a religion and a civilisation. You will also explore other areas such as women and Islam, Islamic core sources and Islamic ethics considering contemporary developments.

Through establishing a foundation and some critical thinking on the subject matter, you will become confident in addressing various challenges in response to their personal or professional situations through working in a multicultural society.

You can choose optional units in Arabic language or Moral Economy and Finance to develop your skills further.

Download the programme handbook

What will I learn?

  • An introduction to Islam, its history, belief system, key values and figures
  • Examine early historical events and the development of Islam, with special reference to the Makkan and Madinan
  • Examine ethical theories, concepts and questions within the Islamic framework
  • Discover the main themes of Islamic core sources
  • Explore issues regarding women and Islam by examining gender issues in light of religion and culture

Programme information

Entry requirements

  • 2 Highers or equivalent and National 5 Maths or equivalent
  • Relevant practical experience

*Applicants who do not meet the formal entry requirements may be asked to attend an interview.  

English Language requirements 

Teaching takes place solely in English and you must demonstrate that your English language proficiency is at a level that will allow you to follow your intended programme successfully.

If English is not your first language you must hold a qualification as evidence of your English language skills. Full details of the qualifications we accept, can be found here.

Student Visa requirements for study in the UK

The UK Government approves certain English language qualifications as being Secure English Language Tests (SELT). These meet the government’s requirements for visa applications.

Al-Maktoum College will accept the following:

  • IELTS – 6.0 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component and 6.0 in writing) or equivalent
  • LanguageCert – B2 or equivalent

Full entry requirement information can be found here

The Advanced Diploma in Islamic Studies may facilitate transition from further education to higher education for those who wish to take the academic route to become theologians and scholars of comparative religion. It might also provide a pathway if you are interested in pursuing a career in journalism, Middle Eastern studies, politics, international relations, sociology and consulting local and national governments on Muslim affairs.

In addition, the programme is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary and as such will develop your critical and analytical skills.


The programme is composed of 5 core units and an optional unit. Each unit makes up of 12 credits taught over 10 weeks. For each unit students must dedicate at least 120 hours of study; 20 contact hours and 10 hours of independent study. The option of Arabic may require extra study hours.

Classes are made up of lectures, seminars and tutorials and you will have 2 hours of contact teaching per week.

The assessment is varied and will be both formative and summative. Students will write either and essay or a critical review on a subject about the unit. They will also present in the class for about 15 minutes as part of developing the communication skills, argumentation and coherence of ideas. Class participation and online discussions will constitute a part of the assessment as well.


You should apply directly using the College online application system and your application will usually be assessed within 3 working days. We my contact you to provide further information or to invite you to a short informal interview.

Please make sure you have the following information before starting your application:

  • Academic transcripts and qualification certificates
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if required)
  • Passport details
  • Referee details

We consider all aspects of the application: academic qualifications, personal statement and references.

All correspondence will be sent from after an application of study has been submitted and you should direct any questions there.

Unit information

Introduction to Islamic Studies

This unit will introduce students to Islam, its history, important personalities in Islam, and its main sources and basic teachings. Development of Islam as a religion will be analysed in further details. The unit has been arranged in three parts: early period of Islam; Islam and diversity; and Islam in the contemporary world. On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to know creeds, practices and rituals of Islam; different phases during which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad and specific features of Makkan and Madinan verses; the early denominations of Islam, Islamic theology, jurisprudence and philosophy; as well as the position of Islam and Muslims in the contemporary world.

Women and Islam

The position of women in Islam is a lively in both the Islamic and western worlds. It is a subject often used by critics to portray Islam as a misogynist and oppressive religion. In their arguments their first point of reference is the plight of Muslim women in many Islamic societies. The advocates of women’s rights in Islam, however, encourage differentiation between the teachings of Islam and diverse cultural practices. This unit is designed for candidates from all walks of life. The course will look at different dimensions of gender issues in Islam and among Muslims by exploring theological, political, cultural and practical perspectives.

Students will acquire introductory knowledge and understanding of women and gender issues in the contexts of religion and culture. This will be through cultural exploration and examination of social, legal and political issues in different Muslim contexts. The course will introduce Islamic feminism, and teach students how Islamic feminists claim and understand women’s rights within an Islamic framework. This unit will cover some controversial issues on women issues such as marriage, divorce, dress code, purity, violence against women, parenthood, hijab, women’s political participation, etc. Some of these issues will be covered in students’ presentations as part of their independent study and assessment.

Through establishing a foundation and some critical thinking on the subject matter, candidates will become confident in addressing challenges in response to their personal or professional situations through working in a multicultural society.

Research Methodology in Social Sciences and Islamic Studies

The unit covers a variety of topics in research methodology, research method and social theory. Issues covered include topics in Critical Thinking and Writing; Referencing and Bibliography; Philosophy of Social Sciences; Theories of Social Sciences; Designing Research; Strategies and Frameworks of Research; The Management of Research; Research Methodologies; Research Methods; Approaches to Data Collection; Survey Methods; Observation Methods; Analysing Data; The Ethics and Politics of Social Research; Methodology of Muslim scholars in Scientific Research, Primary, Secondary and Disputed Sources of Islam and their application and Writing a Research Proposal.

Islamic Core Sources and Approaches

This unit will allow students to understand the Islamic core sources and approaches in depth. They will be introduced to the different sciences developed within Islamic studies from exegesis (tafsir) and methodology of hadith to Islamic law (fiqh) and principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh). On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to grasp the structure of the Islamic core sources and their development in addition to how these sources are applied in a variety of contexts. They will also become familiar with the different methodological approaches developed by Muslim scholars within the Islamic tradition.

Islamic Ethics

This unique unit is designed to develop students’ knowledge in the key concepts of the Islamic ethical framework. It is taught from an Islamic perspective, introducing the main sources and methodologies for understanding and exploring ethical issues in Islam. Ethics (akhlaq) has always been an intrinsic and fundamental element of Greek moral philosophy, and monistic thoughts including Islamic thought. Ethics plays a central part of both Muslim jurisprudence (fiqh) and Islamic theology (kalam). However, modern scholarship in Islam has unfortunately not paid much attention to this vital and significant component of Islam. Therefore, this new Islamic Ethics unit looks at the centrality of ethics in the Islamic core sources, and how early and classical Muslim scholars have conceptualised it utilising the core sources as well as the existing moral philosophical theories and trends.

Optional unit information

Arabic language

Depending on your previous knowledge of Arabic, you can choose from Arabic as a Foreign Language level 6 or 8 (for students starting in September).

Moral Economy & Finance

You can choose from the following optional units:

  • Islamic Economics and Finance
  • Islamic Commercial Law
  • Applied Islamic Banking and Insurance
  • Islamic Accounting and Auditing

More information can be found here

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