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Diploma in Moral Economy & Sustainable Development

The Diploma in Moral Economy & Sustainable Development is an intensive programme that allows business and non-business graduates to acquire the necessary tools and skills to pursue a successful career in the field of sustainable development.

  • Tuition fees: £5,800 (50% discount for October 2023 intake)
  • Programme level: SCQF Level 11
  • Start date: October 2023 and January 2024
  • Study mode: Full-time
  • Duration: 7 months

What will I study?

This 120 Credits programme will be delivered online starting October 2023

Sustainable development has become one of the key policy drivers in many societies. It covers a wide spectrum of inter-related moral, economic, environmental and social issues. Public and private institutions engaged with the sustainable development agenda need to appreciate the challenges and policy implications of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Diploma in Moral Economy and Sustainable Development is an intensive, one-year full-time programme. It responds to the emerging sustainable development agenda from a moral economic perspective and employs a multi-disciplinary approach aiming to provide students with the necessary knowledge, tools and skills to pursue successful research or professional career in areas of sustainable development.

The core taught units provide an in-depth analysis of the core issues and debates surrounding sustainable development in the contemporary global and professional contexts. The optional (elective) units enable you to develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of moral, economic, environmental and social issues.

The Diploma in Moral Economy & Sustainable Development is part of a suite of Professional qualifications in Moral Economy & Finance. You may also be interested in the Professional Diploma in Islamic Banking & Finance or the Executive Diploma in Islamic Finance & Entrepreneurship.

There are routes available from this Diploma into MBA programmes. For more information on this and the University of Dundee’s Global MBA programme, please click here.

Students who complete the Diploma will be eligible to gain either MSc Moral Economy and Sustainable Development from Abertay University or  will have advanced access to Global MBA  from University of Dundee Business School.

Route 1: MSc Moral Economy and Sustainable Development from Abertay University

120 credits will be required to take the dissertation (MBA556), Econometrics Data Modelling (ANC703) and Corporate Governance and Management (AMC707)

Route 2: Global MBA from University of Dundee Business School after completing two modules and dissertation

Download the programme handbook

What will I learn?

  • Systematically and critically explore the relationships between moral economy and sustainable development in the contemporary global and professional contexts
  • Develop the knowledge and understanding to critically evaluate the key concepts, theories, frameworks and strategies used in debates around moral economy and sustainable development
  • Develop a critical understanding of management approaches and policy implications of religious beliefs, values and principles in sustainable development projects
  • Engage in a range of contemporary sustainable development issues relevant to your interests, strengths, academic, professional and/or developmental needs
  • Facilitates self-direction and originality to act autonomously in designing, planning, implementing and critically analysing and evaluating at masters level

Programme information

Entry requirements

  • An honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent
  • In addition, professional experience* may be also recognised for enrolment in the course

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

This programme may be suitable for:

  • Those who are seeking to work and advance their professional careers in the Islamic economics, banking and finance industry

English Language requirements 

Teaching takes place solely in English and you must demonstrate that their 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

Graduates of this programme will typically find work in organisations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors in a broad range of sustainable development positions and roles.

The Diploma opens up opportunities for careers that demand postgraduate skills in sustainable development such as in research, management, policy analysis and consultancy, sustainable development programme planning, international development, which require a multi-disciplinary understanding to address challenges in their workplace and in the world.



Each 20-credit unit compromises 200 hours of learning; this is made up of 40 hours of teaching and 160 hours of independent study.

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

Classes will occur on a weekly basis, with a duration of 3 hours each session.

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.

Compulsory unit information

Islamic Moral Economy and Finance

This unit develops a critical understanding of the origin and evolution, concepts and aims of the Islamic moral economy at micro and macro levels, including Islamic finance as practical tool of Islamic economics. The unit covers a number of themes including: an overview of the foundation of Islamic moral economy and economic analysis of the prevailing theories, Islamic macroeconomic theories and the major structural themes of Islamic economics related to the voluntary sector, prohibitive elements in market transactions, and appraisal of the factors of production from an Islamic perspective.

Sustainable Development: Discourse and Policy

The underlying theory behind different approaches of economic development and sustainability is introduced in this unit to enable you to critically understand the consequences of carrying on with the current developmental practices of the Business As Usual (BAU) model on the future of the planet. The unit will also provide the necessary skills for understanding current debates and events in the fields of ecology, economic development and sustainability.

Research Skills and Project Report

This unit provides an opportunity for you to develop further as an independent learner through the completion of a supervised project, which can include some elements of research carried out in a fieldwork context. It also explores a range of methods appropriate to a range of disciplines including entrepreneurship, banking and finance, management, and sustainable development and aims to develop your analytic skills, which are essential aspects of conducting independent projects. At the end of the unit, you will be required to produce a mini dissertation of 6,000 – 8,000 words.

Optional unit information

Sustainable Governance and Democracy

This unit draws on the body of classical writings on the political and governance systems of Islam, the role of governments, and the legacy systems left by European governments in some countries after colonial rule, to develop a critical understanding of the contemporary debates and challenges facing sustainable development professionals.

Civic Institutions and Sustainable Development

The unit explores the role of civil society organisations (such as charities, religious institutions, and community, education, environmental and women organisations) in promoting good governance, in advocacy, policy change and service/programme delivery related to sustainable development.

Theoretical and Practical Entrepreneurship

This unit examines the sources, concepts, and principles defined by Islamic ontology. Everyday practice of businesses and management can be different; and therefore, this unit draws upon the normative and positive discussion on management issues in Islamic and everyday life of Muslim societies. Examples of entrepreneurship from the Muslim world, which incorporate cultural and religious elements will be presented and discussed. In particular, the module develops a critical insight into the combined tool of entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and Islamic finance, to reduce poverty, empower people and contribute to sustainable development.

Development Policy and Application

This unit explores the complexities, constraints and debates surrounding the development policy process. It also explores the politics surrounding development policy; the competing interests trying to influence the agenda and design of development solutions. The role Islamic values and maqasid shariah (objectives) are also explored in influencing and directing development policy agendas and solutions.

Sustainability and Ethics

This unit evaluates the influence of ESG issues inherent in the objectives of Islam (Maqasid al-Shariah) on shaping responsible organisation/business and Islamic finance operations (particularly SRF – socially responsible finance – and SRI – socially responsible investment). In addition, it examines how ESG issues inherent in the objectives of Islam (Maqasid al-Shariah) can be employed with financial metrics to assess the risks and opportunities of responsible investment decisions.

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