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Diploma in Muslim Family Law

The Diploma in Muslim Family Law will draw on the knowledge and experience of researchers and professionals operating in the field of Muslim family law and /or secular family law.

  • Tuition fees: HOME £5,400 - REST of UK £5,400 - Int'l £8,100
  • Programme level: SCQF Level 11
  • Start date: January 2025

What will I study?

This programme is tailored to meet the growing demand for assisting Muslim families who need to observe both their religious dictates and their national law as well. It is designed particularly for those organisations and agencies dealing with family law with special focus on Muslim family law. The diploma provides an overview on the principles applicable to this course and also embraces the law of succession and principles of Islamic jurisprudence and its implementation within the a secular legal system.  This hybridised approach enables a critical appraisal of Muslim Family Law under modern secular challenges and discourses. It will equip students in developing a critical and comparative analysis of the various fiqhi/ jurisprudential debates surrounding Muslim family law and contextualise these issues within contemporary discourses. An appreciation of the technicalities of dual legal system would enhance the capability of students to appreciate the jurisprudential differences and develop the necessary acumen to formulate legal solutions. The basics of procedural law to assess the extent of the implementation of Muslim Family Law and law of succession will be an important aspect of the diploma.

Students will cultivate a critical understanding of the underpinning theories of Muslim family law and Islamic law of succession.


What will I learn?

  • Examines historical development of Muslim schools of thought.
  • Focuses on systematized legal theory and tools/methods of Islamic legal schools.
  • Covers laws, regulations, and practices of Islamic family law.
  • Explores differences between Islamic and Western family law models.
  • Explores the usage of waqf for creating endowments.
  • Covers defining the persona of a child and controversial areas of children’s rights.
  • Investigates legal and fiqhi considerations of intergenerational estate transfer.
  • Explores debates on gender equality, polygamy, veiling, etc.
  • Covers historical development and methodological approaches in various contexts.


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 programme is composed of 3 compulsory units and an optional units. Each unit makes up of 20 SCQF Credit Points. 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.

Compulsory Unit Information

Islamic Law and Jurisprudence (Maqasid al-Shariah

The unit critically examines approaches to the development of Islamic law/jurisprudence, starting from the historical emergence of Muslim schools of thought (Hanafi, Shafii, Maliki, Hanbali, Ja’fari, Zahiri and others) and their contribution in forming the systematised legal theory. Students will have an opportunity to examine the tools, methods, procedure and the workings of Islamic legal schools of thought as applied in different contexts.

Muslim Family Law

In this unit students will learn the laws and regulations and practices of family law as a key component of Islamic law and practice. The growing Muslim population in the UK has made it imperative that anyone interested in the area of Islamic family law is conversant with the fundamentals, core concepts, and practical operation, control system and regulatory framework of Islamic family law. The unit will cover the differences between Islamic and western family law models in terms of conceptual framework, governing principles, and the rights and protections given to the parties concerned in the relationship and other stakeholders of family law. In particular the unit will address the question of who are considered to be husband and wife according to the principles of Islamic law and what is the status and consequences of an unlawful marriage. It will also cover all aspects associated with Islamic family law operation, implementation and enforcement via Islamic courts and any financial consequences and burdens associated due to the enforcement of rights under the family law of Islam. The two key and reciprocal rights of husband and wife, i.e. Nafaghah and Tamkin are also considered in this unit. The unit will further explore how Islamic family law principles have evolved throughout time using the Islamic jurisprudential philosophy / method that justifies these principles. The unit will further cover the laws of Islamic marriage and divorce in light of classical Islamic jurisprudence and the recent family law interventions by the Islamic states in different parts of the Islamic world.

Research Skills and Project Report

The first part (10 %) covers the research approaches in business studies. It aims to prepare students to produce a project proposal. This part of the module examines strategies, design, ethics, and methodologies with particular reference to both qualitative and quantitative methods. The module explores a range of methods appropriate to a range of disciplines including entrepreneurship, banking and finance, management, and sustainable development. It aims to develop students’ analytic skills, which are essential aspects of conducting independent project proposal for business. At the end of the course, students will be required to produce a mini dissertation drawing on available academic theories and approaches (6,000 -8000 words) as part of the assessment.

Optional Units Information

Law of Inheritance

The unit examines the concept of succession and inheritance and the underpinning principles both from Islamic and secular law perspectives. A range of techniques for calculating inheritance shares as defined by Islamic sources. The second prong of the course focuses on the drafting of valid Islamic Wills under the secular law. The last prong of the course focuses on the usage of waqf as compared to trust for creating endowments.  Waqf beneficiaries according to donors’ will.  

Children’s Rights Under Common Law, Islamic Law and International Conventions

This unit offers a critical examination of children’s rights from an Islamic law perspective but within an international law paradigm. Some relevant sections of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 1989 will be used as a benchmark to contextualise present day issues relating to rights of children in Islamic law. The focus of the course will be the Islamic law. There are three main areas that the module will cover. 1. The legal and Islamic approach in defining the persona of a child. 2. The controversial areas of rights of children in Islam from a human rights perspective. 3. The issue of custody and guardianship. The Children and their Rights module will familiarise students with the content of international children’s rights and allow them to gain a critical understanding of both theoretical and practical challenges facing children’s rights discourses from an Islamic and secular law perspective. The unit will allow students to apply a child-centred approach when analysing legislation, policies, practices and court decisions concerning children.

Estate Planning and Waqf Ahli

The unit critically investigates the legal and fiqhi considerations of intergenerational transfer of estates and administration of estates.  It embraces three main areas: 1. The meaning of estate & wealth management and the need for estate planning. 2. the mechanisms of estate planning 3. Estate tax planning. The unit also sheds light on the Islamic concept of wealth management, estate planning, the mechanisms used for estate planning and estate tax planning.

Gender, Sexualities and Islam

This unit critically examines the key issues in the study of gender and sexuality within the Islamic tradition. It examines how within the framework of the Qur’an and Shari’ah, gender and sexuality have been conceptualised, and the current debates revolving around gender and sexuality from different perspectives within Islam. It also reflects critically on the roles and relations of men and women in Muslim spaces including gender equality/inequalities, polygamy, veiling, adultery, the patriarchal family, property rights and work. Students will also explore related issues such as “Islamic feminism” and the interplay between socio-economic forces, nationalist processes of modernity and women’s political ambitions. The unit is interdisciplinary in scope, where the material covers relevant literature from history, sociology, anthropology to political science, media, cultural studies, and gender studies. This broad approach enables the diversity and complexities surrounding gender and sexuality to surface and shows how these have shaped Muslim traditions and societies in contemporary contexts.

Sciences of Quaran and Sunnah

This unit allows students to comprehend the Islamic sources and approaches from classical and modern perspectives. In particular, they will be introduced to the different sciences developed within Islamic studies from exegesis (tafseer), sciences of Quran (‘ilm al-Quran) and Prophetic traditions (hadith), terminology of hadith (mustalah al-hadith) and their application to Islamic jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh). It will allow students to critically grasp the structure of the Islamic core sources and their historical development in a variety of classical and contemporary contexts. The students will also develop critical understanding of the Muslim scholars’ methodological approaches in finding the truth in aqeedah, fiqh iabdat and muamalat, ethics etc.