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Diploma in Pastoral Care and Muslim Chaplaincy

The programme will draw on the knowledge and experience of researchers and professionals operating in the field of Muslim chaplaincy and counselling.

  • Tuition fees: HOME £2,700 - REST OF UK £2,700 - Int'l £4,050
  • Programme level: SCQF Level 11

What will I study?

The programme will draw on the knowledge and experience of researchers and professionals operating in the field of Muslim chaplaincy and counselling. This programme is designed particularly for those organisations and agencies working within the communities in pastoral care and counselling contexts. This integrated approach examines pastoral care, chaplaincy and counselling in an Islamic framework. Students will develop a critical understanding of the theory and practice of emotional and spiritual care and counselling in a faith context. The programme aims to prepare students to work cross-culturally by developing an empathetic understanding of people of their own communities but also communities of other faiths or none. Students will reflect on the theory and practice of pastoral care and counselling and on the sensitivities of cultural environments. They will reflect on Islamic jurisprudence, relevant theories and concepts, to make a substantial contribution to facilitating discussion on issues of faith-based pastoral care and counselling. The proposed programme will critically explore a range of perspectives and debates surrounding Islam and pastoral care and counselling in the contemporary European multicultural and multi-faith context. It aims to provide students with a critical understanding of Islam, pastoral care and counselling theory and practice.

The proposed programme is expected to contribute to the preparation of a constituency of students in Islam, pastoral care and counselling to take up a range of job opportunities in pastoral care and counselling.


What will I learn?

  • Explores the background history, theology underpinning concepts of chaplaincy in Islam
  • Critically analyses traditional self-healing practices and builds understanding of these practices through the role of religious approaches
  • Examines ethical debates emerging in medical practice, healthcare and pastoral care
  • Covers key concepts and theories of counselling and its significance as well as practical implications in faith-based 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

Theoretical Muslim Chaplaincy

Theoretical Muslim Chaplaincy (Unit code J6JR 04) 20 SCQF Credit Points

The unit critically explores the background history, theology underpinning, and the developments of the concept and practice of chaplaincy in Islam. It reflects critically on concepts and principles of chaplaincy and psychological dynamics (nafsiyaat) in people’s lives, from the Qur’an and Sunnah, tradition and the wider diverse Muslim intellectual heritage. Students will have an opportunity to reflect theologically on the core Islamic concepts that underpin chaplaincy such as Khidmah (service), Muhasssibah (critical self-reflection), Rahma (mercy) and Maghfirah (forgiveness as a process of healing). They will also examine critically the concepts, theories, and theological and social science models of pastoral care. The unit encourages students to build a framework in which the concept of Khidmah (service) can be located on the integration of Islamic Fiqh with pastoral care.

Pastoral Care: Health and Healing

Pastoral Care: Health and Healing (Unit code J6JN 04) 20 SCQF Credit Points

Pastoral care and counselling professionals are often confronted with a range of diverse religious and cultural prescriptions for improving emotional, spiritual and physical health and bringing healing. Traditional self-healing practices have been passed down from generations through family and community stories. A critical understanding of these practices and the role of religious approaches to healing can provide pastoral care and counselling professionals and clinicians with insights into health and healing beliefs and issues associated with specific ethnic groups within Muslims and the wider culture.

This unit examines the impact of spirituality and religion on health and healing approaches and practices as well as the more personal dimension of spiritual healing. The idea that the Quran ‘is healing and mercy..’ (Qur’an 17:82) and diseases are created by God who also created their treatments (Qur’an 26:80) has been instrumental in producing healers who rely on ‘spiritual’ approaches and treatments with large numbers of subscribers. Offering special prayers and the practice of ruqyah (words said and written in the form of supplication for the purpose of protection or cure) is popular amongst many Muslim communities. At times, such healing practices create a tension between normative medical practices and Muslim healers’ claims that they could offer a holistic solution to patients is a subject of study. This unit critically examines the basis and validity of such treatments in light of Muslim religious sources and prophetic practices.

Research Skills and Project Report

Research Skills and Project Report (Unit code J3SC 04) 20 SCQF Credit Points

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

Islamic Medical Ethics

Islamic Medical Ethics (Unit code J6JH 04) 20 SCQF Credit Points

This unit critically examines a wide range of ethical questions emerging in medical practice and developments in medical science, which are facing religious, healthcare, pastoral care, counselling and other related professionals and academics. Besides a range of ethical issues in medical research, human cloning, reproductive medicine and other areas common to the wider populations, there are many issues in medical ethics that are specific to religious communities and Muslims in particular. These include contents of medicine, Islamic bioethics (including organ donation, euthanasia, fertility treatment, family planning, assisted reproduction, abortion), post-mortem examination, organ transplantation, mechanical life support, informed consent and refusal of treatment, new genetics and genetic engineering, and end of life issues and brain death.

The unit draws on moral philosophy and Islamic ethical principles and jurisprudence to critically analyse these questions, understand the context in which they arise, and the debates to deal with them. A critical understanding of the resources from moral philosophies and Islamic medical ethics should enable students to be aware of ethical issues and standards within pastoral care and the counselling profession.

Islamic Mysticism and Spirituality

Islamic Mysticism and Spirituality (Unit code J6JP 04) 20 SCQF Credit Points

This unit examines the historical and current debates surrounding the central issues and concepts of Islamic philosophy, metaphysics and the inner dimensions of Islamic spirituality (tasawwuf) – e.g. existence and essence; the nature of claims about God’s existence and

attributes; life after death; creation; reason and revelation; miracles; prayer; the problem of evil; inner dimensions of worship and connection with God. Students will explore the main themes and philosophers that shaped the Islamic philosophical tradition. Students will examine philosophical ideas, thoughts, perspectives and debates in which philosophers such as Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, Al-Kindi, al-Farabi and al-Ghazali engaged in, as well as issues surrounding religious experience, Islamic mysticism and tasawwuf. These foundational discourses will help chaplain in appreciating the need to connect soul, mind and body in discovering a spiritual healing path.

Islamic Counselling and Psychotherapy

Islamic Counselling and Psychotherapy (Unit code J6JE 04) 20 SCQF Credit Points

This unit introduces students to key concepts and theories of counselling. It will emphasise the significance of counselling and some of its practical implications and cases. The students will learn about practical skills of counselling that will further develop their self-awareness and communication skills. These skills are surely recognized by employers in different working contexts.