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Masters Degrees (Islam)

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This Masters degree in Political Islam has been specifically designed for those who wish to comprehend the main currents of Islamic thinking during the modern period. Read more
This Masters degree in Political Islam has been specifically designed for those who wish to comprehend the main currents of Islamic thinking during the modern period. This will involve investigating a number of radical Islamic movements as well as alternative understandings of Islam.

Why this programme

◾The University of Glasgow offers a number of course options that may be taken by students, such as the courses provided within the Global Securities programme.
◾The course is taught by experts in Theology and Religious Studies. Assistance is offered by staff who teach outside of the Islamic tradition, which will be of use for those interested, for example, in Islamic-Christian relations or forms of literature within the Islamic tradition.
◾The programme is sufficiently flexible to enable students to concentrate on specific areas of study, or to concentrate on a more general range of issues.
◾Linguistic ability in Arabic, Persian, Turkish (or any other non-European language) is not essential.
◾Students are encouraged to participate in the wider seminar series offered in the subject area in order to gain a comprehensive knowledge of religion and culture in the contemporary world. (There are experts in Chinese religions, Judaism and Christianity with Theology and Religious Studies).
◾Glasgow has a large Muslim community. There are possibilities to engage with this local community.

Programme structure

This MSc in Political Islam investigates a number of “radical” Islamic movements such as Salafism, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamic revival in Iran post-1978. At the same time, alternative understandings of Islam will be examined including the so-called “liberal” version, Islamic feminist thinking and contemporary manifestations of Sufism (the so-called “mystical” side of Islam).

As the course progresses the topics will engage with the historical Islamic tradition, so that students will appreciate the wide variety of “Islams” that have appeared in modern times. An understanding of Islam is imperative in the contemporary period, with issues such as security, identity and immigration appearing on a daily basis in the Western media. Islam is no longer a religion that is confined to the Middle East, but needs to be understood as an integral part of British society and culture. The challenges and issues that Muslims face require urgent investigation, and this course provides the framework for students to engage with the changes that affect everyone in society.

The programme is designed for small groups that will discuss the topics in a seminar environment. There will be formal lectures and the occasional guest speaker. The basis of the programme will be textual, and will involve class/group discussions about the material provided. Core teaching is delivered in two semesters, followed by a dissertation. The project dissertation is an opportunity for students to identify an area of interest and to create a research project that allows in-depth critical exploration of this.

Career prospects

With the current interest in Islam, this degree provides essential knowledge and skills for those involved in teaching, the civil service, government, the police and the military. The degree also provides an excellent entry into a PhD related to Islamic Studies.

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This unique and innovative programme is designed to develop students’ knowledge of the key areas of Islamic Studies. This programme will introduce Islam in terms of its fundamental beliefs, history and development from the Arabian Peninsula to other parts of the world. Read more
This unique and innovative programme is designed to develop students’ knowledge of the key areas of Islamic Studies. This programme will introduce Islam in terms of its fundamental beliefs, history and development from the Arabian Peninsula to other parts of the world. Students will examine the key teachings of Islam as a religion and a civilisation that has come in contact with other cultures and civilisations. They will also explore other areas such as women and Islam, Islamic core sources and Islamic ethics in light of contemporary developments.

This programme is SCQF credit-rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). It is available on a full-time or part-time basis.

Future Study and Careers

This programme is relevant to any candidate who wants to learn about Islam and its connection with other revealed religions such as Christianity and Judaism.

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

Additional Information
For students requiring a Tier 4 student visa, an overall score of 6 in IELTS for UKVI (with 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in all other areas) is required.
The programme is comprised of five compulsory units (+ 1 optional unit).

The whole programme is equal to 72 credit points with 12 credit points for each unit. The Advanced Diploma will be awarded to students who successfully pass all units.

The compulsory units are as follows:

Introduction to Islamic Studies will introduce students to Islam, its history, important personalities in the early history of Islam, the development of Islam, its main sources and basic teachings. The students will also be introduced to the skill of transliterating for correct pronunciation of some Arabic/Islamic terms. On successful completion of this unit, students should know the basic teachings and the main sources of Islam. In addition, students will be able to understand some of the similarities and differences between Islam and other religions.

Islamic Core Sources and Approaches will give students a comprehensive understanding of the Islamic core sources and approaches. They will be introduced to the different sciences developed within Islamic studies from exegesis (tafsir) to Islamic law (fiqh) and principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh). On successful completion of this unit, students should know the different methodological approaches developed by Muslim scholars within the Islamic tradition.

Islamic Ethics (Akhlaq) has always been an intrinsic and fundamental part of Islamic thought, manifested in both Muslim jurisprudence and Islamic theology. This unit will look at the centrality of ethics in the Islamic core sources and how early and classical Muslim scholars have conceptualised it. Modern debates about the significance of ethics in Islamic core sources will be critically examined.

Women and Islam is a lively subject used by those in both the Islamic and western worlds. It is a subject often used by critics to portray Islam as a misogynistic 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 encourage differentiation between the teachings of Islam and diverse cultural practices.

Research Methodology in Social Sciences and Islamic Studies is designed to strengthen students’ critical thinking while writing or reading scientific research, to familiarise students with theories and the practical application of research methodology, methods, design and strategy while conducting a research proposal. The unit also includes aspects of methodology of Muslim scholars in searching for the truth by considering the revealed knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah, evidence from iltizamand qiyas (logic) or even disputed sources

Core Units 

•Introduction to Islamic Studies (SCQF 9)
•Islamic Core Sources and Approaches (SCQF 10)
•Islamic Ethics (SCQF 10)
•Women and Islam (SCQF 10)
•Research Methodology in Social Sciences and Islamic Studies (SCQF 10)”

Optional Units 

•Arabic as a Foreign Language (SCQF 5)
•Arabic as a Foreign Language (SCQF 6)
•Arabic as a Foreign Language (SCQF 7)
•Arabic as a Foreign Language (SCQF 8)
•Arabic as a Foreign Language (SCQF 9)
•Arabic for Special Purposes (SCQF 10)
•Islamic Economics and Finance (SCQF 11)
•Islamic Commercial Law (SCQF 11)
•Applied Islamic Banking and Insurance (SCQF 11)
•Islamic Accounting and Auditing (SCQF 11)

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Census data shows that Muslims are now the second largest faith community in British society. Read more
Census data shows that Muslims are now the second largest faith community in British society. Our rewarding programme delivers a comprehensive understanding of the development of Muslim communities in the UK, the current challenges they face, and an introduction to the scholarly study of Islam in a modern Western European society.

On this programme, you will gain the social science skills essential to pursue high calibre research on Islam in Britain today within our flagship Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK.

You will gain an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and conceptual vocabulary surrounding British Islam and the skills to undertake high quality research according to social sciences professional ethics codes.

Our recognised qualifications are recognised as indicators of professional competence to work with British Muslims.

Encouraged to contribute to the Centre’s highly respected Public Seminar Series, you will have ample opportunity to engage in placements and volunteer with local Muslim organisations.

You are encouraged to undertake voluntary work with Muslim communities in Cardiff in activities ranging from assisting with homework clubs run via local mosques to contributing to the Muslim Council of Wales ‘iLead’ programme which aims to support young Muslims developing leadership skills.

Distinctive features

• Gain in-depth understanding of the theoretical and conceptual vocabulary surrounding British Islam

• Develops essential skills for high quality research on Islam in Britain in accordance with codes of professional ethics in the social
sciences

• Recognised qualification indicating competence to work in a professional capacity with British Muslims

• Opportunities to engage in placements/volunteering with local Muslim organisations

• Ideal for professional development within the public sector

• Excellent resources and facilities including excellent library resources, access to a wide range of relevant journals and online sources and extensive audio-visual resources via Vimeo

• Dedicated seminar room.

Structure

The PGDip or MA can be completed in 1 year with full-time study or over 3 years with part-time study.

For the taught element of the programme you will study three core modules (60 credits) and choose a further three optional modules (60 credits).

On successful completion of the taught stage, you will progress to your dissertation if you are completing the MA. Your dissertation is an essay of up to 20,000 words on a topic of your choice (approved in consultation with your tutor).

Core modules:

Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
History and Development of Muslim Communities in Britain
Contemporary Debates in British Muslim Studies
Module Title: Muslims in Britain Today
Qualitative Research Methods
Social Theory and Research Design
Dissertation (MA only)

Teaching

Teaching is via lectures, small group tutorials, seminars, audio-visual resources, guest speakers, and optional placement/voluntary work.

You are encouraged to attend and contribute to our Islam UK Centre Public Lecture Series, known for bringing high-profile speakers to the region to discuss a wide range of topical research.

Assessment

You will be assessed via essays, other assignments (such as book reviews and presentations), or written exams depending on the modules chosen.

Placements

You are encouraged to undertake voluntary work with Muslim communities in Cardiff in activities ranging from assisting with homework clubs run via local mosques to contributing to the Muslim Council of Wales ‘iLead’ programme which aims to support young Muslims developing leadership skills.

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This Master's degree in politics will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the history and politics of the Middle East and Islam, while honing your ability to make well-informed, critical analyses of the region in the context of global politics. Read more
This Master's degree in politics will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the history and politics of the Middle East and Islam, while honing your ability to make well-informed, critical analyses of the region in the context of global politics. The programme has its theoretical foundations in international relations and political science, using these as tools to explore and analyse the region's domestic and international politics and current concerns, including sectarianism and persistent authoritarianism. Particular attention is given to the intersection between Islam, conflict and development. Recognising that Islam is at the centre of urgent discussions and disputes today, the programme looks into key issues including Muslim identity, religious extremism and violence, and the impact of American foreign policy in the region, including the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the ongoing conflict within Syria. The programme also uses interdisciplinary scholarship to help you make comprehensive, balanced analyses of contemporary Islam and the Middle East in relation to the UK and the world.

The core module explores the domestic political structures and international relations of countries in the Middle East. You can then choose to either study how ideas of ethnicity and nationalism generate identities as well as tension and conflict, or consider how theories and institutions of global governance have arisen in response to the impact of globalisation. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You go on to choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree is a unique course, offering insights into the history and politics of the Middle East and a balanced understanding of issues pertaining to Islam in the modern world.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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This Masters programme is designed for graduates with no prior knowledge of Islam as well as those who would like to develop their understanding of this major world faith.Our programme will enable you to acquire a profound comprehension of Islam both as a religious, intellectual and cultural tradition, and as a powerful political ideology. Read more
This Masters programme is designed for graduates with no prior knowledge of Islam as well as those who would like to develop their understanding of this major world faith.Our programme will enable you to acquire a profound comprehension of Islam both as a religious, intellectual and cultural tradition, and as a powerful political ideology.

You will study materials which delineate the core values and doctrines of Islam, and those which elaborate on the diversity of practice and manifold traditions of the Islamic faith. Your ability to analyse materials, contexts and issues - and to engage in informed academic discussion on your conclusions - will be strengthened through the study of methodologies and research tools used today in Islamic Studies by historians, social scientists and cultural anthropologists.

This combination of approaches to the study of Islam will enable you to acquire the analytical tools needed for independent study and interpretation of both medieval and contemporary aspects of Islam, not only within the context of the Middle East, but throughout the world.

Research

Research in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) is divided into disciplinary research clusters.

The Islamic Studies cluster(http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/iais/research/clusters/islamicstudies/) includes postgraduate students and staff brought together by a common fascination with the theological, ethical and legal traditions of Islam. They gather under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of Islam(http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/iais/research/centres/csi/), which holds regular study groups, seminars and conferences. The principal project linked to this research group is Islamic Reformulations: Belief, Governance, Violence, funded by the ESRC under the RCUK Global Uncertainties Programme. The project examines the current state and future trajectories of Muslim thought.

Our research newsletter will also give you a flavour of our research (http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/iais/research/researchnewsletter/).

Please see our website for further information on this programme: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/arabislamic/islamicstudiesma

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This multidisciplinary degree focuses on the politics, religions, cultures and languages of the Middle East and North Africa. Read more

This multidisciplinary degree focuses on the politics, religions, cultures and languages of the Middle East and North Africa. Current political events are covered in depth, alongside historical developments, paths towards democratisation, the role of gender dynamics and the interactions between religious authorities and civil society.

Core modules will introduce you to the complex intersections between Islam, culture and politics across the region. You’ll also choose from a range of optional modules, allowing you to explore issues such as Islam’s encounter with modernity in further depth, or to learn Arabic, Turkish or Persian from beginner level. Through your dissertation, you will carry out independent research on an aspect of the Middle East that particularly engages you.

This is a fascinating and unique opportunity to study and understand a diverse and complex region through a mix of approaches drawn from Area Studies (Middle East and North Africa), Islamic Studies and traditional disciplines including Politics, History and Law.

Specialist resources

At Leeds we have a wealth of resources to help you make the most of your studies. Our archives contain 500 Arabic manuscripts and 10,000 archaeological artefacts, ranging from Pharaonic to early Palestinian eras.

There are also extensive library resources in our world-class Brotherton Library, and our fully equipped Language Centre features digital language labs, audio-video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) to help you develop your language skills.

We are committed to helping you to develop skills in critical reading, academic analysis and the presentation of your ideas and research and offer students dedicated sessions on these themes.

This programme is also available to study part-time.

Course content

Core modules will lay the foundations of the programme, introducing you to research methods and bibliography to prepare you for your own research and exploring the relationship between Islam, culture and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. You’ll then choose from a wide range of optional modules, allowing you to pursue your interests.

You’ll be expected to choose at least some modules in Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, which means you could learn Arabic, Persian or Turkish from scratch, explore Arab drama or media or study popular revolts and democracy.

However, you can also choose from relevant modules offered by the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science and the School of Politics and International Studies on topics such as Middle Eastern politics, the links between religion and global development or Muslims and multiculturalism among others.

By the end of the programme in September, you’ll be able to showcase the skills and knowledge you’ve developed when you research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

If you choose to study part-time, you'll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies 60 credits
  • Debating the Middle East: Islam, Politics and Culture 30 credits
  • Principles and Practices of Research 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

To help you make the most of our tutors’ expertise, we use a range of teaching and learning methods. Most of your modules will involve lectures and weekly seminars where you’ll discuss your reading and research, while language modules will involve intensive practical classes in small groups.

Assessment

Depending on the modules you choose, you may experience different forms of assessment. Usually these will include essays, exams, oral presentations, practical assessments and even seminar participation.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with a deeper understanding of Islamic and Middle Eastern culture, as well political awareness and potentially language skills. You’ll also develop more sophisticated skills in areas such as research, analysis, interpretation and communication which are highly valued by employers in a wide range of careers.

Opportunities are available in a range of careers within and beyond the UK with a Middle Eastern or Islamic dimension. These include journalism, teaching, NGOs and the charity sector, cultural organisations, travel and tourism, business and finance, the media, marketing and advertising and the civil, security and diplomatic services.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed our continuing role as a leading programme for research and study of Islam, the Middle East, and other related subjects. Read more

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed our continuing role as a leading programme for research and study of Islam, the Middle East, and other related subjects. Over 70% of research activity in Area Studies (IMES and Asian Studies) was classified as world-leading and internationally excellent.

We offer expert supervision for postgraduate studies in Islam, the Middle East and related subjects. You will be studying in an environment that produces world-leading work, with staff who are conducting research of international significance.

A broad spectrum of research areas is available to you as a postgraduate student. Areas include:

  • cinema and media studies of the Middle East
  • comparative historical studies of Islam and Europe
  • cultural studies of the modern Middle East
  • diaspora studies
  • Islamic history
  • Islamic philosophy
  • modern and classical Arabic literature
  • modern and classical Persian literature
  • modern Middle Eastern history
  • Persian, Arabic and Turkish languages
  • politics of the modern Middle East
  • Shi’ism
  • Sufism
  • translation studies

We also offer opportunities for interdisciplinary study across the University.

Training and support

You will have the opportunity to broaden your research perspectives through our workshops and lectures, plus regular conferences and seminars. Inter-school collaborations are also possible, and we will encourage you to create global networks that will aid both your research and employment opportunities.

The activities of the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World, and the Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World (one of a global network of six centres) will add to your graduate school experience, and bring you into frequent contact with leading researchers from beyond Edinburgh.

Facilities

Computing facilities and a student common room are available. The division's own library is also located on-site.



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Why study at Roehampton. The MA draws on a variety of research centres, conferences and seminar series which include contributions from world-renowned academics, community organisers and civic leaders. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • The MA draws on a variety of research centres, conferences and seminar series which include contributions from world-renowned academics, community organisers and civic leaders.
  • It is delivered by an experienced subject team who consistently score well for excellence of teaching in the National Student Survey.
  • The course offers flexible teaching: the MA can be taken either full-time or part-time and teaching takes place in the evening, with the occasional weekend study day.
  • Roehampton is ranked best modern university in London (Complete University Guide 2018) and the most research-intensive modern university in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Course summary

As faiths of all kinds navigate their way through a period of great social change, it is more important than ever to possess an in-depth understanding of how faiths interact with each other and society. This MA creatively balances the close study of particular traditions with a broad understanding of the subject area. It is one of the few programmes in London that offers specialised teaching in Islam as well as several different aspects of Christian theology.

On this course, you can study a variety of religious traditions in relation to key topics such as social justice, gender, text and textual interpretation, and inter-religious dialogue and conflict. You will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of particular religious themes, with a broad view of religious studies, and its diverse forms of interpretation and practice. This course will suit students who want to develop advanced skills in the study and analysis of a range of issues, rather than focus on one specialist subject.

A strength of the course is that it allows you to have a critical awareness of the relationship between different religions and modern secular society, with an informed and scholarly understanding of differences within as well as between religious traditions and cultures. From this,you will use advanced methods of research and critical analysis to explore the ways in which different religious perspectives contribute to contemporary debates about identity, politics and culture.

Drawing on London's rich resources for studying religions in their material, social and historical contexts, this course provides an enhanced learning environment and contributes to your wider cultural awareness and understanding. This is underpinned by a focus on advanced study and research skills, designed to equip you with a high level of proven academic competence and preparing you for careers and vocations that require this expertise. This might include educational institutions, NGOs and other organisations in which understanding of religious perspectives is an advantage.

Content

The MA in Theology and Religious Studies allows you to focus on a broad range of topics within the subject area, and study your particular interests in-depth.

On offer is specialised teaching in Hinduism and Islam as well as different aspects of Christian theology. You could study gender across these traditions, for example looking at women in Islam from feminist, reformist and traditionalist perspectives, or specifically looking at gender across religious texts and narratives. Or you could study contemporary doctrine, such as Pentecostalism in different parts of the world, or in Christian marriage and family life, also taking into account qualitative and quantitative data on marriage and family today, and the political and policy decisions that affect families.

As well as contemporary debates, you will look at historical issues, for example through the effect of Christian theology on art and culture throughout history. You will look at how depictions of nature and grace, suffering and redemption, and gender and incarnation, changed through the Reformation, and then how these new representations influenced modern art and philosophy.

The course also provides opportunity to investigate the relationship of religion and society through modules look at, for example, human rights and community engagement. You will gain an understanding of the historic and contemporary relationship between the Church and the State, as well as the nature of Christian activism in public policy and public discourse. 

Finally, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, which can be informed by your study on the optional modules, or from an area of interest of your own.

Modules

  • Research Skills
  • Reading Seminar
  • Dissertation
  • Islam and Women
  • Human Rights: Religious Perspectives and Challenges
  • Contemporary Issues in Hinduism
  • Christian Doctrine Today
  • Christian Spirituality and Ministry Practice
  • Public Theology and Community Engagment

Career options

This course is especially beneficial for those hoping to: pursue a PhD or conducting specific research; work in faith-based organisations, social services or education; work in international aid, the charity sector and community organisations.

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The MA Islamic Studies is a dynamic and exciting programme of study, appropriate for all those seeking to further their knowledge in the multidisciplinary academic fields associated with the study of Islam. Read more
The MA Islamic Studies is a dynamic and exciting programme of study, appropriate for all those seeking to further their knowledge in the multidisciplinary academic fields associated with the study of Islam.

Course Overview

The programme is taught by experts with diverse interests in Islamic Studies, encouraging students to explore in depth a range of topics relating to the Islam and Muslims in contemporary and historical perspectives. Islamic Studies is a long-standing discipline at the university, and our academic team have contributed to the field through publications, specialist research, and participation in international conferences.

The MA provides a high quality student experience suitable for those working within – or associated with - Muslim communities, in minority and majority contexts, especially those wishing to develop a greater understanding of the people, cultures and religious perspectives with in which they are working.

The programme is delivered full-time or part-time through distance learning. All module content is available through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and students will be supported throughout their studies through regular access to their module tutors, either one to one (by email, skype, phone), in groups (using media such as Skype), or via VLE module discussion forums or wikis.

Campus-based students will be supported through lectures, research seminars and public lectures. An annual residential graduate summer school is held for all students in July where students are able to experience lectures and seminars covering both issues related to generic learning and subject-specific information and to engage with a number of our research students.

Key Features

-Islamic Studies is a long-standing discipline at the university
-Academic team that contributes to publications, specialist research, and participation in international conferences
-Excellent Continuing Professional Development for those working in the field of Islam or with majority and minority Muslim communities
-Our staff are highly experienced teachers who have taught in different institutions and countries and who bring with them valuable expertise in guiding international students through their programmes of study

Assessment

Assessment is usually based on written work in the form of long and short essays, reports, book reviews and reflective pieces.

Career Opportunities

The programme has been designed to attract students interested in developing both their generic as well as their subject-specific skills. It offers opportunities for students who have recently graduated to move on to work at level 7 in their specialist field of study and help prepare them for careers in education, ministry and research. The programme also offers excellent continuing professional development for teachers at various stages of their career, ministers currently in pastoral charge seeking further professional development and other interested parties. In addition, the programme will be attractive to students who wish to study out of personal interest or faith commitment.

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This MA programme studies many aspects of the world of Islam, from its early development to its modern trends. Its primary objective is to approach the study of Islam through a variety of disciplines, cultural contexts and periods. Read more
This MA programme studies many aspects of the world of Islam, from its early development to its modern trends. Its primary objective is to approach the study of Islam through a variety of disciplines, cultural contexts and periods. The programme examines Islamic tradition, law and art, as well as the place of Islam in modern politics and alongside other religions. The degree may be considered as a preparation for research or as a way of completing a liberal education.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/nme/programmes/maislsoccult/

Structure

Candidates will take three taught courses (one major and two minor) and write a dissertation of 10,000 words. The major must be a course from List A, each of which treats subjects of general interest throughout the Islamic world.

The MA Islamic Societies and Cultures is an interdisciplinary (multi-subject) degree. Therefore applicants must choose their Major in a subject different from their Minors. Both Minors may be in the same subject, but not the same subject as the Major. Students may not take more than one language course, and may not take a language course as their Major. The subjects available are: Development Studies, Economics, Gender Studies, History, History of Art/Archaeology, Islamic Studies, Language, Law, Music and Politics. '

All courses will be taught subject to availability. Courses in relevant languages can be taken as an integral part of the MA where appropriate. This Masters degree may be considered either as a preparation for research or as a way of completing a liberal education.

When applying, applicants are asked to specify their preferred major, and asked to give alternative choices. Once enrolled, students have one week to finalise their choice of subjects and have the opportunity of sampling a variety of subjects through attending lectures etc.

MA Islamic Societies and Cultures - Programme Specification 2013/14 (msword; 92kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/nme/programmes/maislsoccult/file91420.doc

Teaching & Learning

Students take three taught courses (one major and two minor) and write a dissertation of 10,000 words. Each course has its own series of classes and seminars, and in addition students attend general lectures and seminars organised by the Middle East Centre. In most courses there is one two-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or a student presentation. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take. The dissertation is on an approved topic linked to one of the taught courses. For further details on the structure of the programme and the courses available, see the menu at left.

- Learning resources
SOAS library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Employment

Graduates in MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies have entered various professions after leaving the School. Some have been able to pursue careers directly related to their study area while others have made use of the general intellectual training provided by the advanced study of cultures for involvement in analysing and solving many of the problems contemporary societies now face. Among a variety of professions, career paths may include academia, charity work, community, government, NGOs, media and publishing, UN agencies SOAS Careers Services The School has a careers service available to all SOAS students while they are at the school, free of charge. This office helps with job listings, interviews during "milk rounds", putting together CVs, and even organising postgraduate study.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Programme Description. You will gain an advanced, interdisciplinary understanding of the history, modern politics and culture of the Islamic Middle East, and explore the paradigms behind the various disciplines within this field. Read more

Programme Description

You will gain an advanced, interdisciplinary understanding of the history, modern politics and culture of the Islamic Middle East, and explore the paradigms behind the various disciplines within this field.

Recognised in the UK and internationally as a leading institution for research and undergraduate and postgraduate study, our department is well resourced. We are home to the Alwaleed Centre, part of an international network of centres devoted to the promotion of better mutual understanding between the World of Islam and the West. We boast an impressive library of current and archival material.

Programme Structure

The programme will combine seminar work, oral presentations and essays. You will complete one compulsory course, two research courses and three option courses over two semesters, followed by an independently researched dissertation.

Your option courses can be chosen from within IMES or from other disciplines such as history, divinity, politics or international relations. You may also take additional language courses in introductory Persian, Turkish or Arabic.

Compulsory courses:

Critical Readings in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Research Skills and Methods in IMES

Research Methods and Problems in IMES

Option courses may include:

Ideology and Political Practice in the Modern Middle East

Islam in Modern Societies

Mystical Islam

Gender and Media in the Arab World

Cinema and Society in the Middle East

Career Opportunities

The aim of this programme is to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to advance to doctoral study, and perhaps an academic career. You may also choose to apply your skills to a role that involves the Islamic community, or use your transferable communication, research and other skills in an unrelated area.



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The end of classical antiquity in the Mediterranean and the Middle East witnessed the formation of polities, institutions and ideologies which define and continue to influence our world to the present day. Read more

The end of classical antiquity in the Mediterranean and the Middle East witnessed the formation of polities, institutions and ideologies which define and continue to influence our world to the present day.

By combining a diverse, yet cognate range of research interests, this programme offers an exceptional selection of linguistic and disciplinary expertise in the study of the late antique, Islamic and Byzantine worlds, embracing archaeology, art history, history, languages and literatures, and auxiliary disciplines such as palaeography, numismatics, and sigillography. It presently provides training in the following source languages: Greek, Latin, Arabic, and/or Hebrew.

This programme provides you with excellent preparation for graduate research in historical, archaeological, literary or art-historical topics focusing on the Mediterranean and western Asia from late antiquity into the early middle ages.

You will have access to the expertise of academics who are all passionate about their area of study. Drawn from several schools across the University and brought together in the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the team comprises specialists in the various branches of late antique, Islamic and Byzantine studies.

Programme structure

The MSc comprises seminars, language classes and tutorials, which will include seminar discussion and debate, presentation to peers, directed and independent reading, as well as interactive language teaching. You will complete one compulsory course and select a further two language courses and an additional three options from a wide range on offer.

The compulsory course is:

  • Approaches to the Long Late Antiquity.

Option courses previously offered include those listed below. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list:

  • Elementary Greek (PG) 1 and Elementary Greek (PG) 2
  • Intermediate Greek (PG) 1 and Intermediate Greek (PG) 2
  • Elementary Latin (PG) 1 and Elementary Latin (PG) 2
  • Intermediate Latin (PG) 1 and Intermediate Latin (PG) 2
  • Arabic 1A and Arabic 1B for MSc LAIBS
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy
  • Mosques, Palaces and Gardens in the Golden Age of Islam
  • Mystical Islam
  • The Qur'an - Islam's Holy Book
  • A Topic in Late Antique and Byzantine History, e.g.: Popular Culture in Late Antiquity; The Mediterranean in the Fifth Century; Centre and Periphery in the Age of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Süleyman the Magnificent
  • Topics in Byzantine Literary History
  • Debating Marriage between Antiquity and the Middle Ages
  • Latin Text Seminar
  • Greek Text Seminar
  • Byzantine Text Seminar
  • Greek Palaeography
  • The Latin Manuscript

Learning outcomes

The programme emphasises acquisition of essential language skills for original research and close work with key historical and/or literary sources of evidence and grounding in the issues surrounding them.

You will gain an appreciation of the associated material cultures, including issues surrounding its recovery, survival and curation, which will prepare you for future academic research and prospective careers in aspects of museums and heritage management.

Career opportunities

Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers. Those interested in long-term academic careers consider the MSc as preparation for a PhD.

The MSc provides a toolkit of transferable skills in organisation, research and analysis that will be highly prized in any field of work. It can form a stepping stone to many careers, such as further academic research, museum and art curation, literary translation or analysis, education or public heritage. Graduates of related programmes are putting their skills to use as tutors, archivists, writers and conference coordinators for employers including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).



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The MRes Islamic Studies is a dynamic and exciting programme of study, appropriate for all those seeking to further their knowledge in the multidisciplinary academic fields associated with the study of Islam. Read more
The MRes Islamic Studies is a dynamic and exciting programme of study, appropriate for all those seeking to further their knowledge in the multidisciplinary academic fields associated with the study of Islam. It is programme that is divided into a 60 credit taught part and a Dissertation of 120 credits amounting to up to 30,000 words in total.

Course Overview

The programme is taught by experts with diverse interests in Islamic Studies, encouraging students to explore in depth a range of topics relating to the Islam and Muslims in contemporary and historical perspectives. Islamic Studies is a long-standing discipline at the university, and our academic team have contributed to the field through publications, specialist research, and participation in international conferences.

The MRes provides a high quality student experience suitable for those working within – or associated with - Muslim communities, in minority and majority contexts, especially those wishing to develop a greater understanding of the people, cultures and religious perspectives with in which they are working.

The programme is delivered as a full-time and part-time programme of study, and is also available as distance learning. All module content is available through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and students will be supported throughout their studies through regular access to their module tutors, either one to one (by email, skype, phone), in groups (using media such as Skype), or via VLE module discussion forums or wikis.

All students will be supported through their studies particular during the Research phase of their programme which amounts to 120 credits overall. An annual residential graduate summer school is held for all students in July where students are able to experience lectures and seminars covering both issues related to generic learning and subject-specific information and to engage with a number of our research students.

Key Features

-Islamic Studies is a long-standing discipline at the university
-Academic team that contributes to publications, specialist research, and participation in international conferences
-Excellent Continuing Professional Development for those working in the field of Islam or with majority and minority Muslim communities
-Our staff are highly experienced teachers who have taught in different institutions and countries and who bring with them valuable expertise in guiding international students through their programmes of study

Assessment

A range of assessment methods are used from essays and short written evaluation, and reflective pieces. The Dissertation is between 25,000 and 30,000 words.

Career Opportunities

The programme has been designed to attract students interested in developing both their generic as well as their subject-specific skills. It offers opportunities for students who have recently graduated to move on to work at level 7 in their specialist field of study and help prepare them for careers in education, ministry and research. The programme also offers excellent continuing professional development for teachers at various stages of their career, ministers currently in pastoral charge seeking further professional development and other interested parties. In addition, the programme will be attractive to students who wish to study out of personal interest or faith commitment.

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How did the ancient Romans view religious-political differences? How did ancient Jewish, Christian, and Muslim authorities use authoritative texts? What potential for pluralism exists in modern monotheisms and secularisms?. Read more
How did the ancient Romans view religious-political differences? How did ancient Jewish, Christian, and Muslim authorities use authoritative texts? What potential for pluralism exists in modern monotheisms and secularisms?

Tension between group solidarity and productive relations with ' others' has been part of human history for as long as evidence exists. In Europe it has played out most enduringly in relations among the monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Today, in the face of mass migration from Muslim regions, questions of political identity and belonging remain bound up with religious affiliation. This one-year degree programme focuses on relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims in the antique world and how these relations have formed our modern society. We will explore concepts as religious pluralism, politics, and their many interfaces globally in particular.

In this track within the Master's Programme in Theology & Religious Studies, you will:
* examine the literary sources of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in a historically informed way in order to bring critical perspectives to modern interpretations;
* identify continuing issues in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic self-definition, toleration of difference, and exclusionary or conversionist tendencies;
* map a range of ancient possibilities for coexistence or conviviality and their opposites under changing conditions.

Why Groningen?

• rated best Master's programme in Theology & Religious Studies in the Netherlands
• top 100 university
• integrated approach of religious pluralism, politics, and their many global interfaces
• focus on historical context of modern societies
• taught by internationally recognized experts in the field
• opportunity to pursue your own research interests

Job perspectives

As a graduate you can become an adviser and policymaker on interreligious issues and multicultural society. You may work in cultural organisations and companies in the public sector. In addition, you can work in the media. You can become a teacher of religion or philosophy. If you want to pursue an academic career, you can follow this track as a specialization within the research Master's programme.

Job examples

• Consulting & Policy
You are able to provide well-founded advice on interreligious issues and multicultural society. You can use this expertise in an advisory position at cultural organizations, in companies or in the public sector. Your knowledge equips you for policymaking positions in this field.

• Media & Journalism
The current debate often refers to perceived historical realities. Your expertise in the formative periods of Judaism, Christianity and Islam enables you to ask critical questions concerning modern-day claims about these religious traditions. You can use your knowledge and skills as an editor at a publishing company, broadcasting company, newspaper or news and current affairs magazine. You could also work as a freelancer.

• Education
Once you have completed this Master's programme you will have enough knowledge of the subject to become a secondary school teacher in the subject of Religious Studies and Philosophy or Social Studies. You could also opt for a position in higher vocational education, for example teaching Theology at a university of applied sciences. As you also need didactic skills as a teacher, it is advisable to do a Master's in Education after you have completed your regular Master's programme.

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Research profile. In this research area, you can pursue interdisciplinary study of Islamic thought and practice, and of historical, theological, ethical and political encounters between Christianity and Islam. Read more

Research profile

In this research area, you can pursue interdisciplinary study of Islamic thought and practice, and of historical, theological, ethical and political encounters between Christianity and Islam.

Staff research interests focus on Islamic theology (kalam), law (shari‘a and fiqh), and philosophy; Qur’an, Hadith, and Tafsir; Muslim views of Christianity and Judaism; Christian theological engagements with Islam; constructive theology and ethics from a Christian or Muslim perspective; Arab Christianity, classic and contemporary; political Islam; political theology; comparative theology; migration, religion and politics.

You can find out more and identify a potential supervisor by looking at the School’s staff profiles, which give details of research interests and publications, and email addresses.

You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research project before making a formal application.

At the School of Divinity you will join a community of around 150 research students, drawn from around the world, and from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds.

You will study in a stimulating environment. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked the School’s research environment at 100% world-leading / internationally excellent, second in the UK on this front in theology and religion. This outstanding result reflects the vibrancy of the School’s research culture.

Masters by Research

If you have academic training in theology or religious studies (or another relevant subject), and would like to develop your interest with a focus on a particular area, the Masters by Research may interest you.

You can study full-time (one year) or part-time (two years). Your pattern of study can either be three supervised research essays followed by a 15,000 word dissertation, or a 30,000 word dissertation. Most students take the ‘research essays + shorter dissertation’ path. All students receive research training.

Training and support

The ethos of the Graduate School is to promote excellence in postgraduate study, within a stimulating and supportive environment. We value equality and diversity in the School community, and an academic culture that is both critical and constructive.

  • At the start of the academic year, you will be invited to Welcome Week, an intensive introduction to study and life in Edinburgh. Some events are especially for international students new to Scotland and the UK, but everything is open to all.
  • In the first weeks, the School provides a general orientation to research skills and to wider opportunities for training and support.
  • From your first days as a PhD or MPhil student, you will work one-to-one with your primary research supervisor.
  • Your progress will be tracked, through regular supervisions and milestone reviews, to ensure that you get the support you need to bring your project to fruition.
  • You will be part of the research seminars in Theology and Ethics, and in Religious Studies, to which visiting speakers are invited and to which postgraduates present work-in-progress.
  • You will be able to follow taught courses that contribute to your interests and research needs, and can also take advantage of opportunities to learn ancient and modern languages.
  • If you are a PhD student, after successful completion of your first year, you will be eligible to apply for tutoring opportunities, to gain teaching experience.

A University review (2015) commended the Graduate School for providing excellent support: responsive to student feedback; proactive in helping new postgraduates to adjust to their studies and to life in Scotland; enthusiastic and practical in promoting career development. The postgraduate student committee works closely with the School to make the research student experience the best it can be.

Facilities

The School of Divinity, one of the largest centres for the study of religion in the United Kingdom, is located in the historic setting of New College, close to Edinburgh Castle and overlooking Princes Street.

Resources for research are excellent. You can draw on the outstanding holdings of New College Library, the University of Edinburgh’s main library, and the nearby National Library of Scotland. New College Library has one of the largest theology collections in the UK, with more than a quarter of a million items and a large and rich manuscript collection. The University library exceeds 2.25 million volumes. The National Library of Scotland – a ‘legal deposit’ library like the British Library in London and the university libraries of Oxford and Cambridge – is just around the corner.

The School provides an extensive programme of weekly research seminars and special guest lectures. In addition, three research centres provide a special focus for activity: the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins; the Centre for Theology and Public Issues; the Centre for the Study of World Christianity.

You will have access to excellent study facilities, dedicated to postgraduates. PhD and MPhil students have access 24/7, and can request an allocated desk. Masters by Research students have shared study space. All areas have printing/scanning and computer facilities. The main postgraduate study wing has a kitchen. New College has an on-site cafe that is open during term time.



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