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Islamic Finance (MSc)

Course Description

This one-year full-time programme is designed to provide rigorous training at the frontier of research, giving you the opportunity to develop the advanced analytical and technical skills that are highly sought after by global employers. MSc Islamic Finance is a specialised taught programme, involving quantitative methods in the analysis of Islamic and conventional finance by making reference to their technical particularities.

The programme consists of a set of core and elective modules, culminating in a practice-based business project or a research-based dissertation.

Core and elective modules

You will study:
-Islamic Banking and Finance
-Islamic Law and Financial Transactions
-Islamic Political Economy
-Advanced Financial Theory
-Econometric Methods
-Islamic Capital Markets
-Risk Management Issues in Islamic Finance
You will then choose one elective module. The list of modules may vary from year to year, but has typically included:
-Behavioural Finance and Economics
-Derivative Markets
-Financial Management
-International Finance
-Multinational Finance
-Portfolio Management

Dissertation/Business Project

In the third term, you will complete a 12,000 word dissertation which could be a specific project with an organisation. Supervised by a faculty member with relevant experience, you will investigate in greater detail a subject that you have already studied as part of your programme. A major piece of independent work, the dissertation will enable you to exercise critical judgement and illustrate how economic analysis has relevance to financial decision taking.

Adding to your experience

International Opportunities
International Study Tour: We organise an optional International Study Tour to a European destination, typically Switzerland. This intensive programme takes place over several days, normally in March/April, and offers you a great opportunity to get an ‘inside perspective’ on international business, and to network with key staff within organisations.
International Conferences: We organise and sponsor international conferences on Islamic economics and finance in collaboration with other leading global academic institutions such as the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) of the Islamic Development Bank; International Shari’ah Research Academy (ISRA), Malaysia; and Kyoto University, Japan.

Guest Speakers
As part of your programme, you have the opportunity to enjoy presentations by academics and practitioners within your chosen area of interest. Past speakers have included leading academics and professional financiers and bankers, providing an ideal opportunity to gain practical knowledge and progressive insight in Islamic finance related areas.

Learning and Teaching

The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars. Lectures provide key contents of a particular topic. Occasionally lectures might be delivered by guest speakers who are internationally recognised academic experts or practitioners in their field. Students can also attend the Durham Speaker Series including Islamic Finance Programme’s specialised seminars, providing the opportunity to network with senior business leaders, academics, staff and alumni. Seminars provide the opportunity for smaller groups of students to solve problems and discuss and debate issues based on knowledge gained through lectures and independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. These help students to articulate the knowledge they have developed in the lectures and independent study time.

Students study 7 core modules, and select 1 elective module to study, which enables them to undertake more in-depth study of particular topics. This is followed by a 12,000 word dissertation to allow students to carry out independent research and develop their skills in analysis and scholarly expression, using an appropriate theoretical framework. They are supported in writing their dissertation through the study of research methods, and attending individual meetings with an allocated supervisor, who monitors their progress and provides advice.

Academic Support:
Throughout the year, students may have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, which includes conferences and seminars organised within the programme and also professional conferences organised within the industry. Durham Islamic Finance Summer School in August should also be considered as an extremely valuable opportunity to develop practical knowledge and for networking purpose. They also have the opportunity to attend an International Study Week at an overseas location at the end of Term 2, which gives students the opportunity to learn about the business, economy and culture of another country, gain an ‘insider perspective’ on international businesses and network with key business staff.

Learning Resource:
Outside of timetabled contact hours, students are expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study in preparation for teaching sessions, assignments and other forms of assessment including exams, and general background reading to broaden their subject knowledge. All students have an Academic Adviser who is able to provide general advice on academic matters. Teaching staff are also available to provide additional support on a one-to-one basis via weekly consultation hours.

Students also have access to the facilities available at Mill Hill Lane including dedicated postgraduate working spaces, an onsite library and IT helpdesk.

Visit the Islamic Finance (MSc) page on the Durham University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Ili Liyana Abu Bakar

2202.png I grew up in Singapore with a background in Economics and Finance from the Singapore Management University and wanted to pursue an overseas Masters degree for greater international exposure. Durham was my top choice as it is one of the leading university and for Islamic Finance, one of the fastest growing industries globally with a huge potential that has yet to be realized. Having done my research, I knew that the Durham Islamic Finance Masters and PHD programmes are highly prestigious, globally recognized and led by very dedicated academics and lecturers who are experts in their fields.

The Masters programme gave me a very strong foundation of Islamic Finance and is well balanced as it also includes modules in conventional finance. The mix of international students and their varied professional backgrounds gave diversity and depth into the discussions.

The highlight of this programme was the Durham Islamic Finance Summer School, which gave me valuable insights into the industry and offered networking opportunities with Islamic bankers, regulators, scholars and students from all over the world, some of whom I keep in touch with. It also led me to my internship with a Shariah compliant structured finance firm in Kuwait. Indeed, the Islamic Finance programme and the Summer School places one in a highly advantageous position to enter the Islamic Finance Industry.

The student community is very vibrant and I had one of the best years of my life there. I met people from all over the world and this gave me not only an amazing network of friends but also a global perspective on life. The Durham experience has transformed me into a more confident all rounded individual. I would highly recommend any prospective students to look no further and enjoy what Durham has to offer.


Entry Requirements

The equivalent of a UK good upper second class honours degree. You will need evidence on your degree transcript of strong grades in statistical modules in your second, third or fourth year. The Masters in Islamic Finance is designed for new or recent graduates. You should have a strong background in a related discipline and knowledge and familiarity in quantitative economics and finance.

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