Islam in Contemporary Britain (MA/PgDip)
1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)
Census data shows that Muslims are now the second largest faith community in British society. This course provides an exciting opportunity to understand the history and development of Muslim communities, the current challenges they face, and an introduction to the scholarly study of Islam in a modern Western European society.
This programme aims to provide students with an understanding of the history and development of Muslim communities in the UK, and the social science training and skills to undertake original qualitative research with and about Muslims in Britain.
Who is this programme for?
The course welcomes those with an interest in contemporary Islam/Muslim communities in Britain, either due to previous academic study, personal interest, or for professional purposes.
- Provides an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and conceptual vocabulary surrounding British Islam
- Develops the skills required to undertake high quality research on Islam in Britain, according to codes of professional ethics in the social sciences
- Provides a recognised qualification indicating competence to work in a professional capacity with British Muslims
- Students are provided with opportunities to engage in placements/volunteering with local Muslim organisations
- Students on the MA/PgDip in Islam in Contemporary Britain are encouraged to attend and contribute to the annual ‘Islam-UK Centre Public Lecture Series’ in the Spring Semester. Examples of these can be viewed via our Vimeo channel
Students taking the Postgraduate Diploma take a total of 120 credits of modules, consisting of:
- 40 credits of core research skills
- 80 credits of modules focusing on Muslims in Britain and advanced research methods
Students enrolled on the MA take these modules plus:
- 60 credit dissertation (topic or theme chosen by the student in consultation with academic staff).
- 8 contact hours on average per week, Autumn and Spring Semesters
This programme provides an all-round training in qualitative research methods in relation to Muslim communities in Britain. It consists of 6 compulsory modules and a dissertation module for MA students.
The compulsory modules are framed within Part 1 of the course and comprise:
- School-wide study postgraduate skills module = 20 credits (up to 2 hours per week, Autumn Semester)
- Qualitative Research Methods = 20 credits (up to 2 hours per week, Autumn and Spring Semesters)
- Foundations of Social Science Research = 20 credits (up to 2 hours per week, Autumn Semester)
- History and Development of Muslim Communities in Britain = 20 credits (up to 2 hours per week, Autumn Semester) which includes (indicative list of topics covered – these change periodically):
- A History of Islam and Muslims in Britain to 1900
- A History of Islam and Muslims in Britain from 1900-1945
- Migration and settlement of Muslims from 1945
- Muslims and the Census
- A History of Muslims in Wales
- South Asian Muslim reform movements
- Middle Eastern Muslim reform movements
- Qualitative Research with Muslim communities in Britain
- Researching British Muslims: design issues and challenges
- Conducting Sensitive Research with British Muslims
- Contemporary Debates = 20 credits (2 hours per week, weeks 1-5, Spring Semester) to include:
- Theoretical Issues 1
- Theoretical Issues 2
- Muslims and the Media
- Religious leadership
- Muslims in Britain Today = 20 credits (2 hours per week, Spring Semester) to include:
- Social Policy
- Politics and PREVENT
- Marriage and the family
- Inter-faith relations
- Arts and culture
Part 2 (MA students only) consists of a dissertation (16,000-20,000 words) which can be undertaken on a topic of the student’s choice, during June-September.
Teaching Methods, Resources and Facilities
Teaching methods include lectures, small group tutorials, seminars, audio-visual resources, guest speakers, and optional placement/voluntary work.
Students have access to a range of resources and facilities, including excellent library resources built up over 16 years; access to a wide range of relevant journals and online sources; extensive audio-visual resources via Vimeo and refurbished dedicated seminar room with full AV facilities for the exclusive use of graduate students associated with the Islam-UK Centre.
Tutors and Assessment
Below you can find a list of tutors on the programme with links to their profile pages on the School's website.
The programme is assessed via a variety of means, including:
- Written assignments of 4000 words in each taught module
- A dissertation of 16-20,000 words
On completion the PgDip or MA, students will have skills including critical evaluation, teamwork, time-management and interdisciplinary expertise.
The course offers a wide range of possible career opportunities. It is a highly suitable programme for those who are looking for careers in academic research, the public sector (such as local authorities), the race and community relations industry, inter-faith work, community development and the voluntary sector.
“My name is Marni Schreiber, an international student from the United States. While completing my undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, I began a research project on Islam and the representation of Muslims in Britain. To better understand the lived experiences of British Muslims, I had to continue my studies in Britain. The Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK’s research initiatives on Muslim chaplaincy is developing my interests on religion in institutional settings, while the MA Islam in Contemporary Britain is providing me resources and local connections to engage with this topic in a meaningful fashion.”
Marni, MA Islam in Britain student (2014-15)
“I have really appreciated the friendly atmosphere and approachability of the academic staff at the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK. It is an exciting place to be, at the forefront of studying Muslims in Britain today. Before joining the Centre I worked for a number of NGOs in different European countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands, after I had obtained a BSc in sociology from the University of Bristol which included one year studying abroad at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. I am originally from Okehampton, a town near Exeter.”
Joseph, MA Islam in Britain student (2014-15)
“Prior to joining Cardiff’s Islam-UK centre, I undertook a BA in English Literature with Creative Writing at Birmingham University. I have lived in many cities, but by far the most welcoming is Cardiff! The best thing about the MA course is the friendly and close-knit network of students and scholars in the department. Each person brings something unique to the course through their research interest”
Anisa Ather, studying in 2012-13
The course is suitable for graduates in a wide variety of Humanities disciplines and Social Sciences and those with an interest in understanding Islam in Britain, past, present and future. This programme is also helpful for people who work with, or for, the Muslim community, and those who are keen to develop a research/academic career in this exciting new field.
Applicants should normally possess or expect to obtain a First or Upper Second class UK Honours degree, or equivalent. Those without a degree from a recognised university may be considered for the programme via the alternative entry route, which requires an examination and interview.
Students are encouraged to undertake voluntary work with Muslim communities in Cardiff, and are supported in doing so. This might include activities such as assisting with homework clubs run via local mosques, or contributing to the Muslim Council of Wales ‘iLead’ programme which aims to support young Muslims developing leadership skills.
Applicants whose first language is not English will be expected to provide evidence of English proficiency. IELTS exam results showing an overall grade of 6.5 are acceptable for this programme, with no particular minimum in each sub score.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.
How to Apply
Applications can be made for this course via our Online Application Service selecting the MA Islam in Contemporary Britain option from the list of courses. Applicants should use the Personal Statement section of the form to outline their area of interest and, if possible, the topic that they hope to research for their dissertation.
There is no formal deadline for applications, but applications from those aiming to commence their studies in September should have been received by 1st August.
With the help of a very generous gift to the University, the Jameel Scholarships, which are confirmed until 2018, have been established to enable the very best students to come to Cardiff – those who have the intellect and determination to apply their knowledge for the benefit of Muslim communities in the UK, and to promote better understanding of Islam in wider society.
For more details on how to apply, please visit the Jameel Scholarships funding page.
The Islam UK Centre has a Facebook page, twitter feed, and a lively programme of public engagement. Find out more by visiting our website.
Tuition Fees 2016/17
Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.
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|Deposit||n/a||Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.|
Next intake: September each year
Name: Dr. Sophie Gilliat-Ray
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6125