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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.

Course Aims

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.

Special Features

student and teacher

Course Structure

Students taking the Postgraduate Diploma take a total of 120 credits of modules, consisting of:

Students enrolled on the MA take these modules plus:

Available Modules

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:

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:

Skills Acquired

On completion the PgDip or MA, students will have skills including critical evaluation, teamwork, time-management and interdisciplinary expertise.

Career Prospects

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.

Student Testimonials

Photo of Marni

“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)

Photo of Joseph

“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

You can find more reviews on the School website.

Entry Requirements

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.


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.


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.


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.

Further Information

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.

  UK & EU International
Full-time £6,000 £14,500
Part-time £3,000 £7,250
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr. Sophie Gilliat-Ray  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6125 



School Website:

More information

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Funding Available

There are current funding opportunities for this course. Click here.