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  • The Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, London. The Institute's students come from a range of sectors and professions, including the social sciences and humanities, education, architecture and the visual arts.
    AKDN / Gary Otte
Aga Khan University's Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations offers Masters in Muslim Cultures starting September 2006

London, United Kingdom, 28 November 2005 - From its London campus, Aga Khan University–Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) will launch a two-year, full-time Master’s degree in Muslim Cultures in September 2006.

Dr. Abdou Filali-Ansary, the Institute’s Director, announced that "the degree aims to contribute to the formation of scholars, intellectuals and professionals capable of engaging with contemporary issues, particularly those faced by Muslims, by drawing upon ethical ideals, critical thinking and modern academic tools".

The MA in Muslim Cultures offers a distinctive way of understanding the cultures of Muslims as they have evolved over time. The course will use the theories and methods of the humanities and social sciences as a framework for study. Learning is both classroom and field-based. As part of their language course, during the summer of their first year, students will travel to a relevant country to immerse themselves in a language and culture different from their own. In their second year, students will prepare a dissertation following a four-week field project on a theme of their choice. Educational excursions are also part of the degree programme.

A diverse student body will be taught by an international faculty. Students will also benefit from the facilities and activities offered by neighbouring academic and cultural institutions, among others. This in addition to AKU-ISMC’s partnership with prominent institutions around the world.

Furthermore, the Institute’s cultural events, academic workshops and seminars will offer students another framework through which the cultures of Muslims can be studied and considered as an opportunity to meet eminent academics from a variety of disciplines.

Students wishing to apply to the programme may obtain further information from or email

Financial assistance will be available on a needs-basis for successful applicants.

For further information, please contact:
Communications Officer
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations
3 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3RA
United Kingdom
Tel: +44-207-907-1020
Fax: +44-207-907-1030


In 2002, Aga Khan University (AKU) established its Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) in the United Kingdom. The goal of the Institute is to strengthen research and teaching on the heritage of Muslim societies in all its historic diversity. The Institute seeks to create opportunities for interaction among academics, scholars and other professionals so as to deepen understanding of pressing issues of public life affecting Muslim societies. AKU-ISMC hopes to make a distinct contribution to the understanding of Muslim societies and the emergence of new attitudes among Muslims and non Muslims towards contemporary issues.

The Aga Khan University, chartered in Pakistan in 1983 as a private international university, is one of the nine agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims. The AKDN is group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. The Network’s nine development agencies focus on Social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin and religion. The AKDN’s underlying ethics is for compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its annual budget for philanthropic activity is in excess of US$300million.