Offering an interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Muslim Civilisations that attracts scholars and students from around the world to its London campus, the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (ISMC) explores the diverse histories of Muslim societies, as well as new paths and possibilities in a time of change, challenge and opportunity.
The Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations addresses fundamental challenges of the human condition as they are expressed across the diverse societies of the Muslim world and their diasporas.
The Aga Khan University (AKU) established ISMC in 2002, seeking to occupy a vacant space in the discourse on the Muslim world by promoting scholarship that opens up new perspectives within Muslim societies on key issues such as tradition and modernity, religion and the state, pluralism and unity and the nature of community in an era of global connection and change. As an international metropolis in which freedom of thought and expression are encouraged and protected, London was felt to be the ideal location for the Institute.
The three-semester degree programme at AKU-ISMC provides you with expert insight and deep understanding of Muslim cultures and civilisations, both in the historical and contemporary worlds. Our programme gives you the skills to engage critically, in original and creative ways, with the challenges faced by Muslim societies. To help ensure that you are fulfilling the objectives of this course, our teaching is student-centred and our academics, who are leaders in their fields, seek to enhance your learning through a multi-faceted approach that applies a framework of world cultures, humanities and social sciences to the study of Muslim contexts.
Learning at AKU-ISMC is both classroom and field-based. During the first and second semester of the programme, students will be able to study a diverse selection of core and elective courses. During their third semester, students must prepare a thesis following an optional field project on a theme of their choice.
Students also participate in a wide range of academic excursions during the course of the MA Programme and benefit from the facilities and activities offered by neighbouring institutions in London's Knowledge Quarter (such as the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the London School of Economics (LSE) and the British Library).
Studying in London offers great opportunity for listening to and meeting prominent international speakers.
Furthermore, the Institute's cultural events, academic workshops and seminars offer students another framework through which the cultures of Muslims can be considered. These events also expose students to ideas and provide opportunities to meet eminent scholars and influencers from a variety of domains.
Students also benefit from experiencing London through extra curricular activities in their orientation week.