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  • 5/31/2005

University of Birmingham


Islamic studies has been taught atBirmingham since the 1930s. In 1976 the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations (CSIC) was founded, and in 1991 an undergraduate programme was started at the then Westhill College. In the last few years both of these units have become part of the University of Birmingham in the Department of Theology and Religion,School ofHistorical Studies.

BA in Islamic Studies

Islam is one of the major religions of the World. It has greatly influenced the course of history and it continues to exercise a huge influence on the present. The Department of Theology and Religion offers a comprehensive degree in Islamic Studies that provides a unique opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge in both traditional and modern Islamic issues. The subject may be studied for the Single Honours degree of Bachelor of Arts or in Joint Honours degree of Bachelor of Arts. The duration of the study is for three years full time, but it is possible to study it part-time.

BA Islamic Studies: Teaching
Teaching Methods and Approaches

Our students come from different backgrounds and hold a wide spectrum of views and commitments as is inevitable in today’s world. Diverse members of staff with different expertise and interests teach students and use a range of approaches. The teaching methods include lectures, tutorials and other small group work. Students are given the opportunity to contribute to the course in terms of presentations and extended pieces of research. Performance is measured by a combination of examination, course work and dissertation. The aim of this degree is to prepare those of you wanting careers in the caring professions, in religious education in schools or mosques, and youth work. Study is undertaken from an Islamic perspective, but not in isolation. It seeks to have a faithful understanding of the Islamic tradition whilst relating it to the modern world.
The programme should have a special appeal for Muslims in the Western world, and for those who seek an understanding of Islam taught by Muslims. You are taught by staff from different countries and backgrounds, and with differing expertise. Our students hold a wide spectrum of views and commitments as is inevitable in today's modern, secular and multicultural society. However, Islamic Studies has an important part to play in student life. The degree has a strong vocational dimension with placements in the Islamic community and in the wider society. This complements the academic work with the aim of developing practical and interpersonal skills.

Postgraduate Islamic Studies:

Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations (CSIC)The Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations (CSIC) was founded in 1976 as a joint Muslim-Christian graduate teaching and research institute. The centre seeks to encourage respect for the various Christian and Muslim traditions in their own terms and rejects polemics and proselytism. With academic integrity, the programmes of the CSIC seek to give equal attention to the theoretical dimensions of Christian-Muslim relations and the lived situations of communities in plural contexts, and to understand the relationships between the two spheres.

The postgraduate teaching programmes are the core of the Center's work. In addition staff are extensively involved in consultations, research and projects in various parts of the world. The Centre has formal cooperation agreements with Al-Azhar University, Cairo, the University of Jordan, Amman and Kuwait University, and it works very closely with institutions in Malaysia, Kyrghyzstan, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon and various European countries, in particular, Bulgaria, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Centre organises specialist conferences and seminars, some jointly with institutions internationally, including a regular symposium on Arab Christianity and Islam.

Over the years the CSIC has conducted a number of research projects on aspects of the situation of Islam in Europe. Currently the major activity is a project on a transnational Sufi order, funded by the Economic and Research Council. During 2000-2001 the Centre also worked with colleagues at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, on a survey of Islam in Europe for the European Commission.

Since 1990 the Centre has published the academic journal Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, jointly with Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding since 1996. The British Muslims Monthly Survey, published since 1993 (and now available on the World Wide Web), is a complete abstract of British press reporting on developments in Britain's Muslim communities. A six-monthly Newsletter is also available here.

The Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations (CSIC) is a leading centre for Islamic Studies in Britain. Programmes are offered from taught Masters (MA), through MPhil to PhD. currently about sixty students, the majority from a wide range of countries overseas, are registered on these Islamic Studies programmes, some as part of formal agreements with universities in the Arab world and in South East Asia. Opportunities are provided for continuing improvement in English and research skills, and supporting seminars in research methods and issues with visiting scholars are regularly organized. The Centre regularly attracts students with British public awards such as Britannia-Chevening Scholarships and Overseas Research Studentships.

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