MRes Islamic Studies

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The MRes degree is a research programme with provision for taught modules. It is intended for anyone who wishes to move beyond undergraduate work and to engage in research in depth for a postgraduate thesis, but who also wishes to take taught modules that help develop research and related skills. On this programme you explore most aspects of Islamic Studies, including Islamic history and philosophy, and contemporary religious and political thought.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Combined research and taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Start date: September


The MRes is a research degree that also includes taught components. It may be followed as an end in itself, though it also provides an excellent foundation for doctoral research.

The programme comprises four components: a compulsory Research Methods module, two optional taught modules, and a 20,000-word thesis on a topic of your choice.

Why study this course

The University of Birmingham is an excellent centre for the study of religion and culture. It not only has a long tradition of specialised research in Islam and its relations with the cultural settings in which Muslims live, but it has also built up good relationships and partnerships with Birmingham's many different communities. Such a long tradition of scholarship and rich cultural mix means that it provides an ideal setting to study Islam in both its historical and contemporary forms. As a postgraduate in this field at Birmingham, you will have access to one of the largest collections of books on Islam in the country, and also the unique Mingana Collection of Syriac and Arabic manuscripts.


Core module:

  • Research Methods 

Optional modules:

For your two optional modules you may choose from the other modules offered on the MA in Islamic Studies programme or from other M-level modules offered within the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion or, where appropriate, from other Schools in the College of Arts and Law. You should make your choice with the topic of your thesis in mind, and in consultation with your thesis supervisor. The following modules are recommended:

  • Christian-Muslim Relations – Origins and Issues
  • Contemporary Sufi Movements
  • Feminism in the Muslim World
  • Islam in Britain
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Political Islam

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are currently as follows:

  • Home / EU £4,052 full-time; £2,026 part-time
  • Overseas: £13,195 full-time; £6,597.50 part-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Learn more about postgraduate tuituion fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme

For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.

Entry requirements

Normally a 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline is required for entry

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Additional Guidance for applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode.

Making your application


When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

As well as the taught modules you take on this programme, the Department of Theology and Religion has a busy programme of research seminars, conferences and workshops which you can attend, so you will be able to gain insight from a range of academics and peers from across the department.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.


The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Birmingham’s Theology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

Over the past five years, over 92% of our postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Many of our graduates go into careers in churches of various denominations. For those in further study, teacher training courses remain a popular choice. Other students use their transferable skills in a range of employment sectors, including local government, education and charities. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: British Council; Church of England; Institute of Education; International Greek New Testament Project; Quaker Homeless Action; Queens Ecumenical Theological College; and University of Birmingham.