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Islam in Contemporary Britain (MA)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Course options See other modes of study
Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Gain the skills to pursue high calibre research on Muslims in Britain within the flagship Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK.


Contemporary focus

Gain an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and conceptual vocabulary surrounding British Islam in the renowned Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK.


Research skills

Training to pursue high calibre research within the second largest faith community in the UK.


Career advancing

Recognised qualification for working in professional capacity with British Muslims.


Practical experience

Opportunities to gain experience - through placement and volunteering - within local Muslim organisations.

Census data shows that Muslims are now the second largest faith community in British society, and they are at the forefront of compelling conversations about the intersection of religion and public life.

Our rewarding MA Islam in Contemporary Britain programme delivers a comprehensive understanding of the development of Muslim communities in the UK, the current challenges they face, and an introduction to the scholarly study of Islam in a modern Western European society.

On this programme, you will gain the social science skills essential to pursue high calibre research on Islam in Britain today within our flagship Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK.

You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and conceptual vocabulary surrounding British Islam and the skills to undertake high quality research according to social sciences professional ethics codes.

Our qualifications are recognised as indicators of professional competence to work with British Muslims.

Encouraged to contribute to the Centre’s highly respected public seminar series, you’ll have ample opportunity to connect with scholarly and public networks.

You’re warmly encouraged to undertake voluntary work with Muslim communities in Cardiff in activities ranging from assisting with homework clubs run via local mosques to contributing to the Muslim Council of Wales ‘iLead’ programme which aims to support young Muslims developing leadership skills.

Our Theology and Religious Studies research ranked 10th in the UK’s recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

Where you'll study

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Curious about the human experience across millennia and cultures, we are seeking to better understand our past, to illuminate our present and improve our future.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4470
  • MarkerColum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

Academic Requirements:

  • a 2:2 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as humanities, social sciences, or an equivalent international degree plus those with an interest in understanding Islam in Britain, past, present and future.  
  • a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification 

  • or relevant professional experience evidenced by a reference. 

If you are submitting your application based upon relevant professional experience, please provide a reference from your employer to evidence that you currently work in an area relevant to the programme. This should be signed, dated and less than six months old at the time you submit your application.

English Language requirements:

IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or an accepted equivalent. 

Application deadline: 

The application deadline is 1 August. If you submit an application after this date, we will only consider it if places are still available. 

Selection process: 

If you are submitting your application based upon relevant professional experience, you will also be required to satisfactorily complete an interview and a 1500 word essay on a subject determined by school staff.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

For the taught element of the programme you will study three core modules (60 credits) and choose a further three optional modules (60 credits).

On successful completion of this stage you will progress to your dissertation. Your dissertation is an essay of up to 20,000 words on a topic of your choice (approved in consultation with your tutor).

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Teaching is via lectures, small group tutorials, seminars, audio-visual resources, guest speakers, and optional placement/voluntary work.

You are encouraged to attend and contribute to our Islam UK Centre Public Lecture Series, known for bringing high-profile speakers to the region to discuss a wide range of topical research.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed via essays, other assignments (such as book reviews and presentations), or written exams depending on the modules chosen.

How will I be supported?

On enrolment, you are assigned your own Personal Tutor and provided with teaching and learning resources, including Postgraduate Handbook. Additional specific module resources are made available during the programme.

Your personal tutor is your contact point to discuss any problems arising from the course. Further queries should be addressed to the School’s Director of Postgraduate Taught. Our Professional Services team is also available for advice and support.


Feedback on coursework may be provided via written comments on work submitted, by provision of ‘model’ answers and/or through discussion in contact sessions.

What skills will I practise and develop?

  • In-depth understanding of the theoretical and conceptual vocabulary surrounding British Islam
  • Skills to undertake high quality research according to social sciences professional ethics codes
  • Analytical approaches; such as coding and categorizing, conversation and discourse analysis, narrative approaches
  • An ability to exercise independent judgement on a topic to support an evidence-based argument
  • Data generation strategies; such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, working with documents.

Tuition fees for 2022 entry

Our Jameel Scholarship programme is now open for students applying for the MA in Islam in Contemporary Britain. Three scholarships are available for study starting in September 2020.

Students from the UK

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £8,450 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £19,450 £1,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Careers and placements

Graduates of this and similar degree programmes have embarked on careers in a range of professions, including the voluntary sector and NGOs, policy and politics, religious leadership and the faith sector, the news media, the civil service, teaching, and academia. Many choose to continue their studies at PhD level.

Recent graduate destinations include the Welsh Assembly, the Muslim Council of Wales, the Muslim Council of Britain, the Centre for Media Monitoring, TRT World, Muslim Engagement and Development, Islamic Relief, the National Portrait Gallery, primary and secondary schools, and universities across the UK and overseas, including Cardiff University and the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK.

91% of postgraduates from the School of History, Archaeology and Religion were in employment or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2016/17).



Master's Excellence Scholarships

An award open to students with a home fee status intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2021 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Jameel Scholarships

The Islam-UK Centre based in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion is pleased to invite applications for the Jameel Scholarship scheme.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2021 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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HESA data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2020. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18, published by HESA in June 2020.