Al-Mahdi Institute : Education & Research

AMI's Hawza Programme with an MA degree from University of Birmingham

Starting from September 2018, Al-Mahdi Institute (AMI) will be offering it's Hawza Programme with the added bonus of achieving a Postgraduate MA degree qualification from the University of Birmingham (UoB), in the final year of the Hawza Programme. 


Course Details:

The Hawza Programme at AMI offers students a thorough grounding in reading, analysing and contextualising classical Arabic texts, with a great emphasis placed on the use of modern theories in the study of religion, theology and language. Modules taught on the Hawza Programme are based on the curricula taught at the traditional seminaries of Qom and Najaf and include;

  • Arabic Language and Grammar
  • Fiqh (Jurisprudence)
  • Usul al-Fiqh (legal theory)
  • Qur'anic studies
  • Islamic Theology
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Islamic Mysticism
  • Logic


The Hawza Programme is available to study in-house or via distance learning. To view the full structure of the hawza programme, click here. 

Students who successfully complete the first three years of the Hawza Programme (by achieving 450 credits out of 510 credits) will now have the opportunity to obtain a Postgraduate Masters degree in Islamic Studies awarded by and studied at the University of Birmingham (UoB), in the final year of the Hawza Programme. 

UoB's MA in Islamic Studies programme will offer AMI students the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required in the study of Islamic Studies, in both historical and contemporary contexts, to provide students with an ideal foundation for conducting further research. Having explored classical Arabic texts in the first three years of the Hawza Programme, students will now also have the opportunity engage with material that is at the forefront of contemporary academic research in Islamic Studies, mainly with a historical, sociological, contextual, legal, or philosophical emphasis. 

As part of the MA in Islamic Studies, students will be required to undertake three core modules (taught at UoB) in;

  • Approaches to Studying Islam (traditional)
  • Approaches to Studying Islam (modern)
  • Research Methods


Students will also be required to undertake three optional modules from a range including; 

  • Medieval Arabic Thought (taught at AMI)
  • Thematic Study of Shi’ism: History, Doctrines and Religious Authority (taught at AMI)
  • Feminism in the Muslim World (taught at UoB)
  • Islam in Europe (taught at UoB)
  • Islamic Philosophy (taught at UoB)
  • Muslim Thinkers of the Western World (taught at UoB)
  • Political Islam (taught at UoB) 


The MA programme is currently only available to study in-house, with the University of Birmingham modules taught at its Edgbaston campus. To view the full structure of the MA programme, click here. 


Course Duration & Assessment Methods:

The Hawza programme at AMI is taught over three years, with two 17-week semesters in each year. At the end of each semester, students are assessed by a range of assessment methods including assignments, written exams, oral exams and class presentations.

During the final year of study, the MA in Islamic Studies programme (taught at UoB and AMI) will consist of two 11-week semesters with each module being assessed by a 4000-word assignment due at the end of the semester. Students will also need to submit a 15,000-word supervised dissertation at the end of the year. 


Fees and Funding: 

Tuition fees for the Hawza Programme (full-time) are currently £5000.00 per year. However, students who are unable to pay the full fees may apply for a tuition fee waiver which can reduce tuition fees to £150 per semester (totalling to £300 per year). 

Tuition fees for the MA Islamic Studies programme at the University of Birmingham for 2018/19 are as follows;

UK / EU: £9,000 (full-time)
International: £16,290 (full-time)



AMI will also be offering up to three full scholarships for UK/EU students enrolling on on the Hawza programme. Scholarships include a full tuition fees, in-house accommodation and/or monthly stipends of £200. Find out more here. 

Up to three of the best students who successfully complete the Hawza Programme will be awarded a Post-graduate scholarship to fully fund their Post-graduate studies at UoB. 


Can i study Part-time? 

Yes! Students who wish to study on the Hawza programme on a part-time basis can study up to five modules per semester and therefore, study for as long as it takes to achieve the required credits in order to continue on the MA in Islamic Studies programme at UoB. 

The MA in Islamic Studies programme can also be studied part-time over two years. 



Enrollment for the Hawza programme starting September 2018 is now OPEN!  

The deadline for all applications is Monday 27th August 2018. Click on the Apply now button below to submit your application.