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This report presents an analysis of data on the provision of teaching in Islamic studies at UK higher education institutions. It is based on data collected for 1,101 modules in Islamic studies and related disciplines identified at 110 of 161 institutions investigated.

The desk-based research, commissioned by HEFCE, investigated teaching in Islamic studies at all 156 degree-awarding bodies listed by the then Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, as well as at four Muslim institutions and one other institution providing modules that lead to degrees validated by publicly funded institutions.

The main findings of this report are:

  1. Islamic studies teaching is concentrated in a small number of pre-92 institutions, but limited provision can be found at most institutions surveyed.
  2. Although a large amount of teaching takes place within a core of disciplines and departments traditionally associated with Islamic studies, provision also takes place in a wide range of disciplines and departments.
  3. Most Islamic studies teaching takes place at level 2 and above. In terms of numbers of modules, the greatest provision is at Masters level.
  4. A relatively small proportion of the modules identified contribute to named degrees in Islamic studies.
  5. Although a large number of modules are devoted entirely to Islamic studies topics, Islamic studies is also taught in many modules for which Islam is not the primary focus.

The findings of this report will be used to inform the work of the UK Islamic Studies Network. By highlighting the disciplinary and institutional diversity of Islamic studies teaching, the report provides data to support the creation of the Network, which will bring together Islamic studies academics working from a variety of perspectives. Data gathered will help project staff identify priority subject areas for Network activity, and will feed into the development of resources for sharing good practice.

Further information on the activities of the UK Islamic Studies Network is available from the Higher Education Academy. 

Date: 1 March 2010

Ref: Independent research