This year, the Institute accepted 12 new students into its Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH). During their first two years, students will be resident at the IIS where they will study the faith, culture, language and thought of Muslim societies. In their third year, they will pursue a Masters degree at an institution of higher education.

GPISH continues to attract a wide range of applicants from Asia, Europe and North America, who have completed their first degrees in a broad range of academic disciplines. This year’s 12 candidates, who were selected from a pool of over 150 applicants, come from Canada, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Syria, USA, and France. Their academic backgrounds include Computer and Media Studies, International Relations, Engineering, Language and Literature Studies, Music and Political Science.

In the first two years of their resident study at the IIS, student take various courses in the fields of Islamic History, Approaches to Religion, Art and Architecture, Philosophy and Muslim traditions. The Class of 2008 has already completed their first term of study which comprised of the course: ‘Encountering Islam’, ‘Knowledge, World and Action’, ‘Approaches to the Study of Religion’ and ‘Literature and Culture’.

The Graduate Programme also places strong emphasis on the study of Arabic. This year, incoming students participated in a three week intensive Arabic course at the Institute, held before beginning of the autumn term. At the end of their first year, students will travel to Syria for a four week Arabic immersion programme in Damascus and will have the opportunity to practise their skills.

At the end of the second resident year, students will apply their classroom learning and theoretical perspectives in a field project they will design under the guidance of the department. Last year, the Class of 2006 undertook field projects in Canada, Iran, Syria, Tanzania and Turkey.

More information on the Programme can be obtained from the Graduate Studies pages of the website.