The Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH) encourages a perspective which is not confined to the theological and religious heritage of Islam, but seeks to explore the relationship of religious ideas to broader dimensions of society and culture. It thus encourages an interdisciplinary approach to the materials of Islamic history and thought.
The three-year programme provides a training in the intellectual tools of the humanities and social sciences, acting as both preparation for a research degree and as a stepping stone to a variety of career opportunities around the world.
Within the Islamic tradition, GPISH seeks to promote study of those areas which have had relatively lesser attention devoted to them in scholarship to date. These include the intellectual and literary expressions of Shi‘ism in general, and Ismailism in particular. GPISH is informed by the full range and diversity of cultures in which Islam is practised today, from the Middle East, Southern and Central Asia, and Africa to the industrialised societies of the West, thus taking into consideration the variety of contexts which shape the ideals, beliefs and practices of the faith. Particular attention is also given to issues of modernity that arise as Muslims seek to relate their heritage to contemporary circumstances.
GPISH is a fully funded scholarship programme which covers the cost of tuition fees and includes a living allowance in line with the UK Visas and Immigration’s stated cost of living.
The programme has been developed to meet the specific human resource needs of the Ismaili community; therefore, candidates are recruited from the Ismaili community only.
One of the aspects of the GPISH programme that I have truly loved is being able to interact with students from all around the world, to hear their stories and learn from them. Living in Victoria Halls has provided a beautiful atmosphere for me to learn about other cultures and ways of being, which I have enjoyed very deeply.
GPISH has given me the space to better understand racism and discrimination as they relate to the wider questions of culture, identity and development. Through it, I have gained a much better understanding of the roots of Islamophobia and the systemic factors that underlie a lot of the issues in Muslim-majority areas. I think I didn't even appreciate coming in how much more depth I was going to get. I’ve now got a different layer of understanding on colonialism and its impact.