Successful graduates of GPISH emerge with two Master’s degrees:

  • Two-year MA in Islamic Studies and Humanities, delivered by the IIS and validated by SOAS University of London.
  • One-year Master’s at a UK University and in a subject of the student’s choice, within the broader remit of the humanities and social sciences. 

Structure of the programme


New students attend an induction and pre-sessional academic programme for around five weeks.
Pre-sessionals introduce key skills and ways of thinking in the Humanities and Social Sciences, combined with practical orientations to life in London and at the IIS. Students arrive in London to begin pre-sessionals in mid-August, ahead of the first term of MA study which commences in September.


Years 1 and 2 – MA in Islamic Studies and Humanities at the IIS 

  • Year 1 lays the foundation with regard to knowledge and approach.
  • Year 2 confronts broader thematic subjects and particular attention is devoted to cultivating
    research skills, culminating in a 10,000-word dissertation.
  • Language training in Arabic or Persian continues throughout the two years. All students take Arabic unless they are already proficient, in which case they study Persian.

The programme is highly intensive. A typical week involves 9 hours of lectures and seminar discussions
for subject modules; 6 or 7 hours of language classes; and 30 hours of independent study. Taught
modules are delivered over three 12-week terms each year, following a prescribed curriculum.

Co-curricular activities equip students with field experience and applied skills:

  • Summer language immersion, usually in Jordan or Iran.*
  • Educational field trip to visit Islamic heritage sites of the Mediterranean, usually in Spain.*
  • Leadership skills workshop and careers seminars.
  • Training in Research Design and Methods.
  • Field research for the final dissertation.

* In the event of travel restrictions due to unforeseen circumstances, including but not limited to a global pandemic such as COVID-19, the trip will either be cancelled or, where feasible, alternative arrangements will be made to take place in the UK or in an online environment. It is the students’ responsibility to obtain a Visa for all excursions abroad.


Year 3 – Studying for a Master’s degree at a UK university 

Year 3 is spent studying for a Master’s degree at a UK university in a subject of the student’s choice from among the Humanities and Social Sciences. Guidance and support are provided to help students select and apply for Master’s programmes. While enrolled at a UK university in Year 3, students continue to have access to IIS facilities.

The IIS sponsors Master’s programmes that resonate with its aim to promote Humanities research
in service of society. The IIS does not sponsor programmes that are primarily scientific, technical, or
professional. Programme choices must be approved by the IIS’ Department of Graduate Studies.