Undergraduate Programs

Our staff are leading scholars with expertise in fields ranging from modern Islamic hermeneutics to economics and finance in Muslim societies.

Leading Islamic Studies Program

Our staff are leading scholars with expertise in fields ranging from modern Islamic hermeneutics to economics and finance in Muslim societies.

You will be encouraged to develop your interest in Islamic studies alongside an additional, complementary area of study such as anthropology, Arabic studies, cultural studies, history, philosophy, political science or sociology.

You will expand your knowledge and understanding, develop transferable skills for further higher degree study and enhance your career options.

Islamic Studies Major

The University of Melbourne offers a complete undergraduate 'major' sequence (specialisation) in Islamic studies through the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. We encourage you to research the broad range of study options available at each university in Islamic and Arabic studies, and the numerous complementary study areas available.

The Islamic Studies Major will offer students a comprehensive study program in the key disciplines of Islam. It will provide them with an analysis of theological, legal, philosophical, historical, social and political issues relating to Islam and Muslims. Building on a solid historical and theoretical foundation introduced in the first year, the major will move progressively into looking in more depth at some of the topics and disciplines that are essential for a comprehensive understanding of classical and modern Islamic studies. Students will also gain the necessary tools and methods to develop a systematic approach to researching Islam.

Islamic Studies Minor

For the latest information on Islamic Studies within the New Generation BA at the University of Melbourne, please see below:

Program Features

Research experience
Individual subjects provide an integrated approach to theoretical and applied research through projects and essays.

Capstone experience
A final year 'capstone' subject draws on the research expertise of the Centre, allows you to critically reflect on your undergraduate studies and equips you with transferable skills in research methodology.

Community experience
You will have the opportunity to visit and experience Islamic communities, mosques, schools, organisations and cultural events in Melbourne.

E-learning experience
All undergraduate subjects will utilise e-learning technologies, provide on-line subject delivery, and access to e-library collections and resources in Islamic studies.

Breadth experience
You will have the opportunity to study alongside students from all undergraduate disciplines through the University of Melbourne's 'Breadth' program. Breadth students can choose core and/or elective subjects in Islamic studies, depending on prerequisites.

Career Outcomes
Our program offers significant preparation for careers where an understanding of Islam and Islamic cultures is a professional advantage, including foreign affairs, international trade, immigration, journalism, translation, health professions, social work and education.

Islamic Studies Subjects

Most undergraduate subjects offered by the Centre are available online. You will be able to access online lectures and media links, and to attend face-to-face tutorials at one of the participating universities each week.

  • Understanding Islam and Muslim Societies Introduces the basic and fundamental beliefs and practices that constitute the fabric of the Islamic world, and explores relationships and differences between teachings of Islam and customary practices of Muslims.
  • The Qur'an: An Introduction Introduces, in English translation, the Qur'an and Prophetic Tradition (Hadith), and examines their overall structure and content; approaches to their interpretation; and their functions in Muslim religious, social and political life.
  • Islam in the Modern World Examines the work of key Muslim intellectuals from the 19th Century till present, their attempts to come to terms with modernity as a Western project, and explores the challenge of shaping a Muslim identity in the modern world.
  • Islam, Media and Conflict Provides an understanding of global, regional and local news media production and representations of Islam and Muslim societies, new and alternative media discourses, and the extent to which the mediatisation of conflict impacts relations between Islam and the West.
  • Ethical Traditions in Islam Introduces students to the rich heritage of ethical traditions in Islamic thought. Students will study and critically evaluate the key features and contributions of Muslim theologians, philosophers and Sufis, who attempted to deal with revelation and rationalistic discourse in exploring the meaning of ethical life for Muslims and discussing whether philosophy and religious wisdoms were equals and allies in the persuit of happiness.
  • The First Centuries of Islam Examines the growtih of Islamic civilisation in the period between the revelation of the Qur'an and the end of Muslim rule in Spain in 1492. The study focuses on the Arabic and Turkish-speaking areas of Western Asia, North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.
  • Islam and the West Examines Islam in the West past and present. It explores how Muslims interpret and practice Islam in a culture that is secular and somewhat alien to the culture of Muslim majority countries.
  • Islam and the Making of Europe Explores the history of cultural and intellectual relations between Islam and Europe during the medieval and early modern era. It provides students with insight and understanding of how the circulation of knowledge, ideas and artistry influenced the evolution of European and Islamic cultures

Student Testimonials

Struan Ross Jones
Struan Ross Jones
Bachelor of Arts
(Arabic and Islamic Studies)
NCEIS, University of Melbourne

I have had the opportunity to study a wide variety of subjects within the NCEIS, from the inner complexities of Islam, to its social and political impact worldwide in Australia. The NCEIS offers a broad range of academic courses relevant to our region and global political challenges. As a graduate of the NCEIS, I will be well equipped to understand the historical traditions of Islam as well as contemporary worldwide challenges


Natasha Cleary
Natasha Cleary
Bachelor of International Relations
NCEIS, Griffith University

"I have a natural interest in Islam and the Middle East, so I chose Islamic studies as a major in order to better equip myself for a stimulating career in this field, either abroad or in Australia. Originally I only took one Islamic studies subject as an elective in my International Relations degree, but I enjoyed it so much that I decided to make it my major. The subjects and issues that we addressed, such as the status of women in Islam and the Israel/Palestine conflict, were not only interesting but extremely relevant, not only in Australia but also from a global outlook."

Information on Arabic language and studies

For the latest information on Arabic Studies within the New Generation BA at the University of Melbourne

New Generation Bachelor of Arts - Arabic Studies Course Information

Arabic is a cognate discipline to Islamic Studies. Students of Islamic Studies are highly encouraged to study Arabic at the University of Melbourne to enhance their experience in studying Islam. Students of Arabic at the University are also advised to undertake some Islamic Studies subjects.

Arabic Language and Studies @ Asia Institute