Islamic Studies

The Islamic studies program at the University of Melbourne provides students with the opportunity to study the development of Islamic thought and Muslim societies from a broad multidisciplinary perspective.

Why Islamic Studies?

Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. It is embraced by approximately one-fifth of the world’s population. The Islamic Studies program at the University of Melbourne provides students with the opportunity to study the development of Islamic thought and Muslim societies from a broad multidisciplinary perspective. Dedicated teaching staff provide expertise in areas ranging from modern Islamic hermeneutics, political thought and gender issues, to the study of economics and finance in Muslim societies. Students who specialise in Islamic Studies develop transferable skills that will enhance their career options. They are also able to expand on their interest and knowledge through an articulated structure of higher degree study at the University of Melbourne.

Islamic Studies addresses the issues relevant to the development of Islam as a religion and civilisation from its origins to the present. It draws on broad multidisciplinary perspectives provided by subjects taught by the programs of anthropology, Arabic Studies, cultural studies, history, Indonesian Studies, philosophy, political science and Islamic Studies.

The strength of the program lies in that it allows students to study Islam and Muslim societies from a multidisciplinary perspective. Students in this program are encouraged to develop their interests in Islamic Studies and in another area of study which would provide them with skills to analyse issues relevant to Islam and Muslim societies with a reasonable understanding of Islamic world view, its value system, and particular historical experiences.

Why Islamic Studies at Melbourne?

The Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne hosts one of the premier Islamic Studies programs in the world. Its experienced staff has decades of in-country expertise. The Islamic Studies program has access to a wide range of resources and expertise available at the Asia Institute. Relying on such expertise, the Islamic Studies program provides thorough training in the study of contemporary Islamic culture, politics and society. For students interested in in-country training, they may enrol in the University of Melbourne Overseas Subjects (UMOS) like Analysing Indonesia: Concepts and Issues (INDO20001) in collaboration with Udayana University in Bali.

How can I study Islamic Studies?

Undergraduate students can study Islamic Studies as:

Islamic Studies can also be studied through the following:

At the graduate level, Islamic Studies offer courses for:

Islamic Studies can also be a component in Asian Studies and Political Science at either undergraduate or graduate level.

Available subjects

The Asia Institute offers a range of subjects in Islamic Studies. Some examples include:

  • ISLM30018 Diplomacy: Middle East and South Asia
  • ISLM20015 Politicis in the Middle East & South Asia
  • ISLM90007 Contemporary Middle East & South Asia
  • ISLM30017 Contemporary Challenges and Islam
  • ISLM30003 Islamic Ethics: Doctrines and Debates
  • ISLM20016 Spirituality in Islam
  • ISLM10003 Understanding Islam and Muslim Societies
  • ISLM20003 The Qur’an: An Introduction (intensive: February)
  • ISLM90008 Islam and Politics: Interfaith Relations (intensive: July)
  • ASIA20007 Human Rights in Asia and the Middle East
  • ISLM30020 Islam & Democracy:Cooperation & Conflict (Sem 2)
  • ISLM10002 Islam in the Modern world
  • MULT90002 Supervised Reading (Asia Institute) (Sem 1)
  • MULT90002 Supervised Reading (Asia Institute) (Sem 2)
  • ISLM40001 Topics in Arabic & Islamic Studies (Sem 1)
  • ISLM40001 Topics in Arabic & Islamic Studies (Sem 2)

See the full list of subjects in the Handbook

Where can Islamic Studies take me?

An Islamic Studies major can allow students to access professional opportunities in myriad areas of government and commerce – such as foreign affairs, immigration, defence, international trade and community and cultural affairs. Other career pathways include teaching, social work and also journalism and media production, owing to the significant interest in Islam and Muslim issues both domestically and abroad.

Furthermore, a major in Islamic Studies will equip students seeking commercial opportunities in Halal food and agribusiness (estimated to be worth US$1.6 trillion per annum globally) with the cultural understanding of Muslim-majority regions and countries to work with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Meet our Islamic Studies staff

Our academics are leading researchers, and dedicated teachers.

Profile picture of Abdullah Saeed

Prof Abdullah Saeed

Director, National Centre for Contemporary Islamic Studies; Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies; Convenor of Islamic Studies
Profile picture of Muhammad Kamal

Dr Muhammad Kamal

Senior Lecturer In Islamic Studies
Profile picture of Rachel Woodlock

Dr Rachel Woodlock

Lecturer In Islamic Studies (Teaching Specialist)