About the Markfield Institute of Higher Education

Since its inception, the Institute has been driven by a unique purpose to carry out objective and critical study of Islam and Muslims, and provide alternative perspectives and insights into emerging and contemporary issues, and strategies to address them. We differentiate our work by moving beyond the narrow aim of developing human capital for the knowledge economy. In addition, we aim to develop graduates and researchers who are able to effectively engage with issues pertaining to contemporary human rights, social justice, human well-being, and democratic citizenship. The nature of the subjects we teach engage students in different ways with contemporary economic, political and social concerns involving the wealth inequalities, poverty, unemployment, racism, crime, child abuse, pollution and environmental damage, and other problems facing society.

The Institute was founded in year 2000 with a mission to contribute to the development of scholars who have a broader, deeper and critical understanding of Islam in the modern contemporary context. It specialises in Islamic economics and finance, Islamic studies, Islamic education, Islam and sustainable development and Muslim chaplaincy. We are committed to promoting excellence in teaching, research and training through creating the best learner-centred environment for all our students and provide a rounded quality education that maximises learners’ career opportunities. 

We have been keen to identify our work that provides high quality higher education. For this reason we have endeavoured to deliver validated undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. We have successfully attained validation since 2000, originally from the University of Portsmouth followed by University of Loughborough, then from the University of Gloucestershire and currently from Newman University. 

The Institute has opened up a range of career pathways for Islamic Scholars through recognised qualifications. Currently, MIHE offers the following academic programmes all validated by Newman University:

Validated undergraduate programmes:

  • BA Islamic Studies
  • BA Islamic Studies with Arabic
  • BA Islamic Studies with Education
  • BA Islamic Studies with Pastoral Care
  • BA Islamic Finance and Accounting

Validated postgraduate programmes:

  • MA Islamic Studies
  • MA Islam and Pastoral Care
  • MSc Islamic Economics, Finance and Management
  • MA Islamic Education
  • MA Islam and Sustainable Development

The validated undergraduate programmes provide pathways for many students trained in traditional Islamic seminaries (darul ulooms) into the mainstream education system. Students benefit by obtaining recognised higher education qualifications and learn to develop their scholarship so that they become pivotal leaders in their communities and society. The academic programmes are designed to train students in learning to learn through developing advanced academic and independent learning skills. Students are provided not only subject expertise but a range of academic skills that help in grounding views on sound knowledge, analysing issues critically and in a balanced manner, and enabling them to apply knowledge and contribute creatively and positively to the economic and social development of society. We believe that such scholars would be better equipped to act as a bridge in developing understanding between Muslim communities and the Western societies they live in, and make positive contributions to addressing current and emerging challenges of contemporary societies. 

Applicants who have completed the standard Alimiyya course at Islamic seminaries, can join our undergraduate programmes to gain a BA (Hons) qualification in two years. This qualification provides an opportunity to many such scholars to pursue teaching qualifications after their degree so that they can become teachers in mainstream schools and colleges, or to pursue higher education qualifications (such as Masters and PhD degrees). 

The Institute has also been running research degree (PhD/MPhil) programmes since 2000. This programme was until recently validated by the University of Gloucestershire. 

In addition, we offer a Certificate in Muslim Chaplaincy course. This course has been running since 2003 and many students completing this course have found jobs as chaplains in universities, hospitals, prisons and the corporate sector.

Many of our graduates have gone on to play leading and positive roles in their communities, places of employment and in society in general. They have become agents of change, leading in education as teachers, lecturers and researchers, whilst others have greatly impacted their local communities in roles as youth workers, advisors, policy development, or as chaplains at universities, prisons and hospitals. Our alumni have been instrumental in the development of Islamic banking and finance in both private and government sectors.

Our vision is to become a world-class higher education and research Institute, specialising in the application of Islamic scholarship to contemporary issues. We pursue our vision through integrating the richness and high standards of traditional Islamic scholarship with the best of contemporary research techniques, academic rigour and critical inquiry.

We are committed to:

  • promoting an informed understanding of Islam, the Muslim world and Muslim communities through teaching, research and publications;
  • exercising critical judgment and self-discipline in acquiring and transmitting knowledge through guided learning in a research environment;
  • equipping students with the necessary skills to enable them to develop critical and analytical abilities underpinned with ethical values;
  • preparing students  to comprehend and respond to the contemporary challenges posed by modern, multi-cultural and pluralist societies both within and outside the Muslim communities;
  • contributing to the development of the local community through training and vocational education, seminars and lectures;
  • building bridges between faiths, cultures, and civilisations; and 
  • using its physical and human resources in the most efficient manner to fulfill these with a view to making the Institute a centre of academic excellence.

In 2003 HRH Prince Charles inaugurated the new MIHE building marking the occasion and highlighting the contribution of Muslims in Europe. The prince commended the institute for its valuable work and stated “I believe that this whole complex here at Markfield, including the excellent library, has the potential to develop into one of Europe’s leading centres for post-graduate study of Islam and the Muslim world.”