Our Islamic Scholarship Programme is one of the best in the world, offering undergraduate and post-graduate level courses in the Arabic language, contemporary social sciences, and traditional Islamic sciences.

“From the staff, to the teachers, to the students, to the venue, it’s a wonderful place to study the Deen.”

– Foundation level student, 2014-2015



Islamic Scholarship Programme
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Islamic Scholarship Programme (Alimiyyah)

Al-Salam Institute presents its pioneering six-year Islamic Scholarship Programme. The course provides a unique opportunity to study Arabic and Islamic Sciences to an advanced level through part-time study and a dynamic selection of modules. The entire syllabus is primarily authorised by Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi, and is designed to train students to become proficient in and acquainted with the Islamic intellectual heritage.

The course provides a profound understanding of the Islamic sciences of Hadith (prophetic traditions), Fiqh (Islamic law), Tafsir (Quran Exegesis), and the principles informing these disciplines. In this regard, the course seeks to enrich understanding of the different scholarly opinions and promotes critical thinking. Throughout the six-year curriculum, students will engage in discussion and analysis to prepare for examinations that will provide them with a qualification equivalent to a degree in Islamic Scholarship (known as an ‘Alimiyyah Degree). Students will graduate with an incisive understanding of the Arabic language and Islamic Sciences as informed, mature leaders of the religion, able to provide efficacious solutions for Muslims worldwide.


Course Structure

The course is divided into three parts:

Foundation level: Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences (1 year)

Intermediate level: Diploma in Classical Arabic and Islamic Disciplines (3 years)

Advanced level: Licence in Islamic Scholarship (2 years)

Each level of the Islamic Scholarship Programme consists of a number of modules of increasing scope, covering an extensive range of topics from the traditional Islamic Sciences. Generally, students will cover Arabic language, the fundamentals and particulars of Islamic law, spirituality, hadith, history, poetry and literature, logic and Quranic studies. Further details can be found on the webpages for the respective levels. Students will also have opportunity to further their studies with ASI by travelling abroad during the term-breaks and attending intensive residential programmes. These are highly recommended for students who are able to dedicate the time to deepen their understanding of the material covered in the classroom and to be taught by international scholars. Click here to find out more.

Teaching Delivery


Our unique three-tier structure makes our Alimiyyah Degree unlike any other. The Degree is split into three-distinct levels: Foundation Level, Intermediate Level, and the world-renowned Advanced Level – taught exclusively by Shaykh Akram Nadwi. These three programmes together form the UK’s first part-time ‘Alimiyyah Degree taught exclusively in the English language.

Core Lectures

All students of the Islamic Scholarship Programme will come together for the compulsory lectures on Study Sundays. These are the core lectures and take place during term-time over 30 weeks (or 24 for the Advanced level). They provide the core information that you will discuss in tutorials, essays or examinations. All of the core lectures take place onsite (in London) and are streamed live to our online students all over the world. Afterwards, the recordings are made available to all students via the Virtual Madrasah: ASI's flagship learning management system.


Tutorials take place during a weekday evening – usually lasting no more than two hours. Tutorials allow students to review their answers or theories that have been developed over the duration of the course, and to explore ideas that arise in discussion with your peers and tutors.


Workshops are arranged to provide the practical study experience that cannot always be assured in the classroom setting. Visits to graveyards or historical sites, or boot-camps in essential study skills are typical first-year workshops.


Seminars develop your ability to think for yourself – an essential ability for academic success and perhaps the single most important skill that is developed by students at ASI. You will learn to present and defend your opinions, accept constructive criticism, and consolidate your lessons into a coherent and articulate perspective.


Term dates for the 2016-2017 Academic Year:

  • Autumn term: Sunday 9th October 2016 – Sunday 11th December 2016
  • Winter term: Sunday 8th January 2017 – Sunday 12th March 2017
  • Spring term: Sunday 16th April 2017 – Sunday 18th June 2017

Core Lectures: 24-30 full-day lectures on Sundays during the academic term-time
Tutorials: 1-2 hour weekly tutorials on weekday evenings during the academic term-time
Workshops: 2-5 half-day practical sessions on Saturdays throughout the calendar year
Seminars: 8-15 one-day intensive seminars throughout the calendar year
Sacred Sciences Journey: 10 days abroad during term breaks (April 2017: 'UMRAH)
Residential: 7 days intensive teaching during summer holidays (August 2017: Spain)

Mode of Study

Online: This option allows students who are outside of London or can not travel to London on a weekly basis to watch the classes live online. The classes are of high-quality and are interactive; students can fully participate in the class discussions.

Onsite: Onsite students are those who choose to attend the lectures on Sundays in London. The benefit of attending onsite enables students to study directly from the teachers and benefit from the environment. Onsite students also have access to recordings of all lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials a few days after the lesson is delivered.

A Student can receive accreditation from Al-Salam Institute after successful completion of any single and complete programme of study.

Foundation level: Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences (1 year)

Intermediate level: Diploma in Advanced Arabic and Islamic Disciplines (3 years)

Advanced level: Licence in Islamic Scholarship (2 years)

Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Studies

The Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Studies is awarded upon satisfactory completion of the Foundation level of the Islamic Scholarship Programme.

A student's aptitude is tested throughout the year by a series of examinations and assignments designed to prepare the student for their end of year exams. The outcome of these exams will form the substance of the certification.

Students who decide to exit the Islamic Scholarship Programme at the end of this stage will be issued a transcript of their results and can request and academic reference from the Institute to aid in their undergraduate or postgraduate applications. They will also be eligible to apply for entry onto the Intermediate level of the ISP.

Diploma in Advanced Arabic and Islamic Disciplines

The Diploma in Advanced Arabic and Islamic Disciplines is awarded upon satisfactory completion of all three years of the Intermediate level of the Islamic Scholarship Programme. (Students may be able to interrupt their studies and return at a later date; however the Diploma will not be awarded until the programme of study has been completed in full.

A student's aptitude is test in the same manner as the Foundation level; a mixture of written assignments and examinations. The end of year exams will test the student's material understanding and memorisation of the materials covered in each year as well as, in the case of the third year exams, their ability to convey it to others.

The Diploma signifies the extent of the student's learning with ASI and will be awarded at the Al-Salam Institute Graduation Ceremony. A transcript will be provided as a record of their progress and a testament of their achievement. Academic references and letters of recommendation (for potential employers) will be available on request. By the end of the level, students will be well-equipped to carry the message of Islam to their communities in the form of good conduct, da'wah, and social enterprise. They will also be eligible to apply for entry onto the Advanced level of the ISP - and to seek the shahada al-'alimiyyah amongst some of the most devoted scholars and students of knowledge operating in the UK.

Shahada al-'Alimiyyah | Licence in Islamic Scholarship

The shahada al-'alimiyyah has been translated as 'Licence in Islamic Scholarship'. This is the most distinguished accolade awarded by the ASI and can be likened to post-graduate degrees awarded in the British education system.

Students will spend a minimum of two years under the tutelage of Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi, perfecting their studies in the Islamic Sciences and completing a research dissertation. After the two years, students will be entitled (although not compelled) to sit their final exams which signify the completion of the ISP and grants the student an ijazah: ASI accreditation to teach the materials covered on the course. (This is in addition to the ijazat received throughout the Programme upon completion of certain books of fiqh and hadith).

Graduates may choose to remain on the Advanced level to receive further ijazat and/or to specialise in Legal Verdicts (fatawa), Hadith Classification (mustalah al-Hadith), or Arabic language. Those who demonstrate academic excellence may be offered a teaching post at the Institute, whereas others still have gone on to establish learning centres of their own; building on the legacy of Al-Salam Institute and realising the objective of the widespread creation and dissemination of religious knowledge.

Sacred Science Journey

The Sacred Sciences Journey (SSJ) is an exclusive ASI programme designed to enhance participants’ spiritual development. Students will travel with Shaykh Akram Nadwi to visit and study under a number of scholars from around the globe. Exposure to different international scholars enables students to truly develop a global insight. For instance, in April 2015 students performed Umrah with the Shaykh and studied with some of the most highly respected scholars of hadith in the Hijaz; collecting many ijazahs and connecting with the senior ‘ulema from Mecca and Madinah al-Munawarah. In April 2016, the SSJ took students to North Africa to the heart of Maliki scholarship; Morocco.

In April 2017, the SSJ will take students to Riyadh, Madina, and Mecca, Saudia Arabia, to visit the House of Allah and perform 'Umrah with Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi.

Students will spend 10 days on the journey covering an intensive syllabus and connecting with the scholars, both junior and senior. The time spent on the trip will be split into two: the first for beginners and introductory level students to benefit from the teachings and companionship of fellow students of knowledge. The second, for intermediate and advanced level students, to recite and visit various scholars and collect a portfolio of ijazahs during the journey. A minimum of 5 hours’ instruction will be offered on a daily basis. This incredible journey will allow students to participate in collecting different ijazahs and isnads from scholars, linking them to the scholarly traditions around the world.

The Sacred Sciences Journey is an extension of the glorious Muslim tradition of students travelling in order to obtain religious knowledge; as heralded in this hadith in Sahih Muslim: “Whoever walks a path of knowledge (tariq), Allah makes easy for him the path to Paradise.” The journey will have a profound plan of study, with a focus on the Quran and hadith, and instruction in Islamic spirituality.

Click here to find out more

Summer Residential Retreat

The Summer Residential Retreat (SRR) has been developed to further ASI’s commitment to aid students in their personal development and purification (tazkiyah). After the university examinations and the blessed month of Ramadan, students will have the opportunity to revitalise their iman in a week-long retreat with Shaykh Akram and their peers from ASI.

In August 2016, students will spend a week focusing on their tarbiyah and purification of the heart in Southern Spain.

Together with the SSJ, this programme forms the auxiliary teaching part of the Islamic Scholarship Programme. It is an excellent opportunity for students to complement their classroom studies with the personal development that accompanies travel and study for the sake of Allah. It is also a chance for our online and international students to spend time with their shuyukh and meet the rest of their peers.

Your Application

We encourage prospective students to have a look at our sample classes hosted online for a taste of what to expect throughout the year. During term-time, there may be an opportunity to attend a class in person.

To be eligible to enrol for the Foundation Level, students should have:

-Some beginner’s knowledge of Arabic: the alphabet, pronunciation and writing

-Able to read the Quran to a basic level (tajwid or good fluency is not essential)

-A good command of spoken and written English language

There are no requirements of previous Islamic studies. Entry into the Intermediate or Advanced Levels requires completion of the course immediately below it or an equivalent qualification. Should you decide to enter the programme at these levels you will first sit an assessment interview. If you feel unsure as to whether you fulfil any of the above Foundation Level requirements, then you will need to contact us for an interview by calling us on 020 8090 1623 or emailing admissions@alsalaminstitute.org.

Applications for all levels for this academic year (2015-16) must be submitted by 31st August 2015. To receive the extensive Early Bird discount submit your application by the 31st of July 2015 (see Fees and Application tab above). Applications received after the final deadline for deferred entry, late registration, and for specific terms or individual modules may be considered, subject to the discretion of the admissions board. To send a query regarding these circumstances email admissions@alsalaminstitute.org

Decisions are based on the application as a whole. We are looking for evidence of a candidate’s commitment to the course. Close attention is paid to a candidate’s academic profile and personal statement.

We endeavour to process an application fully within two weeks after it has been received. If you have not heard back from us in that time, email admissions@alsalaminstitute.org

We limit the classrooms to around 50 on-site students per classroom. Using our online services via the ASI Virtual Madrasah, our online students can number into the hundreds.

There is an additional cost affixed to streaming the classes. The additional fee covers the recording equipment and technical support, as well as the dedicated team of staff who prepare for and look after the online students during the class.

No, you will have to opt-in to continue your studies by resubmitting your application. However, you will be guaranteed a place on the course should you wish to continue and maybe eligible for ASI's Continuing Student discount (S).


Course Information

The course is spread over 6 years and is divided into three parts:

-Foundation Level: Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences (1 year)

-Intermediate Level: Diploma in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences (3 years)

-Advanced Level: Licence in Islamic Scholarship (2 years)

The syllabi are subject to revision and the texts studied can vary from year to year. However, generally the curriculum is as follows:

-Foundation level: Arabic Language, Ladith, Fiqh, Tafsir, Usul al-Fiqh, Usul al-Hadith, Usul al-Tafsir

-Intermediate level: As above (studying more advanced texts), Aqeedah, Logic and Philosophy

-Advanced level: Advanced Arabic Language, Advanced Hadith & Isnad Criticism, Advanced Tafsir, Advanced Law and Jurisprudence, Classical Islamic History, the Study of of Shariah.

Complementary sciences (al-mukamilaat) such as advanced tajweed and seerah often form a part of the optional elements of the course (Summer Residential Retreat, Sacred Sciences Journey et al.)

Students are assessed by a combination of in-course assignments and termly/yearly examinations.

Yes, the end of year exams are mandatory for all levels. Students in the final year of the Advanced Level have a distinct examination process which is described in detail by the examinations board.

Provisional term dates for the 2015-2016 Academic Year:

-Autumn term: Sunday 11th October 2015 – Sunday 13th December 2015

-Winter term: Sunday 10th January 2015 – Sunday 13th March 2015

-Spring term: Sunday 17th April 2016 – Sunday 19th June 2016

Students receive 12 hours contact time in a week (on average). This is scheduled on evenings and weekends, and recordings are uploaded onto the Virtual Madrasah for students to review and revise. There is often a supplementary course run alongside the main syllabus which is there to aid students who are otherwise unable to dedicate any time to independent study. The breakdown:

-Core Lectures: Sundays for 30 weeks during University term-time (10 weeks/term)

-Seminars: 5 one day seminars on Saturdays

-Workshops: 5 practical sessions on Saturdays

-Tutorials: 2-3 hour weekly online tutorials

-Sacred Sciences Journey: 10 days abroad (April 2016: Morocco)

-Residential: 7 days intensive teaching (August 2016: Spain)

No, attending classes live or in person is optional. However, students must watch and complete all of the recorded material in time for the end of year examinations and submit all assignments issued. Please note, student progress on the Virtual Madrasah is monitored by our teachers.

There is no online brochure available at the moment. All of our course information is available on the website. Should you have any further enquiries about the course or teaching methods contact us on 020 8090 1623 or email admissions@alsalaminstiute.org.

Yes until the final exams for the Advanced Level. All classes, assignments, tutorials and exams can be viewed and submitted online via our Virtual Madrasah. However, the final exams for the Advanced Level Licence in Islamic Scholarship must be sat in person and invigilated in one of our designated test centres.

Detailed course fee information can be found by clicking on the Fees and Application tab above. Payment plans may be possible where students cannot afford to pay the full amount up front. Requests and queries should be made to fees@alsalaminstitute.org.

We encourage students to raise their own funds for the course fees and direct them to external scholarship and bursary providers. Al-Salam Institute has a policy of making the journey of knowledge easy for the earnest seeker inshaAllah. As such, if a student has exhausted all means to raise their own fees then they should calculate the maximum amount that they can afford and make use of the following mechanisms to fund the remainder of their fees:

-1. Personalised Payment Plan. Students can mail fees@alsalaminstitute.org to organise and set up a standing order according to their means

2. Fundraising Events. Al-Salam Institute hosts events throughout the year which give students the opportunity to raise money for their own tuition costs. Please email events@alsalaminstitute.org for upcoming opportunities.

All classes are taught in English. Books used in classes will be read out by the instructor in Arabic and explained in English until the level at which students are able to to fluently read the material independently. Arabic classes will be taught in English but will include substantial amounts of teaching in the language itself, especially as students progress to higher levels. Should you have any further enquiries about the format of the classes contact us on 020 8090 1623

Our registered office is based in Oxford, UK. Our central admissions office is located in London, UK. See the banner at the base of the page for more details.

All of our classes take place in and around Central London. We primarily use the following venues: Queen Mary University, London, E1 4NS | London Muslim Centre, London, E1 1JX | Osmani Centre, London, E1 5AW.


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Tuition Fees for 2016-2017

 Single Payment (GBP)5-Month Plan (GBP)12-month Plan (GBP) 


Single Payment: Tuition fees paid in one single payment are eligible for a discount of up to £790.

5-Month Plan: Tuition fees are paid in three instalments over five months.

Example payment plan for FDN Online:

Month 1: £600
Month 2: £0
Month 3: £600
Month 4: £0
Month 5: £600

Total = £1,800.00


12-Month Plan: Tuition fees are paid in twelve instalments over twelve months.

Example payment plan for FDN Onsite:

Month 1: £195
Month 2: £195
Month 3: £195
Month 4: £195
Month 5: £195
Month 6: £195
Month 7: £195
Month 8: £195
Month 9: £195
Month 10: £195
Month 11: £195
Month 12: £195

Total = £2,340.00


Course Directory

See below.



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