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The Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations

The Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations

The Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations


About ISMC

ISMC was founded in 2002, seeking to occupy vacant space in the discourse on the Muslim world by promoting scholarship that opens new perspectives on Muslim societies. We consider key issues such as tradition and modernity, religion and the state, pluralism and unity, and the nature of community in an era of global connection and change.

Our mandate is to address the fundamental challenges of the human condition as they are expressed across the diverse societies of the Muslim world and its diasporas.

London offers the ideal location for the Institute, with its international flavour; excellent cultural scene, both historic and contemporary; thriving arts and academic communities; and as a city in which freedom of thought and expression are encouraged.

Our Goals

  • To study systems of moral and ethical thought, structures of governance and public life, and artistic and creative expressions in all forms.
  • To create opportunities for interaction among academics and other professionals so as to deepen understanding of pressing issues of public life affecting Muslim societies.

Ten reasons to choose ISMC

  1. A unique three-semester degree during which you will be given an opportunity to learn a language and gain a deep understanding of Muslim cultures.
  2. Exclusive accommodation within a two-minute walk from campus.
  3. Explore architecture, literature, religion, history, art, politics, law and more in Muslim contexts with our specialist academics.
  4. Study in the purpose-built Aga Khan Centre incorporating a collection of Islamic gardens, courtyards and terraces.
  5. Spend time in one of the world’s most diverse cities. See the sights and indulge in London’s many cultural experiences and insights.
  6. The Aga Khan Library is a dedicated space, over two floors, opening out onto the Terrace of Learning.
  7. The option to spend a month abroad on a language immersion course in an Arabic or Persian-speaking country.
  8. Enjoy a vibrant social life, with organised trips in the UK and local activities.
  9. Attend the many events organised by ISMC as well as surrounding universities including SOAS, Birkbeck and UCL.
  10. Follow in the footsteps of our alumni into PhD study or career opportunities around the world.

After ISMC

Our graduates are a diverse group and are now following careers in journalism, teaching and business consultancy, working for organisations including the Red Cross, the BBC, Muslim Aid and the World Bank. In addition, a number of ISMC alumni now work for the Aga Khan Development Network, contributing to its development aims in projects around the world.

Some graduates choose to pursue further studies and have entered establishments such as the University of Oxford, the University of Victoria, Harvard University and Princeton University. Many go on to pursue an academic career, teaching in universities and continuing their own research into specific areas of expertise.

ISMC’s MA programme is a truly global qualification, which opens doors to many different career paths. Our alumni work and study around the world, including Tunisia, Kuwait, Canada, Pakistan and the UK.

About the Aga Khan University

Established in 1983, the Aga Khan University (AKU) is a unique hybrid: an institution of academic excellence that is also an agent for social development. The University has campuses and programmes in South Asia, Europe and Africa.

The University operates on the core principles of impact, quality, relevance and access, and prepares its students to lead change in their societies and to thrive in the global economy. Through its rigorous admissions policy and our needs-sensitive financial assistance programmes, the University offers the most promising leaders and thinkers of tomorrow the opportunity to serve, and the skills to help communities solve their most pressing challenges.

The Aga Khan University in London is a member of the Knowledge Quarter, which is a partnership of some 90 – and growing – academic, cultural, research, scientific and media organisations. These organisations are actively engaged in the advancement and dissemination of knowledge and are within a one-mile radius of King’s Cross. They include the University of London, Google, The Crick Institute and The Guardian.

Student Testimonials


  • London

    The Aga Khan University (International) UK 210 Euston Road, NW1 2DA, London