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Islamic-Religious Studies (MA)

What is the degree programme about?

This degree programme examines theological and philosophical aspects of the Islamic religion, focusing primarily on researching its beliefs and principles.


In this degree programme, theology is viewed as the systematic examination of the development of religious statements of faith and spiritual teaching traditions. Theology investigates the formation and historical development of beliefs and explores their social value in the present day.

The aim of theology is to develop sustainable concepts for current issues such as freedom, human rights, tolerance and religious pluralism from an inside perspective and also from an interdisciplinary point of view. Ethics and philosophy of religion are key focuses of the degree programme. Students learn to theoretically analyse essential aspects of the Islamic faith (oneness of God, prophethood, justice, spirituality, normative doctrine) and their formulation in the historical and modern context (dogmatics of faith).

Interdisciplinary links

As part of a strong tradition in humanities at FAU, the Master's degree programme in Islamic Theological Studies promotes a culture of close exchange with other related disciplines with regard to methodology and content. This helps to establish an external perspective of Islam-related topics. In terms of methodology, Islamic theology is therefore viewed as an interdisciplinary science. Key partners are the Chair of Oriental Philology and Islamic Studies and the Chair of Arabic Studies and Semitic Studies, which also established a Master's degree programme in winter semester 2015/16; both Master's degree programmes share the modules ('Research methods and source analysis' and 'The Quran and the modern age').

The degree programme aims to impart general research methods for theology as well as research methods from historical, anthropological and philosophical disciplines. The goal is to bring together the most important aspects and issues of the Islamic faith and to research these areas in the light of religious diversity.

What type of Bachelor's degree do I need?

This Master's degree programme is open to graduates of the following Bachelor's degree programmes:

  • One or two-subject BA in Islamic Theological Studies at FAU or a comparable Bachelor's degree in Islamic Theology (subject specific)
  • Degrees in social, humanities or cultural studies subjects if the degree programme contained Islamic theology studies with a systematic, practical and philological focus worth at least 40 ECTS credits.

If you are interested in this degree programme and have a degree in a different subject or a degree from a different university in Germany or abroad, please contact the degree programme coordinator. Further information can be found under 'Admission requirements'.

Modules and degree programme structure

The degree programme primarily focuses on critically examining Islamic beliefs. In addition to theology, attention is paid to the philosophy of religion and interdisciplinary connections with related disciplines involving Islam.

1st semester

  • 1.1 Essential texts of Islamic research
  • 1.2 History of ideas of Islamic beliefs
  • 1.3 Research methods and source analysis (interdisciplinary)

2nd semester

  • 2.1 Islamic beliefs from a theoretical and critical perspective
  • 2.2 Islamic ethics in the context of history and the present
  • 2.3 The Quran and the modern age (interdisciplinary)

3rd semester

  • 3.1 Islamic philosophy of religion
  • 3.2 Issues of contemporary Islamic discourses
  • 3.3 Orientation module (alternative: work placement)
Frequently asked questions

Potential challenges

Proficiency in Arabic is an important basic requirement (as Hebrew or Greek are for other theologies) for studying research-oriented Islamic theology in depth; a general interest in language and in working with texts is advantageous.

What does this programme offer me?

The full-time Master's degree programme teaches students core skills in theology and the ability to consider Islam from both the inside and outside perspective. Students also learn to analyse Islam in relation to other world religions and explore the social and cultural interpretations of the Islamic faith.

The degree programme also offers scope to critically examine politics and society and the associated philosophical, ethical and spiritual issues. Analytical thinking, the ability to adopt different perspectives and communication skills form a solid basis for later positions of employment and a variety of research activities.

Programme features

Islamic Theological Studies (Islamic Theology) is a new academic discipline available at currently four universities in Germany. FAU is is the only university in Bavaria offering a Master's degree programme in this subject. Furthermore, the degree programme covers research focus areas that have never been offered at Master's level in Germany before. Through cooperation at the module level within the Faculty, the degree programme provides an important addition to the two Master's degree programmes in "Arabic, Islamic, and Semitic Studies" and "Middle Eastern Studies".

Admission requirements
  • Applicants with a subject-specific or related Bachelor's degree require a minimum final degree grade of 2.5.
  • Applicants with subject-specific degrees with a final grade between 2.51 and 3.0 may be invited to a selection interview.
  • Applicants currently in the final semester of a subject-specific Bachelor's degree programme can apply with proof of 140 ECTS credits.
Degree programme start date and application deadlines

Please find more detailed information on how to apply for a Master or advanced degree programme on the following website:

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Please note: Despite careful checks, we cannot rule out errors or omissions. For this reason, all prospective students are advised to seek detailed information from FAU's Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) before commencing their studies.

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Degree type: Master of Arts (MA)
Type of study: Master
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 4 Semester
Start date of degree programme: Winter Term
Language: German
Admission: No Admissions Restrictions
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: no
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology