Islamic finance research degrees

An overview of our postgraduate research in Islamic finance and entry requirements for PhDs and other research degrees.

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Aims and vision

We aim to undertake world-class research in Islamic political and moral economy, finance and banking. All research projects will be inspired both theoretically and methodologically by humanities and social sciences subject areas, including political and moral economy, economics, development, philanthropy, and Islamic commercial law.

The University recognises that excellent research is firmly rooted within core intellectual disciplines and the abilities of individual researchers to contribute at the highest level.

The vision is for our Islamic Finance PhD programme to become the home for some of the best Islamic finance researchers in the world.

We will grow and support a vibrant culture and community of research students and staff.

We will ensure all students and staff uphold higher education's values of quality, diversity and partnership. While in the pursuit of new insights and understanding of the subject matter.

Our Islamic Finance PhD programme is run in partnership with Al Maktoum College.

Staff profiles

These members of staff are our colleagues from Al Maktoum College, who support teaching this degree.

Areas of research

While research in Islamic finance has expanded quickly, general research in Islamic economics, which began in the 1970s and 1980s, has grown more slowly. The areas of research that we focus on include all broad areas of Islamic economics and finance (for example, Islamic political/moral economy, Islamic banking and finance, Islamic insurance, Islamic capital markets, Islamic commercial law) by developing the theoretical, empirical and law-oriented studies in these areas.

The main areas of research within the PhD programme are:

Islamic economic theory 

  • the micro and macro foundations of Islamic economics
  • formation of Islamic political economy
  • formulating Islamic moral economy
  • the theory of maqāsid al Shari’ahand its implications for Islamic economic theory
  • the development of Shariah based products (in contrast with Shariah compliant products). Newly developed products should not be a mere innovation but rather an 'invention'. This will develop synergies in a wide range of areas of Islamic finance and Islamic sustainable development

Empirical Islamic finance

  • Islamic banking and finance and sustainable development
  • Islamic moral economy and the performance of Islamic banking and finance
  • Islamic capital markets (sukuk markets)
  • Maqasid al-Shari’ah performance of Islamic banks, Islamic stocks and other Islamic institutions
  • Islamic charitable giving behaviour and maqāsid al-Shari’ah performance of Islamic charities

Islamic commercial law

  • Islamic financial contracts and transactions
  • investigation into corporate law for Islamic finance
  • the impact of government legislation on Islamic finance
  • arbitration in Islamic law
  • how Islamic law complies with intentional law 

Key research projects

This is only some of the possible key research projects:

Islamic economic theory

  • aspects of the microeconomics foundations of Islamic economics
  • aspects of the foundations of economic welfare in Islamic economics 
  • macroeconomic policy in Islamic economics (including monetary and fiscal policy, and the associated monetary and fiscal instruments)
  • Islamic political economy
  • Islamic moral economy vs Islamic economics 
  • methodological aspects of Islamic economic theory including Islamisation vs Authentication in Islamic economics and epistemological approaches to Islamic economics including conventional/Islamic methodological frameworks
  • the Islamic economic conceptualisation of Islamic finance
  • the philosophical debate on the making of Islamic economics
  • ethics and the formation of Islamic economics 

Empirical Islamic finance

  • exploring the nature of change in Islamic finance and banking at institutional, product and operational levels:
    • Islamic financial institutions and banks (their operational aspects)
    • Islamic finance without and before banking (the form vs substance debate in Islamic finance and banking, and the direction of change in Islamic finance and banking)
  • evaluating the performance of the emergent non-banking Islamic finance institutions which is shaping the nature and process of the future direction of Islamic finance and banking
  • socially responsible Islamic investment and finance: corporate social responsibility and Islamic finance, green Sukuk, social banking etc.
  • in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the regulatory structure of the Islamic finance industry. 
  • empirically investigate the role of Shari’ah boards in shaping the changing nature of (i) Islamic finance, (ii) the Shari’ah boards and their fatwa, and (iii) how the re-defined Shari’ah auditing is shaping authentic Islamic banking operations
  • capital requirements, credit risk weighting of assets (standardized and internal rating based approaches), treatment of leases, micro finance, project finance, operational risks, market risks, securitisation and Islamic banking and market disciplines, and the implications of supervisory review process
  • systemic risks, credit risks, market risks, operational risks, and liquidity risks, particularly stemming from the unique asset and liability structures of Islamic banks due to Shari'ah compliance, perception of banks and regulators regarding these risks, and various risk exposures underlying Sukuk structures
  • factors effecting financial stability, the role of Islamic finance and regulatory institutions in ensuring financial stability, empirical work on the stability of Islamic banks in comparison with traditional banks during financial distress, the effect of Islamic financial instruments on financial market stability, and early warning systems of financial distress

Islamic commercial law

  • the underlying principle of Islamic banks and financial institutions is the Islamic legal codes (Fiqh) to achieve Shari’ah compliance that are based on profit-and-loss sharing, risk sharing, and the prevention of debt financing in the society.
  • fiqh appraisal of risk management instruments and alternatives developed to treat defaults, operating financial leases, asset securitization, plus the importance of managing bank capital and its implications for business risk etc.
  • comparing the regulatory frameworks of Islamic banking and traditional banking and the implications for whether there is a level playing field, cross-sector consolidation of activities cross-sector risk transmission, and the implications for banking supervision.
  • Islamic banking regulation and supervision including Shariah compliance as a matter of regulation or market discipline, the application of risk assessment tools, the risk weighting of the assets of Islamic banks, the treatment of investment and current accounts, sources of capital, disclosure and transparency requirements, applications of international standards, financial reporting and disclosures, and compliance with core principles.
  • arbitration (Tahkim) for Islamic finance which may include a comparative approach and convergences with international law and other jurisdictions; methods of disputes resolution for Islamic finance, and semi-secular arbitrations for Shariah compliant finance.

Propose your own PhD topic

If you want to propose your PhD topic, you can use the contact details below to contact a staff member to discuss your proposal.

How to write your best postgraduate research proposal

Entry requirements

You should have an honours degree at 2.1 or above, and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline.

English language requirements

IELTS (overall) Reading Listening Speaking Writing
6.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 6.0

We also accept other English language qualifications

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you are a national of certain countries.

Don't meet the English language requirements?

English language programmes

Prepare for university study and benefit from extra English tuition with an English language programme.

Islamic finance PhD tuition fees

Academic year of entry Scottish/Rest of UK fee status International fee status
2024/25 £4,786 
per year of study
per year of study

Tuition fee per year of study (subject to a 3% annual increase for Scottish/Rest of UK students and a 5% annual increase for International students).

Part time study, where available, is charged on a pro-rata basis.

Scottish/Rest of UK fee status annual increase

Each year, UKRI sets a recommended fee and stipend level for Scottish/Rest of UK students, which we use as the basis for fees charged to this group.

UKRI usually increases its fee and stipend levels in line with inflation, based on the Treasury GDP deflator. 

Therefore, the Scottish/Rest of UK fees detailed in this table for 2025/26 (and beyond) can only be estimated according to the typical increase. 

The fee charged to you may differ, though only slightly, from the figure given.

Apply for a research degree

You can apply for a PhD or other postgraduate research degree using our Direct Application System.

We have three start dates per academic year.

PhD Islamic Finance (3 years)

PhD Islamic Finance (4 years)

The University of Dundee welcomes applications from disabled students.


Please direct your enquiries to the below, or email