What is the Hawza Programme?

The Hawza Programme at Al-Mahdi Institute continues the Shia heritage of teaching core Islamic sciences including Jurisprudence, Legal Theory, Arabic, Theology, Philosophy and Logic. The unique feature of our Hawza Programme is that it bridges the gap between traditional Hawza Seminaries and modern academia. This equips students with the critical skills and knowledge required to read and analyse classical Arabic texts, allowing them to engage in an in-depth study of religion. Taught entirely in English by a range of scholars who have received the highest level of training in both traditional and western academic settings, the Hawza Programme ensures that students get the best of both worlds.

What is Hawza on Demand?

Hawza On Demand (HoD) is an online platform that gives you a glimpse of the four-year Hawza Programme taught at Al-Mahdi Institute (AMI). Taught by highly trained scholars, our courses combine the richness of Islamic tradition with the rigour of modern academia. Get access to core Islamic sciences including Arabic, Jurisprudence, Legal Theory, Theology, Philosophy and much more at anytime and anywhere!

How does it work?

Hawza on Demand (HoD) allows you to get a taster of AMI’s Hawza Programme by giving you free access to selected pre-recorded classes of each module taught within the programme. These classes are available for anyone to access at anytime and anywhere around the world.

After you have completed the pre-recorded classes, should you wish to continue studying, you can complete the online Hawza Enrolment Form in order to gain full access to your chosen modules. This includes access to our online learning platform, Canvas, where you can access all your learning material, class recordings, assessments and much more. As you will have access to the latest classes, please note that teachers may vary from those teaching the pre-recorded classes available on HoD. Once you have applied, you will be able to have direct access to your teachers either on-campus or via our live virtual learning system.

What are my study options?

Once you’ve decided which modules you would like to enrol on, you will need to complete the online Hawza Enrolment Form and choose whether you would like to study on-campus or via the On-demand route. If you would like to study on-campus, you can either opt to study the Hawza Programme on a full-time basis over four years, or study at your own pace by enrolling on a few modules at a time.

If you wish to study via the On-demand route, you can access class recordings and all other learning material at anytime and anywhere around the world, via the online learning platform Canvas. You can opt to study the Hawza Programme on a full-time basis over four years, or study at your own pace by enrolling on a few modules at a time.

What are the entry requirements?

The Hawza Programme is taught entirely in English with reference to English and Arabic texts. Therefore, to enrol on the Hawza Programme, it is essential that you are able to read basic Arabic and are fluent in the English language (speaking, reading, writing and understanding).

Students who wish to study residentially on campus and apply for a scholarship may be invited to attend an interview to determine their suitability for scholarships.

Am I eligible to apply for a scholarship?

Students who wish to study residentially on campus as a full-time student are eligible to apply for a scholarship to support their studies for the full duration of the four-year Hawza Programme. Scholarships include on-campus accommodation and/or monthly stipends of £200 plus your Post-graduate MA fees in the final year (subject to meeting the requirements).

To apply for a scholarship, applicants must supply certificates/transcripts of their highest qualification, their current CV, a copy of their passport and two academic references (not written by family members) at the time of their application. AMI awards up to three new full scholarships each year, which are awarded annually before the start of the academic year in September.

Students who wish to study On-demand, or at their own pace, may apply for tuition fee waivers instead to support their studies. Find out more  here.

How much are the fees and is there any funding available?

Fees for full-time studies (On-campus and On-demand) are currently £5,000 per year. Students who cannot afford to pay the full fees may choose from a selection of fee waivers available which include: 25%, 50%, 75% or 90%. Payment plans are also available upon request to help you spread the cost of your fees.

Fees for part-time studies (On-campus and On-demand) are currently £360 per module, with a range of fee waivers also available for students who cannot pay their full fees. The fee waivers available include 25%, 50%, 75% and 90% plus an additional £50 registration fee applicable at the time of enrolment. Payment plans for fees over £150 are also available upon request to help you spread the cost of your fees.

How will I be assessed?

There are a range of assessment methods such as written exams, assignments, oral exams and class presentations that you may be assessed with. You can find details of your assessments on your online learning platform, Canvas.

There are three assessment periods during the academic year in which a student can sit their exams and submit their assignments, which are:

February (end of Semester One)

July (end of Semester Two)

August (resits week)

Upon successful completion of your chosen modules, you may also receive a transcript of your marks (upon request).

What qualifications will I gain upon completion?

Upon successful completion of the first three years of the Hawza Programme, you will be awarded a BA degree in Islamic Theological Studies by Mofid University, Iran. In addition to this, students who achieve 450 out of 510 credits by completing majority of the beginner and advanced level modules by the end of the third year, are eligible to continue on to the MA programme in the fourth and final year of the Hawza Programme. This means that students can also obtain a Post-graduate MA in Islamic Studies awarded by the University of Birmingham upon completion of the final year of the Hawza Programme. Find out more  here.

What career options do I have upon completion?

Previous graduates and students of the Hawza Programme have delved into many career options such as; teaching, academic research, public speaking, governmental advisories, Islamic Finance consulting, Islamic Bio-ethics and Islamic Law based organisations, media influencers, youth and community leadership and development, chaplaincy, anthropology and many more. These are just some of the career opportunities available to you upon completion of the Hawza Programme.