In 2002, the Aga Khan University established its Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations in the United Kingdom to strengthen research and teaching about the heritage of Muslim societies, with specific attention to the challenges these societies face in contemporary settings.. ISMC's mandate is to illuminate the historical and contemporary aspects of Muslim societies and to create a platform for fresh thinking about their futures through research, publications, public events and an interdisciplinary master's degree that attracts students from around the world to its London campus.
The Institute's master’s programme in Muslim Cultures locates Muslim cultures within the larger framework of world cultures; encouraging students to reflect critically about the emergence of Islam, rich diversity of historical sources and traditions and the ways in which the past continues to shape the present.
The Institute seeks to provide a multifaceted approach to the study of Muslim peoples through a framework of world cultures, the humanities and social sciences. This approach is reflected in the range of programmes run by ISMC which include the Governance Project which seeks to address the deeply rooted religious and cultural sensitivities prevalent in matters of governance and the Muslim Civilisations Abstracts project. Our publications focus on generating new ways of thinking about Muslim civilisations by bringing together representative points of view prevailing in the wider academic community and mainstream media.