College of Islamic Studies
Area of Research
Master of Arts in Applied Islamic Ethics

Our modern world is shaped by remarkable developments in almost all aspects of life, including politics, socio-economic affairs, and gender relationships, in addition to biomedical and technological advancements. Besides their great benefits, these developments and advancements have also raised deep moral questions and challenges.
Individuals, societies, and professional communities are constantly addressing the moral questions and challenges that these developments raise. In the end, we need to make sense of our lives in the midst of profound change and to organize socio-political and financial activities in ways that are faithful to our “moral world.”  

The first program of its kind worldwide, the Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Islamic Ethics addresses how Islam, as a world religion with a rich moral heritage, engages with and contributes to the global moral discourse. Its strong interdisciplinary character combines in-depth knowledge of both theoretical and applied ethics rooted in the Islamic tradition. The program is consistent with the Qatar National Vision 2030 of developing a knowledge-based society and also with HBKU’s mission to develop world-class interdisciplinary academic programs. 
Graduates of this program will have the skills to continue their academic studies at the PhD level in the many fields covered in this program. They may also work in a professional environment by regulating ethical guidelines and policies in government and private institutions active in a wide range of areas, including biomedical sciences, engineering, business, politics, family, and human rights–in Muslim and Western contexts.


Program Focus

The MA in Applied Islamic Ethics is designed to equip students with the skills required to master the tools of theoretical ethics and to apply them to address leading-edge ethical dilemmas from the perspective of the rich Islamic ethical tradition. 

The overall structure of the program is designed to balance two main aspects: ‘the academic aspect’ of Islamic ethics, through a scholarly approach rooted in the Islamic tradition; and the ‘applied aspect’, to improve students’ skills in addressing the vexing ethical dilemmas and questions that people face in contemporary times for the prospective market of professional work.

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Provide a critical review of the main concepts, approaches, and theories of ethics in the Islamic tradition, as developed by various scholars and schools of thought throughout history.
  • Compare and analyze how different disciplines approach ethical questions from various perspectives.
  • Transfer the knowledge of theoretical ethics to practical and applied ethics by envisaging possible solutions for real-life problems and challenges.
  • Conduct academic research which addresses current and future ethical challenges encountered by Qatar, other countries in the Gulf region, and worldwide.
  • Demonstrate how insights rooted in the Islamic tradition can enrich the global deliberations on ethical challenges and dilemmas.



A 36-credit degree program taught over two years in English, that includes:

Foundation courses (6 credits)

  • Islamic Ethics: Mapping the Field
  • Research Methods and Sources on Ethics

A choice of two theoretical ethics courses out of three options (6 credits)

  • Scriptural Ethics: Ethics in Qur’an and Sunnah
  • Theological and Philosophical Ethics
  • Ethical Reasoning and Moral Decision-Making

A choice of five electives in applied ethics out of 10 options (15 credits)*

  • Islamic Bioethics
  • Ethics of Migration and Human Rights
  • Business Ethics
  • Peace, War, and Politics of Ethics
  • Gender and Islamic Ethics
  • Ethical Issues in Psychology
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Art and Ethics
  • Comparative Religious Ethics
  • Ethics in Science and Technology

Thesis (9 credits)


*With approval, students can also choose either a tutorial or internship as an elective.

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