About us

Finance is a dynamic device in modern economies and plays an essential role in growth in both developed and developing countries. Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing areas of International finance and plays an important role in debt and equity-based mechanisms.

Conventional financial institutions are keen to offer diverse banking products and this has led to a growing interest in Islamic finance, from a business, education and knowledge perspective.

This has stimulated demand for industry-related research activities and academic programs in Islamic finance. London is the largest international centre for Islamic finance outside the Muslim world, largely as a result of the City's role as a centre for Middle Eastern and Asian banking.

This provides excellent opportunities for the School of Business and Law as Canary Wharf is London's banking district and close to a substantial Muslim population.

The Centre aims to be the natural home for the Centre of Excellence in Islamic Finance in the UK.

Image of Prof Sait speaking in front of a microphone

Our vision

  • To be an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the dissemination, application and critique of Islamic banking and finance processes and practices.
  • To establish a strong support, research, teaching, training and engagement Centre that focuses on Islamic banking and finance.

Our mission

  • Our mission is to provide a forum for research, education, training, consultation and dialogue on Islamic finance and banking industry practices. The Centre also serves as a bridge in terms of examining best practices in banking and finance by proffering studies that compare conventional and Islamic practices.


  • To become the UK's leading Islamic finance and banking educational and research centre
  • To act as a professional body for training, consultation and advisory services for Islamic banking and the finance industry.
  • To pursue genuine industry-related research in Islamic finance.
  • The Islamic banking and finance centre is built on a three pillars model that comprises education and research, training, consultancy and advisory services related activities.

Education and research

Our Islamic finance programmes are unique, in that they offer both a rigorous education and a developed appreciation of the demands of financial firms and markets.

The education programmes on offer include:

  • The MSc Islamic Banking and Finance, which has been developed for individuals who are keen to progress to professional or research careers and incorporates the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) benchmarks. It aims to develop competent professionals who are well qualified and practised in Islamic banking and finance and requires students to complete four core 30 credit modules and one 60 credit dissertation.
  • The PhD in Islamic Banking and Finance which together with the MPhil programme, is based on original research. The programme aims to produce individuals who well-versed in the principles and concepts of Islamic banking and finance, by providing comprehensive education and rigorous training in all aspects of this specialist area. The programme can be studied on a part-time or full-time basis.

In order to provide our students with practical experience, we work with the Islamic finance sector to provide internships, mentors and funding for special projects and scholarships.

Research agenda

The research agenda focuses on various areas of Islamic banking and finance and priority research topics are proposed by the advisory committee. The research topics we currently support include the following:

  • Sukok performance
  • Islamic microfinance and development
  • Financial performance of Islamic finance institutions
  • Social responsibility and Islamic finance

Research chair and associates initiative

Under the direction of the Dean, the Centre will establish one Research Chair and two associates to support and develop the research output of the centre. The Chairs will operate in line with the key strategic areas of the Centre.

Islamic Finance Network

The Centre is developing a worldwide network of professional people, peer organisations and role players in the Islamic finance industry, in order to carry out its activities in an efficient and effective manner.

Open lectures and seminars

The Centre provides open lectures, delivered by professionals and academics, that provide Islamic banking solutions to financial institutions across the world. These events also bring together internal and external stakeholders, to pursue their joint interests in Islamic banking and finance.


The Centre has established a database of well-qualified, professional experts who can provide advice to Islamic financial institutions and investors on all issues and future challenges.

It also aims to develop a worldwide Islamic finance network, with practitioners, professionals, religious scholars and policymakers in the field, together with a worldwide network of peer organisations. This will enable it to carry out its activities in an efficient and effective manner.


Corporate level

We aim to develop strong relationships with Islamic finance institutions and supply the Islamic finance sector with relevant training.

Individual level

For example, we launched an executive education programme based on a blended learning approach in Islamic finance in February 2013, which includes the following: 

  • Introduction to Islamic finance
  • The Islamic equity and bond markets
  • Bank valuation
  • Islamic asset management
  • Islamic banking
  • Risk management
  • Ethical finance

Short courses

The Centre also provides tailor-made training courses in Islamic finance.

Contact us

Centre Director

Prof. M. Siraj Sait
Email: s.sait@uel.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)20 8223 2238