Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module SGIA40415: Islamic Banking and Finance

Department: Government and International Affairs

SGIA40415: Islamic Banking and Finance

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to T6KP07
Tied to T6KQ07


  • Islamic Law and Financial Transactions.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with an advanced understanding of the principles and implications of Islamic law for financial systems.
  • To provide students with an advanced understanding of the practice of Islamic banking and finance and development of Islamic financial products.
  • To critically examine the systems of governance and regulation applied to Islamic banking and financial intermediation.
  • To critically evaluate the controversies and challenges facing of Islamic banking and finance.


  • Background and History of Islamic Banking—Why Islamic finance? Brief history, current status, and prospects. Islamic banking models in theory and practice.
  • Islamic contracts and Islamic finance—Traditional nominate contracts. Use of traditional nominate contracts for contemporary financial transactions. Approaches to product development in Islamic finance. Debate on Shari’ah compliant vs. Shari’ah based products.
  • Islamic Banking Products—Types of deposits (current, savings, and investment accounts). Financing products (real estate, durables, trade, working capital, and overdrafts). Off-balance sheet items (letters of credit and letters of guarantee).
  • Risks in Islamic financial instruments—nature of risk in Islamic financial instruments (murabahah, salam, istisna, ijarah, musharakah, mudarabah).
  • Islamic financial markets and nonbank financial institutions— Applying Islamic law to stock market dealings. The emergence of Islamic mutual funds. Islamic insurance (takaful).
  • Islamic securities— Shari’ah principles of issuing Islamic securities (sukuk). Types and features of sukuk. Case studies of current sukuk issues.
  • Regulatory and Governance Issues-- Regulatory framework (capital adequacy, risk management, etc) for Islamic banks. Application of Islamic contracts in non-Islamic legal jurisdictions. Shari’ah compliance and governance in Islamic banks.
  • Challenges Facing Islamic Finance—Sound regulatory and legal environment. Standardization of Shari’ah rules for Islamic finance. Shari’ah based product development. Lack of personnel having knowledge and skills of finance and Islamic law.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An advanced knowledge of the principles of Islamic finance and an in-depth knowledge of current practice.
  • An advanced understanding of the application of Islamic law in financial transactions.
  • Advanced knowledge of the structures and risks of Islamic financial products.
  • An advanced understanding of regulatory and legal environment under which Islamic banking and finance operates.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An advanced ability to analyse the operations and practices of Islamic banking and finance.
  • The ability to evaluate the structures of financial products used by the Islamic financial industry
  • The ability to understand the legal and regulatory issues related to Islamic banking and finance.
  • The ability to critically review the experiences of Islamic banking and the challenges that may constrain its growth.
Key Skills:
  • Independent learning within a defined framework of study at an advanced level.
  • Independent thought in analysing and critiquing existing practices of Islamic banking and finance.
  • The ability to work to a deadline and complete written work within word limits.
  • Advanced essay-writing skills.
  • The ability to seek out and use relevant data sources, including electronic and bibliographic sources.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The modes of teaching are seminars, which allow the students to discuss freely the assigned topics. Guidelines will be given by the tutor. At MA level, seminars are appropriate for the students because they are from different academic backgrounds. Seminars also allow a better exchange of views and ideas.
  • Assessment is through formative presentation and discussion, as well as a summative essay on a specific topic and 90 minutes exam in May-June period. Essay writing is an appropriate method with the maximum freedom for the students to respond with what they have learnt, as summative assessment by written assignment will test students' knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter, their critical judgement and problem-solving and critical skills. 1.5 hour exam with written answers will test students’ depth of understanding, their analytical skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 8 Every week 2 hours 16
Seminars 4 Fortnightly 1 hour 4
Preparation and Reading 130
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1,500 words 100%
Component: Exam Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Exam 90 minutes 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Individual presentation and discussion. Presentation outline (500 words).

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University