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Islamic Finance Training Programs & Certifications 2.0

One of our earliest posts in the blog related to Islamic Finance Training Programs & Certifications, it remains one of our most popular links (and most downloaded documents). This suggests not only a strong interest to learn about Islamic finance but also the need for independent/objective analysis of the many options available to students (ourselves included). Here we present a more detailed review that has been drafted by one of our readers (Mansoor Munir Ahmed) and extend our sincere gratitude for his input (he wanted no credit for this work so further praise is in order).

As an aside - there is a significant debate amongst Islamic finance practitioners and young Muslim professionals about whether Islamic finance makes any sense at all, and whether it is worth trying to engage in this industry. We can only suggest 1) doing your homework before diving in and 2) knowing that every small effort counts. Here we have a contribution from a single individual that might look small in the greater scheme of things but as these add up the impact can be significant.

Introductory Level

1. The Islamic Banking Diploma - Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies: It aims to disseminate knowledge and information about Islamic banking and finance and produce high caliber professionals with the necessary technical skills and knowledge in Islamic finance. The programs run five days per week, Sunday to Thursday – morning and evening sessions. It has three theoretical semesters (16 weeks each), and a summer course (8 weeks), which involves "Field Training" at an Islamic bank for non – bankers students, or a "Field Project" for bankers students who have at least three years of work experience in the banking sector.

2. IFQ (Islamic Finance Qualification) - conducted by CISI (formerly SII): A 2 hour exam is conducted with a 70% passing criteria. The exam is based on a book which is provided by the institute, it has 10 chapters and mostly based on Shariah Principles. The scope for the IFQ course is quite high as it has been recommened by a number of western based islamic financial institutes and some banks in Pakistan.

Vocational Qualifications - Accounting & Auditing

1. AAOIFI: the standard setter for the faith based Islamic industry are offering a Certified Islamic Professional Accounting (CIPA). It is the most re-known coursein the global Islamic financial market-place.

2. CIMA: has recently launched its Certificate in Islamic finance. It is ideal for those desiring to pursue their career in the accounting and auditing fields.

3. BIBF in association with AIA has introduced an Islamic Accounting and Compliance Diploma (DIAC). It covers the basics and lays down the foundation for the Islamic accounting & compliance concepts.

Intermediate Level - Distance Learning

1a. International Certificate in Banking Risk and Regulation - GARP: This course is directed to those interested to become risk management practitioners. This conventional financial knowledge is only meant to complement its counterpart (coming soon) Islamic risk management. In a qualitative approach, the International in Certificate in Banking Risk and Regulation presents a studied review of the following: Traded Market Risk Management and Regulation; Treasury Risk Management and Regulation; Credit Risk Management and Regulation; Operational Risk Management and Regulation; Supervision and Regulation. It has been suggested that candidates for the International Certificate should have both a reasonable understanding and some experience of banking. Therefore they are expected to know terms commonly used in the finance industry. To obtain the International Certificate in Banking Risk and Regulation, you will be required to pass one exam that consists of 120 multiple choice questions and will last 175 minutes. A candidate will need to answer 80 questions correctly in order to pass.

1b. The Certificate in Risk Management for Islamic Financial Institutions - GARP: The Certificate in Risk Management for the Islamic financial industry will be launched in the last quarter of 2009. An excellent added value skill for Risk managers. It will be an online course with an exam seating for every module.

Intermediate Level - Certification

2. Certified Islamic Finance Expert (CIFE) - AIMS: Distance learning program designed by AIMS to educate individuals in the areas of Islamic Economics, Islamic Finance, Product Development, Modes of Financing, Islamic Investment, Shari’a Standards & Rulings and Islamic Insurance. Pre-requisite for this program are:
- Applicants must possess an appropriate University or College degree from a recognized institution
- Applicants who do not hold a university or college degree, will be considered for admissions if they have a diploma in Finance/Banking/Insurance OR minimum three years full-time appropriate work experience in finance
- Applicant must be minimum 23 years of age

3. Certified Islamic Banker (CIB) - Professionals Institute of Excellence: The program is also a distance learning applicant, consisting of four modules but the date of examination is customized as per ‘persons’ availability. It is a specialized job-oriented corporate training program in Islamic Banking. The lectures are delivered by leading Islamic banking scholars and experts in Pakistan. The program is affiliated with the Pakistan Institute of Banking. The above is a broken link, for additional info contact pie.pakistan@gmail.com

4. Certified Islamic Banker (CIB) - AIMS: The program gives an in-depth study of Islamic financial and Islamic banking system. CIB is designed to produce highly skilled professionals and valued “Islamic Bankers” for the highly growing Islamic Banking industry. On the successful completion of this training, participants are capable of designing, implementing, consulting, operating and administering Riba-free Islamic financial products and services, within their organizations.

5. Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE) - Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance: Offered from Dubai, UAE it claims to be the only accredited Islamic finance certificate available 100% online. It covers and explains all the standards of AAOIFI and discusses all Islamic modalities of finance in practice today (claims to be the only institute that delivers standardized certification based on AAOIFI).  Their program was recently nominated for “Best Islamic Finance Training Institution” by IB&F.

6. Certified Islamic Investment Analyst* (CeIIA) Program - IBFNet: Candidates are required to complete twelve credit points of approved study to be awarded the certificate. To qualify for entry to the Certified Islamic Investment Analyst, applicants normally must have: completed at least first two years of a\ recognized four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent in field of economics, commerce, business, accounting, law and related areas; preferably be part of the banking and financial services industry; have appropriate resources to facilitate ready access to the Internet (check this by visiting our Technical Page); have ready access to a personal e-mail address; and have the skills required to access and manipulate materials delivered electronically.

7. CIFA: Certified Islamic Financial Analyst Program (CIPA) - Shape Financial: SHAPE now offers a comprehensive three level certification program to develop financial service professionals with a deep and on-going knowledge of Islamic finance. The elements of the program are meant to assure that users understand and retain the Islamic rules applied to finance, banking, and investment. The program addresses the global Islamic financial markets.

8. Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP) - INCEIF: CIFP is a certification for those looking to procure the expertise in a broad spectrum of the Islamic banking and finance services industry including takaful and capital markets. It is online (and on campus) based facilitation and can be completed in a minimum of 18 months and a maximum of 6½ years. Bank Negara supports this course by offering scholarship to foreign students. To qualify a student must have Bachelor Degree or a Diploma from a recognised institution with a minimum of 5 years working experience in a related industry.

9. Diploma in Islamic Finance - Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies: Providing a core focus on finance and economics, pertinent understanding of Shari’a rulings. In order for graduates to qualify for this program they must have a solid background in mathematical, statistical, and econometric technique and/or relevant work experience is not mandatory but will be considered an asset. The program has been divided into two routes (1) Asset Management; and (2) Auditing.

10. Diplôme d’Economie et de Finance Islamique (DEFI) - IIT France: This program is facilitated in French only, launched recently in November of 2009.

Intermediate Level - Legal Studies

1. Diploma in Law - University of London: A distance learning course consisting of four units. It is a qualification in its own right and also provides an entry route to the LLB. Successful completion of the Diploma gains credit for the first four subjects of the LLB degree. A number of British universities recognize the Diploma as an entry qualification for becoming a second-year, campus-based LLB student. This diploma will pave the way in ones career toward Masters in Islamic law. This program can be completed in 1-5 years.

2. Executive Diploma in Islamic Law (Islamic Banking) - IIUM: This course has a duration of 1 year on a part time basis, and is conducted in English. It is suitable for those with some experience in the Islamic finance industry. Here are some prerequisites:
- SPM 3 credits with 3 years of working experience, or
- STPM 2 principles with 2 years of working experience, or
- Diploma recognized by IIUM with 1 year working experience, or
- Degree in any discipline recognized by IIUM
It is being conducted by Harun M. Hashim Law Centre, International Islamic University, Malaysia.

3. Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Diploma in Law - University of London: A programme for those who intend to obtain an LLB degree of international standing providing the first step on a career route to doing LLM in Shari’a or Islamic law Applicants who already have an undergraduate degree acceptable to the University may complete the LLB in two years through the nine-unit Graduate Entry Route. This can be completed in 3-8 years (or a minimum of 2 years on the Graduate Entry Route).

4a. LLB (Honors) - IIU: A 5 year (13 semesters) degree programme, anyone who has accomplished his A/level or F.A (having at leat 50% marks) can apply.

4b. LLB - IIU: A three year (7 semesters) degree programme course. The candidate should have at least Bachelor or equivalent degree from a recognized University, with at least 50% marks (C Grade).

4c. B.Sc in Islamic Banking & Finance - IIU: This programme {B.Sc (Hons)} is a 4 year program offered to candidates with alternative background such as: a) Candidates holding Higher Secondary Certificate from a Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education in Pakistan or equivalent qualification from recognized institutions within the country or abroad; b) Candidates with at least 45% marks in aggregate are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to candidates having studied Economics/Mathematics/ Statistics. Admissions are offered purely on merit in which the entry tests play important role. Foreign candidates may apply provisionally on the basis of paper qualification.

5. Post Graduate Diploma in Islamic Banking and Insurance - IIBF: The diploma aims to engrave the basic operational and fundamental theories on which the whole banking structure is designed. More details can be found on the website given below, its cost is £1,000 and is a distance learning course benefitting those who intend to carry it out on their own time.

6. Post Graduate Diploma in Islamic Banking - IIU: Can be achieved by candidates holding BA/B.Sc/BBA/B.Com degree or equivalent qualification from a recognized institution. Admission is granted purely on merit basis through admission test and interview. Preference will be given to nominees of Banks and Financial Institutions. The good thing about this course is that every student will be required to present a workshop on a project prescribed by the faculty, which will be evaluated accordingly. Alternatively the student will be required to join internship with an Islamic financial institution for a period of 6-8 weeks. The performance of the student will be evaluated by a committee of examiners in the faculty on the basis of the report submitted by the head of host institution.

7. Post Graduate Diploma in Islamic Banking & Finance - The Institute of Islamic Banking & Finance: An exclusive threshold Gateway Programme designed as a Distance Learning Program to offer knowledge resources in a comprehensive and compact manner motivating students to explore further avenues for knowledge. Any Graduate in any discipline from a recognized university with simple ability to understand English language as the entire material is designed in English language. MBA/BCom candidates enjoy convenience of understanding the subject with ease.

8. Postgraduate Diploma in Islamic Business and Finance (PGDIBF) Program - IBFNet: To qualify for entry to the Postgraduate Diploma in Islamic Business and Finance program, applicants normally must have completed CeIB/CeIIP/CeIIA (All of these courses have been mentioned in this database).

9. Postgraduate Diploma in Islamic Banking & Finance - Al Huda CIBE: Intended to impart the comprehensive knowledge of Islamic Banking and Islamic Insurance with its true sense and concept in the people who are unrelated to the banking or insurance professions. The purpose of the course is to equip the graduates with the Shari’a principles of Islamic finance to fulfill the global needs of human resources and to produce well equipped professionals with the knowledge of Islamic financial concepts and products.

10. Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP) - INCEIF: An online course which claims to equip its participants with extensive knowledge in Wealth Management, Takaful, Islamic Structured Products, Regulation & Supervision and Consultancy. To qualify the participant must have a recognized Bachelor Degree in any field; or a Diploma from a recognized institution with a minimum of 5 years working experience in the related banking or insurance industry.

11. Graduate Diploma in Islamic Economics and Finance (PGDIEF) - Al Jamia Al Islamiya: A 10 months integrated course on Islamic economics and finance dealing with subjects such as Islamic economics and their measures in Qur'an and Hadith, Accountancy with Computer application (Tally & Peachtree) and Functional Arabic etc.

Intermediate Level - Insurance/Takaful

1. Certified Takaful Professional (CTP) - AIMS: A distance learning program designed to produce highly skilled Islamic Insurance professionals for Takaful industry. Educational support is provided online by renowned Islamic Insurance experts. Complete study material is provided by AIMS. The candidate interested to pursue hie career in this course must possess an appropriate University or College degree from a recognized institution & those applicants who do not hold a university or college degree, will be considered for admissions if they have a diploma in finance/Insurance OR minimum two years full-time appropriate work experience in insurance. Lastly the applicant must be minimum 22 years of age.

2. Certified Islamic Insurance Professional (CeIIP) - IBFNet : A program in which candidates normally must have: completed at least first two years of a recognized four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent in field of economics, commerce, business, accounting, law and related areas; preferably be part of the banking and financial services industry; have appropriate resources to facilitate ready access to the Internet; have ready access to a personal e-mail address; and have the skills required to access and manipulate materials delivered electronically. Persons meeting the above requirements will be required to complete twelve credit points of approved study to be awarded the CeIIP.

Advanced Level - Masters in Islamic Banking & Finance

1. Masters in Islamic Banking & Finance - IIU: M.Sc leading to M.Phil in Islamic Banking & Finance, this programme is available to candidates with B.Sc.(Hons) or MA/ M.Sc degree in Economics/ Economics & Finance and Islamic Banking & Finance from IIUI with minimum CGPA of 2.0/4.0 or equivalent are eligible for admission to the first phase of the program in the relevant area. It has a sophisticated structure paving way for candidates to M.Phil.

2. M.Sc in Islamic Economics and Finance at Department of Economics - Loughborough University.

3. MA in Islamic Management, Banking and Finance - Markfield Institute of Higher Education.

4. Masters Programs in Business/Finance/Economics/Accounting with Islamic Orientation - International Islamic University Malaysia.

5. MBA program in Islamic Finance - University College of Bahrain: evening program suitable for those who cannot commit themselves to full time academic studies.

6. Masters in Islamic Finance - INCEIF: offers training in the key areas of Islamic economics, finance and Shariah in both theoretical and applied aspects. The area of specialization is in Takaful, Islamic Banking & Islamic Capital Markets. This course can be done in 2 years (Full time) and 4 years (part time).

7. Master of Science Islamic Finance - Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance: An expensive course but it covers both the streams (i.e. Conventional & Islamic financial streams). This is broken down into seven finance courses and five Islamic finance courses.

8. MSc in Islamic Finance - Bangor University in Wales: Recently launched, it is a balanced finance and Islam course, with the emphasis on the first. Entry to the MSc/Diploma in Islamic Banking and Finance programme requires a good first degree in a relevant subject, e.g. economics, finance, accounting or management from a university, or a similar qualification from any other institution. Alternatively, possession of a suitable professional qualification and relevant practical experience may also be accepted. (A 2 year programme, with the first year as a "qualifying year", is also available for students whose backgrounds are different from those outlined above in order to prepare them more fully for their MSc in Islamic Banking studies). The university also provides MA in Islamic Finance.

9. Master of Science in Islamic Finance - QFIS: claims to offer, like its Diploma in Islamic Finance, a thorough understanding of Shari’a rules for finance and economics. The Admission requirements are general (i.e. a bachelor's degree in Finance, or Economics, or Business, or Shari'ah and/or relevant work experience).

10. MSc Finance & Law with Islamic Finance - Newcastle University: A 12 month full-time program, which consists of a total of 180 credits modules with focuses on Financial and Corporate Theory, Law, International Economics and Finance, Money and Banking, Credit risk Modelling etc.

11. MSc Degree Course in Islamic Banking - Salford Business School: soon to be launched, aims to be delivered in full and part time modes. The degree “will complement the School's existing postgraduate degrees in Banking and Finance by providing a solid core of general banking and financial principles together with three modules specific to Islamic Banking and Finance”. Apart from the usual Islamic knowledge on transaction, product and economics students will also study core modules on Business Research, Accounting Regulation & Compliance, International Financial Markets and strategy in Finance.

12. MBA Islamic Banking and Finance - Academy UK: This is a 12 months program which apart from the Shari’a aspects of finanicing also accentuates on Quantitative Methods for Finance and Risk Management.

13. The Cass Executive MBA is a two year part-time programme tailored to suit professionals in the industry. Like other MBA’s, the course is broken down into 3 elements – core modules, elective modules and the Business Mastery Project. It offers some exposure to Islamic finance under one of its streams.

14. MBA in Islamic Banking and Finance - AIMS: An online two-part program. The First Program is called “Certified Islamic Finance Expert (5 courses)” after which the student may become applicable for the “MBA Core courses” (7 courses and 1 Thesis). The whole program is self study, with material provided by AIMS, however, online academic support is also made available. Students are given Assignments and have to pass an online multiple choice "open book" examination with a 65% passing mark. The MBA degree is awarded in collaboration with Pebble Hills University.

Advanced Level - Masters in Shari’a Law & Usul ul Fiqh

1. LLM International Law - IIU: A two year (4 semesters) degree, qualifying eligibility is at least 50% marks in L.L.B or 2.50/4.00 CPGA.

2. LLM Shari’a (Islamic commercial Law) - IIU: A two year (4 semesters) degree, eligibility for this programme is that the candidate should hold L.L.B with at least 50% marks from a recognized university.

3. LLM Usul ul Fiqh - IIU: Entails a two year (4 semester) degree, for eligibility the candidate should hold L.L.B with at least 50% marks from a recognized university.

Advanced Level - Research & Doctorate

1. International Shari’a Research Academy - ISRA: ISRA has developed a dual qualification encompassing the Shari’a & financial related issues. This academy had been instated by Bank of Negara, Malaysia and is currently scholarship based.

2. PhD Program - INCEIF : can also be conducted through scholarship financed by Bank of Negara, Malaysia. The subjects covered range from Islamic Economics to Corporate Finance, Islamic Accounting, Usul Fiqh and Qawaid Fiqhiyyah, Islamic Law of Contracts, Mathematical Methods for Economics and Finance, Eonometrics, Islamic Capital Market and Islamic Wealth Management etc. This is followed by a Dissertation/Thesis in a wide variety of fields such as Fiqh Muamalat, Sukuk, Legal aspect of Islamic financial institutions, Economics policy and analysis of Islamic financial institutions, Accounting for Islamic financial institutions, Takaful and Re-Takaful etc.

3. PHD’s in Islamic Finance - Islamic Economics Research Center, King Abdulaziz University.

4. Ph.D Sharia (fiqh/usul-ul-fiqh) - IIU: prerequisites include holding a Masters degree from a recognized institute with first division or 3.0/4.0 CGPA.

5. MA in Islamic Political Economy and MSc in Islamic Economics and Finance at Institute of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies - Durham University: can also assist in research for dissertations and thesis.



  1. For economists (students or researchers): I have just added an Economics Reference List to my economics blog (http://crisismaven.wordpress.com/references/) with economic and statistical data series, history, bibliographies etc. for students & researchers, probably the most comprehensive on the Internet. Currently over 200 meta sources, it will soon grow to over a thousand. Check it out and if you miss something, feel free to leave a comment.

  2. One Master´s not listed is from the UK´s Durham University, an MSc/MA in Islamic Finance. Just launched for 2009. Currently full-time only with a duration of 1-year.

  3. just for information about what french education have launch in islamic finance :
    article " Overview of islamic studies ".
    in order to have a complete view of islmaic studies.

  4. Nice Stuff!! Is there any information about distance learning MBA?


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  5. Thank you very much for the list and the effort...

  6. How were you able to build up from articles of this kind? Thank you for writing about this.

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  7. hi,thanks for sharing the list. financial structure