Islamic Art and Architecture (Online)


This course is for anyone interested in understanding Islamic art and culture, by examining the relationship between Islamic faith and various art forms.

Muslim societies produced art of tremendous vitality and diversity for around 1500 years in the Middle Easr and in other centres from Spain and West Africa to South-East Asia and China. Their artistic production includes architectural monuments such as mosques, palaces, and civic centres to textiles, manuscripts, and portable objects in ceramic, gold, silver, metal alloys, ivory, and rock crystal. This introductory course will explore the main stylistic and iconographic themes in Islamic art and highlight the diversity of its expressions.

For information on how the courses work, please click here.

Programme details

The areas you will cover in this course are:

  • Introduction and a starting point.
  • Muslim places of worship and devotion.
  • Calligraphy and arts of the Qur’an.
  • Painting and figural representation in Islam.
  • Ceramics of the Muslim world.
  • Muslim metalwork.
  • Islamic ornament: Geometry, Arabesque and Calligraphy.
  • Arts of the book: Painted and illuminated manuscripts.
  • Gardens and Palaces.
  •  Funerary landscape: tombs, mausoleums, and gardens.


Credit Application Transfer Scheme (CATS) points 

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £30 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to register and pay the £30 fee. 

See more information on CATS point

Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education, you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee. 


Digital credentials

All students who pass their final assignment, whether registered for credit or not, will be eligible for a digital Certificate of Completion. Upon successful completion, you will receive a link to download a University of Oxford digital certificate. Information on how to access this digital certificate will be emailed to you after the end of the course. The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended. You will be able to download your certificate or share it on social media if you choose to do so. 

Please note that assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail. 


Description Costs
Course Fee £385.00
Take this course for CATS points £30.00


Dr Peter Morgan

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you will understand:

  • The main characteristics of Islamic art and architecture and its regional and dynastic diversity.
  • The different interpretations of works of art.
  • The significance of context and patronage in the development of Islamic art and architecture.

You will be able to:

  • Identify, interpret, and evaluate a range of images and source materials.
  • Use the relevant technical vocabulary in discussing the subject.

Assessment methods

You will be set two pieces of work for the course. The first of 500 words is due halfway through your course. This does not count towards your final outcome but preparing for it, and the feedback you are given, will help you prepare for your assessed piece of work of 1,500 words due at the end of the course. The assessed work is marked pass or fail.

English Language Requirements

We do not insist that applicants hold an English language certification, but warn that they may be at a disadvantage if their language skills are not of a comparable level to those qualifications listed on our website. If you are confident in your proficiency, please feel free to enrol. For more information regarding English language requirements please follow this link:


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an Enrolment form for short courses | Oxford University Department for Continuing Education

Level and demands

FHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.