Programme Specification for the 2013/4 academic year

MA MA Iranian Studies

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMA MA Iranian Studies Programme codePTA1IAIIAI15
Study mode(s)Full Time
Part Time
Academic year2013/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
Programme start date

09/2013

NQF Level7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

Given the prominence of Iran in contemporary international politics, this programme will provide you with a significant advantage in the job market.

The programme will enable you to specialise in the field of Iranian Studies with focus on historical and contemporary politics.  You will also study the wider issues in the field of Middle East Studies.

The MA in Iranian Studies will appeal both to graduates will no prior knowledge of Iran, as well as those who would like to deepen their existing knowledge.  The programme will impose an intense level of activity and focus based on recent cutting-edge research by recognised experts in their specialist fields.  Along with group learning and collective work any knowledge gap will quickly close between the two groups.

You will be exposed to a wide variety of teaching and learning styles, including more innovative methods, which will assist you in becoming more competitive in the labour market as well as enabling you to become a better academic.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. Enable students to specialize in the field of Iranian Studies, whether historical or contemporary political; deepening their knowledge of the field, while at the same time enhancing their career prospects.
2. Provide students with teaching led by cutting-edge research.
3. Expose students to a wide variety of teaching and learning methods, including more innovative ones, which should assist students in becoming better academics as well as more competitive on the labour market.
4. Enable students competently to address wider issues in the field of Middle East Studies

The Exeter MA in Iranian Studies will be one of only two such programmes available in the UK. Given the prominence of Iran in contemporary international politics, students taking this MA will have a significant advantage in the job market.

The MA in Iranian Studies is designed for graduates who have no prior knowledge of Iran, as well as for those graduates who would like to deepen their existing knowledge. Because the programme will impose an intense level of activity and focus, and a strong element of group learning and collective work, and because it will be based on recent research by recognised experts in their specialist fields, the gap between the two groups of graduates should close quickly.

The MA in Iranian Studies aims to:

4. Programme Structure

The MA in Iranian Studies aims to provide students with an extensive knowledge and understanding of the history, culture and politics of Iran. The main focus is on Iranian history, but the MA also devotes a significant amount of time to contemporary politics and to Iranian literature and religion, for example. Students taking the MA in Iranian Studies will not only graduate with regional-specific skills. By the end of their MA, students should have developed the analytical tools needed to study history and contemporary politics, not only in Iran, but across the Middle East, and more widely.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

You may take option modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site.

http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/iais/postgraduate/modules/

Stage 1


Students follow modules totalling 180 credits.

Compulsory Modules

A total of 105 credits stemming from three core modules and a dissertation.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARAM190 Research Methods Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies 15No
ARAM027 MA Dissertation 60No
MA Arab & Islamic Studies

Choose two modules:

ARAM215 Studying the Contemporary Middle East 15 No
ARAM214 Islamic Culture and Civilization 15 No
ARAM213 Approaches to Middle East and Islamic Studies: States, Societies and Identities 15 No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
MA Iranian Studies Specialist Modules B

Choose 30 credits:

ARAM210 Themes and Conflicts in Iranian History and Culture 30 No
ARAM211 The Revolution of 1978/79, the Islamic Republic and the Politics of Contemporary Iran 15 No
MA Iranian Studies Specialist Modules C
ARAM054 State and Society in the Middle East 30 No
ARAM102 Islam in Practice 30 No
ARAM103 New Approaches to Islamic Thought 30 No
ARAM103A New Approaches to Islamic Thought 15 No
No
No
ARAM131 Nationalisms in the Middle East 15 No
ARAM186 International Relations of the Middle East 30 No
ARAM186A International Relations of the Middle East 15 No
ARAM187 The Middle East Before 1945 30 No
ARAM188 The Middle East Since 1945 30 No
ARAM188A The Middle East Since 1945 15 No
ARAM189 Readings in Islamic Theology and Philosophy 30 No
ARAM201 Islamism and Politics in North Africa 30 No
ARAM204 The History and Historiography of the Palestine Question 30 No
ARAM209 Palestinian Politics after Oslo 15 No
ARAM217 Sufism, Islamic Mysticism and Devotional Life 30 No
ARA1013 Elementary Persian 15 No
ARA1020 Elementary Persian 2 15 No
Total Credits for Stage 1

180


6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. extensive knowledge of key issues in Iranian Studies;
2. a critical understanding of basic concepts in the field of Iranian Studies, in particular, but also in Middle East Studies in general;
3. the ability to place issues in Iranian Studies in a wider Middle Eastern perspective/context.

The subject knowledge and skills (SKS1-3) are developed via lectures, class discussion, group work and student presentations. In the lectures, students will be presented with cutting-edge research carried out by those actually giving the lectures; a reality that is hoped will inspire students. The programme also makes use of class discussions, group work and student presentations (both individual and in groups) as different people learn in different ways. However, there is no doubt that all students, regardless of how they best learn, will benefit from input from their peers. Moreover, group work, class discussion and student presentations are seen as ways in which students can take some responsibility for their own (and each others) learning, which is expected at the MA level. Finally, it is important to underline that in an effort to ensure that all students benefit from the course, use will be made of different teaching aids such as e.g. Powerpoint and the Exeter virtual learning environment, which enables students to access course material at home and in various formats.

The MA in Iranian Studies utilizes a range of assessment methods in order to assess the subject specific skills. This is done with a view to ensure that we cater for students with different abilities - e.g. some students excel in essays, while others do much better in presentations. The assessment methods include essays (SKS1-3), student presentations (SKS1-3), reaction papers (SKS1-3) and a dissertation (SKS1-3).

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

4. the ability to source primary and secondary data relevant to specific issue areas;
5. the ability to critically assess current research within the field of Iranian Studies;
6. the ability to place issues discussed in a wider context and deploy critical arguments;
7. the ability to critically evaluate his/her own work, and reflect on own skills and progress.

The core academic skills will be developed via a number of different teaching/learning methods and a range of forms of assessment. Group work, student presentations, essays and the dissertation all contribute to the development of these skills as they force students to carry out their own independent research, task them with critically assessing current research, placing key issues in a wider context, and require them to deploy critical arguments. A further key skill - the ability to evaluate one's own work and progress - is aided by lectures and group work, but it is the dissertation, the essays and the individual student presentations that are the most effective here due to the fact that student will receive written, personal feedback on these assignments and will also be formally assessed. Finally, it is important to underline that in an effort to ensure that all students benefit from the course, use will be made of different teaching aids such as e.g. Powerpoint and the Exeter virtual learning environment, which enables students to access course material at home and in various formats.

The MA in Iranian Studies utilizes a range of assessment methods in order to assess the core academic skills. This is done with a view to ensure that we cater for students with different abilities - e.g. some students excel in essays, while others do much better in presentations. The assessment methods include essays (CAS1-3), student presentations, reaction papers and a dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

8. the ability to think and work independently at an advanced level;
9. the ability to plan work efficiently in order to achieve realistic goals within constrained time-frames;
10. the ability to build and defend a sustained and sophisticated argument, both in written form and verbally, using complex primary and secondary materials (i.e. development of critical and analytical skills);
11. Work as part of a team in a constructive way.

The personal and key skills are developed via readings, lectures, and class and group discussions where students will be presented with problems to debate and literature to review.

The MA in Iranian Studies utilizes a range of assessment methods in order to assess the personal and key skills. This is done with a view to ensure that we cater for students with different abilities - e.g. some students excel in essays, while others do much better in presentations. The assessment methods include essays (PKS1-3), student presentations, reaction papers and a dissertation.

7. Programme Regulations

University Regulations on the number of credits to be taken and at what level for each stage of the programme can be found in the Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Progression

Condonement is the process that allows you to be awarded credit (and so progress to the next stage or, in the final stage, receive an award), despite failing to achieve a pass mark at a first attempt. You are not entitled to reassessment in condoned credit. Regulations on condonement can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

Assessment and Awards

For undergraduate degrees assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. Details of the weightings for each year of all programme lengths can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes and the classification of awards can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

You can also read details of Generic Marking Criteria.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic Tutoring

It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you with individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support fo the duration of your programme, and this support extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Information on the College Personal Tutoring system, library provision, ELE resources and access to College support services can be found on the College webpages for current students.

Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC)

SSLCs enable students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Learning Resources

The University Library maintains its principal collections in the main library buildings on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, together with a number of specialist collections in certain Colleges. The total Library collection comprises over a million volumes and 3000 current periodical subscriptions.

IT Services

A wide range of IT services are provided throughout the Exeter campuses, including open-access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, while most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

Student Support Services

The University provides many support services including health and wellbeing, multifaith chaplaincy, family support, the Students' Guild and international student support.

10. Admissions Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates for undergraduate programmes must satisfy the undergraduate admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of education provision. The College documents the performance in each of its tuaght programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Student Experience Review (ASER).

Subject areas are reviewed every five years through a College Academic Audit scheme that includes external contributions.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

N/A

18. Final Award

MA MA Iranian Studies

19. UCAS Code

C945

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

180

ECTS credits

90

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

01/10/2008

Date of last revision

01/10/2011