Programme Specification for the 2014/5 academic year

MPhil MPH Arab and Islamic Studies (Distance Learning)

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMPhil MPH Arab and Islamic Studies (Distance Learning) Programme codePRH2IAIIAI14
Study mode(s)Distance Learning
Full Time
Part Time
Academic year2014/5
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
Programme start date


NQF Level7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme


3. Educational Aims of the Programme

4. Programme Structure


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.

Distance-based Doctoral study

We offer the opportunity for some students to undertake Doctoral study off-campus provided they meet certain criteria. This web page aims to answer some of the common questions about what is involved in distance-based learning.

What is a distance-based Doctorate?

Distance-based students undertake the majority of their research at an off campus location. There is no fee discount associated with studying in this way but it does mean you are able to be more flexible regarding location of study. You are therefore able to do the research required for your Doctorate in a location of your choosing and may mean visiting campus at just a few keys times during your studies and for no more than four months a year.

Why might I consider studying?

People choose to study distance-based for a variety of reasons. Research being undertaken could be related in the student’s area of residence and therefore moving would be detrimental to their capacity to carry out the research. Financial and practical implications of moving closer to the campus make distance study a more feasible option and could allow the student to combine study with other commitments including enabling them to continue to work. There are many other reasons to study in this way. You may have different reasons to do so but if you are considering studying on this basis there are some things you may want to consider. 

Is the distance-based route for you?

The distance-based route to Doctoral study is not for everyone. You have to have a very clear idea of your project and be able to motivate yourself. A great deal of commitment is needed in order to study in this way as you may be combining doctoral research with your other commitments. Undertaking Doctoral study can sometimes be quite a solitary undertaking and working off campus can be quite isolating, so the ability to proactively seek out connections from within relevant research communities is important. This route is well-suited to those who have a research project associated with their work or particular interests and where resources are available locally to support your research.

How will I be supported?

We are developing support for our students who are not based on campus in a number of ways: 

Supervision - communication via email and using VoIP technology such as Skype will allow you to discuss your work. You will still get detailed feedback on your work and guidance to support during the course of your studies.

Attendance - although you may be able to undertake the majority of your study at an off campus location, it is important to attend the campus for certain key aspects of the programme. Attendance for induction is strongly encouraged as you will get a chance to meet your supervisory team, undertake an initial skills audit and make a start on your doctoral studies. The School holds a Postgraduate Student Week in the third term. This includes opportunities to interact with other doctoral students both socially and academically, a chance to present at and attend the student conference, attend departmental seminars, undertake important progress meetings and carry out necessary training. Students are also generally required to be present on campus for their viva voce.

Research environment - being away from the campus does not mean you cannot be involved in the research environment but it may mean putting in some extra effort to ensure you remain actively involved. This may mean making connection with other distance-based researchers who live more locally to you and becoming involved in discussions through virtual environments. Taking advantage of time spent on campus is important, making connections through associations and seeking out opportunities at other organisations are all examples of ways of enriching your experience of doing a Doctorate.

Research training - although some online research training may be available in your area of research, this is an area which we are currently developing and therefore to study off campus you may be required to have significant research skills already. You may be able to undertake some research training during study visits to the campus. It is important to discuss your training needs early on with your supervisor to ensure that these can be met.

Skills development - there are a number of skills development courses available online from the University's Researcher Development Programme. These currently include Preparing for your Viva and Starting your Doctorate and a further eleven online courses are also available. There are also most focused social science skills workshops organised by the College, and a regular Training and Events Newsletter is sent to all research students to inform them of upcoming events.

Am I eligible?

Before we can offer you a place it is important that you have agreement from your potential supervisor and that they are satisfied that you will be able to undertake the Doctorate on an off campus basis. This potentially may mean slightly different entry requirements such as English language and more extensive research skills training. Agreements will also need to be reached regarding some of the more practical aspects of undertaking the Doctorate in this way (for example attendance requirements). It is important that arrangements are discussed early so that all parties involved know what to expect and will help to ensure you are able to successfully complete your studies.  

How to apply

If you would like to apply for a distance-based programme please complete the relevant application form available online at the Postgraduate Study pages. As part of the application you will need to submit a research proposal. In order to help us make a decision on whether to accept you as a distance-based student you will need to provide some extra information as part of your personal statement. This should include what your motivation is for studying in this way, how you would manage your studies, how you will access the resources you need and how you envisage communicating with your supervisors. 




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:

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:

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:

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.


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.


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

Not applicable to this programme.

18. Final Award

MPhil MPH Arab and Islamic Studies (Distance Learning)

19. UCAS Code


20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits


ECTS credits


22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date Date of last revision