Programme Specification for the 2017/8 academic year

MA Islamic Studies

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMA Islamic Studies Programme codePTA1IAIIAI02
Study mode(s)Full Time
Part Time
Academic year2017/8
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
Programme start date

09/2014

NQF Level7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The MA in Islamic Studies has been specially designed to offer both breadth of choice and depth of study. It aims to provide students with an extensive knowledge and understanding of the Islamic faith in its manifold traditions and insists that Islam is not a monolith.

The core focus is on Islam as a major world faith, and that is contextualised in a phenomenological fashion in the diverse modules which comprise the degree. This programme introduces the study of Islam as a religious, intellectual and cultural tradition, both in historical and contemporary contexts. As well as a broad overview of key areas of Islamic thought and major intellectual, written traditions you will also be offered a fundamental intellectual and scholarly depth to the study of these arenas. You will develop an appreciation of the diversity of Muslim Cultures, practices, rituals and societies in different geographical, cultural and political contexts.

By the end of their MA, students should have developed the analytical tools needed to study medieval and contemporary aspects of Islam and of other important world religions, not only in the Middle East but elsewhere in the world as well. 

The MA in Islamic Studies will appeal to graduates with no prior knowledge of Islam, but with some knowledge of one or more other world religions, as well as those who would like to deepen their knowledge in the subject. 

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. Acquaint students with a range of model, pioneering studies and methodological and interpretative approaches in each relevant field of Islamic thought.
2. To develop an accurate appreciation at a high level of the diversity and heterogeneity of Muslim Cultures, practices, rituals and societies in various geographical, social, cultural and political contexts, both contemporary and in past history.
3. To develop an appreciation of the changing and diverse roles of religious belief and practices in relation to social change, diversity and conflict.
4. Provide students with teaching led by cutting-edge research.
5. 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.
6. Enable students competently to address issues in the field of Middle Eastern religions, particularly in the areas of Modern and Medieval Islam.

There are a number of MAs in Islamic Studies offered by diverse UK universities but many are quite narrowly focused in the range of academic menus which they offer. The University of Exeter MA in Islamic Studies offers a diversity of choice taught by one of the largest groupings of Islamic Studies experts in the entire UK with a very wide range of seminal publications to their names. Not only does it offer a broad overview of key areas of Islamic thought and major intellectual, written traditions in their actual social and historical contexts but it provides a fundamental intellectual and scholarly depth to the study of all these arenas. Consequently, students undertaking this particular MA are likely to stand out on the job market, thereby hopefully easing their way into relevant full-time employment.

The MA in Islamic Studies is designed for graduates who have no prior knowledge of Islam, but do have some knowledge of one or more other world religions, as well as for those graduates who would like to deepen their existing knowledge on the topic. As the programme progresses quickly, and due to the reality that the core modules are based on recent research, the gap between the two groups of graduates should be closed quickly.

In brief, the MA in Islamic Studies aims to:

4. Programme Structure

The MA level degree programme is usually studied over one year and is Streatham based. Students follow modules totalling 180 credits, comprising 150 credits from three core modules, and a compulsory dissertation, as well as 30 credits chosen from modules offered by the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies and the College of Social Sciences and International Studies. The optional credits are subject to availability, fulfilling any pre-requisites and compatibility within the timetable. Optional modules may include language modules offered at Undergraduate level to students with no previous knowledge of the language, subject to the prior approval of the Programme Director.

Modules have a credit rating of either 15 or 30 credits - 15 credit modules lasting one term, and 30 credit modules lasting two terms. 1 credit being normally equivalent to 10 hours work.

The Teaching is structured around seminars which involve class discussion, group work and student presentations.

Following successful completion of the taught modules, students proceed to write and submit a 15,000 word dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with, and approved by, the Programme Director.

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/undergraduate/modules/

This Masters programme is designed for graduates with no prior knowledge of Islam as well as those who would like to develop their understanding of this major world faith. Our programme will enable you to acquire a profound comprehension of Islam both as a religious, intellectual and cultural tradition, and as a powerful political ideology.

You will study materials which delineate the core values and doctrines of Islam, and those which elaborate on the diversity of practice and manifold traditions of the Islamic faith. Your ability to analyse materials, contexts and issues - and to engage in informed academic discussion on your conclusions - will be strengthened through the study of methodologies and research tools used today in Islamic Studies by historians, social scientists and cultural anthropologists.

This combination of approaches to the study of Islam will enable you to acquire the analytical tools needed for independent study and interpretation of both medieval and contemporary aspects of Islam, not only within the context of the Middle East, but throughout the world.

 

Stage 1


 



Compulsory Modules

Students undertake a total of 180 credits, including 150 credits stemming from five core modules and a dissertation, and 30 'optional' credits.

ARAM190 (Research Methods in Middle East and Islamic Studies), ARAM027 (Dissertation), ARAM102 (Islamic in Practice) and ARAM103A (Approaches to Islamic Thought) are compulsory.

Students must also choose TWO out of ARAM213 (Approaches to Middle East and Islamic Studies), ARAM214 (Islamic Culture and Civilization) and ARAM215 (Studying the Contemporary Middle East).

Students have 30 'optional' credits from modules offered by the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, and the College of Social Sciences and International Studies. These include language modules offered at Undergraduate level to students with no previous knowledge of the language, subject to prior approval of the Programme Director, fulfilling any pre-requisites and timetabling cohesion.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARAM190 Research Methods Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies 15No
ARAM027 MA Dissertation 60No
ARAM102 Islam in Practice 30No
ARAM103A New Approaches to Islamic Thought 15No
ARAM213 Approaches to Middle East and Islamic Studies: States, Societies and Identities AND/OR ARAM214, ARAM21515No

Optional Modules

 

In addition to Stage 1 optional modules below, you may take two 15 credit modules or one 30 credit module from those offered by the College of Social Sciences and International Studies. Your 30 credits of options can include language study. All options must be relevant to your research or career plan and are subject to the approval of the Programme Coordinator.

Please note that the modules offered are subject to change depending on staff availability, timetabling and student demand.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
MA Islamic Studies Specialist Modules A

Select 45 credits

ARAM102 Islam in Practice 30 No
ARAM103A New Approaches to Islamic Thought 15 No
MA Islamic Studies Specialist Modules B

30 credits from modules offered by the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies and the College of Social Sciences and International Studies. These include language modules offered at Undergraduate level to students with no previous knowledge of the language, subject to the prior approval of the Programme Director.

ARAM054 State and Society in the Middle East 30 No
ARAM103 New Approaches to Islamic Thought 30 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
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
ARAM217 Sufism, Islamic Mysticism and Devotional Life 30 No
ARA1015 Arabic for Beginners 30 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. Gained extensive knowledge of key issues in Islamic Studies.
2. Critical understanding of basic concepts in the field of Islamic Studies.
3. Ability to place issues in Islamic Studies in a wider 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 Islamic 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. Ability to source primary and secondary data relevant to specific issue areas
5. Critically assess current research within the field of Islamic Studies.
6. Ability to place issues discussed in a wider context and deploy critical arguments.
7. Critically evaluate his/her own work, and reflect on own skills and progress.

The core academic skills (CAS4-7) 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 Islamic 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 (CAS4-6), student presentations (CAS4-7), reaction papers (CAS4-6) and a dissertation (CAS4-6).

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. Think and work independently at an advanced level.
9. Plan work efficiently in order to achieve realistic goals within constrained time-frames.
10. 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 (PKS8-11) 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 Islamic 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 (PKS8-10), student presentations (PKS8-11), reaction papers (PKS8-9) and a dissertation (PKS8-10).

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)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

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Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MA Islamic Studies

19. UCAS Code

C498

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

180

ECTS credits

90

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Area studies

23. Dates

Origin Date

01/10/1999

Date of last revision

01/10/2011