Programme Specification for the 2017/8 academic year

MRes Middle East Studies

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMRes Middle East Studies Programme codePTR1IAIIAI01
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

This masters is designed to develop your research skills within the field of Middle East Studies. Your core training will be in social scientific philosophy and methodology, which you will then learn to apply to the study of the contemporary Middle East.

The programme is designed to develop your understanding of the history and evolution of the Middle East as a region, as well as introducing you to approaches to studying the area, and specialised quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques appropriate to this specialism.

This programme also forms part of the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Centre – a hub of world-class social sciences research.

We are now taking applications for this programme

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. To enable students to develop a broad based and relevant knowledge of and competence in the use of research methods in the social sciences.
2. To provide students with a range of transferable skills appropriate to Master's level research within the discipline.
3. To equip students for careers as professional researchers in either academic or non-academic environments.
4. To set the core training in social scientific philosophy and methodology within a context covering contemporary Middle East Studies within the disciplines of the social sciences, thereby allowing students to apply the wider concepts and skills introduced in the broader social scientific setting to specific topics relevant to the research of the Middle East and Islamic world.
5. To offer students a specialised training in Middle East Studies and social science research methods as a direct means of enhancing their employment skills.

4. Programme Structure

Research highlights

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies is home to six specialist research areas, collectively providing a study environment where students and staff benefit from access to a diverse range of world-class expertise.

The Centre for Gulf Studies

Home to the Journal of Arabian Studies and the Gulf research collection, the Centre has been hosting the world's longest running conference series on the Gulf region since 1979.

The Centre for Kurdish Studies

Academics from the Centre engage with governments, the EU and the UN on issues that involve the Kurds as well as advising prominent private sector interests and commenting in the international media.
See also: Centre for Kurdish Studies brochure

The European Centre for Palestine Studies

The sole centre for Palestine studies in Europe will host a Palestine Lecture Series featuring experts on local and international dimensions of the Palestine Question.

The Centre for Persian and Iranian Studies

In May 2010 the Centre published their first volume of the Mawlana Rumi Review, in collaboration with The Rumi Institute in Cyprus. See also: Video of Dr Leonard Lewisohn describing the work of Rumi.

The MARES Project

A three-year project focussing on the maritime traditions of the peoples of the Red Sea and Arabian-Persian Gulf. 

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://www.ex.ac.uk/iais/ma-modules/ma-mods.shtml
and
http://www.ex.ac.uk/iais/ugmod.shtml (for elementary language modules)

This research training Master's programme is studied over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time) and is university-based throughout that period.

Stage 1


The programme comprises 180 credits in total, and includes 60 credits of generic research training, 60 credits of subject specific material (including languages), and a 60 credit dissertation:

- Four compulsory 'core' taught modules in social science research training (60 credits)

- A compulsory 'core' module in Middle East history (30 credits)

- 30 credits of options

- A compulsory dissertation (60 credits)

Teaching takes place over two semesters (October to May), followed by completion of the dissertation over the summer (June to September). The syllabus therefore consists of four compulsory research training modules, one 'Middle East' political, economic and social history specialist option and a dissertation module.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARAM190 Research Methods Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies 15No
SOCM002A Philosophy of the Social Sciences 1 15No
POLM063 Qualitative Methods in Social Research 15No
POLM651 State and Society in the Middle East 30No
POLM809 Applied Quantitative Data Analysis 15No

Optional Modules

30 credits from the following options (subject to availability), chosen with the guidance of the programme director.  There may also be the option to take language modules at undergraduate level.


CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARAM106 Gender and Identity in the Middle East: Part I Constructing Selves in Social and Political Contexts 30No
ARAM186 International Relations of the Middle East 30No
ARAM188 The Middle East Since 1945 30No
ARA1015 Arabic for Beginners 30No
ARA1013 Elementary Persian 15No
ARA1031 Elementary Turkish I 15No
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. Integrate concepts and analyses in the field of Middle East studies and some of its associated disciplines.
2. Read critically and contribute to the literature relating to research in fields of contemporary Middle East studies.
3. Demonstrate detailed and comprehensive understanding of current issues in several of the main disciplines contributing to Middle East studies.
4. Develop an understanding of the history and development of the Middle East as a region and, and how the Middle East is studied.
5. Achieve technical competence in the application of a range of specialised quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques appropriate to the different fields of Middle East studies, as well as an understanding of broader debates surrounding these in the social sciences. When appropriate, to develop intermediate level language skills in a regional language.

Points 1-4 of the programme outcomes are developed through seminar discussion and assignments on the core Middle East politics and society module, and also in the optional social science modules.

Point 5 is developed through the seminar discussion, practical exercises and essay assignments on the Social Science Data Analysis and Research Sources and Methods in Middle East, Arab and Islamic Studies modules, and through the Philosophy of Social Science module.

The language requirement is developed through structured elementary and intermediate modules in Arabic, Persian, and Sorani Kurdish.

Acquisition of these skills is assessed through essay assignments and the dissertation.

Language development is assessed by continuous assessment and class tests.

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:

6. Demonstrate comprehension of the relationships between theory and practice in Middle East Studies and the social sciences.
7. Apply understanding of social science concepts to the study of particular issues or situations, including designing individual research projects.
8. Know when and how to apply critically particular research methods and techniques.
9. Identify, formulate and evaluate research questions and research problems
10. Evaluate the appropriateness and apply a number of techniques to exploring different research issues.
11. Collect, synthesise, evaluate and analyse data from various different sources.
12. Identify the data requirements of particular research projects, and evaluate the different data capture techniques available for this purpose.
13. Develop clear lines of argument.
14. Plan, conduct a programme of original research by a deadline.

Points 6 and 7 of the programme outcomes are developed primarily through seminar discussion and assignments on the Philosophy of Social Science module.

Points 8 - 12 are acquired through discussion, practical exercises and assignments on the Social Science Data Analysis and Research Skills in History modules.

Point 13 is a requirement of all modules. Point 14 is developed through a 3,500 word research plan and in the dissertation.

Points 6 and 7 of the programme outcomes are developed primarily through seminar discussion and assignments on the Philosophy of Social Science module.

Acquisition of these skills is assessed through essay assignments and the 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:

15. Think independently at an advanced level
16. Plan work efficiently to achieve realistic goals within constrained time frames.
17. Construct and defend a sustained argument, both in written form and orally, using primary and secondary materials.
18. Work as an individual on challenging material.
19. Work as part of a team in an independent, constructive and responsive way.
20. Plan, execute and write up research through individual initiative.

Points 15 and 16 of the programme outcomes are requirements of all modules, and especially the dissertation.

Points 17 and 18 are core requirements of all modules, and especially the dissertation.

Point 19 is developed through seminar work on the taught modules.

Point 20 is developed through the Social Science Research Management module and is applied on the dissertation.

Points 15 and 16 of the programme outcomes are assessed in all modules by essay work, and by the dissertation.

Points 17 and 18 are assessed on all modules through the essays that go to make up the portfolio on which the coursework is assessed, and in the dissertation.

Point 19 is reflected in seminar work and presentations.

Point 20 is assessed as part of the research plan produced for the Research Sources and Methods in Middle East, Arab and Islamic Studies module, and in the 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

0

18. Final Award

MRes Middle East Studies

19. UCAS Code

C497

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

29/09/2008

Date of last revision

06/08/14