Skip to main content

Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MA Middle East Studies (Part Time)

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMA Middle East Studies (Part Time) Programme codePTA2IAIIAI09
Study mode(s)Part Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The MA in Middle East Studies is a highly flexible degree, which provides students with a high level of freedom to either design their own degree on the basis of modules offered by the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies or follow a specific pathway centred around the research specialisms of the IAIS staff body (Palestine Studies, Gulf Studies, Kurdish Studies, Comparative Politics, Gender Studies, Iranian Studies and Islamic Studies). Consequently, it is hoped that the degree will appeal both to creative and independent students as well as to employers who wish to further equip their employees, as the degree can be tailored to suit the needs students and employers alike.

The MA in Middle East Studies aims to provide students with an extensive knowledge and understanding of the complex and diverse field of Middle East Studies. Students can choose from a range of modules on various topics, including (but by no means limited to) Islamic philosophy, contemporary politics, modern history, Middle Eastern languages, Gulf studies, Iranian studies, Kurdish studies, North African politics, Palestine studies, and gender studies. All modules are taught by core staff who specialize in the particular topic - i.e. students will be profoundly exposed to cutting-edge research.

By the end of their MA, students should have developed the analytical tools needed to study ancient and contemporary Middle East Studies in a broad range of countries from across the Middle East and the Muslim world.

All students, regardless of whether following a pathway specialism or not, must follow the two compulsory modules (‘Theorizing the Middle East’ and ‘Dissertation Skills’) and they will therefore be brought into contact with all the other students on the programme. In this way, students will be welcomed as part of our community and will benefit from contact with a wide range of students with similar interests, no matter which modules and pathways they have chosen.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

  • Enable students to specialize in the diverse field of Middle East Studies, and thereby deepening their knowledge of key topics such as e.g. Islamic philosophy, contemporary politics, anthropology, and modern history, while at the same time enhancing their career prospects.
  • Provide students with teaching led by cutting-edge research.
  • 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.
  • Enable students to competently address issues in the diverse field of Middle East Studies.

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.

http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/iais/current/undergraduatemodules/
http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/iais/current/postgraduatemodules/

The MA in Middle East Studies is a highly flexible degree, which allows students to either combine a wide range of subjects within the fields of Middle Eastern Studies (no pathway option), or to specialize in a certain area via a chosen pathway (Palestine Studies, Gulf Studies, Kurdish Studies, Comparative Politics, Gender Studies, Iranian Studies and Islamic Studies).

All students, regardless of whether registered on a pathway or not, will have to follow two core modules (‘Theorizing the Middle East’ and ‘Dissertation Skills’),

  • Non-pathway students will also have to do a dissertation (ARAM027, 60 credits), but are free to choose their remaining 90 credits from modules offered by the IAIS that particular year, including up to 30 credits worth of modules offered outside of the department (also at the UG level) in line with the University’s modularity policy.
  • Students registered on a pathway must follow 45 credits of pathway specific modules (clearly labelled online) and write their dissertation (ARAM027, 60 credits) on the specialism of the chosen pathway. The remaining 45 credits are optional modules, which can be chosen from modules offered by the IAIS that particular year, including up to 30 credits worth of modules offered outside of the department (also at the UG level) in line with the University’s modularity policy. If a student chooses to do all 45 credits of optional modules within a second pathway and their dissertation focuses on the specialisms of both fields, they can have a second pathway added to their degree title ( adjourned pathway ). For example, an MA in Middle East Studies with Gender Studies and Palestine Studies.

By giving students this high level of freedom and choice, it is hoped that they will not only have an enjoyable and productive time, but that they will also appeal to employers once they graduate as they can undoubtedly demonstrate a passion for their chosen subjects. Moreover, the MA in Middle East Studies is an ideal choice for students who have already found employment as the degree can, to a great extent, be tailored to the specific needs of the employer and employee. 

The MA in Middle East Studies is designed for graduates who have no prior knowledge of either subject area, as well as for those graduates who would like to deepen their existing knowledge on the topic of Middle East Studies. As the programme progresses quickly, and due to the reality that all modules offered by the IAIS are based on recent research, the gap between the two groups of graduates should be closed quickly.  

Learning and teaching activities:

The subject knowledge skills as well as personal and key skills are developed via readings, 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 other’s) 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

Modules

A choice of pathway affects the options you are expected to take: consult section 7 below. The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree programme based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new emergent areas of study, timetabling and student demand.

Stage 1


90 credits of compulsory modules, 90 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARAM232 Theorising the Middle East 15Yes
ARAM233 Dissertation skills 15Yes
ARAM027 MA Dissertation 60Yes

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. Demonstrate comprehensive and specialised knowledge of key issues in Middle East Studies;
2. Define and critically analyse critical themes and concepts in Middle East Studies;
3. Classify or place issues in Middle East Studies in a wider perspective/context and evidence effective skills in evaluation and critique;

The specialised subject skills and knowledge (A1-3) are developed via lectures, class discussion, group work, student presentations and written work, including a dissertation. 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. 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. 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 Middle East Studies utilizes a range of assessment methods in order to assess the specialised subject skills and knowledge. 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 (ILOs A1-3), student presentations (ILOs A1-3), reaction papers (ILOs A1-3) and a dissertation (ILOs A1-3).

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. Source and critically analyse primary and secondary data relevant to specific issue areas;
5. Critically assess current research in the diverse field of Middle East Studies and Area Studies;
6. Place theoretical, empirical and methodological issues in Area Studies in a wider context and evidence skills in evaluation and critique;
7. Critically evaluate your own work in relation to standards, methodologies and approaches in Middle East Studies and Area Studies

The academic discipline core skills and knowledge (ILOs B4-7) 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 programme, 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 Middle East Studies utilizes a range of assessment methods in order to assess the academic discipline core skills and knowledge. 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 (ILOs B4-6), student presentations (ILOs B4-7), reaction papers (ILOs B4-6) and a dissertation (ILOs B4-6).

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, in the pursuit of collective goals;
12. Identify areas of originality and pursue independent and original research.

The personal/transferable/employment skills and knowledge (ILOs C8-12) are developed via readings, lectures, class and group discussions where students will be presented with problems to debate and literature to review, and the written assignments, including a dissertation.

The MA in Middle East 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 (ILOs C8-11), student presentations (ILOs C8-11), reaction papers (ILOs 8-9) and a dissertation (ILOs C8-10, 12).

7. Programme Regulations

Programme-specific Award Rules

Our flexible programme enables you to choose either a specific pathway or a selection of modules, which might be at a much later date than date of entry to the MA Middle East Studies. All students graduate with an MA Middle East Studies, but if you elect to specialise, you will have one of the following pathways named in your degree title:

Palestine Studies

The programme comprises modules of at least 45 credits from these specialist modules and the ARAM027: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Palestinian Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

ARAM056

The Historiography of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

15

ARAM221

The Palestine Question Past and Present

30

ARAM230

Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Palestine/Israel

15

ARAM234

Culture and Conflict: Literature and Film in Israel/Palestine

15

Gulf Studies

The programme comprises modules of 45 credits from these specialist modules and the ARAM027: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Gulf Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

ARAM198

Political Economy of the Gulf

30

ARAM231

Politics and Reform of the Gulf

15

Kurdish Studies

The programme comprises modules of 45 credits from these specialist modules and the ARAM027: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Kurdish Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

ARAM147

The Kurds: History and Politics

30

ARAM112A
OR
ARAM112B

Independent Reading Course - Sem 1

Independent Reading Course - Sem 2

15

15

Comparative Politics

The programme comprises modules of at least 45 credits from these specialist modules and the ARAM027: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Comparative Politics:

Code

Title

Credits

ARAM054

State and Society

30

ARAM131

Nationalisms in the Middle East

15

ARAM186A

International Relations of the Middle East

15

Gender Studies

The programme comprises modules of 45 credits from these specialist modules and the ARAM027: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Gender Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

ARAM225

Gender and Politics in the Middle East

30

ARAM230

Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Palestine/Israel

15

Iranian Studies

The programme comprises modules of at least 45 credits from these specialist modules and the ARAM027: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Iranian Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

ARAM055

Iranian History, 1500-the present

15

ARAM131

Nationalisms in the Middle East

15

ARAM210

Themes and Conflicts in Iranian History and Culture

30

ARAM225

Gender and Politics in the Middle East

30

Islamic Studies

The programme comprises modules of at least 45 credits from these specialist modules and the ARAM027: Dissertation module must be relevant to the field of Islamic Studies:

Code

Title

Credits

ARAM102

Islam in Practice

15

ARAM103

New Approaches to Islamic Thought

30

ARAM214

Islamic Culture and Civilization

15

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

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 on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and 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.

 

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

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 must satisfy the general admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.

2:1 or above in their first degree. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.

Requirements for international students
If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

 

English language requirements
IELTS (Academic)
Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.

TOEFL IBT*
Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)
58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests
Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English
Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

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.

(Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

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

MA Middle East Studies (Part Time)

19. UCAS Code

Not applicable to this programme.

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

19/04/2017

Date of last revision

03/06/2019