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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MA Islamic Studies (PT)

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMA Islamic Studies (PT) Programme codePTA2IAIIAI15
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 Islamic Studies is a tailored degree, which provides you with a solid foundation in Islamic Studies utilizing a range of methodological approaches thus equipping you with the tools to analyse issues pertaining to the Muslim world from a wide angle as well as in greater detail. You must take five core modules aimed at providing you with specialist skills at the highest level, but there is also a significant degree of flexibility for you to select optional modules from within the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies and to some extent also from other departments within the University following the modularity rules. Consequently, the MA in Islamic Studies has been designed with a view to appeal to students who want some freedom to be creative as well as employers who expect core, critical skills that can be applied to the analysis of Islamic Studies.

The MA thus aims to provide you with an extensive knowledge and understanding of the complex and diverse field of Islamic Studies, including a strong theoretical and methodological grounding. You will take a series of compulsory modules that will form a solid foundation for your studies, most notably the dissertation, but also the range of optional modules which you can choose from a broad portfolio of topics, including (but by no means limited to) Islamic philosophy, Islamic law, contemporary politics, modern history and gender studies (subject to availability). All modules are taught by core staff who specialize in the particular topic - i.e., you will be profoundly exposed to cutting-edge research.

By the end of their MA studies, you should have developed the analytical tools needed to study Islamic Studies, whether contemporary or in historical perspective.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

Academic scope and educational aims:

The MA in Islamic Studies is a high-powered distinctly tailored degree, which provides you with a solid foundation in core theories and methods necessary for the analysis of Islamic Studies at the highest level. At the same time, the significant proportion of optional credits offer you a good level of freedom to design part of your own degree from modules within the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies and to some extent also from other departments within the University following the modularity rules. These optional modules cover topics such as Islamic philosophy, Islamic law, contemporary politics, modern history and gender studies (all subject to availability).

You will have to follow five core modules (‘Theorizing the Middle East’, ‘Dissertation Skills’, the ‘Dissertation’, ‘New Approaches to Islamic thought’ and ‘Texts and traditions in Islamic intellectual history’).

  • You are free to choose your remaining 45 credits from modules offered by the IAIS that particular year, including up to 30 credits worth of modules offered outside of the department from within the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in line with the University’s modularity policy. Up to 30 credits are allowed at NQF level 6.

By giving you a good level of freedom and choice whilst at the same time providing a solid theoretical and methodological foundation via the core modules, it is hoped that you will not only have an enjoyable and productive time, but that you will also appeal to employers once you graduate as you can undoubtedly demonstrate key critical and analytical skills in addition to extensive knowledge of Islamic Studies.

The MA in Islamic Studies is designed for graduates who have no prior knowledge of the subject area, as well as for those graduates who would like to deepen their existing knowledge on the topic of Islamic 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. 

By providing you with cutting-edge research led teaching, you will be able to specialize in and deepen your knowledge of a particular aspect of the field, such as Islamic thought, Islamic law, etc., while still being able to approach with confidence and competence the wider field of Islamic Studies. The variety of approaches and teaching methods will prepare you for what lies ahead, whether in academia or in the wider job market.

4. Programme Structure

The MA Islamic Studies (PT) is a 2-year part-time programme of study at Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is divided into 2 stages. Each stage is normally equivalent to an academic year.

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 Faculty website:

https://arabislamicstudies.exeter.ac.uk/current/postgraduatemodules/2023-24/

You may take optional 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.

You may take elective modules for up to a total 30 credits outside of the programme across stage 1 and 2 of the programme 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. These modules must come from within the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. The remaining 15 credits of optional credit must come from IAIS modules.

Up to 30 total credits across stage 1 and 2 can be taken at RQF level 6.

Stage 1


Stage 1: 60 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARAM103 New Approaches to Islamic Thought 30Yes
ARAM232 Theorising the Middle East 15Yes
ARAM248 Texts and Traditions in Islamic Intellectual History 15No

Stage 2


Stage 2: 75 credits of compulsory modules, 15 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
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. Extensive knowledge of key issues in Islamic Studies;
2. A critical understanding of basic concepts and theories in the diverse field of Islamic Studies;
3. The ability to place issues in a wider perspective/context.

The specialised subject skills and knowledge (A1-3) 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 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 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. The ability to source primary and secondary data relevant to specific issue areas;
5. The ability to critically assess current research in the diverse field of Islamic Studies;
6. The ability to place issues discussed in a wider context and deploy critical arguments;
7. The ability to critically evaluate their own work, and reflect on own skills and progress.

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 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 academic discipline core skills and knowledge (ILOs B4-7) will be assessed 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 require students to carry out their own independent research, task them with critically assessing current research, placing key issues in a wider context, and encourage 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 reality that the 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 Learning Environment, which enables students to access course material at home and in various formats.

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 am 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. The ability to work as part of a team in a constructive manner.

The personal/transferable/employment skills and knowledge (ILOs C8-11) 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 (ILOs C8-11), student presentations (ILOs C8-11), reaction papers (ILOs 8-9) and a dissertation (ILOs C8-10).

7. Programme Regulations

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.

Classification

The marking of modules and the classification of awards broadly corresponds to the following marks:

Undergraduate Degrees                                          Postgraduate Degrees

Class I    70% +                                                        Distinction   70%+

Class II   Division I 60-69%                                       Merit            60-69%

Class II   Division II 50-59%                                     Pass            50-59%

Class III  40-49%

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.

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 provide a wide range of services throughout the Exeter campuses including open access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours, 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.

  • University Wellbeing Service - available free of charge, to provide confidential help and support.
  • Student Health Centre - We are a Primary Health Care Centre, primarily funded by the National Health Service, providing care for all acute and long-term health problems for students on the Streatham Campus.
  • Student Services Centre - in the Forum is your first port of call for free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of 12 student services from Accommodation to Finance, Wellbeing to International Student Support, IT to AccessAbility. You can access the SID team 12 hours per day during term time between 8am – 8pm plus 10am – 3pm on Saturdays. Out of term time we are open 9am – 6pm Monday – Friday.
  • The Student Engagement and Skills - team offer support for all students who wish to improve their personal, professional and academic skills, through lectures, workshops, individual appointments and peer support programmes in colleges and interactive online resources on Exeter’s Learning Environment (ELE).
  • Owlets (Streatham campus) provides high quality care and education for early-years children of students and staff. 
  • Student Advice Centre - : (the Forum) is your first port of call for free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of issues: housing, finance, and academic matters.
  • The Students’ Guild is the students’ union of the University of Exeter providing representation, advice, activities, social events, dining outlets and more. 
  • Student complaints procedure.
  • Chaplaincy offers confidential support, advice and pastoral listening for all students.
  • The International Student Support Office supports non-UK students across all University of Exeter campuses.   
  • INTO University of Exeter partnership provides English Language and other preparatory courses for international students.
  • AccessAbility offers advice and support to students with specific learning disabilities (eg. dyslexia) and physical disabilities/health conditions. Support includes helping students access learning and teaching opportunities and make the most of university life.
  • Employability and Graduate Development the Career Zone has over 40 staff working to help you improve your chances of getting a great job after you graduate. They provide expert advice to enable you to plan your future through: guidance interviews, psychometric testing, employer presentations, skills events, practice job interviews and CV preparation.

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.

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

Not applicable to this programme.

18. Final Award

MA Islamic Studies (PT)

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

[Honours] Languages and related studies

23. Dates

Origin Date

10/12/2020

Date of last revision

18/09/2023