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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MArabic (Hons) Arabic and Islamic Studies

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMArabic (Hons) Arabic and Islamic Studies Programme codeUFX4IAIIAI01
Study mode(s) Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

This is a four year integrated masters programme to which you apply directly via UCAS. The programme enables you to graduate with a postgraduate qualification in the strategically important area of Arab and Islamic Studies. This advanced language-based programme will make you not only proficient in reading, speaking a dialect of, and writing Arabic to a high level of competency, but give you a set of finely-tuned linguistic skills and exposure to the Arab world. You will learn to communicate effectively in Arabic and acquire the relevant experience of using it in key areas through internships abroad. You will undergo intense training in Arabic that, alongside a wider, critical exposure to the study of Middle East and Islamic societies, will prepare you for a life engaged with the region.

You will gain a deep understanding of a variety of political, social, cultural and ideological dimensions of the major forces that contend power and influence and that shape economic, social and cultural life in the Middle East. You will also gain an insight into the historical origins and the development of these forces and of the social, economic and institutional structures of the contemporary Middle East.

The programme is highly selective and will seek to attract the best students who want to be fully immersed in the Arabic language and develop a wide range of skills and abilities, along with a critical and nuanced understanding of the Islamic world and the Middle East.

Interviews will be undertaken with candidates who apply for the programme, meet our admission criteria and are offered a study place. Those candidates successful at interview will receive a scholarship to help support their MArabic studies.

Above and beyond offerings elsewhere, the programme includes a year abroad (in year 2) in an accredited institution (which has a formal study abroad agreement with the University of Exeter) along with a work placement running concurrently. There is a second period of study abroad, fine-tuning skills during the first term of the fourth year, along with another work placement.

The dissertation in the final year has a strong research component and is expected to be a sophisticated reflection on the experience gained throughout the programme.

This is the first programme of its type (an undergraduate Masters programme) available in Arab and Islamic Studies in England. It is an intense, advanced Arabic programme with training in a wide range of registers and uses of Arabic embedded within a strong humanities and social science programme of studying the Middle East and Islamic societies.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The programme aims to:

Provide an excellent education through to Masters level in Arabic, which meets the criteria for awards as set out in the FHEQ and the University’s statement of Levels and Awards, and which meets the standards set in the national Subject Benchmarking statements for Area Studies.

Facilitate you to become a useful, productive and questioning member of society.

Provide a stimulating and supportive environment, informed by research and scholarship.

Work in partnership with you to produce a graduate who understands the political, social, cultural and ideological dimensions of the major forces that contend power and influence and that shape economic, social and cultural life in the Middle East.

Provide relevant and contemporary training such that you are grounded in the significant themes relating to the study of the Arabic language within a Middle East context, through a combination of modules that provide insight into the historical origins and the development of these forces and of the social, economic and institutional structures of the contemporary Middle East.

Facilitate you to become not only proficient in reading, speaking a dialect of, and writing Arabic to a high level of competency, but to develop a set of finely-tuned linguistic skills enhanced by repeated exposure to the Arab world.

Facilitate opportunities for you to engage with training in a wide range of registers and uses of Arabic embedded within a strong humanities and social science programme of studying the Middle East and Islamic societies.

Provide structured and intensive learning experiences such that you learn to communicate effectively in Arabic and acquire experience of using your Arabic language skills through periods of study and work abroad.

Integrate these study and work experiences abroad with additional tailored careers and employability support such that you are well placed to obtain graduate-level employment.

Provide critical exposure to the study of Middle East and Islamic societies which will prepare you for a life engaged with the Middle East region.

Offer a structured framework of study which ensures that within the time span of the programme you follow a balanced and complementary range of modules, whilst allowing sufficient choice to ensure that you are able to follow an individual area of learning.

Work in partnership with you to produce a graduate who understands a range of research methodologies and who can apply these to analyse issues relating to the study of historical and contemporary Arabic cultures.

Expose you to different teaching and assessment methods within an appropriate learning environment, supported by feedback, monitoring and pastoral care.

Provide a range of academic and personal skills which will prepare you (from whatever educational background) for employment or further study, which will foster mental agility and adaptability, and which will enable you to deploy your knowledge, abilities and skills in their entirety, displaying balance and judgement in a variety of circumstances.

4. Programme Structure

The Masters in Arabic and Islamic Studies is a full-time 4-year programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is divided into 4 ‘stages’. Each stage is normally equivalent to an academic year.  The programme is also divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with one credit being nominally equivalent to ten hours of work.  The ‘level’ of a module indicates its position in the progressive development of academic abilities and/or practical skills.

 

This degree programme contains compulsory and optional modules and as part of the degree programme you have the opportunity to take up to 15 credits in stage 1 and 30 credits in stage 3 in another discipline outside your main degree subject, after you have met the compulsory requirements (specified below). The opportunity to take modules that are not listed in the programme specification exists under the University’s modularity rule. However modularity is not feasible in stage 2 (the year abroad) or in stage 4 (as postgraduate IAIS modules need to be taken).

 

You must study the specified core modules and the specified credits for optional modules. A full list of modules at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (ARA modules) and within the College is available at:

https://intranet.exeter.ac.uk/socialsciences/student/undergraduate/modules/

https://intranet.exeter.ac.uk/socialsciences/student/postgraduatetaught/modules/

 

Modules and other study components can be taken only with the approval of the College (normally given by the student’s Personal Tutor); options are offered each year at the discretion of the Colleges. A module may be taken only if the necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, if the timetable allows, and if the module or an equivalent module has not been taken previously.

 

Assessment at stage 1 does not contribute to the summative classification of the award which is based on a degree mark formed from the credit weighted average marks for stages 2, 3 and 4 combined in the ratio 2:3:4. However you must achieve a stage average of 50% including a mark of at least 50% in module ARA1033B to be eligible to study abroad in stage 2 of the programme.

 

In exceptional circumstances you may exit this award with a Certificate of Higher Education in Arabic and Islamic Studies where you have achieved 120 credits (with a minimum of 90 credits at NQF level 4), or a Diploma of Higher Education in Arabic and Islamic Studies where you have achieved 240 credits (with a minimum of 90 credits at NQF level 5). A BA Arabic Studies (Ord) is available as an exit award if you achieve 300 credits (with a maximum of 150 credits at NQF level 4 and a minimum of 90 credits at NQF level 6)  is A BA Arabic Studies (Hons) is available as an exit award if you achieve 360 credits (with a maximum of 150 credits at NQF level 4 and a minimum of 90 credits at NQF level 6). None of the exit awards (including the BA degrees) are available for direct entry.

 

The NQF level of a module can be identified by the first number in the module code: ARA1XXX modules are at NQF level 4; ARA2XXX modules are at NQF level 5; ARA3XXX modules are at NQF level 6; ARAMXXX modules are at NQF level 7.

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.

You may take Option Modules outside of the programme (under modularity) in stages 1 and 3 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.  

Stage 1


You must take the compulsory modules listed below.  These total 105 credits.  You must therefore choose an additional 15 credit option module either from within the Institute of Arabic and Islamic studies or from outside of the department (under modularity) 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 must achieve a stage average of 50% including a mark of at least 50% in ARA1033B to be eligible to study abroad in stage 2 of the programme. If you do not achieve a 50% stage average and at least 50% in ARA1033B, you will be required to either repeat stage 1 of the programme or to transfer to a 3 year programme of study that does not include study abroad.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARA1010 Politics and Economy of the Contemporary Middle East 15No
ARA1018 Introduction to Islam 15No
ARA1033A Elementary Arabic Language I 30Yes
ARA1033B Elementary Arabic Language II 30Yes
ARA1036 Histories of the Middle East, 600-1800 C.E. 15No

Optional Modules

A maximum of 15 credits of options can be chosen from options not listed in the programme specifications, including Arab and Islamic Studies options.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
MArabic S1 opt 2023-4
ARA1013 Elementary Persian 15 No
ARA1020 Elementary Persian 2 15 No
ARA1030 Introduction to Islamic Archaeology 15 No
ARA1031 Elementary Turkish I 15 No
ARA1032 Elementary Turkish II 15 No

Stage 2


Stage 2 is spent abroad in an accredited institution (which has a formal study abroad agreement with the University of Exeter) along with a work placement in the Arabic-speaking world directly following the study abroad period.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARA2174 Year Abroad with Work Placement 120Yes

Stage 3


Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARA3190 Intermediate Arabic Language 30Yes
ARA3196 Independent Research 30No

Optional Modules

You must select a further 60 credits of options modules. 

View optional modules here.

Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability

You may select up to 30 credits  from outside of the department (under modularity) 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.

Stage 4


In the final stage of the degree, you undertake postgraduate Masters modules

Stage 4 includes i) a further period of study abroad during part of the Autumn Term (spent in an accredited institution in the Arabic-speaking world) and ii) a short work placement in the Arabic-speaking world directly following the study abroad period. Please note that these periods of study and work abroad are explicitly linked to the Advanced Arabic Language module.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARAM081 Advanced Arabic Language 30Yes
ARAM082 Dissertation 60Yes

Optional Modules

ONE 30 credit postgraduate module from the portfolio of IAIS Masters modules available. 

View optional modules here.

Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability


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. Handle written and aural Arabic materials of various types; produce written Arabic in summary form or more extensively; read or scan texts at a reasonable speed; appreciate Modern Arabic as a form of communication; acquire a detailed knowledge of the structures of the Arabic language both Modern Standard Arabic and at least one dialect and have the ability to communicate effectively in it.
2. Read critically and contextualize appropriately primary Islamic religious sources written in classical Arabic as well as other Arabic literary texts.
3. Communicate effectively in one or more Arabic dialects.
4. Acquire a critical understanding and appreciation of disciplinary and theoretical approaches to the study of the cultural and social diversity of life in the Middle East, both historically and in representative contemporary contexts.
5. Identify and solve problems in the study of Arabic, Islam and the Middle East.
6. Acquire first-hand experience of the local cultural expressions of life in your host city, region and country during the periods of study abroad, and apply learnt linguistic skills during the work placements.
7. Evaluate critically relevant scholarship which reflects different disciplinary and theoretical approaches to the study of the cultural and social diversity of Islam and the Middle East, both historically and in different contemporary contexts.
8. Acquire and deploy linguistic and analytical skills within employment through the work placement opportunities.

Language teaching based on traditional and laboratory-based language classes, pair work, group work, language games, computer programmes (CALL). Assessment through unseen written examination and listening and oral examination.

The teaching of advanced text-based modules (Stages 3 and 4) based on lectures and class work under tutor guidance. Assessment is by course work (analytical essays) related to the subject field and by unseen written examination inclusive of translations of Arabic texts.

The teaching of modules in Arabic, Middle East and Islamic Studies is based on a combination of lectures, seminars, and assigned translations in class under tutor guidance. Assessment is by course work (analytical essays) and by unseen written final examination.

Modules in Islamic and Middle Eastern history, literatures, cultures and contemporary issues, are taught by lectures and seminars and assessed by assigned essays and unseen written examination.

The work placements at stages two and four will allow deployment and demonstration of the theoretical and academic skills acquired within a work place context.

Examinations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7)

Essays (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7)

Other coursework (e.g. written analytical reflections, posters, videos, research proposals) (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

Presentations (oral, audio-visual, video, individual and group) (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

Dissertation (1-7)

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:

9. Draw thematic comparisons between materials from different sources.
10. Show awareness of contrasting approaches to research.
11. Understand and demonstrate the different uses of qualitative and quantitative data, and evaluate their relative advantages and disadvantages.
12. Specify some of the basic philosophical questions arising from academic research.
13. Use library and the world-wide web to find appropriate and relevant information.
14. Develop and deploy argument, grounded in theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence.
15. Identify problems of reliability and bias in, and more generally evaluate, empirical evidence.
16. Collate data from a range of sources.
17. Produce accurate reference to sources in written work.
18. Answer questions concisely and persuasively in written work.
19. Present work and answer questions orally.
20. Deploy complex terminology in a comprehensible manner.
21. Deploy creative and effective usage of language registers and dialect.

These skills are developed throughout the degree programme, but the emphasis becomes more complex as students move from stage to stage. They are developed through lectures and seminars, written work (including essays, reports, research outlines, dissertation) and oral work (both presentation and class discussion).

Examinations – written and oral/aural (9-21)

Essays and other written assignments (9-18, 20-21)

Presentations (9-16, 19-21)

Dissertation (9-17, 20-21)

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:

22. Undertake independent study and work to deadlines.
23. Evaluate validity of a wide variety of sources, including online material.
24. Undertake word processing to produce written work to high standards.
25. Digest, select and organise material for written work and oral presentations, and write to varying word lengths.
26. Critically evaluate own work.
27. Sit timed, unseen examinations of a challenging nature.
28. Participate in oral discussions; present and evaluate complex arguments and ideas orally; digest, select and organise material for oral presentations.
29. Work with others as part of a team on challenging material.
30. Interact effectively with peers and staff.
31. Undertake group work, including the presentation and discussion of material in groups.
32. Communicate and argue effectively, both orally and in writing in both English and Arabic.
33. Express and defend opinions on a wide range of current and abstract issues.
34. Plan the execution of demanding work over a long time scale.

22. This skill is an essential part of the successful completion of the programme and will be developed through regular assignments such as essays and presentations towards vigorously monitored and enforced deadlines. 

23. This skill is developed in all modules involving independent research topics, e.g. when writing essays for specialist options and particularly in the dissertation module.

24. This skill is developed through the requirement that all written work is word-processed.                                           

25. This skill is developed through essay and presentation work throughout the programme.                                            

26. This skill is encouraged and developed throughout, and is aided by personal tutor meetings at least once per term and the electronic Personal Development Planning system.

27. This skill is developed through practice: at all stages, students are partly assessed by timed, unseen examinations.                                                                               

28. This skill is developed through seminars and tutorials, which form the whole or part basis of all modules.                    

29-33 These skills are developed to some extent in all modules, through interaction in seminars and in discussion with tutors about essay work, and in response to criticism both collective and individual.                                                                   

34. This skill is developed through the dissertation, which has a single end of year deadline, as well as the periods of study abroad and the work placements.

Examinations (25, 27, 32, 33)

Essays (22-26, 32, 33)

Individual Presentations (22, 23, 25, 28, 32, 33)

Group Presentations (22, 23, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31 32, 33)

Dissertation (22-26, 32, 33, 34)

7. Programme Regulations

Credit

This four year programme consists of 480 credits. Due to the intensive nature of the MArabic some modules are taught during the Summer Terms (e.g. ARA2009 Living and Communicating in the Arab World in year 1 and ARA3196 Independent Research in year 3). There are 120 credits in each stage. Normally not more than 60 credits would be allowed in any one term. The pass mark for award of credit in an individual UG module is 40. The pass mark for the award of credit on the PG modules in the final year is 50.

 Progression

Progression to the next stage of the programme is normally permitted once at least 90 credits have been passed in a stage and provided that an average of at least 40% has been achieved over the 120 credits of assessment for that stage.  However, to progress to the year abroad in this programme you must achieve a stage average of 50% in year 1 including a mark of at least 50% in ARA1033B. In the final year, to proceed to the award of a MArabic honours degree, you also need to have achieved an average of at least 50% over the 120 credits of assessment for that final stage (i.e. stage 4) and at least 90 credits need to have been passed.

 Condonement is the process that allows you to pass a ‘stage’ should you fail to achieve the required number of credits in any stage. In stages 1, 2 and 3, you must have achieved an average mark of at least 40 across the required credits of assessment including the marks for any failed and condoned modules. In stage 4, you must have achieved an average mark of at least 50 across the 120 credits of assessment including the marks for any failed and condoned modules. You will not be allowed reassessment in the condoned credit. Up to 30 credits of failure can be condoned in a stage (with the exception of stage 2 when there is no condonement). However, you must pass the modules marked with a 'Yes' in the 'non-condonable' column in the tables above. The pass mark for these modules is 40 (for undergraduate level modules) and 50 (for masters level modules)..

 Assessment and Awards

Assessment at stage 1 does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. The award will be based on the degree mark formed from the credit weighted average marks for stages 2, 3 and 4 combined in the ratio 2:3:4 respectively.

 

Stage

Ratio

Weighting

1

0 – does not count towards classification

00.00%

2

2

22.22%

3

3

33.33%

4

4

44.45%

The post graduate masters modules in the final year of the MArabic are level 7 and the pass mark for award of credit in an individual PG module is 50. 

Exit awards

- Certificate of Higher Education in Arabic and Islamic Studies where you have achieved 120 credits (with a minimum of 90 credits at NQF level 4)

- Diploma of Higher Education in Arabic and Islamic Studies where you have achieved 240 credits (with a minimum of 90 credits at NQF level 5)

- BA Arabic Studies (Ord) is available as an exit award if you achieve 300 credits (with a maximum of 150 credits at NQF level 4 and a minimum of 90 credits at NQF level 6) 

- BA Arabic Studies (Hons) is available as an exit award if you achieve 360 credits (with a maximum of 150 credits at NQF level 4 and a minimum of 90 credits at NQF level 6).

None of the exit awards (including the BA degrees) are available for direct entry.

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

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

0

18. Final Award

MArabic (Hons) Arabic and Islamic Studies

19. UCAS Code

T605

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Area studies

23. Dates

Origin Date

20/03/2014

Date of last revision

09/04/2015