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2016/17 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ARAB5060M Debating the Middle East: Islam, Politics and Culture

30 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Mustapha Sheikh

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module explores the interconnect between Islam, culture, society and politics in the contemporary Middle East and North Africa, providing in-depth analysis of some of the key debates in Middle East scholarship.


The main objective of this module is to provide an in-depth analysis of some of the key political, societal, cultural and economic challenges facing the Middle East at the beginning of the 21st century. Striking a balance between theory and empirics, the module covers developments in countries across the Middle East and North Africa focussing on a range of topic areas including: religion and cultural production in the Arab World, Islamic terrorism and radicalisation, politics of Islamic finance, gender and Islam in the Arab World, as well as Islamists and political participation.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module students are not only expected to have acquired a solid understanding of the close connect between religion, politics and society in the region, but to be able to critically appraise and reflect upon the theoretical debates currently waged on these issues in Middle Eastern scholarship.
In addition to the discipline knowledge, by the end of the course students should have acquired various transferrable skills, including communication, essay writing, time management and presentation skills.


LECTURE CLUSTER 1: Islam, Culture and Contemporary Arab Intelligentsia: Negotiating the Boundaries between the Sacred and the Secular
LECTURE CLUSTER 2: Islamic Terrorism & Radicalization
LECTURE CLUSTER 3: Politics of Islamic Finance
LECTURE CLUSTER 4: Gender and Islam in the Arab World
LECTURE CLUSTER 5: Islamists and Political Participation in the Arab World

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours279.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

300 hours including the contact hours and also hours spent on student preparation for research essay, presentation, seminars and lectures.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored using the following methods:
- Written / oral assignments
- Designated feedback sessions (one per semester)
- Student questionnaires
- Personal tutee appointments
- Tutor office hours

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay4000 word research essay50.00
Oral PresentationStudent presentation20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)70.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 3 hr 00 mins30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)30.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/09/2017


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