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BA Middle Eastern Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

The study of the Middle East has grown into a multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural academic area of specialisation, attracting strong interest for political, cultural and social reasons.

Your studies will benefit from academic developments in fields such as globalisation, cultural identity, diaspora and migration studies, gender studies, and post-colonial studies, all of which are based on techniques in the analysis of evidence across several Middle Eastern languages, and uses original sources in English translation as well as secondary sources in English.

Through the interplay of disciplines and theoretical approaches, the course will enable you to undertake balanced study of the history, literatures, cultures and religions of the Middle East in broad and complex ways.

Core course units and a wide range of optional units will equip you with a thorough and sufficiently specific yet language-independent understanding of the Middle East, alongside key contemporary methods in the study of culture, religion, literature and history.

It is also possible to get to know the basics of more than one Middle Eastern language, or to study one language all the way through until the end of the second year.

Aims

Our BA Middle Eastern Studies course aims to:

  • Provide you with an in-depth understanding of a large region that is of central importance in the contemporary world.

Special features

Placement year option

Apply your subject-specific knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year in your third year of study, enabling you to enhance your employment prospects, clarify your career goals and build your external networks.

Palaver Festival

Palaver Festival , a collaboration with the neighbouring Contact Theatre, offers you the opportunity to explore links between language and performance across a range of genres including literature, theatre, dance and more.

Collaborations and partnerships

The University has links with language and cultural institutions across the city, including:

  • Instituto Cervantes - a centre for Spanish culture
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film
  • Alliance Francaise - home of French language and culture.

Societies

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related student societies  offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences.

You can learn more about colloquialisms in language through native speakers and take part in discussion groups and socials.

Some of our societies also coordinate trips abroad to language-specific destinations.

Teaching and learning

You'll learn through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, spending approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions.

For every hour of university study, you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • in your final year, a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Assessment methods vary from course unit to course unit - see individual course unit listings for more information.

Course content for year 1

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
The History and Sociopolitics of Palestine/Israel (1882-1967) MEST10042 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Islam MEST10061 20 Mandatory
Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa MEST10092 20 Mandatory
History and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa MEST10711 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Post Colonial Arabic Literature MEST20002 20 Mandatory
Themes in the Histories of Arab and Jewish Nationalisms MEST20271 20 Mandatory
Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa MEST20352 20 Mandatory
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20501 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 3

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies MEST30000 40 Mandatory
Contemporary Debates in Islam MEST30032 20 Mandatory
Arabic Literature in Translation MEST30121 20 Mandatory

Facilities

The  University Language Centre  is home to language resources, including a new interpreting suite, purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages.

The Centre also offers multilingual word processing, language learning software, off-air recording and AV duplication, multilingual terrestrial and satellite TV, and extensive support and advice for learners.

Learn more on the  Facilities  page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk