You will study three core modules:
Approaches to the Study of Islam
‘Islamic Studies (IS),’ in the extended sense of the term and with all its various branches and disciplines, is a complex and contested field. This module introduces students to the diverse ways in which Islam and Muslim societies have been approached as a scholarly subject. Through the study and discussion of key texts and approaches students will engage with significant traditional and modern scholarship, will be able to navigate critically through the relevant academic literature, and will be able to argue coherently for their own particular points of view. Approaches to understanding Islam that students encounter may include: Quranic and Tafsir traditions; legal approaches; historical methods; orientalism; feminist approaches; and socio-cultural and political science methods.
Assessment: Either 1 x 4,500-word essay OR 1 x 1,250 word essay and 1 x 3,250 word essay
This module unpacks the core issues of researching in theology and religious studies. It addresses debates surrounding the design, conduct, ethics and evaluation of research in a multidisciplinary subject area. It prepares you to carry out independent research and to critically assess others’ research across a wide spectrum of approaches.
Assessment: 2500 word essay (50%) AND 2000 word Dissertation Proposal (50%).
Dissertation Preparation and Guided Reading
Following the research methods module, where you will have identified your dissertation project, this module is designed to aid your planning and research for the dissertation by further developing the relevant skills and knowledge in a structured way in the form of a literature review and study skills sessions.
Assessment: 4,500 word essay (Literature Review).
You will also choose a further three optional modules from a range offered by both the University of Birmingham and the Al-Mahdi Institute (AMI). It is also possible to select one of your options from others available in the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, by prior agreement with the programme and module leader.
Options available typically include:
- Medieval Arabic Thought (provided by Al-Mahdi Institute)
- Law and Ethics in Christian and Muslim Thought and Practice
- Thematic Study of Shi'ism: History, Doctrines and Religious Authority (provided by Al-Mahdi Institute)
- Religion in Contemporary Global Politics
- Critical Thinkers of Modernity, Science, Society and Religion
- Gender, Sexuality and Religion
For further information, please see our Theology and Religion postgraduate modules and our Philosophy postgraduate modules.
One of the following must be taken: LM Dissertation (15,000 word dissertation) or LM Placement-based Dissertation (assessment for placement-based dissertation: Completion of 100 hours on Placement + either (a) a 10,000 word dissertation critically analysing and evaluating reflecting on an aspect of the approach and/or work of the institution hosting the Placement. OR (b) write a report or conduct a piece of relevant research, or produce another form of media output for the Placement host).
Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.