The Master of Studies in Islamic Studies and History is a one-year degree for students who already possess substantial knowledge of the field and who are able, without further language training, to work with pre-modern Arabic, Persian and Turkish primary sources as appropriate to their particular research interests.
You can take specialised classes and undertake independent research under the supervision of a faculty member. You will receive specialised teaching in two elective papers, taught during the first two terms, while also working on a dissertation (or on two extended research essays) under the supervision of a suitable member of the faculty.
The course focuses on the political, social, and intellectual history of the central Islamic lands (Egypt, the Fertile Crescent, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Central Asia, and Anatolia) up until c. 1800. The course is characterised by a strong emphasis on research methods and primary sources, thus making it a very good entry gate for subsequent doctoral study. You will already possess substantial general knowledge of Islamic or Middle Eastern studies and history.
An induction meeting is normally scheduled for new students during noughth week of Michaelmas Term, ie the week before the beginning of full term.
You will select one question from a choice of essay questions as prescribed by the examiners will be published in fourth Week of Hilary Term and prepare an essay of up to 4,000 words (excluding bibliography). You will also you be required to demonstrate your research skills by means of a week-long take-home examination on methods and research materials.
In addition, you will write a thesis of no more than 15,000 words (excluding bibliography), or two essays of no more than 6,000 words (excluding bibliography), on a topic (or topics) selected in consultation with your supervisor and approved by the Faculty Board.
You will be assigned a supervisor who is responsible for offering academic guidance throughout the course.The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Faculty of Oriental Studies.