MES4000 - Theory, Methodology and Project Description in Middle East Studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Note: There will be a compulsory seminar at Granavolden Guesthouse on the 28.-30. August. More information below.

How should a research project on the Middle East be designed? What are the main methods used to collect empirical data, and what are the basic theoretical perspectives that should be known? The aim of this course is for participants to learn basic theoretical approaches and methodology, and apply these in their own research by developing their own project description.
Participants will be allocated a research contact by the start of the semester, who will be their mentor throughout the whole course.

Learning outcome

This course is divided into three parts.

During the first part participants will learn:

  • The basic steps of a research project.
  • Key theoretical perspectives used to explain various phenomena in the Middle East.
  • Characteristics of areas studies in general, and the specifics of Middle East area studies, including key debates and discourses.
  • The relation between methodology, theory, explanation and interpretation.
  • What is a good project design? Relevant studies will be analyzed according to strengths and weaknesses.

During the second part participants will learn:

  • Basic methodological approaches.
  • Participants will practice these methodologies through practical lessons related to given research projects.

    During the third part participants will learn:

    • To design their own project description:
      • Problem formulation and project hypothesis.
      • Planning data collection and presenting their methodological approach.
      • Presenting an overview of relevant studies.
      • Discussing ethical aspects of the study.
    • To apply theoretical and methodological knowledge from the first and second parts.
    • To present the project to the other participants and respond to other projects.

    Admission

    This course is only available for students enrolled in the programme Asia and Middle East studies, programme option Middle East Studies.

    Teaching

    From 28.-30. August 2017, there will be a seminar at Granavolden Guesthouse with compulsory attendance for all students enrolled in this course. Transport, full board and lodging during the seminar will be covered by the department. This seminar covers part of the teaching in this course. There will also be presentations by the teachers and of their ongoing research. Detailed information regarding this will be given early in the semester.

    From mid-September to mid-October, this course is divided into different group seminars. All students will attend the seminars on 'Text and discourse analysis'. You are to choose two of the following modules when signing up for this course:

    • Field work methods
    • Archive studies and historical methods
    • Topics in linguistic studies
    • Topics in literature studies

    Submisson of assignments during the semester is mandatory. Please see the semester page for detailed information on each submission. The final project description will be submitted at the end of the semester in the portfolio submission.

    Access to teaching

    A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.

    Examination

    The submissions for each part of the course must be approved by the teachers in order to qualify for the final exam (please see "Teaching" and the semester page for more information).

    The exam for this course is a portfolio submission at the end of the semester.

    Information about writing and submitting assignments at IKOS.

    Submit assignments in Inspera

    You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

    Use of sources and citation

    You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

    Language of examination

    The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

    Grading scale

    Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

    Explanations and appeals

    Resit an examination

    Withdrawal from an examination

    It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

    Special examination arrangements

    Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

    Evaluation

    The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

    Facts about this course

    Credits

    20

    Level

    Master

    Teaching

    Every autumn

    Examination

    Every autumn

    Teaching language

    English