MES4010 – Critical literature review in Middle East Studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This reading course is designed to meet individual needs of Master’s students within the programme option Middle East Studies.

In consultation with a course teacher and the thesis supervisor, participants will formulate a clearly defined research question for their master’s thesis and compile their own relevant reading list. The choice of literature must provide a good general basis of information on the subject matter, and will form the basis for the master’s thesis’ literature review. The literature review is to be submitted for evaluation at the end of the semester.

The reading list must be approved by the course teacher and thesis supervisor. The course should normally be taken during the first year of the Master’s degree programme.

Learning outcome

Participants learn to:

  • Critically read and analyze research literature relevant to the research question of your master’s thesis, and to formulate a presentation and an interpretation of the issues and arguments presented in the literature.
  • Summarize and present a research debate in an independent and reflective manner.


This course is only availabe for students admitted to the programme option Middle East Studies.


Spring 2021: this course offers digital teaching throughout the semester. The seminars can happen on campus if the current regulations are changed, but these will also be offered in a hybrid version.

Teaching throughout the semester is provided in the form of guidance at thesis seminars with the presence of tutor. Your thesis supervisor will be present and provide additional feedback when presenting your drafts.

Compulsory Tuition Activities

  • Attendance to at least 5 seminars
  • Submission of the reading list
  • An oral presentation in the end of the semester
  • Meetings with supervisor

All compulsory activities must be approved in order to qualify for the exam. It is the student’s responsibility to check whether or not the compulsory activities are approved. 

This is how you apply for valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance.


The examination in the course is a term paper. The term paper is to constitute a literature review relevant for the research question of your master’s thesis and approved by your tutor and thesis supervisor. The literature review should be between 8-10 pages, not counting title page and references.

Grading guidelines spring 2019

Submit assignments in Inspera

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

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

You are required to submit your paper in 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.


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






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language