MES4010 – Readings 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.


Autumn 2020: Teaching will follow the guidelines for preventing the spread of Covid-19.

A detailed plan for the semester will show which activities will be digital, and this will be updated by the beginning of August.

There will not be a requirement for compulsory attendance for teaching which is done digitally, but we strongly recommend that you follow all the teaching.

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

  • Oral presentation on the topic of their master’s thesis of 12-15 minutes at one of the seminars. The presentation should present a puzzle, a research question, relevance, and tentative hypothesis. The oral presentation must consist of a PowerPoint presentation and lecture notes, to be submitted one day in advance.
  • Term paper no. 1: A first draft of the literature review (approximately 4 page in its final version).
  • Term paper no. 2: A second draft of a long literature review (10 pages in its final version).

All three assignments above must be approved by the teacher in order to take the exam. The drafts for the literature review should be at least two pages long and must include a research question, a tentative outline of the argument, and a bibliography. The drafts are to be submitted in Canvas.


Term paper, to be submitted in Inspera. 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

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.

Facts about this course






Spring and autumn


Spring and autumn

Teaching language