MES4210 – Topics in Arabic Studies I

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Course content

Topic Spring 2020: Finding, Reading and Interpreting Arabic Sources for Your Master’s Thesis

This course focuses on one or more select topics in Arabic studies, broadly understood as the study of the Arabic-speaking world, based on Arabic sources. Both cultural, social, religious, and political dimensions may be covered, in their contemporary and/or historical formations. Special attention is given to how these issues are dealt with in textual and/or visual production, by literary or academic authors, intellectuals, journalists, political actors, social media users, etc. This may include literature, media and other forms of cultural expression; religion, philosophy and thought; history and historiography; the formation of ideological paradigms; gender, family and education; etc. 

Examples of courses that has been given in MES4210:

Learning outcome

  • You will learn to find, read, summarize, and interpret primary and secondary sources in Arabic, and to analyse them in the light of pertinent research literature.
  • You will improve your competence in understanding complex Arabic text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in your field of specialization.
  • Through class presentations and discussions, you will learn to present and debate academic knowledge in oral form.
  • Through teacher-guided essay writing, you will learn to present academic knowledge in written form.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Please see the admission requirements defined by the programme option Middle East Studies.

The teaching presupposes intermediate to upper intermediate competence in modern Arabic.

Recommended previous knowledge


Spring 2021: 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.

There will not be a requirement for compulsory attendance for teaching in the spring of 2021, but we strongly recommend that you follow all the teaching.

The course is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars organised as 10 classes of 2 hrs each throughout the semester. The course presupposes active participation.

Compulsory tuition activities such as presentations and submission of assignments must be completed and submitted within the given deadlines, and approved by the teacher in order for you to sit the exam. Approved tuition activities are only valid for the current semester.

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

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.


The exam is a term paper of 8-10 pages of main text, each page comprising up to around 2300 characters including spaces (max. 23,000 characters excluding footnotes and list of references), on a subject related to the course and approved by the teacher. The paper must be based mainly on Arabic sources. In order to take the exam, an outline of the term paper and a list of sources must be approved by the teacher within a given deadline.

The term paper is to be submitted in Inspera within the given deadline.

Information on writing and submitting papers at IKOS 

Grading guidelines Spring 2019

Written examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read more 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 may write your examination paper 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.


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