module specification

LN7011 - Arab World Studies (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Arab World Studies
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 40%   Oral presentation
Coursework 60%   2000-2500 word Coursework/ essay
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

The module will introduce students to Arab societies, in particular how recent political, economic and media developments are shaping Arab societies and social groups today. The module will trace general Arab traditions and see how these have evolved over time focussing on the family, education, religion, urbanisation, the media, etc. This module also introduces students to higher education in the Arab world.
The module will be taught in Arabic and assessed in Arabic or English.

Module aims

This module aims to introduce the student to the Arab world studies by:

  • providing students with the opportunity to examine the major approaches and controversies in the study of modern Arab societies;
  • engaging students in critical reflection on modern Arab issues;
  • providing students with the opportunity to engage with, categorise and evaluate a range of major works on modern Arab, drawn principally form the social sciences and history but also including literature on Orientalism and its critics;
  • introducing students to the principal traditions and social forces at play in Arab societies today;
  • familiarising students with the purposes and demands of higher education in the Arab world.


The module will be taught by using newspapers, broadcasting (radio and television) and the internet. We will also analyse regional reporting that relates to Arab countries. The students will also look at issues such as political and theological debates in Arab societies, current issues in modern Arab societies, the role of higher education in modern Arab societies and the way they affect and are affected by changes in the Arab world, the traditional and modern roles of Arab women and the process of globalisation and the Middle East.

Learning and teaching

The module will be taught as a combination of lectures and seminars and give students the opportunity to debate the acquired information and discuss their assignment with their tutor. 
The media will be used to introduce the issues in the Arab world to the students.
Web learn will be used for teaching and learning and materials will be put on WebLearn for the students’ perusal.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be:

  • Able to advance knowledge and critical understanding of the key issues in contemporary Arab societies and of the academic material that relates to them
  • Able to advance understanding of the social and political significance of theological debates and normative changes in Arab societies
  • Critically aware of the history of Arab societies
  • Able to evaluate critically the dimensions of modern Muslim societies critically aware of higher education in the Arab world.

Assessment strategy

There are two assessed components in this module, a 10-minute individual presentation and a 2000-2500 word coursework/essay. The presentation component encourages students to choose one area/issue of the Arab world to deepen their knowledge in this area/issue by reading on the topic, and to evaluating and analysing the critically what they present.

The second component constitutes a topic agreed by the student and the lecturer during the course. This assignment aims to provide the students with an opportunity to explore and evaluate critically an area/issue of the Arab world.


Abed el-jabiri, M. (1999) Heritage and Modernism:  Studies and Discussions. Beirut: Markaz Dirasat al-Wahdah al-Arabiyah (In Arabic)
An-Naim, A. A. (ed) (2002) Islamic Family Law in a Changing World: A Global Resource Book. London:  Zed books
Najib Mahfood (1971) Thief’s and The Dogs Lebanoon Birot
Barakat, H. (1993) The Arab World: Society, Culture, and State.  Berkeley: University of California Press (In Arabic and in EWnglish)
       Chase, A. & Hamzawy, A. (2008) Human Rights in the Arab World: Independent Voices. Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press
       Hafez, Kai (ed.) (2008) Arab Media: Power and Weakness. New York: Continuum International
Hafez, Kai & David L. Paletz (eds.) (2001) Mass Media, Politics, and Society in the Middle East. New Jersey:  Hampton Press
Hitti, P. K. (2002) History of the Arabs. Basingstoke: Macmillan
Hourani, A. (2005) A History of the Arab Peoples. Oxford: Faber and Faber (In Arabic and in English)
Huff, T. E. (1995) The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China and the West. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Hunke, S. (1993) Shams al-Arab tasta’. Beirut: ala al-Gharb Dar al-Jil (In Arabic and in English)
Khaldun, I. (1989) The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History. Abridged and ed. by N.J. Dawood. Princeton, N. Y.: Princeton University Press (In Arabic and in English)
Said, E. W. (1994) Orientalism. New York: Random House (In Arabic and in English)
Sakr, Naomi (2007) Arab Television Today. London: I.B. Tauris
Sakr, Naomi (2001) Satellite Realms: Transnational Television, Globalization and the Middle East. London: I.B. Tauris
Tucker, J. E. (2008) Women, Family and Gender in Islamic Law. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press
Watt, W. M. (2001) A History of Islam. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Watt, W. M. (1987) Islamic Philosophy and Theology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Welchman, L. (2007) Women and Muslim Family Laws in Arab States. A Comparative
Overview of Textual Development and Advocacy. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press