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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Postgraduate Course: Research Skills and Dissertation Training in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES11122)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course serves as an advanced introduction to academic research at postgraduate level. It will provide students with the skills needed when conducting research in diverse settings. In the course, students will explore the challenges involved in conceiving, planning, and delivering a major academic research project and will learn how to write academically-sound research including their dissertation in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.
Course description This course offers an advanced introduction to the specific methods and problems involved in conceiving, planning, and delivering a major research project in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. The course will support students to articulate clear research questions and develop them into innovative and well-structured research proposals. This proposal will form the foundation of their 15,000-word MSc dissertation.

The class will meet for two hours on a fortnightly basis over the period of two semesters. Students will discuss challenges they anticipate in conducting their research and the strategies they can employ to overcome them.

Course activities include discussions and exercises in several research skills and methods. The activities will also include facilitated discussions about studied academic literature as well as students┬┐ research plans. Further, their activities will include a series of formative fortnightly exercises or short presentations by the students.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  10
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2000-word annotated bibliography (50%)
2000-word dissertation proposal (50%)
Feedback Students will receive oral feedback by peers, course instructors, or both on formative assignments (e.g., short exercises, presentations) as they work towards the completion of their research proposal. They will receive detailed written feedback on their annotated bibliographies and their research proposal. Peer-to-peer feedback will also be encouraged through in-class discussions.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify, describe, and evaluate different theories and methods relating to Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.
  2. Identify, analyse, and critique a collection of academic literature relevant to a research project.
  3. Produce a scholarly bibliography in their particular area of study.
  4. Articulate a clear research question based on an understanding of the field and the current academic literature pertaining to it.
  5. Design and write a clear, well-structured research proposal.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry: Problem solving; analytical thinking; critical thinking; knowledge integration and application; handling complexity and ambiguity.
Personal and intellectual autonomy: Self-awareness and reflection; independent learning and development; creative and inventive thinking.
Personal effectiveness: Planning, organising and time management; assertiveness and confidence; flexibility.
Communication: Interpersonal skills, verbal and written communication.
Keywordsresearch skills,dissertation writing,literature research,research design
Course organiserDr Andreas Goerke
Tel: (0131 6)50 4177
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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