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MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies)


Course Description

All prospective MPhil applicants are advised to peruse the staff profiles on our website to familiarise themselves with the research and teaching interests of staff members. Applicants for this course are expected to have a university qualification in either Hebrew or Arabic (Muslim-Jewish Relations stream) or Persian (Persian Cultural History stream).

Once admitted onto the MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies), applicants will have the option of studying one of two streams:

- Muslim-Jewish Relations;
or
- Persian Cultural History

For each of these streams, students are required to choose three papers - courses usually run over two terms - in addition to doing a 15,000-word MPhil dissertation under the supervision of a supervisor. The dissertations are submitted no later than mid-August following the start of the course.

MPhil students attend various training courses offered by the Department in codicology, text reading, and other skills. They are also encouraged to attend fourth-year undergraduate lectures and language courses where relevant. They may attend graduate work-in-progress seminars where they have an opportunity to present their own work to their peers for feedback in a supportive environment.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/amammpmei

Course detail

* Muslim-Jewish Relations*

Students taking the Muslim-Jewish Relations stream will be introduced to the analytical tools required for studying Muslim-Jewish relations, primary sources in translation and original language, bibliographical method, objectivity in the study of interfaith relations and controversial themes. Topics may include the Jewish languages of the Islamic world; key historical documents in the study of Muslim-Jewish Relations; Muslim and Jewish thought; Law and Society and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

* Persian Cultural History*

Students taking the Persian Cultural History stream will be offered readings in Persian cultural history, identifying persisting trends in Persian literature and cultural production from the medieval period down to modern times. These themes revolve around kingship and the image of the ideal prince, theories of justice and good government, and competing sources of secular and religious authority. Similarly, the motif of love, both earthly and divine, is a common thread running through Persian literature and entails also the extensive use of imagery of the natural world. In the modern world, the course examines a number of issues by studying Iranian cinema and focusing on gender, historical adaptation, nation and approaches to narration and resistance to dominant discourses, reflecting also on how the stories and legends of the classical tradition are adapted for contemporary literature and media. In discussing these topics, attention is paid to their visual as well as written representation.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the MPhil programme, students will be expected to have:
- acquired the ability to read, interpret and translate primary sources in Hebrew, Arabic or Persian;
- acquired a good knowledge of the general scholarship on Muslim and Jewish or Persian culture(s);
- acquired an in-depth knowledge of the secondary literature relevant to the subject of their dissertation;
- developed the ability to formulate original research questions and produce a well-constructed, argument to answer them, in the form - of an independent piece of research based on the use of primary and secondary sources;
- acquired the skills to use library and internet resources independently.

Assessment

The one-year MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies) will have the following structure for the (1) Muslim-Jewish Relations option and (2) Persian Cultural History option:

1. Three modules each assessed by an examination or a 5,000 word course exercise
2. A 15,000 word dissertation.

With the approval of the Degree Committee, a candidate may offer, in place of one or more of the examination papers, the same number of essays, each of not more than 5,000 words, including footnotes, but excluding bibliography, or equivalent Alternative Exercises approved by the Degree Committee.

Three written examination papers on subjects approved by the Degree Committee, which shall fall within one of the fields specified in the Schedule to these regulations. With the approval of the Degree Committee, a candidate may offer, in place of one or more of those papers, the same number of essays, each of not more than 5,000 words, including footnotes, but excluding bibliography, or equivalent Alternative Exercises approved by the Degree Committee.

An oral examination on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls, but at the Degree Committee’s discretion the requirement for an oral examination may be waived.

Continuing

Applicants for the PhD will be expected to have scored at least 67% or above (or the equivalent from an overseas University) in their Master's degree which should be related to the PhD programme they wish to pursue. All applicants should submit with their GRADSAF (graduate application) a workable and interesting research proposal and demonstrate that they have the required academic knowledge and skills to carry out their project.

Admission is at the discretion of the Degree Committee, which judges each graduate applicant on his or her own merits and in accordance with its own set rules and regulations.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) -

NB: Applicants should check the Faculty's website before the academic year 2016 - 2017 is due to start to see if AHRC funding is available to apply for. Home PhD and MPhil students and EU students who satisfy home residency criteria may be eligible for a full studentship which covers the University Composition Fee and College Fees plus an annual maintenance stipend. EU students are eligible for a fees-only award.

Further information: http://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac.uk/fees-and-funding/funding/ahrc-funded-students

- Pembroke College Graduate Studentship in Arabic and Islamic Studies -

This studentship covers the University and College fees at the UK Home rate for applicants who are applying for a PhD and MPhil in Arabic Studies, Persian Studies or Islamic Studies and who are affiliated with Pembroke College.
Further information for this studentship can be found at the following web address:

http://www.pem.cam.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduates/fees-and-financial-support/scholarships-and-bursaries/

Find out how to apply here http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/amammpmei/apply

Visit the MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies) page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree. High 2:1 or a 1st at B.A. level from a UK university or equivalent. Good working knowledge (oral and written) of Arabic and/or Hebrew and/or Persian (depending on which course is chosen). Find University Minimum Academic Requirements here View Website

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