Honours in Arabic and Islamic Studies
‘Honours’ is an intensive year-long program of advanced study with research at its centre. The Honours year enables students to engage with the subject of their major in depth by undertaking research of their own, under the supervision of an expert in the their field. For some students, Honours is the culmination of their formal education while for other students, Honours is the first step on the path to careers as professional researchers and academics. Many staff in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences find Honours teaching the most rewarding part of their job.
The honours program in Arabic and Islamic Studies requires completion of 48 senior credit points in Arabic and Islamic Studies, at Credit level or above. These include the 36 credit points of the Arabic and Islamic Studies major (as specified above), the 6 credit point honours preparation unit 'ARIS3680-Approaches to Arabic and Islamic Studies' (next offered in 2015, and then in alternating years), plus 6 credit points chosen from any of the remaining ARBC or ARIS senior units.
Students with interdisciplinary interests can enrol in joint honours, combining Arabic and Islamic Studies with another subject area. The honours program in Arabic and Islamic Studies consists of seminars on topics in Arabic and Islamic culture and society, and advanced language for research purposes, and a thesis on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with the department.
Students whose bachelor's degree was undertaken at another university, or students who completed their bachelor's degrees at the University of Sydney more than two years ago should contact the Chair of Department to discuss whether the classes they have taken are equivalent to these prerequisites.
Please note: from 2015 the minimum requirement for entry into Honours will increase to an average of 70% or above across 48 senior credit points in the intended subject area/s.
The Honours program in Arabic and Islamic Studies consists of:
- a thesis written under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff
- two seminars that meet for two hours a week for one semester.
The thesis should be of 18000-20000 words in length. Each seminar requires 2500 words of written work or its equivalent. The thesis is worth 50% of the final Honours mark and each of the seminars is worth 25%.
While you will receive marks for all pieces of assessment, your academic transcripts will record only your final, overall Honours mark.
The following seminars are on offer in 2014:
- Methodology of Research in Arabic and Islamic Studies (Dr Nijmeh Hajjar)
- Practical Advanced Language for Research Purposes (Dr Nijmeh Hajjar)
The honours thesis constitutes an original piece of research and writing in a field that can be supervised by a member of staff. It amounts to 18000-20000 words of writing and must demonstrate both a command of a wide range of secondary source material in Arabic and Islamic studies, as well as a command of a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary approach to the topic of the research.
The thesis can be on an area such as:
Arabic language and literature
Arabic and Islamic history
The contemporary Arab world and the Middle East
Society and politics
The study of Islam in the modern world
In the first instance, students should contact the Chair of Department to discuss their preferred field of Honours study. The Chair of the Department will then be able to suggest the most appropriate member of staff within the department to supervise the Thesis. The list below, whilst not exhaustive, gives an idea of the areas of interest of staff from the Department.
Dr Nijmeh Hajjar supervises in Arabic language and literature * Arabic political discourse * Arabic political and social thought * Arabic society and culture * Arab and Muslim Women * Arab and Muslim communities in Australia * Arabic media * Arab and Muslim issues in the Western media.
Associate Professor Ahmad Shboul supervises in Arabic thought: classical and modern * Islam in the contemporary Arab world * Modern Islamic movements * Arab political culture * Arab and Muslim communities in Australia and Arab-Australian cultural relations * Arab Islamic historiography and human geography * Arab-Greek cultural relations in history and modern times * Socio-cultural and intellectual history of the Middle East.
Professor Rifaat Ebied supervises in Arabic and Syriac philosophical and medical works * Muslim-Christian relations in the Middle Ages.
In the first instance you should discuss your intention to apply for Honours with the Chair of Department. Students will enrol in ARBC or ARIS4011, 4012, 4013 and 4014. These, however, are merely generic or 'shell' units for your coursework component.
Enrolments are completed online. Go to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Honours webpage for further information on Honours and on the online enrolment application procedure.
The Chair of Department for Arabic and Islamic Studies can answer any queries relating to their Honours program.