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Islamic Studies in University of Wales Lampeter


The Theology & Religious Studies Building

With over 30 full-time members of staff, numerous part-time, visiting and honorary staff, over 600 undergraduates and over 900 postgraduates, studying both on campus and off campus,the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at University of Wales Lampeter is one of the premier sites in theUK for studying religion. We offer undergraduate courses in Religious Studies, Theology, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Religious History, Church History, Religion, Ethics & Society and Divinity, leading to BA and BD degrees, and these are also available at Certificate and Diploma level. All our schemes are modular, so students can enjoy considerable choice and flexibility in selecting their options. Postgraduate research degrees (MPhil and PhD) are available across the broad range of areas in which our staff have specialist expertise. We offer various taught Masters programmes, in several areas including Celtic Christianity, Religion, Politics and International Relations, Islamic Studies, Ecological Theology and Indic Spiritual Traditions.
The University is the smallest in Europe but the Department of Theology and Religious Studies is one of the largest.

Undergraduate Studies Islamic Studies

The study of Islam has been an important academic discipline within British universities for many years. At theUniversity ofWales, Lampeter, Islamic Studies offers opportunities to study many aspects of Islam and Muslims in-depth - in both historical and contemporary contexts. Like other academic areas, Islamic Studies applies analytical and critical approaches towards its multi-/inter-disciplinary subject areas. A range of options allows specialised work in such fields as Islamic primary sources, Shari'ah, Arabic, Islamic philosophy and Islam and Christianity in dialogue. As part of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Islamic Studies focuses upon the methodologies of both these disciplines. As well as being a fascinating subject in its own right, Islamic Studies has relevance for those wishing to pursue careers in fields such as education, social services, media, diplomacy, or business.

Students can select from a range of modules within Islamic Studies for a Single Honours degree, or Islamic Studies can be combined with other Lampeter modules for Joint or Combined BA Honours degrees. In the past, students have successfully combined the study of Islam with Management, English, Philosophy, or Theology and Religious Studies modules.

ISLAMIC STUDIES at Level 1;The Life of Muhammad [Lecturer: Dr Gary Bunt]

The module aims to cover the life and times of Muhammad; to analyse and evaluate his methodology in relation to the two phases of his life at Mecca and Medina.The Rise of Islam [Lecturer: Dr Dawoud El Alami]
This module deals with the period following the death of the Prophet, the succession of the four "rightly guided" caliphs and the early Islamic conquests.

Islamic Doctrine [Lecturer: Dr Mawil Izzi Dien]

This module explores the main tenets of Islamic doctrine, including the oneness of God, the apostles and the issues associated with or derived from it. Introduction to the Qur'an & Hadith [Lecturer:Professor Neal Robinson]
This is a basic introduction to the Qur’an and Hadith. It aims to familiarise students with how these two Islamic sources are viewed by Muslims, and to help them make intelligent use of the Qur’an and Sahih Bukhari in translation. Some consideration is also given to the view of non-Muslim scholars.

ISLAMIC STUDIES at Levels 2 & 3:

There are no compulsory modules for Islamic Studies students at Levels 2 & 3. Students are free to choose from the following:

ISLAMIC SOURCES: QUR'AN [Lecturer: Professor Neal Robinson]

This module provides an opportunity to study and analyse the message of the Qur'an through the examination of selected texts. This involves both a general study and detailed concentration on the epistemology of the Qur'an; its codification; structure; language and style; understanding of the Qur'anic texts; exegesis; hermeneutics and semiotics; translations and related issues.ISLAMIC SOURCES: HADITH [Lecturer: Professor Neal Robinson]
This module provides an opportunity to study and analyse selected hadith texts, and to examine the role and message of Muhammed as Prophet and interpreter of the Qur'an. This involves the study of hadith literature within the framework of Divine Word and Prophetic Word; epistemology of hadith; hermeneutics and semiotics; history and codification; structure, language and style.

SHARI'AH: LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE [Lecturer: Dr Mawil Izzi Dien]

The module covers the Islamic legal system and sources of legislation. By examining the historical and structural development of Qur'an and Sunnah the role of the Shari'ah in Muslim society is analysed both past and present. The module focuses on defining Islamic law as a unique legal phenomenon that needs to be understood from both within and outside the faith. The methodology of legal decision-making in Islam; the four classical schools of fiqh and legal maxims are to be studied.FAMILY IN ISLAM [Lecturer: Dr Dawoud El Alami]
This module aims to provide insight into the nature of marriage and the family in Islam, the way in which the various elements, Qur’an, Sunna, jurisprudence, law, ethics and custom are inextricably combined in the formation of the family, the place of the family in society in the modern Middle East, with particular reference to the role and status of women, and an introduction to the modern personal status laws of the Middle East.


This module analyses how Islam has shaped contemporary societies. There are opportunities to study the historical role of colonialism and Orientalism, in association with Islamic 'revival' and 'reform' movements in: the Indian sub-continent; theNear East,South East Asia and Muslim minority contexts. Through these contexts, the course assesses the impact of issues such as the Gulf War, technology and media-representation on contemporary Muslims.ISLAMIC THOUGHT AND CULTURE [Lecturer: Dr Mawil Izzi Dien]
This module examines the growth of ideas in Islamic Art and Science, and the development of such disciplines as history, geography, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, art and architecture, literature, education, economics etc.

ISLAM IN THE WEST [Lecturer: Dr Gary Bunt]

This module provides an overview of the Muslim presence in the West, in the two phases, from the eighth century, and more recently post-war migration. The module focuses on central themes affecting all Muslim minorities living in the West. It also touches upon the factors which have shaped Western attitudes towards Islam and Muslims.UNDERSTANDING THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION [Lecturer: Dr Dawoud El-Alami]
This course will be divided into several sections. The first section will comprise an overall history ofPalestine to the present day. The second section will explain the scriptural background of the attachment of each of the three main monotheistic traditions to the land of Palestine. The third section will examine the nature of political-religious movements involved in the Palestinian/Israeli struggle, linking them to their historical and scriptural origins and to external factors. The fourth part will look at the way the ‘Holy Land’, ‘Palestine’ and ‘Israel’ are presented in the Western, Israeli and Arab media. Finally there will be a forum for proposal and debate.


This module looks beyond the secondary sources on which most Islamic history courses are based, to look at the study of Islam from the inside through the Islamic academic tradition. Where does the writing of Islamic history start? What are the sources on which the study of Islamic history is based? Which of those are histories and which are chronicles?FURTHER QURANIC STUDIES[Lecturer: Professor Neal Robinson]
This module is intended to consolidate, build-on and complement the course on Islamic Sources – Qur’an. Topics covered include Shi’ite and Sufi commentaries, modern commentaries and a detailed study of Sura 2.


In place of a taught module any FINAL year student who obtained an average of at least 60% in Level 2 essays may opt for a Research Dissertation. This dissertation will be of 10,000 words and no course work essays will be required. The student may choose any subject for their dissertation, provided that a member of staff is willing to act as supervisor for it. No formal teaching will be provided, but the student will be required to discuss the progress of the dissertation with the chosen supervisor on a monthly basis.INTERMEDIATE ARABIC [Lecturer: Kate El Alami]
This module is designed to take students to an intermediate Arabic standard. It aims to teach students how to deal with more complex concepts and situations than were previously studied in Arabic I. The student's reading and writing skills will be developed further.

ARABIC SET TEXTS [Lecturer: Professor Neal Robinson]

Selected texts in Arabic chosen from the Qur’an and Hadith. Further development of grammar and vocabulary on the basis of textual study.

MA Islamic Studies

The Centre for Islamic Studies now offers an MA Islamic Studies (by Distance Learning),
This MA provides an academic qualification suitable for those working within – or associated with - Muslim communities, in minority and majority contexts, especially those wishing to develop a greater understanding of the people, cultures and religious perspectives they are working with. This includes those in the fields of law, social work, politics and education. This MA is a platform through which the academic skills can be developed for individuals to progress to further postgraduate study (MPhil and PhD). It is particularly appropriate for students who have not previously studied Islam before, and for mature students returning to education – but is also a suitable option for those with some background interest in Islam or connections with Muslim communities (in theUK and elsewhere).


Masters degrees are assessed by written work for both the taught modules and the dissertation. Each student will be required to submit six essays of 5,000 words (or the equivalent), and upon successful completion of these essays, proceed to a dissertation of no more than 20,000 words. Those who then successfully complete a dissertation will qualify for a MA of the University of Wales. Students who successfully complete the six taught elements of the course will qualify for a University of Wales Diploma, and students who complete three modules will qualify for a University of Wales Postgraduate Certificate.


· Islam Today
· Study & Research Methodology
· Islamic Law in the Contemporary World
· From Theocracy to Nation Statehood - The Making of Egypt
· Muslim Networks: Communication, Knowledge, and Islamic Traditions in Contemporary Perspective
· Muslim Politics
· Dissertation/Project Module

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