UTVB3140 Midtøsten: Historie, samfunn og islam Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
The Middle East: History, Society and Islam
Bachelorstudium i utviklingsstudier
10 stp.


The course description was approved 17 February 2020 by the Academic Affairs Committee, Faculty of Education and International Studies.

The Department of International Studies and Interpreting at the Faculty of Education and International Studies, Oslo Metropolitan University, offers interdisciplinary courses in Development Studies and North-South relations, leading to a bachelor’s degree of 180 ECTS credits in Development Studies. This course on "The Middle East: History, Society and Islam" is at the intermediate level and represents a 10 ECTS credits module in the 5th semester of the Bachelor Programme.


The course aims at giving the students a basic but broad understanding of the history of the region, current social, political and economic conditions, and the relevance of Islam in the contemporary Middle East.


The course will be taught in English or Norwegian, depending on needs according to the participants’ language abilities. The exam papers can be written in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.


At the end of the course the student has obtained the following learning outcome:



The students have

  • basic knowledge of the history of the Middle East

  • insights into current social, political and economic conditions in the region

  • an understanding of the basic concepts in the religion of Islam and of religious practices, and the relevance of Islam in contemporary politics in the region

  • a basic understanding of the interaction of history, economics, politics and religion in the Middle Ease



The students will be able to

  • reflect on historical change in the Middle East

  • theorise on socio-economic development in the Middle East

  • reflect on the role of Islam in historical and socio-economic processes

  • identify relevant academic literature for further studies and research on the region


General competence

The students will be able to

  • use their knowledge about the Middle East and Islam in investigating history, society and religion in other regions

  • pursue further academic research on the Middle East and other regions


The course will take a cross-disciplinary and research-based approach to the history and culture of the Middle East and Islam, emphasising political history and the developments of political thought within the Islamic context. In relation to modern history there will be an emphasis on anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements and struggles. In describing the contemporary Middle East, socio-economic conditions will be focused along with presentations of the political situation. The relevance and importance of Islam in some of its political interpretations and Islamism as political and social movements in the current situation will be highlighted.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

There will be lectures and discussions. Students are expected to participate actively in discussions. They are asked to present the topic of their term paper, which is part of the exam, for approval. There will be discussions on selected topics on OsloMet’s digital learning platform.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

In order to be admitted to the examination the student shall fulfil the following coursework requirements:

  • The students shall individually present for approval the topic - a (preliminary) title and abstract of 150 to 300 words - of their term paper.


This is evaluated with ‘accepted’ or ‘not accepted’. Students who get ‘not accepted’ may rewrite and submit a new version. The student shall contact the teacher to get a new deadline. Students who do not meet the listed coursework requirements and have not documented valid reason will not be admitted to the examination.

Vurdering og eksamen

The exam consists of two parts:


  1. A multiple choice test, available for 21 hours, covering the whole curriculum of the course.

  2. A term paper of 3 000 words (+/- 10 %). The term paper can be written in English, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.


The two parts of the exam counts 50 % each for the total grade. Both parts must get a pass grade in order to get a grade for the course.


New/postponed exam

In case of failed exam or legal absence, the student can apply for a new or postponed exam. New or postponed exams are offered within a reasonable time span following the regular exam. Only the part that is not passed must be resit. The student is responsible for applying for a new or postponed exam within the deadlines set by OsloMet. Regulations for new or postponed examinations are available in Regulations relating to studies and examinations at OsloMet.

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

All examination support materials are permitted.


A to E for pass and F for no pass.


  1. The multiple-choice test is automatically graded in the electronic assessment programme.

  2. The term paper will be marked by an internal and an external examiner. The external examiner will read a selection of the exam papers and collaborate with the internal examiner in a way that benefits all the students.


The course is open to students in the Bachelor Programme. Students who want to take the course as an independent module must have completed at least a one-year introductory course in Development Studies at OsloMet (or previously HiO and HiOA), the University of Agder or equivalent courses at other universities / university colleges in Norway or abroad.