|Degree:||Bachelor of Arts (BA)|
The cultures and societies of the Middle East have been deeply influential in shaping European and western values. In spite of this, the region and its peoples are often misunderstood and represented. Middle Eastern, Jewish and Islamic Civilisations is the study of the historical origins and cultures of a wide range of societies of the region, providing students with an insight into the contemporary Middle East and to the challenges of diversity and multiculturalism in an increasingly globalised world.
If you are interested in ancient and modern history, in literature, in religion and philosophy, in the Middle East and its cultures and religions, in the region’s relationship with the Western world, this course would be of great interest to you. If you find yourself asking how societies develop their values and perspectives, you will be able to explore how they do so over the course of some of the most exciting periods of human history beginning with the cultures of ancient Israelites, Persians and Babylonians and extending to the contemporary political conditions in the Middle East.
Trinity is the only university in Ireland that offers a course in Middle Eastern, Jewish and Islamic Civilisations. It attracts students of social and cultural diversity from Ireland and abroad. Our graduates in Ireland and internationally include lecturers working in European, UK and US universities, as well as graduates working in other areas including museum work, journalism, international relations, teaching, research, human rights and law.
The pathways available are Single Honors, Major with Minor and Joint Honors. Click here for further information.
This broad humanities degree in Middle Eastern, Jewish and Islamic Civilisations provides the ideal foundation for those aspiring to careers in public services, foreign affairs, diplomacy, journalism and education. Many of our graduates can be found in these and in other professions.
Students receive a rewarding education in Middle Eastern, Jewish and Islamic history and culture, but also instilled are more general skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, skills which are highly attractive to potential employers.
At entry, Middle Eastern, Jewish and Islamic Civilisations must be combined with one other subject. In later years, you will be able to select additional subjects and electives and will have the option to graduate with Middle Eastern, Jewish and Islamic Civilisations as a Single Honors degree, a Joint Honors degree with another subject, or a Major with a Minor.
In first year, you will be introduced to the history of the region and to the history of Jews and Muslims in the context of the Middle East and in the context of Europe and the USA. We offer introductory courses in the Modern Middle East, the historical origins of Judaism and Islam, Ancient Near Eastern history and culture. You will explore the region through literature, film, ancient inscriptions and archaeological evidence. Topics of the first two years include: European powers and the Ottoman rulers, Politics of the contemporary Middle East, the Middle East during the World Wars, Jews in European Society, Islam in Europe, Ancient Empires. You may choose a language: Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish (language study is not compulsory).
From second year, you may choose to commence study of a language, either Arabic Turkish or Classical or Modern Hebrew, or alternatively select all non-language modules or Trinity Electives. In your core course, you will study diverse cultures in the ancient, medieval and modern worlds through political, religious and literary texts, material culture and film. Topics include Ancient Empires of Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean, Arabs in Antiquity, Contemporary Islamic Movements, Human Rights in the Middle East, the History of Jews and Muslims in Europe from the Medieval to the Modern Period, Turkish Cultural History, the History of the Ottoman Empire, and the diversity of cultures and identities in the Modern Middle East and North Africa.
In third year, you may choose to study for a semester or a full year abroad (this is not compulsory). You will continue with your Middle Eastern Language (if you have decided to study a language), or choose from a broad range of options offered by the department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, open modules and Trinity Electives.
In final year, you will be able to choose special modules from a range on offer. Courses offered in recent years include the Modern Middle East and European Powers, The Decline of the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East and America, The Jews of Egypt and their Encounter with Greek Culture; The Persian Empire, Islam and Gender; Holocaust Representation in Film and Literature, Advanced language.
At all levels, you will be assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and exams. We use a mix of traditional and innovative continuous assessment methods – essays, project work, presentations, book reviews and dossiers, podcast creation. Language modules are traditionally assessed by written, oral and aural examinations. Final year students also write a Capstone project.
A year or semester studying abroad is one of the highlights of a student’s Trinity experience. In third year, students have the opportunity to apply to study abroad in a prestigious European university with the EU funded Erasmus programme. Alternatively, you may apply to spend your third year in leading universities in North America, Australia and Hong Kong. The department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies also has a special exchange programme with Charles University, Prague and with a number of universities in the Middle East.
If you are considering studying for a degree in Middle Eastern, Jewish and Islamic Civilisations at Trinity but want to be sure, you are most welcome to attend first and second year lectures. If you would like to avail of this opportunity, please contact us by email to arrange a visit.