The first year of the programme is the foundation year when students are supported in transitioning and preparing to study for a postgraduate degree in humanities and Islamic Studies. Attention is paid, for instance, in ensuring that all students acquire the essential academic skills needed for higher education such as advanced critical reading, essay-writing, making presentations and participating in debates.
Drawing on the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, philosophy, history and political thought; here are some of the modules that will form the first year of study: History of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, The Arts, Qur’an, Key Moments in Ismaili History and Anthropological perspectives on Ritual, Worship and Practice etc.
Students are required to undertake an intensive study of Arabic. For those who are proficient in Arabic, Persian language study is offered instead. At the end of the first year, students spend four weeks in an Arabic/Persian speaking country as part of their language immersion experience.
At the end of the first year, students also visit Cairo on a historical, architectural and cultural trip.
The second year builds on the foundational modules undertaken in the first year. Students further develop the skills gained in the first year and are introduced to approaches and methods in social science research. They are supported in conceptualizing, planning and developing an empirical field based research project that they will carry out in the summer of the second year.
Language study continues to be a part of the second year of study at The IIS. There is a greater emphasis on Qur’anic Arabic and classical texts.
During the second year, students visit Andalusia in Spain as part of their module on Art and Architecture of Muslim Societies.
The second year is also exciting and intense because the students spend time researching various Masters’ programmes in the UK and applying to programmes approved by the Department that fit within the goals of GPISH.