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PHI5500: Arabic and Islamic Philology 1

Time schedule | PDF-version for print

General information | Overlapping courses | Course requirements | Final assessment | Course objective and content | Literature 

Person responsible for the course:Amund Bjorsnes (
Credit points (ECTS):15
Start of studies:Autumn
Study programme:Master's degree (2 years) - Master in History of Religions
Department:Department of Education, Religion and Society

Examination dates/written assignment deadlines

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1 Final deadline to withdraw from examination

Examination typeExamination date / Written assignment deadlineWithdrawal deadline 1
2019-12-06 6. Dec 20192019-11-01 1. Nov 2019
Submission deadline:12:00
Release date for results: 3. Jan 2020

General information

This course is a cooperation between MF and The Norwegian Institute of Philology (PHI).
Islam is one of the world’s major religions, but it is also the common denominator of a civilization and culture which grew out of the Arab conquests in the 7th century AD. Islamic Philology is the study of the literary legacy of this civilization, focusing on the “classical” period in a broad sense, from the 7th to the 17th centuries AD. To understand Islamic history, religion and literature it is necessary to understand one or more Islamic languages. The course/reading group studies Islamic texts originally written in Arabic or Persian or any of the other major languages of Islamic history.
Participating in this course/reading group will give a thorough foundation for further studies of any topic concerned with Islamic studies.
Procedures and curricula:
PHI5500 is both a course for students and a research seminar/reading group for more advanced students and researchers. The curriculum is adapted to current interests of the participants, and can be textual material used by students in their M.A. and Ph.d. theses, or texts of interest to researchers in Islamic history and related subjects.
The PHI-courses in Classical Arabic or competence in either Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu or any other “Islamic” language constitute a good background for the course/reading-group. Ability to read at least one of the major Islamic languages is a prerequisite.
This course is also offered at the bachelor level, PHI2500. For more information, see the course description for PHI2500.

Overlapping courses

PHI5500 overlaps with PHI5200. Students who have already completed PHI5200 will receive 0 credit points (ECTS) for PHI5500 on their transcript of records or diploma.

Course requirements

In order to receive a final assessment, the student must:
  • Participate in the electronic evaluation of the course if such evaluation is stipulated in the relevant term.
When course requirements are not fulfilled, this will count as one examination attempt, unless the student withdraws before the set deadline (1 May/November).

Final assessment

The final assessment is based on an essay submitted by the student (2000-2500 words). The topic of the essay will be related to the reading in the course and chosen in cooperation with the course instructor(s). The mark (A-F) is given on the basis of the written exam.

Course objective and content

The student has:
  • A thorough knowledge of one or more languages of Islamic literature
  • A thorough knowledge of Islamic philology as a discipline
The student can:
  • Work autonomously with Islamic literature in one or more languages
  • Formulate independent research ideas related to Islamic language and literature


Literature relevant to the texts chosen for the given semester.

> PDF version for printing