ISC212 – The Middle-Period of Islamic History


The syllabus will consist of examining key issues during the nine centuries addressed in this module.

  • The Rise and Fall of the Umayyad caliphate
  • The Rise of the Abbasid caliphate and its Golden Age
  • The Late Abbasid caliphate and the various sultanates: Idrisids, Aghlabids, Hamdanids, Buwahids, Qaramitah.
  • The Fatimids
  • The Crusades

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Discuss the historical development following the formative period of Islam. (A2, A7)
  • Show and assess how personalities, administrative systems and social trends shaped Muslim communities. (A4)
  • Evaluate the major events that affected and shaped Muslim relations with other civilizations. (A8)

This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Build upon historical primary sources and apply sources effectively. (B6, C5, D2, D5, D6)
  • Describe the links of Islamic ideologies and issues with their historical context. (B2, C2, D3)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

The module will be taught through lectures, discussion, seminars, group tutorials and coursework. Student work will be developed through class work and search of primary and secondary sources.  Students will present and discuss work in progress and they are expected to develop their skills independently.

Assessment Mode

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment is an important part of the learning process and has been shown to help improve both grades and learning style.  As students you receive formative feedback in a variety of ways, orally, in writing, to the whole class or individually. The module leader will regularly give feedback to student regarding the progress of their coursework, a draft copy of the completed coursework need be handed in to the module leader before the 10th learning week as part of the formative learning process. Additionally, revision sessions are arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, providing constructive formative feedback to students.

Summative Assessment:
Assessment is by coursework and written examination. The coursework will require students to write an essay of 1,500 words that demonstrates a critical understanding of one of the main topics covered in class (Outcomes 4, 5) as well as a 2 hour written examination that will take place at the end of the module (Outcomes 1, 2, 3).

Assessment Weighting
Coursework: 50%
Written examination: 50%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Kennedy, H. (1986) The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates. Essex: Longman Group Ltd.   
  • Lapidus, I. M. (2002) A History of Islamic Societies, Cambridge University Press