MIN 403 – Methods and Perspectives in Islamic Studies



  1. Preliminaries: On Methods, Methodologies and Perspectives in General; Ethical Concerns, Developing Research Proposal; Conceptualising a Research Design; A Framework for Writing Research Reports/Dissertations/Essays; Presentation of a research report
  2. An Assortment of the Most Important Methodologies for HSS/IS
    o Critical Rationalism
    o Positivism
    o Phenomenology
    o Hermeneutics and Post-positivist (including Feminist) Approaches
  3. A variety of Qualitative Methods:
    o Situational Analysis
    o Historical Research
    o ‘Evidence-based’ Research
    o Hermeneutics, Hypothetico-Deductive, and interpretive Methods
    o Objective hermeneutics
    o Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)
    o Text and Discourse Analysis
    o ‘Critical’ Discourse Analysis
    o Grounded Theory
    o Literature review with regard to major resources in various Islamic fields
  4. A variety of Quantitative Methods
    o Survey Method
    o Empirical Methods in Information Extraction (including Using internet and appropriate software for research in Islamic Studies)
  5. A variety of Mixed Methods
    o Delphi
    o Action Research
    o Talk-in-Interaction

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

All learning materials are developed according to the SCATE format. Students are advised to study units available online followed by timetabled activities which are of crucial importance and require a serious attention. Students need to consult suggested reading materials which are not necessarily available online. At the same time, students are expected to contribute to Discussion Group as an integral part of their study. They would receive feedback regarding their activities and contribution by the module tutor. Extra reading and activities are provided for students who are interested to have a deeper and broader understanding of the issues of concern.
Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment for this module will consist of written feedback from the lecturer, questioning and discussion through the online forums. One draft of the students’ final essay (coursework) may be handed in to the lecturer at the 12th learning week for formative assessment, in which the lecturer will give the student feedback on how to improve their research and quality of writing.
Summative Assessment:
Students are required to submit 3 out of 5 Review Questions (RQ) and 3 out of 5 Activities (Act) as the weekly assignments for each module during the semester. All of these assignments as well as students’ final essays at the end of the semester will be commented and marked by tutors. Students can see those comments and marks in their drop box which are available in their D2L accounts. Finally, students are required to submit an Individual coursework -final essay (4000 words) on a relevant topic approved in advance by the module tutor.

Assessment Weighting
Activities: 30%
Review Questions & Discussion Group: 10%
Final Essay (Coursework): 60%
Students should get at least a pass mark for all three above components.

Learning materials

Core readings
Drew, P. Raymond, G. Weinberg D. eds. (2006) Talk and Interaction in Social Research Methods, Sage Publications
Fairelough, N. (2006) Discourse and Social Change, Polity Press
Harding S. (ed.), (1987) Feminism & Methodology, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press,
Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier & Bradford S. Jones, (2004) Event History Modelling: A Guide for Social Scientists, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Paya, A (2015) Methods and Perspectives in the Islamic Studies, ICAS Press, (forthcoming)
Paul S. Gray, et.al. (2007) The Research Imagination, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Scott W. VanderStoep, Deirdre D. Johnston. (2009) Research methods for everyday life: blending qualitative and quantitative approaches, John Wiley & Sons
Singh, K. (2007) Quantitative social research methods, SAGE Publications