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The Middle East Studies Forum's passionate teaching staff run a wide range of units that are available for enrolment through Deakin University's Arts Middle East Studies major, and as elective units.

In-country programs

Deakin University operates a range of highly popular study programs in the Middle East.

Arabic in-country intensive Arabic language study: Deakin University students have access to Arabic language courses during the Australian summer at the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic to Non-native Speakers in Manah, Oman. Classes are operated at both a second and third-year level. View more information here.

Middle East Study tour: A two week guided study tour to Jordan and Qatar. The focus is on developing students’ understanding of the region as well as their broader inter-cultural competence. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their experiences during the tour and compare them to their preconceptions of the region and the way that it is depicted in the Australian media. The program includes meetings with Jordanian and Qatari university students as well as a series of lectures and meetings. Learn more about the program or read about the 2016 tour here.

Undergraduate units

AIB151 – Arabic 1A

This unit is designed to provide a practical and basic introduction to modern standard Arabic for students who have no acquaintance with the language so that they have the confidence to communicate effectively at the threshold levels, involving listening and speaking in the first instance, followed by the ability to read and write.

AIB152 – Arabic 1B

As in Arabic 1A, a great deal of emphasis will be given to the development of practical skills in the use of language. This is a continuation of the work covered in the first trimester and will consolidate and build on the sentence patterns and vocabulary previously acquired. Cultural topics will be discussed in conjunction with the language material.

AIB251 – Arabic 2A

As in AIB152 Arabic 1B, emphasis will be given to the development of practical language skills for aural comprehension and expression. The basic communicative functions, syntactic patterns and vocabulary acquired will be considerably broadened and consolidated.

AIB252 – Arabic 2B

This unit continues the work undertaken in AIB251 Arabic 2A and introduces students to more advanced texts in Arabic. It will also cover the remainder of essential aspects of Arabic grammar so that by the end of this unit students will have acquired a strong language foundation.

AIB351 – Arabic 3A

Students will increase their listening and speaking skills of Modern Standard Arabic, enabling them to participate in discussions on a wide variety of topics with confidence. The unit provides further practice in more advanced forms of oral and written expression. Students will be expected to develop a high standard of fluency in speech and reading and an ability to analyse complex grammatical structures.

AIB352 – Arabic 3B

In this unit, students will be introduced to online Arabic newspapers reading. Emphasis will be on writing in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Emphasis continues to be on the acquisition of practical language skills for spoken communication, non-verbal communication and aural comprehensio

Unit description is currently unavailable (2 credit points)

Unit description is currently unavailable (2 credit points)

This unit is designed for students who have already reached a high level of proficiency in Arabic. It aims at enhancing the students’ ability to comprehend and express ideas in Modern Standard Arabic, both orally and in writing. The focus of the unit is on language skills useful for research and a range of professional careers.

This unit is designed for students who have already reached a high level of proficiency in Arabic. It aims at enhancing the students’ ability to comprehend and express ideas in Modern Standard Arabic, both orally and in writing. The focus of the unit is on the translation skills from English into Arabic and vice versa.

This unit explores the broad history of the Middle East from ancient times until the 20th century. It starts with an examination of how popular culture and in particular Hollywood films influence the way we view the region and its people. The unit will then explore the history of the Middle East and how this unique part of the world has generated political and religious clashes over the centuries. This will offer the basis for a much better understanding of how the region functions today.

This unit looks at the Middle East on a country-by-country basis and examines the events that have contributed to making the region what it is today. How have history, ideology and tensions between local, regional and international actors resulted in conflicts and dilemmas that are still playing out? Case studies of states such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia and others are utilised to develop an understanding of the modern Middle East and speculate upon its future. This unit will assist those who feel like the Middle East is a region they should know more about, as well as those with ambitions to work in Defence, Intelligence, Journalism, Diplomacy or any other job where learning about this fascinating and complex part of the world could be important.

This unit examines some of the most controversial issues in Middle East politics. Each week we examine a different issue of importance to the Middle East, such as human rights, refugees, women’s rights, democracy, the media, terrorism and resource politics.

Why has the Arab-Israeli Conflict remained one of the most complex issues in global politics and international relations for decades? Why does America support Israel so strongly? Why do the Palestinians not have their own state? What role does the media play in covering this conflict?  This unit will examine the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, from the beginning of Jewish nationalism to the present time. Combining a chronological and thematic approach, we will examine the birth of the state of Israel and the ensuing Palestinian refugee movement, the various wars between Israel and its neighbours, the rise of Palestinian nationalism and militancy, the peace process, and options for the future.

A Faculty-led study tour to Jordan and other destinations (itinerary changes year to year) that aims at creating intercultural and political understanding by offering a first-hand view of life in the states that students will have explored during their Middle East Studies major. With a focus on professional interaction, the itinerary includes meetings with NGOs, United Nations bodies, diplomats, media organisations and academics, as well as sites of historic and natural interest. Students will be required to reflect on their experiences during the tour and compare them to their preconceptions of the region as well as explore their career ambitions for life after university.

ASR206 – Gender in Islam

This unit will provide an entry point into these debates and look to give students a firm grounding of the key issues as they pertain to Islam, gender and sexuality

Islam is often presented in the media and in some academic discourses as
a monolith, uniform in culture, interpretation, social practice and tradition.
This is no more true of Islam than it is Christianity or Buddhism or any other
world religion.

View other subjects available as part of the Middle East Studies Major in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of International Studies here.