Sufism TRS4093

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the main contours of Sufism, from its origins in ascetic Islam, to the development of Sufi orders in the medieval period and the responses of such orders to modernity


1x2hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in TRS and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theology and Religious Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

TRS3012 Sufism Level 3

TRS4032 Sufism

TRS3036 Sufism Non Honours




Essay (2,500 words) - 40%

Presentation of 10 minutes followed by discussion chaired by the student - 10%

Examination (90 minutes duration) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ explore Sufism, often termed "mystical" Islam;

■ become familiar with the leading names and masters of the Sufi tradition and their contributions to Islamic history in general;

■ learn key Sufi technical terms and appreciate their nuances and uses in a range of primary texts.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ describe critically the general contours of Sufism within Islam;

■ identify the key terms in Sufi Islam.

■ discuss and analyse key texts in the Sufi tradition;

■ identify the central themes in these works;

■ critically engage with the term "mysticism";

■ assess why the Sufi tradition has proved so controversial within Islamic contexts.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.