Political Islam TRS5122

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course examines the phenomenon of "radical" forms of Islam that have emerged in the Middle East and South Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries.


10 x 2-hour seminars

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





1 report of 1000 words (20%)

10-minute presentation (20%)

1 x essay of 3000 words (60%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Analyse Islamic teachings on the phenomenon of "radical" Islam in the modern age.

■ Evaluate the reasons behind the emergence of Political Islam in the 19th and 20th centuries.

■ Assess the merits and weaknesses of various perspectives and views associated with Political Islam, based on acquired and critically analysed information.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Evaluate the difficulty in studying Political Islam, insofar as the choice of nomenclature inadequately reflects the diversity found in the media for such groups.

■ Assess reasons for the antagonism felt by some "radical" Muslims towards the West.

■ Analyse the varieties of Political Islam, whether these are manifestations of radical Sunni or Shi'a Islam and identify the geographical range of such movements.

■ Assess the different forms (political and apolitical) of groups that are often regarded as "puritanical" or "radical".

■ Critique the types of nomenclature used by some commentators and offer more nuanced alternatives.

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.