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Asian and Middle Eastern Studies - Course Outline

Parts First (A and B)

Years First and Second

The course provides a foundation in the proper language or languages and an introduction to the literature, history, politics, religion, culture, economics, anthropology and society. No previous knowledge of the language is required.

Part Second

Years Third and Forth

Students choose subjects for specialization in this year and a dissertation. The third year is spent abroad.

East Asian Studies - Chinese Studies

The course designed and tailored with the purpose of providing thorough understanding of Asian and Middle Eastern studies. The course aims at equipping students with the good understanding of modern Chinese (Mandarin), a critical understanding of various Chinese culture with a spectrum of disciplines and knowledge of classical and literary Chinese.

In the part first, students are provided extensive training in aural, oral and written Chinese. The course also incorporates other elements like an introduction to Chinese history, thought, literature and politics. In part second, students may choose from specialist papers including:

  • Chinese Linguistics
  • Chinese Anthropology
  • Ancient Chinese Philosophy and Religion
  • The Military in the Making of Modern China
  • Literature and Modernity in Modern China

In the third year, students undergo extensive study at a well recognized university in China and the fourth year encompasses writing a research dissertation on a topic of student choice. Students who are interested in Chinese art may utilize internationally renowned collections by the Fitzwilliam Museum. Students who are studying the Chinese contribution to medicine, technology and science can move to the Needham Research Institute.

Japanese Studies

The course aims at providing students a complete understanding of Japan and its contribution to the world affairs. The major purpose of the course is to enable students to learn the Japanese language. The first year includes modern written and spoken Japanese that students continue to study till the next three years of the programme. It also provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the Japanese studies.

In the second year, students have study classical Japanese along with options in literature, politics, history, society and religion. The classical Japanese and these papers are available for further study in part second. In the third year, students have an excellent opportunity live and study in Japan. The fourth year is dedicated to advanced language work. In this last year, students need to write a dissertation on a topic of their choice.

Middle Eastern Studies

Arabic and Persian Studies

The study of Islam and Middle East particularly related in a period when the Western and Islamic worlds are recurrently portrayed as irreconcilably opposed, however, inextricably knot together by the strategic politics, oil trade, Muslim immigration to the western countries and many other issues.

The course designed to provide students a deeper understanding of the Islam and Middle East and their contribution to the world knowledge and rich heritage. Cambridge offers both Persian and Arabic. At the beginning, students study the modern spoken and written languages. The course is well modified with thorough information about Islamic literature, history and culture.

Hebrew Studies

Hebrew literature has had a life of more than three thousand years. The course includes papers in both modern and classical Hebrew. Students may study the background to modern Middle Eastern culture and history. Cambridge has been a great centre for Hebrew and Aramaic studies for more than five hundred years. The university library has an ample array of Aramaic and Hebrew manuscripts and also the renowned Taylor-Schechter collection.


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