DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU


Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to introduce learners to Islam as a religious, social, literary and historical phenomenon. The module will explore the historical foundations of Islam and some of its most important subsequent developments. It will survey the major practices and beliefs of Islam through a close reading of key selections from the primary sources of Islamic religious literature. In this module students will develop knowledge of Islam in particular and develop a range of critical and analytical skills. Although the major focus of this module is Islam as lived and experienced by Muslims, some attention will also be given to issues relating the representation of Muslims by non-Muslims, especially in the contemporary period.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate an ability to problematize the designation religion with particular reference to Islam
2. Display a broad knowledge of the historical formation and development of Islam and Islamic civilization
3. Demonstrate specialist knowledge of a number of key Islamic texts and their roles as sources of authority In Islam
4. Describe in detail a range of Islamic practices, beliefs and cultural complexes
5. Identify key critical issues in Islamic Studies and the Study of Islam

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20No Description
Independent Study101No Description
Assignment Completion66.5No Description
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to the Module – Defining Islam and Islam as “Religion”

Arabia and the Near East before Islam

The Life and Career of the Prophet Muhammad

Sources of Islam: the Qur’an

Sources of Islam: the Hadith

Islamic Practices: the Five Pillars of Islam

Islamic Beliefs: the Six Articles of Faith

The Spectrum of Islamic Belief: Sunni, Shi‘i, Khariji and Sufi

Muslim Feasts and Festivals

The Islamic Encounter with Modernity

Islamic Cultural Complexes and Muslim Identity

Construction and perceptions of Muslims and Islam by non-Muslims

Tendencies in contemporary Islamic thought

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Aslan, Reza: 2006, No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam, Arrow, London,
  • Bennett, Clinton: 2010, Studying Islam: The Critical Issues, Continuum, London,
  • Brown, Daniel W: 2009, A New Introduction to Islam, 2nd ed, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford,
  • Brown, Jonathan A. C: 2011, Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Peters, F. E: 1994, A Reader on Classical Islam, Princeton University Press, Princeton,
  • Shepard, William E: 2014, Introducing Islam, 2nd ed, Routhledge, London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes