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Undergraduate course

Bachelor Essay in the History of the Middle East

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester

Spring and autumn

Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

The course is a part of the program option History of the Middle East, and constitutes the mandatory bachelor essay in a specialization in history.

The course will provide students with a deeper insight in historical method and research through the writing of an original historical paper, the bachelor essay. The students choose one of the varying themes that are taught at the Department in the semester. The themes may change according to available teaching resources and research interests. The Department announces the themes that are offered before the start of the semester.


Learning Outcomes


After successful completion of the course, the student has good knowledge of, and is familiar with the historiography and central theories about, the topic of the bachelor essay.


The student demonstrates an original ability to develop, delineate and formulate fruitful historical research questions related to the theme. The student demonstrates the ability to survey research literature and eventually also original source material of relevance for the theme. The bachelor essay demonstrates the ability of the student to analyze research literature/sources, to position the literature in a relevant historiographical field, and to draw his/her own conclusions based on this.

General competences:

The student has basic competence in developing and executing a longer, written original research paper. The ability of the student to participate in academic communication will be demonstrated through the exchange of written responses with fellow students. The bachelor essay demonstrates the student¿s ability to original academic reasoning, synthetizing and documentation.

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

Good command of English.

It is recommended that the student takes HIS101, HIS102, HIM101 and HIM 103, before the bachelor essay.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

The reading list for this course must not overlap with courses taken by the student on 100 or 200 levels.

Access to the Course

The course is open to students enrolled at the University of Bergen.

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching is based on lectures, seminars/collective tutoring and individual tutoring. The student mainly works with the construction of a longer research paper, and comments drafts with fellow students. The Department decides which drafts are commented, and the schedule for the comments.

A course in practical method is normally offered each semester as a preparation for the bachelor essay. The Department designates a tutor to each student. The tutoring follows guidelines set by the Department.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

The course has four compulsory requirements:

  1. The students are required to meet (contact) their designated tutor prior to the submission of project draft, cf. below (2.).
  2. Project draft. The draft consists of a presentation of the theme, a preliminary disposition and a discussion of relevant research literature. This draft serves as the basis for tutoring.
  3. Essay drafts that are responded on by tutor and fellow students.
  4. Written responses to essay drafts by fellow students. Constructive criticism and original, well thought-out responses are emphasized.

All four requirements must be passed before the essay can be submitted for assessment. All compulsory requirements must be passed in the same semester. Passed compulsory requirements are valid for two semesters.

Deadlines for the submission of compulsory requirements are announced at Mitt UiB in the beginning of the semester.

Forms of Assessment

The assessment consists of a tutored paper (the bachelor essay) and an oral examination.

The bachelor essay must consist of approx. 6000 words.

The oral examination may adjust the grade of the bachelor essay with a maximum of one grade letter.

Examination Support Material


Grading Scale

Grades will be set using a scale of A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade. Grade F is a fail.

Assessment Semester


Reading List

The student selects a syllabus of c. 1200 pages. The tutor must approve the syllabus.

Course Evaluation

The course unit will be evaluated regularly

Programme Committee

Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion

Course Administrator

Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Term paper and oral examination

    Withdrawal deadline
    • Exam part: Term paper

      Submission deadline
      22.11.2021, 13:00
      Examination system
      Digital exam
    • Exam part: Adjusting oral examination