SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Translation of Islamic Texts (a project)

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 1


In addition to the qualifications for the MA, the student must be able to work independently and meet deadlines.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The objective of the module is to develop independent study skills, specifically through training in the skills of editing and translating material that has not been previously edited, or of translating and annotating texts that already exist in edited form. On completion of this module, the student will have skills in editing, translating and making comments on the language, style and content of the Islamic material involved.


This is an independent project during which students receive general guidance and supervision from a supervisor in the relevant field. Supervision consists of 5 meetings over the course of the academic year, for a total of 5 hours.

Scope and syllabus

The text under study is usually selected from those that have not yet been translated into English, although exceptions may be made in the case of badly edited or poorly translated texts. The choice of text must be approved by the supervisor.

If a particular text selected for translation requires editing or re-editing from manuscripts, then the student is required to produce a critical edition and an English translation of a section of approximately 5000 words, depending on the difficulty of the editorial work involved. The remaining 2000 words will be devoted to the analysis of the text.

If the text has been already well edited, the student is required to translate and annotate a chapter or section of approximately 4,000 words and provide 3000 words of analysis. In both cases the student is expected to comment on points of language, style and content and on particular difficulties faced in making the translation.

The total length including the notes and commentary should be 7,000 words.

Method of assessment

One Translation Project of 7000 words of a selected Arabic text with commentary to be submitted on Friday, Week 1, Term 3 (100%).

Suggested reading

Depending on the work chosen and the student's requirements, the supervisor will provide guidance on suitable reading matter.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules