MA Jewish Studies - University College London

Programme Specification
Programme title:
MA Jewish Studies
Final award (BSc, MA etc):
(where stopping off points exist they should be
detailed here and defined later in the document)
Cohort(s) to which this programme
specification is applicable:
From 2014 entry
(e.g. from 2015 intake onwards)
Awarding institution/body:
University College London
Teaching institution:
University College London
Arts and Humanities
Parent Department:
Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies
(the department responsible for the administration of
the programme)
Departmental web page address:
(if applicable)
Method of study:
The programme can be taken either full-time or part-time.
Criteria for admission to the
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in an
arts or social science subject from a UK university or an overseas
qualification of an equivalent standard. Candidates without previous
knowledge of Hebrew will be required to take 30 credits of Hebrew
(Biblical or Modern)
Length of the programme:
(please note any periods spent away from
UCL, such as study abroad or placements
in industry)
Level on Framework for Higher
Education Qualifications (FHEQ)
(see Guidance notes)
Relevant subject benchmark statement
One calendar year full-time, two calendar years part-time
(see Guidance notes)
Level 7
Brief outline of the structure of the
(see guidance notes)
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The
programme consists of a core course (30 credits), three taught
modules of specialisation (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60
Students must take:
One core course which is assessed by 6 assignments
Three optional courses
Submit a 12,000 word dissertation (based in part on primary sources)
If taken part-time students must take the core course and one
optional module in year one, followed by two optional modules and
the dissertation in year two.
Name of Board of Examiners:
MA Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Board of Examiners:
Professional body accreditation
(if applicable):
Date of next scheduled accreditation visit:
The programme aims to allow students to construct their own field of study by selecting their courses from the wide
range of disciplinary approaches, regional and chronological specialisations within the vast and diverse field of
Jewish Studies. The programme will (a) introduce students to a variety of skills essential for the investigation of
these fields of Hebrew and Jewish Studies; (b) give them practical training in those skills; and (c) introduce students
to aspects of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at an intellectually demanding level.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding,
qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:
A knowledge and understanding of:
A: Knowledge and understanding
Teaching/learning methods and strategies
1. How to assess historical, political and
cultural evidence critically, synthesize
data from different types of primary
sources, solve problems of conflicting
interpretations, locate source materials
and interpretative studies (such as
scholarly reviews), use research
resources (particularly research library
catalogues, archival inventories, on-line
catalogues, digital databases and other
traditional and digital resources relevant
to Jewish Studies).
2. Subject specific skills, for instance,
Hebrew (ancient and modern), Near
Eastern and Jewish Languages (Yiddish).
3. Aspects of Jewish literature,
philosophical speculations, visual records
and arts and history connected to Jewish
Acquisition of 1, 2 and 3 through three-hour weekly
seminars (except language classes which may be taught
more intensively), special seminars and evening
lectures, and occasional films. The core course will also
entail practical instruction in how to evaluate both
primary and secondary sources, focussing on critical
evaluation of significant secondary works in the field.
Students will be expected to visit the major archives and
libraries in the London area, depending on their specific
areas of research and interest. Students will be required
to attend all classes, study extensively on their own and
for all the required courses mentioned above and on all
the optional courses, prepare non-assessed coursework
regularly. Students will also be required to attend the
HJS departmental seminar, which comprises of sessions
devoted to research methods and presentations by
students about their projects. Students are also
encouraged to take the relevant research training
courses offered by the faculty.
Students will be assessed by a variety of methods:
‘unseen’ examinations, long essays, course work and a
dissertation. The last mentioned is a required method of
B: Skills and other attributes
Intellectual (thinking) skills - able to:
Teaching/learning methods and strategies
The programme aims to help students:
Acquisition of (a) and (b) and (c) is fostered in relevant
courses offered in the Programme, in that all courses will
introduce information that will need to be assessed
critically and will demonstrate that how conflicting
interpretations arise from the same information.
(a) be precise, to be cautious in their
assessment of evidence, and to
understand through practice what
historical, political and cultural documents
can and cannot tell us.
(b) question interpretations, however
authoritative, and reassess evidence for
(c) apply linguistic and literary concepts
and gain deeper insight in the interplay of
text and context
Through ‘unseen’ examinations, course work, longessays, dissertation. The latter is a required method of
C: Skills and other attributes
Practical skills - able to:
This programme aims to help students
with the following practical skills:
(a) communicate effectively in writing
(b) improve their knowledge of a relevant
language, history, politics, literature and
culture of Jewish studies.
(c) use data bases, digital resources and
word-processing programmes
(d) present (non-assessed) seminar
(e) listen and discuss ideas introduced
during seminars
(f) practice research techniques in a
variety of specialised research libraries
and institutes
(g) maintain a constant rhythm of learning
and research
(h) choose their own long-essay and
dissertation topics
(i) adapt long-essays and dissertation
topics to the information that they
discover while working on their longessays and dissertations.
Teaching/learning methods and strategies
(a) through the writing of long-essays and dissertations
(b) through language class input and required readings
and scholarship pertaining to their particular area of
(c) through ‘hands-on’ instruction
(d) through regular seminar presentations
(e) through seminar discussion
(f) through visits to libraries and institutes
(g) through the setting of clear deadlines for the
submission of written work
(h) through individual discussion with students
Skills (a)-(g) inclusive will be taught mainly on the
required courses for students on the programme. The
courses will be taught by scholars who have specialist
expertise in these fields. The classes will include
practical instruction, visits to libraries and archives,
consultation of printed or digital catalogues in research
(a)-(c), (f)-(i) by ‘unseen’ examination, course work,
long-essays and dissertation. The latter is a required
method of assessment; (e) not assessed in courses
currently listed on the programme though courses added
in future may include oral assessment.
D: Skills and other attributes
Transferable skills - able to:
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
The programme will encourage students
(a) long-essays, course work, dissertation
(b) through class input, translation, grammar and
vocabulary exercises, and use of dedicated self-study
areas which contain computers with Hebrew (enabled)
(c) submitting word-processed written work; using data
bases, consulting on-line library catalogues, using website material
(d) seminar presentations
(e) seminars, library visits, ‘hands-on’ instruction
(f) reading about and discussing aspects of Hebrew and
Jewish studies
(g) essays, dissertation, seminar presentations, ‘handson’ instruction, library and archive visits
(h) seminar presentations and papers
(i) reading, class discussion
(j) essays, dissertation, seminar discussion
(k) essays, dissertation, seminar discussion
(a) write good essays and dissertations
(b) improve their Hebrew (or relevant
research language)
(c) use computer resources and
information technology
(d) present material orally
(e) listen and contribute in class
(f) understand ideas that are very
different to conventional ones
(g) study a variety of written and digital
materials, in libraries and research
institutes of a kind that they will not have
used as undergraduates
(h) present (non-assessed) material orally
(i) reflect on their own ideas by becoming
acquainted with ideas and practices
foreign to them
(j) make original contributions to Jewish
Studies scholarship by following through
their ideas
(k) assess evidence for themselves and
scruntinize previous interpretations
(a)-(c), (f)-(k) ‘Unseen’ examination, text analysis,
language exams, long-essays and dissertation; (e) not
assessed in courses currently listed on the programme
though courses added in future may include oral
The following reference points were used in designing the programme:
 the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications:
 the relevant Subject Benchmark Statements:
 the programme specifications for UCL degree programmes in relevant subjects (where applicable);
 UCL teaching and learning policies;
 staff research.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the
learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes
full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes,
content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the
departmental course handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually
by UCL and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.
Programme Organiser(s)
Dr. Tsila Ratner
Date of Production:
March 2014
Date of Review:
October 2015
Date approved by Chair of
Departmental Teaching
Date approved by Faculty
Teaching Committee:
October 2015
October 2015
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