Study Plan

Course Title 
Course Code
Credit Hours

First Semester​ ​
Social Theory
​3 Credit Hours 
Qualitative Research Methods
​3 Credit Hours 
Quantitative Research Methods
​3 Credit Hours 
​Issues in the Study of Social Sciences and Humanities  
​3 Credit Hours 

Semester​ ​

Anthropological Theory
3 Credit Hours
Sociology and Anthropology of Arab Societies 
3 Credit Hours
3 Credit Hours
Free Elective from DI or Program Elective Course
3 Credit Hours

​Third Semester 

Critical readings in contemporary sociology and anthropology texts
0 Credit Hours
​Interdisciplinary Course 
3 Credit Hours
​Interdisciplinary Course 
3 Credit Hours
​Program Elective Course
3 Credit Hours
​Program Elective Course
​3 Credit Hours

​Fourth Semester 

Dissertation - Sociology and Anthropology


6 Credit Hours

Total Credit Hours 

​ 42 Credit Hours

 Elective Courses

SOC636-Sociology of the Identity

This course addresses the sociological concept of identity, and the classic as well as the contemporary academic literature on it. The main themes that will be presented and discussed include identity construction, extremism, the roles of new technological media in identity construction, xenophobia, among others.

SOC629-Anthropology of religions

This course aims at introducing students to theoretical and critical readings on the sociology of religion (religious sociology) approach. The aim is to train students to think about the issues of religion and society, religion and state, religion and social classes, religion and symbolic power, using the tools of sociology. During this course, students will learn how sociological attitudes have been shaped to view religions in general, and Islam in particular, in different historical contexts, the topics it has addressed and the uses it has undergone. This will enable the students to discuss the vast amount of sociological knowledge produced in religious sociology and form scientific opinions that may be developed into future research projects.

SOC632-Transformations of Arab Rural Societies

The modern transformations of the Arab rural areas have been reflected in the contemporary realities of the Arab societies in general. These transformations occurred in different contexts, e.g. colonial and postcolonial, and in different socio-economic formations as well, e.g. agricultural, industrial, among others. In all these cases, major changes in the social, cultural, composition of the population, and the spatial relations, took place. These changes were reflected in changes in the material structure of the nomadic communities as well. The course will focus on these processes of transformations and will reposition them vis a vis the current processes of globalization. The course will also address how these deep changes were determinant factors in the events that lead to the Arab Spring in 2011.

SOC633-Contemporary theories in sociology and anthropology

This course aims to train the student to analyze and deeply engage with contemporary social issues from the perspective of the contemporary theories in sociology and anthropology. It will address issues such as economic precarity, identity politics, technological changes. These issues have deep implications on the public and the private social domains.


This course offers an introduction to sociolinguistics. It understands the field as an interdisciplinary one concerned with the study of language in all its linguistic, functional, social, cultural, and historical levels, its relationships, and dimensions. The course examines social phenomena that affect the development of language with an emphasis on “social meaning.” Among the issues addressed during the course is the concept of “context,” this includes understanding how a language develops amidst: linguistic diversity, multilingualism, language planning and policy (which includes terminological planning, lexicographical institutions and their role in building identity and society in the Arab world), gender constructs, bilingualism, and diglossia. The course also aims to enable students to use these ideas as research tools in studying the social reality in which we live.

SOC621-Political Leadership

This course provides students with a theoretical and critical grounding in politics, and leadership in particular. It also provides practical training in research, analysis, and explanation and/or interpretation of the subject of political leadership, which, in the current context of major political transformations, represents one of the most significant and serious theoretical and practical issues for the Arab world.

SOC622-Gender in Arab Societies

This course focuses on gendered social changes and transformations. In this course, we examine and explore various feminist interventions and debates surrounding gender politics in Arab societies. In addition to studying major political, social and historical changes and alterations taking place in the Arab world, this course enables students to develop an understanding of the workings of gender in every day life practices and experiences across a variety of individual, collective, communal, familial, and structural scales. This course aims to provide students with theoretical and analytical skills that help shed light on social, historical, and political changes unfolding in a number of communities and nation-states by facilitating broader and deeper understanding of social theories relating to Arab societies.

SOC623-Postcolonial and Feminist Sociological Thought

This course introduces students to the interrelationships between feminist and postcolonial studies. In it, we explore intersections, imbrications, and tensions between postcolonial and feminist thought. The course offers a careful examination of gender as a category of analysis that helps shed light on the notions, discourses, and conditions of colonialism, postcolonialism, and empire underpinning past and contemporary historical, social, and political realities. The course seeks to familiarize students with the debates, key concepts, and conflicts that inform postcolonial feminist theorizations of nation, citizenship, sexuality, race, and class in a number of interconnected historical, social, and cultural contexts.

SOC625-Migration and Citizenship

Mass migration into Western countries after the 2nd World War as well as into the Gulf countries during the 2nd half of the 20th century has posed a serious demographic, economic, social and political challenge to these countries. Some of these countries have turned into multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-religious societies as a result of this mass migration. In this course, we will deal with questions of citizenship, multiculturalism and identity. This includes the sociological history of migration to the European countries (and the Gulf countries), political representations, residential segregation and its possible social, economic and political consequences. Special attention will be given to ethnic and religious minorities, including Muslim communities, in western countries. We will also discuss different citizenship models and how these models have changed over the past 20 years as a result of both global events and developments and intra-European transformations including the enlargement of the EU.

SOC626-Sociology of the Arab Spring

This course aims to provide students with theoretical and critical grounding on the “Arab Spring phenomenon”, in order to give students practical training in thinking in social-anthropological terms about this phenomenon which shook the foundations of Arab societies. This will involve the description, categorization, and critical investigation of the research record, followed by its transformation into the subject for critical inquiry to meet the requirements of research tools in sociology. This will allow students to construct knowledge representations starting from the events to adopt theoretical and critical outlooks that combine the global and the local.

SOC627-Sociology of Violence

Violence is an everyday life phenomenon transmitted through mass media in the form of reports or films about violent behavior or acts of violence taking place here and there. Violence has become a conspicuous theme in mainstream culture, such as cinema, television and the Internet, among other spheres and media outlets of information and entertainment. Dealing with the personal experience of violence is a very complicated matter because violence is a general phenomenon that happens to others but which can also happen to any of us. One may even argue that violence has become a natural, normalized and acceptable phenomenon in society. However, our daily use of the term “violence” eludes a number of important questions such as: Is violence always physical? How does violence affect one's sense of human worth? When does violence become socially acceptable? Are witnesses to violence merely passive participants? Is there anything that can be called ethical violence? Is violence inherent in human nature? Although violence is a fact of life and is anchored in everyday reality, public as well as private, it seems that we do not sufficiently reflect on the meaning of the term itself or the level of relations entailed by its existence.

SOC628-Visual Anthropology

The position of visual culture and its products in sociocultural systems varies according to conditions related to many variables and are directly linked to them, but also to others that are not directly related to the nature of this culture. One of the most relevant and direct variables lies in the fact that matter, technology and style play a key role in determining sensory taste and its semiotic systems, acting as an intermediary, with some kind of independence, between deep social structures and the production processes of general public cultural systems. On the other hand, one of the most important indirect variables is that the types of knowledge production and awareness of social reality interact symmetrically with the sight/vision position, thus determining the forms of production of visual knowledge, either as an alternative to the prevailing epistemological system or as an organic part of it. In the modern era, with the hegemony of print capitalism, the duality of text-image, followed by social and cultural practices, as a dominant system, has been reconstructed, which elevates the status of the text and reinforces the subsidiary position of the image in the general system which prevailed until the 1970s. The transformations of late capitalism and its digital materials and new technologies have reshaped the relationship between text and image and their position in the general production process. Against this background, research streams in the area of visual culture have emerged and subsequently established new scientific fields, focusing on visual studies from different disciplinary perspectives, including visual anthropology.

SOC635-Sociology of the Body

This course offers a sociological approach to the issue of the body, the human body and the individual body, within the dichotomy of being a social, historical, cultural, and political construct and as in independent actor. It also looks into the outcomes of this dichotomy which determines how the body is looked at and dealt with as a research topic. Through this course, we will see how the study of the body as a social construct has developed into an independent subfield of Sociology, and how it has moved from absentia to becoming semi-present, and now a focal point, in contemporary Sociology. We will also discuss new body-related issues that aim to help understand current social changes, such as embodiment, the body as the center of individualism, the materialism of the body in relation to gender identity, and the body as a means to protest and fulfill social needs.

 Core Courses

SOC611-Social Theory

Sociological knowledge is based upon a dual system of classification: the empirical and the theoretical. This course offers an examination of the major theoretical themes that constitute sociological knowledge and its development since its modern inception in the early 19th century. Intertwined with the major socio-historical processes, sociological theories became one of the main tools in intervening in them. Our course will examine these theoretical themes by locating them in their contexts, tracing their historical developments, and exploring the various lenses they provide for reading societies and social orders and thinking critically of them.

SOC001-Critical readings in contemporary sociology and anthropology texts

This course aims to equip students with the necessary skills and capabilities to learn about the latest research on sociology and anthropology in English, in addition to how to approach critically these two disciplines and integrate them into their research projects. The Course includes three interconnected themes; the first one will enable students to gain an in-depth understanding of the nature of sociology and anthropology in the English-speaking world, mainly Britain and the U.S., and their main publishing platforms, publishers, academic journals, and the genres of academic writings of their publications, such as books, scientific articles and essays. The second theme covers both theoretical and research trends related to the two disciplines as shown in recent researches, where the students are required to critically peruse such trends and associate them with relevant disciplines. In the third theme, students will learn about different models of research work, which link published academic knowledge in Arabic and English, and the possibilities for creating new models that reflects their experience in this field. Those three themes will help the students to build a knowledge base in English, so that in their future research projects they will be active players in this academic field, rather than just being passive receivers of information from Western academic centers.

SOC614-Qualitative Research Methods

SOC 614 exposes students to the scientific methods used in the field of social sciences through a critical and in-depth presentation of qualitative research methods that result in the acquisition of the necessary skills necessary for this type of academic research. This entails discussion of the conceptual frameworks on which this method is based and the theoretical context from which it has evolved. Students will also learn in this course practical models and different uses of qualitative research methodology, which they will study in order to develop a comparative and practical understanding of the ways of practicing these methods at different scientific levels. Moreover, this course will enable students to develop their own research projects using qualitative research methods, with the aim of acquiring practical training and experience in applying the methods to different social and cultural phenomena.

SOC699-Dissertation - Sociology and Anthropology

Students choose their thesis topics and research plans in consultation with their academic advisors. Research on a thesis, which is 12,000-18,000 words long, begins during the first academic year, and it is submitted by the end of the second academic year. The advisor meets with the student to discuss the thesis topic, hypotheses, and research designs and to offer feedback on the contributions of the thesis to the field of study. The advisor recommends a thesis supervisor who closely works with the student until the completion of the thesis. A committee of two faculty members evaluates the thesis, then the student presents and defends the thesis before the same committee.

SOC613-Quantitative Research Methods

This course (SOC613) is designed for first-year graduate students. The main goal is to equip the students with the required skills and knowledge to address sociological questions quantitatively using SPSS/Stata. We start the course as an introductory and basic course by focusing on descriptive univariate and bivariate analysis, especially the first 7 classes. However, from class (week) 8 onwards, we will move to learn how to use advanced quantitative research methods in order to answer complex sociological questions. To this end, the course focuses on furnishing students with the skills required to carry out advanced kinds of multivariate analysis. The course will explain the theoretical groundings for these analyses and the technical aspects of their implementation (using a special software SPSS/Stata). The course also covers techniques related to analysis of non-numeric variables and non-linear relationships such as logistic regression. Students who complete the course successfully will be able to carry out quantitative analysis for their thesis if they wish to do so.

SOC612-Anthropological Theory

This course aims to give students critical-theoretical training in anthropology and train them to think about their societies using the tools of anthropology. These tools enable students to pose questions related to culture and examine how individuals and groups practice their values and customs through acts, meanings, and symbols. Students of this course will learn the manner in which anthropological theories took shape in various specific historical contexts, the subjects which predominated them and how they were used. This therefore enables them to discuss the vast amount of cultural knowledge that has been produced about their societies, in accordance with their interests and specialisms, and to formulate academic positions about them that may develop into future research projects.

SOC615-Sociology and Anthropology of Arab Societies

This course familiarizes students with critical-theoretical trends in approaching the sociology of Arab societies. The aim is to acquaint students with the tools of sociology when thinking about Arab societies, which raise issues related to the environment, location, social and group-identity structure, religion, social class, forms of authority, the intellectual, the state, gender, youth, rural and urban and so forth. The course focuses on the way in which trends in sociology have taken shape in various specific historical contexts, the subjects which concerned them and the uses to which they were put. This enables a substantial discussion on the available sociological knowledge on Arab societies and allows for the formulation of scientific positions on its basis which may develop into future research projects.

SOC616-Research training

This course aims to enable students enrolled in the Sociology and Anthropology Program to master practical research skills before embarking on the thesis project. SOC 615 provides rigorous and practical foundations in a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods for the collection of research data in social sciences and the main methods used in data analysis and summary. Through this course, students will be encouraged to apply their own methodological training to the specific subjects they are interested in. This course complements what students learned in the first semester in Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods. Hence, the course provides an opportunity for field training and deeper understanding of how theory is linked to the research aspect. Students will learn how to utilize various forms of data through appropriate mechanisms and then analyze and present them in the form of a research paper cum scientific article. Moreover, the course endeavors to support and hone the research skills that graduate students require in order to write postgraduate dissertations. They also need them in academic writing, critical reviews of the research literature, data gathering and other relevant purposes in which these skills are useful. The course will focus on the broad concept of field research training, covering all forms of data collection sources and information including, but not limited to, libraries, central statistics centers or departments, archives, surveys, etc.