Bachelor Essay in the History of the Middle East

Undergraduate course

Course description

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.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


It will also be possible to complete the course in the autumn semester, but the choice of available topic will be limited.

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge

Good command of English.

It is recommended that the student takes HIS101, HIS102, HIM101 and one of the specialisation courses in the history of the Middle East (HIM103, HIM104 or HIM105).

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.

Students within the program option History of the Middle East will be given priority.

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.

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 only valid in the teaching semester.

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.

The bachelor thesis can be submitted in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

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
Autumn and spring
Reading List

HIM250 does not have a defined a syllabus, but as part of the work with the bachelor thesis students must account for the knowledge status within the topic of the thesis.

Literature used in connection with the thesis must be listed in the bibliography.

Course Evaluation
The course unit will be evaluated regularly
Examination Support Material
Programme Committee
Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion
Course Administrator
Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion