HUMN 1048 Understanding Islam and Muslim Societies (WSTC)

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 700160

Coordinator Kathy Gooch Opens in new window

Description This is an introductory level subject that forms part of the Islamic Studies major. The subject will contribute to the development of sound disciplinary expertise in the academic study of Islam - historical and sociological. The subject will familiarise students with critical approaches to the study of Islam that touch on its origins and development, formation of traditions, social structures and institutions as well as familiarising students with issues regarding Islam in the Western context. The subject will assist students to develop cross-cultural awareness and interaction, communication and interpersonal skills, inventiveness and a capacity for independent thinking and analysis and problem solving skills.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Sociology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Equivalent Subjects HUMN 1047 - Understanding Islam and Muslim Societies


Students must be enrolled at Western Sydney University, The College. Students enrolled in Extended Diplomas must pass 40 credit points from the preparatory subjects listed in the program structure prior to enrolling in this University level subject.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. After successful completion of this Unit, students will be able to:
  2. Discern the basic beliefs and practices that constitute the Islamic faith.
  3. Identify Islamic doctrine in relevant historical contexts and distinguish the diversity of Muslim societies and cultures.
  4. Describe key discourses within the academic study of Islam.

Subject Content

1. The origins of Islam and the historical and social context in which it emerged.
2. The formation of the Islamic Traditions.
3. Islamic 'arts' and humanities including art, architecture, prose and poetry.
4. Islamic institutions including law and philosophical foundations.
5. Islamic societies in the Middle Islamic period (11th - 15th Century).
6. Education and the transmission of knowledge in the pre-modern period.
7. Transition into modernity: post-Ottoman rule particularly the 18th Century.
8. Islam and Muslims in the modern world.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Short answer question 300 words 10 N Individual
Minor Essay 800 words 20 N Individual
In-class exams x 2 500 words x 2 30 N Individual
Research Essay 1500 words 40 N Individual

Structures that include subject