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Jewish and Islamic civilisations (TSM)

  • Course Type: Undergraduate
  • CAO Course Code: TR001 (TSM)
  • No. of Places: 10
  • Min Entry Points for 2014: 395 – 570* points (Points per TSM combination)
  • Duration: 4 Year(s) Full Time
  • Award: B.A.
  • Course Options:

    Jewish and Islamic civilisations cannot be studied as a single honor course. It must be combined with one other subject within the two-subject moderatorship (TSM) programme. TSM is a joint honors programme. An honors degree is awarded in both subjects.

    For subjects that combine with Jewish and Islamic civilisations see TSM possible combinations

  • How to apply: See how to apply

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


Click on the links below to see the available options

+ EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO

+ Non-EU Applicants

+ Mature Student - Supplementary Application Form

Read the information about how to apply as a mature student, then select the relevant link below to complete the TCD Supplementary Application Form for mature students.

+ Advanced Entry Applications

Read the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the relevant link below to apply.

What is Jewish and Islamic Civilisations?

Judaism and Islam have been deeply influential in the development of European, Middle Eastern, North African and North American societies. Jewish and Islamic Civilisations is the study of their historical origins and cultures, providing students with an insight into the challenges of diversity and multiculturalism in an increasingly globalised world.

Is this the right course for you?

If you are interested in ancient and modern history, in literature, in religion and philosophy, in the Middle East and its relationship with the Western world, this course would be of great interest to you. If you find yourself asking how societies develop their values and perspectives, you will be able to explore how they do so over the course of some of the most exciting periods of human history.

Why study Jewish and Islamic Civilisations at Trinity?

Trinity is the only university in Ireland that offers a course in Jewish and Islamic civilisations. It attracts students of social and cultural diversity from Ireland and abroad. Our graduates in Ireland and internationally include lecturers working in European, UK and US universities, as well as graduates working in other areas including museum work, journalism, international relations, human rights and law. The degree in Jewish and Islamic civilisations is offered by the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies which is part of Trinity’s School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies, ranked in the world top 50 (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015).

What will you study?

Jewish and Islamic Civilisations at Trinity is a four-year honours degree programme. In your first year your class size will be approximately ten students, and from your second year, your class size will average around 35. In first and second year, you will be introduced to the history of Jews and Muslims in the context of the Middle East and in the context of Europe and the USA. From second year you may choose to commence study of a language, either Arabic, Turkish or Hebrew. You may also choose a course from Trinity’s Broad Curriculum modules.

In third and fourth year you may choose to continue your language (Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish) and choose from a wide range of modules offered by the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies.

A variety of assessment methods, including continuous assessment are used. You can expect to be involved in student presentations, group coursework, projects and many other forms of student engagement.


In the first year we offer introductory courses in the origins of Judaism and Islam, Ancient Near Eastern history and culture, medieval and modern Jewish and Islamic civilisations explored through literature, inscriptions, film and archaeological evidence.

  • The World of the Ancient Near East and the Bible explores the environment of the world of ancient Israel and Judah using both literary and archaeological evidence. Particular attention is paid to the worldviews of the ancient Israelites and their neighbours in the land of Palestine and in Babylonia, Persia, Egypt and the Hellenistic and Roman worlds. The origin of different Jewish groups including the early Christian movement is explored.
  • Introduction to Islamic civilisation introduces history, texts and cultural contexts for the development of Islamic civilisation from its origins in the Arabian peninsula to the present. Sources examined include the Qur’an, Islamic art and architecture, and literature of the Middle East.
  • Introduction to Jewish Civilisation from Antiquity to the Modern Period outlines the major cultural movements in Jewish history from their ancient origins in the Near East through the medieval Muslim and Christian societies up to the modern experience.


From the second year on, you may choose from a range of courses depending on the individual interests you have developed in your first year. You will study diverse cultures in the ancient, medieval and modern worlds through political, religious and literary texts, material culture and film. Topics include: Ancient Empires, Arabs in Antiquity, Contemporary Islamic Movements, Human Rights in the Middle East, The History of Jews and Muslims in Europe from the Medieval to the Modern Period, and Turkish Cultural History.

In addition you have the option to take Arabic, Hebrew or Turkish. In second year you may take a course in Trinity’s Broad Curriculum programme (see


In your final year you will be able to choose special subjects from a range on offer. Courses offered in recent years include: The Jews of Egypt and their Encounter with Greek Culture; Islam and Gender; Holocaust Representation in Film and Literature, Advanced Hebrew, Turkish or Arabic. You will also write a thesis on a topic of interest to you.

If you would like to find out more detailed information on all the modules offered, see:

Study Abroad

In third year, students have the opportunity to apply to study abroad in a prestigious European university with the EU funded Erasmus programme. Alternatively, you may apply to spend your third year in leading universities in North America, Australia and Hong Kong. The department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies also has a special exchange programme with Charles University, Prague.

Further information on the year abroad programme, and a list of partner universities, can be found at:

For European Erasmus exchanges:


This broad humanities degree in Jewish and Islamic Civilisations provides the ideal foundation for those aspiring to careers in public services, foreign affairs, diplomacy, journalism and education. Many of our graduates can be found in these and in other professions. Students receive a rewarding education in Jewish and Islamic history and culture, but also instilled are more general skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, skills which are highly attractive to potential employers.

Further information

Visit us: If you are considering studying for a degree in Jewish and Islamic Civilisations at Trinity but want to be sure, you are most welcome to attend first and second year lectures. If you would like to avail of this opportunity, please contact us by email to arrange a visit.

Email:  |  Tel: +353 1 896 1451

Student profiles: see:


Student Profile

Thalia Nielsen

Jewish and Islamic Civilisations offers such a broad spectrum of topics. I loved the fact that I could tailor my degree to my own interests. Though my interest is mainly in the Arab world, modules in Jewish history were fascinating. As a small department, it is easy to get to know everyone – lecturers and classmates – which had a highly positive impact on my overall experience of university life. After graduating, I went on to do a Masters in Museum Studies.