Learning outcomes

The Master [120] in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies trains specialists in Oriental texts and civilisations, with a particular focus on one or various of the following fields: the Ancient Near East, Pharaonic Egypt, Byzantium, Oriental Christianity, Islam, the Arab world, India and the Far East. By working on original sources, this course develops an ability to produce precise and rigorous analyses, guided by a critical mind-set and intellectual independence, with a view to interpreting an author’s ideas or a question relating to societal issue in its context.

These qualities will enable access to employment outside the strict domain of ancient languages and literatures.

The challenge for students, in an immediate civilisation such as ours, it to promote the rigorous analysis of facts on the basis of primary sources and from a long-term perspective.

On successful completion of this programme, each student is able to :

1. Become expert in and apply knowledge in the specific field of Oriental languages and literature.

1.1. Attain expert knowledge of one or more Oriental languages including their vocabulary, grammar (morphology and syntax) and dialectology, their synchronous operation and their diachronic development.
1.2. Apply knowledge of vocabulary and grammar to Oriental texts, within the framework of different activities: translations and prior transliteration, individual research, preparation of oral presentations and production of written work.
1.3. Acquire an in-depth knowledge of Oriental works of literature and their authors, by mastering the tools and methods used in the analysis and interpretation of these texts.
1.4. Understand the mechanisms for communicating Oriental texts, from their originals (epigraphy, palaeography) to the modern versions.

2. Develop a scientific approach to Oriental societies and cultures in connection with the languages and literatures studied.

2.1. Achieve an in-depth knowledge of the history of the Oriental world (institutions, societies, philosophy, religions and cultures).
2.2. Situate texts in their cultural and historical contexts with a view to extracting information from them relevant to an historical reconstruction project.
2.3. Become expert in comparative approaches to linguistics, literature, culture and religion.
2.4. Create links between cultural traditions, between languages as a means of expression and between the past and present.
2.5. Depending upon the elective chosen, widening their knowledge in the field of Near-Eastern and Ancient Egyptian archaeology, in the field of Jewish, Christian and Muslim studies (including modern Arabic), or in the field of modern Asian cultures (including modern Chinese).

3. Successfully complete an individual research assignment in the field of Oriental languages and literatures and present the results.

3.1. Collect data using the appropriate heuristic tools, with a view to establishing a relevant corpus of primary sources (in Oriental languages), translating those texts and analysing them critically, and creating and using a relevant bibliography of secondary sources.
3.2. Develop a methodology specific to the subject being studied and implement it in the handling of that subject.
3.3. Deal with a well-defined subject: provide a specific question, define an issue, produce clear and structured arguments and formulate results.
3.4. Examine a theme by demonstrating its origins, development, circulation and possible permanency within Oriental literature.
3.5. Communicate the results of an individual research assignment in writing which fulfils the formal drafting requirements (referenced citations, language and style, structure and layout).
3.6. Communicate the results of individual research work orally and adapt that communication to the target audience.

4. Acquire and develop general skills which can be used in a professional environment.

4.1. Employ the knowledge acquired in the different fields of the humanities, with a view to conducting an in-depth analysis of facts, documents, speeches or issues.
4.2. Manage all types of data: gather and analyse data, classify it and evaluate its relevance.
4.3. Implement a critical approach: identify the original sources of the data, assess their value and analyse their impact.
4.4. Demonstrate the ability to summarize: efficiently analyse the data inherent to a situation or a question with a view to drawing the most appropriate conclusions or solutions from them.
4.5. Acquire the independence necessary to practise lifelong independent learning.

5. If the Research Focus is chosen: develop a scientific approach in Oriental philology centred upon research.

5.1. Develop expert knowledge in comparative linguistics and literature, as a result of studying texts written in Oriental languages which are not (or cannot be) taught in other Belgian universities.
5.2. Produce a critical edition of the texts.
5.3. Examine historical questions which call for the use of sources in various Oriental languages.

6. If the Professional Focus: Library Studies (Publishing, Bookselling, Library) is chosen: Employ the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out various jobs within the professions in this field (edition, promotion, distribution, retail).

6.1. Take a critical look at the operation of the book supply chain (paper and digital).
6.2. Understand the steps in the creation and approval; of a book within a publishing house (taking decisions, monitoring projects, etc.).
6.3. Simultaneously analyse (1) the cultural mission statement which characterises the entire current book trade (at the level of retail sales, new and second-hand, including online sales) and (2) the practical, cultural and political issues at play in the book trade today, and e-books in particular.

7. If the Professional Focus: Europe and the East is chosen: become a specialist in the historical, political, economic and cultural relationships which exist between Europe and the East.

7.1. Contextualize the political, economic and cultural relationships existing between Europe and the East in the period, identifying the historical roots of current phenomena or situations.
7.2. Give a relevant opinion in current debates relating to relationships between Europe and the East.

Work in different sectors such as national or regional governments, European institutions, cultural services, diplomatic corps, journalism, tourism, research.