nl en

Culture and Society in Morocco

During the Fall semester, NIMAR offers a multidisciplinary minor programme (30 EC) with a specific emphasis on humanities and social sciences. The programme provides up-to-date courses about Moroccan culture, society and languages, and a solid training in ethnographic research methods. The research methods part consists of 20 EC while 10 EC are devoted to course work on culture, society, and languages.

For students who want to gain skills in qualitative research (observation, interviews, visual and online research methods); NIMAR is the place to be. Students will gain research experience and learn how to design a research plan; and conducting their own fieldwork project. The minor includes an extended fieldwork period of five weeks during which students conduct their own qualitative research and practice their research skills. The minor offers an excellent preparation for writing a BA thesis and an MA studies in social sciences.

In combination with a training in ethnographic research skills, the programme consists of lectures and excursions related to Morocco, the MENA region and Africa. In addition, students choose between studying Moroccan Arabic and French.

The programme consists of:

  • A series of case studies on Moroccan culture and society, with lectures by Moroccan and foreign academics in disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, history, and political science. The lecture series include themes such as History, Civil Society and Politics, Cities and Countryside, Migration, Religion and, Gender and Minorities. It also includes excursions to various sites of cultural interest and social organisations in the surroundings of Rabat-Casablanca and a five-day fieldwork trip to the rural south of Morocco.

  • A “Methods of Qualitative Research” course, which familiarises students with research design and the main research methods such as participant observation, in-depth interviews, visual research methods and online ethnography. Weekly practical assignments serve as a step-by-step preparation for the students’ own research project.

  • An independent field research project during which students conduct their own ethnographic field research. Under the supervision of a lecturer, students carry out their research, learn data analysis as well as oral and written presentation of their research. They may do this individually, or in small groups of two or three students.

  • An intensive language instruction in Moroccan Arabic or French, mostly focused on verbal communication skills, including conversation classes.

Cultural activities are organised alongside the course curriculum, providing additional opportunities for students to enrich their experience and understanding of Moroccan society. Students are actively encouraged to travel to the various regions of Morocco during their stay in Rabat.

The Minor is available for 15 EC under certain conditions. Please email NIMAR to inquire about this option.

Maximum number of students: 40

Prospectus number: 5000MCSMN

Class number: t.b.a.

Language: English

Registration: via EduXchange

LEI students 15 May (13:00hrs) to 4 July 2024

TUD and EUR students 15 May (13:00hrs) to 31 May 2024


Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Case Studies on Moroccan Culture and Society 5
Methods of Qualitative Research 5
Field Research Project NIMAR 15

Choose between French and Moroccan Arabic:

Intensive Language Instruction French Intermediate 5
Intensive Language Instruction French Advanced 5
Intensive Language Instruction Moroccan Arabic Beginners 5
Intensive Language Instruction Moroccan Arabic Intermediate 5
Intensive Language Instruction Moroccan Arabic Advanced 5

More info


  • Extent: 30 EC (taught in its entirety in first semester)

  • Duration: September 2024 – December 2024 (Handing in research paper January 2025)

  • Intended for: BA students from Dutch universities in their 2nd or 3rd year with an interest in humanities or social sciences

  • Language of instruction: English

  • Coordinator: Zineb Gormat

  • Websites: Minor 'Culture and Society in Morocco' / NIMAR
    For more information about the courses, please contact the coordinator.
    Board of Examiners: Middle Eastern Studies

  • Registration:
    LEI students 15 May (13:00hrs) to 4 July 2024
    TUD and EUR students 15 May (13:00hrs) to 31 May 2024
    Register for the minor activity via EduXchange (applies to all students)
    From July, register separately for the courses via MyStudymap (only applies to LEI students).


The minor is available for 15 EC under certain conditions. Please email the coordinator Z. Gormat.

The courses taught for 15 EC are:

Methods of Qualitative Research (5 EC-Level: 200)
Case Studies on Moroccan Culture and Society (5 EC- Level 200)
Intensive Language Instruction (French or Moroccan Arabic) - (5 EC - Level 100).

About the NIMAR

NIMAR is the Dutch centre for Moroccan Studies. Since 2016, NIMAR has been an integral part of the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University, complying with the high standards for education as set by the Dutch Ministry of Education. NIMAR offers courses, organises lectures, facilitates research, and actively contributes to the knowledge of Moroccan languages, cultures and society in the Netherlands. NIMAR’s main aim is to offer students from Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences opportunities to study and do research in Morocco and in the wider North African and Middle Eastern region. It is also actively involved in collecting books, electronic and audio-visual materials form the Arab world for the libraries of Leiden University.

About Rabat

Rabat is the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco. It is a situated on the Atlantic coast, which offers a pleasant and safe environment to acquaint students with living in North Africa and the Middle East. It has good cultural and scholarly facilities; housing major teaching and research institutions, libraries, museums, bookstores etc. Rabat has its own airport and offers good connections to all other parts of Morocco. It is about one hour by train from Casablanca, which has the biggest international airport in Morocco.

Morocco in general is famous for its diversity, cities with enormous amounts of cultural heritage but also its many landscapes with distinct aspects like mountains, deserts, both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastal areas and much more.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Methods of Qualitative Research 5

Choose between French and Moroccan Arabic:

Intensive Language Instruction Moroccan Arabic Beginners 5
Intensive Language Instruction Moroccan Arabic Intermediate 5
Intensive Language Instruction French Intermediate 5
Intensive Language Instruction French Advanced 5

Additional course information

Location of instruction

All courses take place at the Netherlands Institute of Morocco, Rabat, Morocco (NIMAR)

Mode of instruction

Attendance is not obligatory for lectures. Students are, however, strongly encouraged to participate in all sessions to pass the course. The information and knowledge provided in the lectures greatly contribute to the subsequent courses of the programme.

Attendance and participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to attend all sessions. The convenors need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two* . Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

  • Two for a seminar, that has 2 hour classes that meet once a week, during the whole semester (2 blocks).

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. It is assumed that students' work is their own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations). Students may not substantially reuse any work they have previously submitted in this or other courses. Minor overlap with previous work is allowed as long as it is duly noted in citation.
Assignment(s) must be submitted to Brightspace through Turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.

ChatGPT: What is possible and what is allowed? Dos and Don'ts.

Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.


Grades are registered in Leiden, Herta Mohr Education Administration Office.

For questions about the timetables, please contact NIMAR.