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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 learn how to do 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 by 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 in social sciences.

In combination with a training in ethnographic research skills, the programme consists of lectures and excursions related to Morocco, 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 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 focusses 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.

You can register for this minor in uSis between 3 May and 15 July 2021
Maximum number of students: 40
Prospectus number: 5000MCSMN
Class number: 1013
Language: English


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Case Studies on Moroccan Culture and Society 5
Methods of Qualitative Research 5

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
Field Research Project NIMAR 15

Meer info


Extent: 30 ec
Duration: September 2021 – December 2021 (Handing in research paper January 2022)
Intended for: BA students from Dutch universities in their 2nd or 3rd year with an interest in humanities or social sciences and who successfully completed their first year-programme (propedeuse), master students
Language of instruction: English
Website: Minor 'Culture and Society in Morocco'
Website: NIMAR
Coordinator: Drs. K. Laaraj MA
For more information about the courses, please contact the main lecturer, Salma Bouchiba
Board of Examiners: Middle Eastern Studies
Enrolment through: uSis


  • 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 area. 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 well-organised city on the Atlantic coast, which offers a pleasant and safe environment to acquaint students with living in North Africa and 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.