Postgraduate study

Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies (IMES)

Awards: PhD, MPhil, MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed our continuing role as a leading programme for research and study of Islam, the Middle East, and other related subjects. Over 70% of research activity in Area Studies (IMES and Asian Studies) was classified as world-leading and internationally excellent.

We offer expert supervision for postgraduate studies in Islam, the Middle East and related subjects. You will be studying in an environment that produces world-leading work, with staff who are conducting research of international significance.

A broad spectrum of research areas is available to you as a postgraduate student. Areas include:

  • cinema and media studies of the Middle East
  • comparative historical studies of Islam and Europe
  • cultural studies of the modern Middle East
  • diaspora studies
  • Islamic history
  • Islamic philosophy
  • modern and classical Arabic literature
  • modern and classical Persian literature
  • modern Middle Eastern history
  • Persian, Arabic and Turkish languages
  • politics of the modern Middle East
  • Shi’ism
  • Sufism
  • translation studies

We also offer opportunities for interdisciplinary study across the University.

You will have the opportunity to broaden your research perspectives through our workshops and lectures, plus regular conferences and seminars. Inter-school collaborations are also possible, and we will encourage you to create global networks that will aid both your research and employment opportunities.

The activities of the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World, and the Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World (one of a global network of six centres) will add to your graduate school experience, and bring you into frequent contact with leading researchers from beyond Edinburgh.

Computing facilities and a student common room are available. The division's own library is also located on-site.

Our usual entrance requirement for postgraduate study is a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject.

For a PhD, you should have a masters degree in a related subject, however, you may be admitted if you have other qualifications or work experience that are deemed comparable. You should contact your potential supervisor to discuss.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
12 September 2016 31 July 2016

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before you apply, we strongly recommend that you discuss your research proposal by email with a prospective supervisor.

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, Masters by Research applicants should include an outline of their proposed area of study; PhD applicants should include a full research proposal.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH