Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

Subject area: Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies

Why choose Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh?

  • The University of Edinburgh has a long and well-established reputation for teaching Islamic about Islam and the history, culture and literature of the Middle East.

  • In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, our Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies research was part of the Area Studies submission. This was ranked first in Scotland and 74 per cent of our publications were rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

  • We organise regular workshops, lecture series and film screenings.

Study abroad

The experience [of studying in Istanbul] was challenging and exciting and I came away with a genuine passion for the city and for my subject.

Ed Morrison MA (Hons) Middle Eastern Studies
Ed Morrison MA (Hons) Middle Eastern Studies

Exploring past and present, through the study of language, literature, culture and history, both Islamic studies and Middle Eastern studies provide a comprehensive training in history, with an emphasis on critical and analytical skills.

Our programmes in this area involve discussion of key issues, practice in applying concepts, both in discussion and in writing, analysis and interpretation of material, and feedback sessions on coursework.

Year 1

You will take classes and receive instruction in a Middle Eastern language, either Arabic, Persian or Turkish. Depending on your programme, you will also take courses in Islamic history, in the religion of Islam, modern Middle Eastern history and/or Islamic and Middle Eastern cultures as well as two option courses.

Year 2

You may continue with your language studies, taking either Arabic 2, Persian 2 or Turkish 2. Students of Islamic studies take Introduction to Islam, Islamic and Middle Eastern cultures as well as courses from other subject areas.

Students of Middle Eastern Studies take Modern Middle Eastern History and two option courses of their choice.

Year 3

You will have the option of an Erasmus exchange to a university in Istanbul, where you will continue to study a range of courses on subjects relating to Islam or the Middle East, including history, politics, religion or cultural studies. Alternatively, you may study similar courses in Edinburgh.

Year 4

You will continue with your honours courses from a wide range of relevant options from across the University. You will also complete a dissertation on a subject of your choice and under the supervision of an academic adviser.

Are there additional costs?

Students who study abroad will incur additional costs. An Erasmus grant is available for participating students, to assist with the extra costs of studying and living abroad.

Our facilities

Classes will take place within the University’s Central Area. You will have full access to the University’s computer facilities and libraries, which contain specialist resources and a collection of Islamic manuscripts.

Study abroad

In Year 3 you will have the option of an Erasmus exchange at one of two English-language universities, Boğaziçi or Bilgi, in Istanbul.

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars.

Throughout, students are encouraged to undertake independent reading to supplement and consolidate what is being taught formally and to broaden their individual knowledge and understanding of the subject.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of exams and coursework, including essays, exercises and presentations. You will also complete a dissertation in your final year.

Graduates enter employment in many different fields, including the civil service, industry, commerce, non-governmental organisations and education.