Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Postgraduate study

Choose from a range of taught and research-led programmes, including one-year masters degrees, and our PhD in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

What's it like to study here?

Students in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

With over 260 years of history in teaching and research, we are globally recognised as a leading centre for postgraduate study in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

Join our community and you’ll be part of a friendly, international group with interests spanning the languages, history, culture, religion and politics of the Middle East and the wider Islamic world.

Highlights include regular seminars by staff, research students and visiting speakers, the annual W.M. Watt Lecture, and a wide range of cultural events, conferences and collaborations, helping you develop the fluency and confidence to operate at the highest professional and academic levels.

Our research resources and facilities are outstanding, and we have excellent links with a number of centres and networks, from the Alwaleed Centre and the Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at the University of Edinburgh, to the Edinburgh Iranian Festival.

What can I study?

Taught programmes

Research programmes 

Entrance requirements, fees, funding and more...

You can find out about entrance requirements, start dates, fees and scholarship opportunities for all these postgraduate programmes on the University of Edinburgh’s Degree Finder. Degree Finder links straight through to EUCLID, the online system for applying to postgraduate programmes at the University. 

Applications to start a programme in September 2023 are now open. Selected PhD programmes are also available for January 2023 entry. See Degree Finder for details.

Find out more on the University of Edinburgh Degree finder

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Email us about taught postgraduate study

Email us about MSc by Research or PhD programmes

Not sure which programme is right for you?

We're happy to help you decide between taught and research-led masters programmes.

Email us about postgraduate study in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies 

The programme was, for me, a genuinely life-changing experience. In its demanding but sympathetic environment, I went from basic spoken Palestinian Arabic to working on literary translations. But perhaps more importantly I found in IMES a department in which enthusiastic students had space to grow, flourish, and explore. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Dr Sarah Irving, MSc in Arab World Studies (now Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic) graduateOn completion of her MSc in 2013, Sarah gained a PhD with us and is now a Visiting Research Fellow on the Leiden University Crossroads project on Christians in Palestine

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Photo of panellists talking at an event with a graphic saying 3rd in the UK

In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), our research was submitted in the categories of:

  • Modern Languages and Linguistics
  • Politics
  • Sociology
  • History
  • Theology

The results reaffirm Edinburgh’s position as one of the UK’s leading research universities - third in the UK based on the quality and breadth of its research in Modern Languages and Linguistics alone, according to Times Higher Education's REF power ratings.

The Research Excellence Framework is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Our REF performance recognises that our excellent work has a direct impact both nationally and internationally in politics, business and the third sector.

Read more about our performance in REF 2021

QS World Rankings by Subject 2022

Rocket graphic with 3 UK and World Top 10 in bubbles

The University of Edinburgh is ranked 3rd in the UK for Modern Languages.

We are also 3rd in the UK in the broad subject area of Arts & Humanities.

Globally, we’re in the World Top 10 for Arts & Humanities (9) and Modern Languages (10).

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings are based on the results of major global surveys of employers and academics, along with research citations.

They are International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approved.

Are you currently studying with us?

There’s lots more information for taught and postgraduate research students on our LLC Student Information Hub. You will need your student log in to access the site.

Take me to the LLC Student Information Hub

Where to next?

Take me to all postgraduate study options in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Take me to funding opportunities for postgraduate study in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures