PhD in IMES
Join a diverse community of PhD students making an original research contribution to the field of knowledge in IMES.
The PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree is a research programme typically completed over three or four years (full-time), or up to six years (part-time). You’ll develop your research skills under our expert supervision; it’s usual to have two academic supervisors.
The outcome of your research will be embodied in your written thesis of not more than 100,000 words which you’ll defend in an oral examination (viva voce). You’ll be awarded a doctorate if your thesis is judged to be of an appropriate standard and to have made a definite and original contribution to the field of knowledge.
We are able to support students and supervise research in a wide range of topics. These include:
- Language and literature: classical and modern Arabic literature, classical Persian literature, cultural transmission and translation between Arabic and Persian cultures
- History and historiography: pre-Islamic Iran, early Islamic history, Ottoman history, modern history and politics, in particular Iraq, Iran, and Egypt
- Religion: Early and classical Islam, Qur’an and Qur’anic exegesis, Hadith, the biography of Muhammad, Sufism, Islam in the Ottoman Empire
- Contemporary Muslim politics: Islamism, social movements, comparative social and political change in the Muslim world
- Arts and cultures of the Middle East and Muslim societies: particularly visual arts, cinema
- Gender and sexuality in the MENA region, contemporary Arab media
- Shi’ism: Shi’i history and contemporary Shi’ism.
The following members of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies staff supervise PhD and MSc by Research students. Follow the links to find out more about their research interests and expertise.
|Lecturer in Arabic and Middle Eastern Cultures|
|Lecturer in Contemporary Islam and the Middle East|
|Senior Lecturer in Islamic Studies|
|Senior Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History|
|Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies|
Lecturer in Islamic History
|Lecturer in Muslims in Europe|
|Lecturer in Gender and Media in the Arab World|
|Personal Chair of Islamic Studies and Persian|
|Senior Lecturer in Persian and Film Studies|
|Chair in Politics of the Muslim World|
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. Our research resources and facilities are outstanding, and we have excellent links with a number of centres and networks, including the Alwaleed Centre and the Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies.
As well as working closely with expert supervisors who are leading scholars in their fields, you’ll have the opportunity to attend training courses in a range of research and professional skills, including through the University’s Institute for Academic Development.
Our community organises regular seminars by staff, research students and visiting speakers, the annual W.M. Watt Lecture, reading and discussion groups, 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.
In the later years of PhD study, suitably qualified candidates will be able to teach tutorials for undergraduate classes.
What to do before you apply for a PhD in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Before you formally apply for a PhD through the University of Edinburgh’s online system, you will likely find it beneficial to get to know us first so that you are confident we’re the best place for you to undertake your research. We would usually expect candidates to take the following steps before applying for a PhD:
- Have a look at the research interests and expertise of our staff by following the links under 'Who can supervise your PhD' (above). While you do not need to find a member of staff willing to supervise your project before applying, please do take some time to read over staff members’ profiles, research interests, and publications, to ensure that your project is something we can effectively supervise. We are much more likely to supervise a project if it closely relates to our own expertise and research interests, and often have to reject candidates with strong applications because their proposed project falls outside our areas of specialisation.
- Following our guidelines, write a draft PhD proposal detailing your research project. This will enable us to evaluate the general and specific areas of your research interests, the originality and importance of your topic, and the feasibility of the proposed project within the given timescale.
- Download and complete our personal information form and email it, together with the research proposal (see step 2, above) and transcripts of your degrees, to Dr Andreas Görke.
You can find out more about language requirements, facilities, fees, funding opportunities and application deadlines for this PhD programme, and formally apply to study on it, on the University of Edinburgh’s online Degree Finder.
Get in touch
For further information, or if you have any queries, please contact Dr Andreas Görke