Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies


The PhD degree is a research programme pursued over a period of usually three or four years (full-time) or up to six years (part-time).

Abu Dhabi

Candidates develop their research skills as they pursue their research topic under the supervision of two academics. This culminates in the submission of a dissertation of not more than 100,000 words which is read by two examiners and defended in a viva. A doctorate is awarded if the thesis is judged to have made a definite and original contribution to the field of knowledge.

A full listing of members of staff, including their research interests and publications, can be found on the Staff Profiles page.

Learn more about IMES staff members' research interests

For admission to the PhD programme, the Department normally requires a postgraduate masters degree in a relevant subject, with the equivalent of a 2:1 or better. Non-native speakers of English must normally attain a 7.0 - with at least 6.5 in each module - in the IELTS test (or TOEFL equivalent).

Potential students are advised to consult the Postgraduate Regulations for general information on the University's academic policies.

Applicants must submit a PhD proposal with their application. Guidelines for submitting a proposal to Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies are given below.

The PhD degree

Study for this degree generally requires a minimum period of study of 36 months. Part-time applicants may spread their study over 72 months. Full time students are normally expected to be in residence in Edinburgh during this period while part-time students may work off-site provided they spend the first 3 months here, and visit Edinburgh for an agreed period every year.

PhD students should note that their first year is probationary. This initial period provides the opportunity to assess the research potential of the candidate before confirmation of the candidate's degree registration is approved. It also provides an opportunity for the candidate to assess his or her aptitude for research and to develop and refine the research topic.

Normally within 12 months the full-time PhD student submits a written presentation or chapter length report which serves as the basis for the First Year Review. The student's submission should include a forward plan of his/her work. During their first year students are strongly advised to attend the Research Skills and Methods Course organised by the Graduate School.

Potential PhD students should also consult Guidelines for the Examination of Research Degrees. It should be noted that the responsibility for the academic quality of a PhD dissertation is the student's alone.

Applicants must submit a PhD proposal with their application. Guidelines for submitting a PhD proposal to Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies are given below.

Further information on applying for Postgraduate Study is available.

PhD Proposal Guidelines

You are strongly advised to submit a draft PhD proposal to Dr Andreas Görke before completing a full application to the University. This will enable us to evaluate the general and specific areas of your research interests, the originality and importance of your topic, and your own ability to undertake the proposed research and develop it into a substantial work over a period of three to four years. We can offer useful comments on the proposed topic for incorporation into the final application to be submitted to the University.

PhD Graduates

Edinburgh has a long and distinguished history of doctoral studies in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies:

IMES PhD Roll of Honour 1981-2001

PhD Roll of Honour 1927-1980

Further information

For further information on and forms for submitting a PhD application, please consult the Graduate School website.

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