Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

MA Honours in Islamic Studies

Islam is the religion of almost a quarter of all human beings alive today.

Men leaving a Mosque

The Islamic Studies degree at Edinburgh combines the study of the rich intellectual heritage of Islam, with the study of the religion and culture of Islam in the modern world.

The MA Honours Islamic Studies degree programme is designed to give students a thorough grounding in the history and traditions of Islam, as well as the ability to think critically and comparatively about Islam and other religious traditions.

Degree structure

Years 1 and 2

The first and second year of the Islamic Studies MA Honours degree provide a basic grounding in Arabic, Turkish or Persian, as well as an introduction to the Islamic religion through the core course, 'Introduction to Islam'. Students can also choose to study additional courses on the history of Islam and the Middle East, or can choose optional subjects from across the University's curriculum for first and second year students.

Years 3 and 4

In the fourth year Islamic Studies students take optional courses in small seminar groups on the religion, culture, literature history and politics of the Islamic world. Most of these courses are taught in the department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, but students may also choose relevant options from Divinity, Politics, Social Anthropology, History of Art, History and Classics..

A final-year dissertation allows students to develop a deeper understanding of a specific aspect of the Islamic world or the Middle East of their choosing.

Study abroad

During the third year students have the possibility of going to Istanbul Bilgi University, on an Erasmus exchange programme for one or two semesters where they will take courses in history and politics, and may choose to study Turkish as a foreign language.


How to apply

Entry requirements

The programme's degree finder entry has details of entry requirements and information on learning outcomes, teaching and assessment methods, fees and career opportunities.

Visit us

Our undergraduate Open Days are a great chance to find out about student life in Edinburgh from the people who know it best: our students and staff. For potential students wishing to start their undergraduate degree in 2020, this year's Open Days are on 10th June 201921st September 2019 and 5th October 2019

Go to the University of Edinburgh web page on undergraduate Open Days