Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

MA Honours in Middle Eastern Studies

The Middle East lies at the crossroads between Europe, Africa and Asia, and is the birthplace of Judaism, Chrisitianity and Islam, among other religions.

Map of the Middle East

Since the beginning of civilisation it has been a region of enormous economic and strategic importance, which has placed it at the centre of much of world history and culture, as well as modern politics.

The Middle Eastern Studies MA Honours degree aims to develop interest, knowledge and understanding of the Middle East, past and present, including its language, literature, culture, history, and politics. The Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies in Edinburgh's School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures is recognised in the UK and internationally as a leading institution for research and study of Arabic, Islam, the Middle East, and other related subjects.

Degree structure

Years 1 and 2

In the first two years of the degree students will study language (Arabic, Persian or Turkish) to intermediate level as well as the history of the Middle East from the advent of Islam to the present day.

Years 3 and 4

Thereafter they will pursue their study of the Middle East through a range of discursive courses chosen both from within IMES and other Middle East-related courses offered outside of the subject area in Divinity, History, History of Art, Politics and Social Anthropology.

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.

Joint degree options

Middle Eastern Studies is available to study with either Classics or Persian Studies: