Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Undergraduate study | Islamic Studies

Combine the study of Islam's rich history, culture and intellectual heritage with its place in the modern world.

Why take Islamic Studies in Edinburgh?

Islam is the religion of almost a quarter of all human beings alive today. Across the world, around 1.8 billion people consider themselves Muslim.

Our Islamic Studies MA Honours programme is designed to give you 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. 

The only university in Scotland to offer courses in the Muslim world's three main languages, Edinburgh has a well-established international reputation for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES) and is ranked fourth in the UK for Middle Eastern & African Studies in the Complete University Guide 2020.

Study with us and you’ll be part of a friendly community of staff and students, with great links to the Alwaleed Centre, fantastic resources, a thriving student Islamic Society, and a regular programme of workshops, film screenings and guest seminars, all within a School passionate about languages, literatures and cultures from around the globe. 

Your learning at a glance

  • You’ll complete a four-year MA degree, engaging with a broad range of subjects in your first two years, then specialising in the periods and disciplines that interest you most.
  • You'll learn basic Arabic, Turkish or Persian in first year, with the option to take your chosen language on into second year. This opens up a range of original material from our collections.
  • You'll study the religion, culture, literature, history and politics of the Islamic world, with the option to take courses from other subject areas such as history of art and social anthropology.
  • You'll develop the critical, analytical and comparative skills to interpret and discuss key issues and concepts.
  • You’ll be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh, in the city’s historic centre. Our Georgian building has its own library and the Main University Library is just across the square from us, housing over 23,000 IMES resources, including the Serjeant and Watt Collections.


Find out more and apply

There’s lots of information about our undergraduate Islamic Studies programme on the University of Edinburgh website. For example, you can find out about entrance requirements, English language requirements, fees, and funding opportunities. You can also see a breakdown of study year-by-year, and find out how you'll be taught and assessed.

Take me to the University of Edinburgh web page on undergraduate Islamic Studies programme

If you’d like to study on any of our undergraduate programmes, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

Take me to the University of Edinburgh web page on making a UCAS application

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. Our next Open Days will be for students wishing to start their undergraduate degree in 2021. The Open Days scheduled for 26th September and 10th October 2020 are currently still planned to go ahead. The University is also working to develop an online alternative for prospective students thinking about starting university in 2021.

Keep up to date with Open Day information on the University of Edinburgh website 

This information was last updated in March 2020 for prospective students wishing to start studying with us in September 2021.