Postgraduate study

Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

You will gain an advanced, interdisciplinary understanding of the history, modern politics and culture of the Islamic Middle East, and explore the paradigms behind the various disciplines within this field.

Recognised in the UK and internationally as a leading institution for research and undergraduate and postgraduate study, our department is well resourced. We are home to the Alwaleed Centre, part of an international network of centres devoted to the promotion of better mutual understanding between the World of Islam and the West. We boast an impressive library of current and archival material.

The programme will combine seminar work, oral presentations and essays. You will complete one compulsory course, two research courses and three option courses over two semesters, followed by an independently researched dissertation.

Your option courses can be chosen from within IMES or from other disciplines such as history, divinity, politics or international relations. You may also take additional language courses in introductory Persian, Turkish or Arabic.

Compulsory courses:

  • Critical Readings in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Research Skills and Methods in IMES
  • Research Methods and Problems in IMES

Option courses may include:

  • Ideology and Political Practice in the Modern Middle East
  • Gender and Media in the Arab World
  • Cinema and Society in the Middle East
  • Muslims in Britain: Migration, Faith and Identity
  • Of Wine, Love and Loss: Reading Iran through Classical Persian Literature
  • The Qur'an - Islam's Holy Book
  • The Syrian War and the Strategic Meltdown of the Middle East
  • Modern Persian Literature and 'Modern' Iran
  • The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Nations in Collision

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScIslamic and Middle Eastern Studies1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScIslamic and Middle Eastern Studies2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

The aim of this programme is to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to advance to doctoral study, and perhaps an academic career. You may also choose to apply your skills to a role that involves the Islamic community, or use your transferable communication, research and other skills in an unrelated area.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScIslamic and Middle Eastern Studies1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScIslamic and Middle Eastern Studies2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Professor Andrew J. Newman
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4178
  • Contact: A.Newman@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 31 July 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Professor Andrew J. Newman
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4178
  • Contact: A.Newman@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH