Postgraduate study

International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

This degree offers an intensive Arabic language programme (including a period spent in the Arab world) with an advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East.

This programme offers the opportunity to study the international politics and culture of the Middle East while learning to communicate, to an advanced level, in its dominant language, including a period of study in an Arabic-speaking country. No prior study of Arabic is required.

The programme will be delivered through lectures, seminars, group work and guided independent study.

You will complete three compulsory courses and three option courses, as well as a programme of intensive Arabic language studies, which will involve oral and written exams. You may also take language courses in Persian and Turkish, although they will not count towards your qualification.

Your second year of study will culminate in an independently researched dissertation.

You will obtain an in-depth understanding of the main historical events, processes and actors that have shaped and continue to shape political dynamics in the Middle East.

You will also acquire a strong understanding of International Relations theoretical and conceptual tools required to understand Middle East international relations, which will help you form an academically-based, independent and critical knowledge of the Middle East.

The intensive Arabic language element will see you reach a high level of competence in speaking, listening, reading and writing the language.

The specialist knowledge you acquire through this programme will equip you for any career relating to international relations, particularly of the Middle East, either in academia (after further study) or with an international institution.

Your Arabic language skills will be invaluable in many contexts including academia, media and the NGO sector.

In addition, the transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

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 08/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 08/05/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Tuition fee deposit

All applicants who receive a firm offer will have 28 days from the date of offer to pay a non-refundable fee deposit of £1,000. This amount will be deducted from your tuition fees.

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Tuition fees

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:

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD

Due to high demand, all eligible candidates will be placed on a reserve list once their application has been submitted. For more information about the decision-making process, please see the programme website:

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

Further information

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD