Postgraduate study

International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

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.

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
MScInternational Relations of the Middle East with Arabic2 YearsFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

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

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): 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)

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

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 fees and studying costs:

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

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

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:

You must submit a reference with your application.

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