Postgraduate study

Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Developed in the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW) – a ground breaking UK government initiative established here at Edinburgh – and housed in the department of Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies (IMES), this two-year programme offers a unique opportunity for in-depth study of Arabic language and region-specific culture, history and politics.

Formed with the aim of creating the UK’s leading resource for Arab world expertise, the resources and high profile of CASAW and IMES will see you graduate with a strong and prestigious qualification.

You will have access to some of the UK’s leading experts in the field of Arab-world social and political sciences, arts and humanities, and will experience a four-month immersion in language and culture in an Arab country.

The first eight months of the programme are delivered in Edinburgh, with an intensive focus on language skills and a discursive core providing a survey of the field of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies. You then spend four months at an approved institution in an Arab country, further developing your skills. The second year includes training in research skills and completion of your dissertation. Throughout the programme you will participate in seminars and tutorials.

Compulsory courses:

  • Advanced Arabic D & E
  • Critical Readings in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Intensive Arabic A, B & C
  • Research Skills and Methods in IMES
  • Research Methods and Problems in IMES

Option courses can be chosen from those offered by IMES, from elsewhere within the School or across the University. Options may include:

  • Islam through the Arts
  • Ideology and Political Practice in the Modern Middle East
  • The Arab - Israeli Conflict
  • Gender and Media in the Arab World
  • Islamic Movements in the 20th century

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
MScMiddle Eastern Studies with Arabic2 YearsFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

By the end of this programme you will have:

  • gained the opportunity to learn the Arabic language ab initio and to experience Arab culture through a period of immersion in the Arab world
  • developed knowledge of the historical and contemporary Arab World from a range of disciplinary perspectives
  • achieved a thorough grounding in modern critical theoretical approaches to Arab World Studies, Middle Eastern Politics and Area Studies
  • been introduced to the study of the literature, history, politics and culture of Arabic-speaking countries
  • become familiar with key primary texts either in the original language or in translation
  • become fully conversant with the methods of scholarly research in a humanities discipline and with the resources necessary for such research.

As the West’s engagement with the Arab world deepens, graduates with expertise in the field are increasingly sought after. This degree will give you the opportunity to take your interest to the doctoral level with further research, and perhaps an academic career. You could also pursue a career in an area such as education, policy or any of the social sciences.

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

We will assess your Arabic when you arrive at Edinburgh; the MSc Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic and MSc Middle Eastern Studies with Advanced Arabic are alternative pathways for lower and higher levels of Arabic language skills, respectively. If you have any queries about language levels, please contact the Programme Director.

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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Students will be responsible for travel and accommodation expenses during their time abroad.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScMiddle Eastern Studies with Arabic2 YearsFull-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:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 31 July 2020

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.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Please also submit a copy of your CV.

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

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH