Postgraduate study

Middle Eastern Studies with Advanced Arabic MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

This two-year programme offers a unique opportunity for in-depth study of Arabic language, region-specific culture, history and politics. It is intended for students who already have some knowledge of the Arabic language (approximately 400 hours of previous study or CEF level B1 or B2).

This programme takes a combined and communicative approach to the language, teaching all the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in parallel, combining both spoken ‘dialect’ and more formal Modern Standard Arabic, bringing learners to an advanced level in all skills.

You will have access to some of the UK’s leading experts in the field of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and will experience a three-month immersion in language and culture in an Arabic-speaking country.

Graduates of the postgraduate Arabic programme at the department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies have gone on to use their language and regional expertise in a wide variety of roles, including business, government, charities and NGOs and academia.

The first eight months of the programme are delivered in Edinburgh, with a combination of language training, survey and option courses. You then spend three months at an approved institution in an Arab country, further developing your skills. The second year includes specialisation through further optional courses as well as training in research skills and extensive support in preparation for the final dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

  • Advanced Arabic D & E
  • Critical Readings in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Advanced Arabic G & H
  • Research Skills and Methods in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Research Methods and Problems in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

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

  • Cinema and Society in the Middle East
  • 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 Advanced Arabic2 YearsFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

Expertise in the Arabic language and Middle Eastern Studies are increasingly sought after. Graduates of this programme will be well-placed to use their language skills in - for example - business and commerce, governments, NGOs and charities, and academia.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent. You should also have Arabic language skills at a level between CEF B1 and C1 to be a good fit in the relevant classes.

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.*

(*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:

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

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScMiddle Eastern Studies with Advanced Arabic2 YearsFull-timeTuition 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
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 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

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH