Postgraduate study

International Relations of the Middle East MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

This programme offers an advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East, exploring and applying several theoretical models:

  • realism
  • constructivism
  • historical sociology
  • structuralism

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

Students will have the opportunity to acquire specialised knowledge about the region delivered by our academic staff, whose research covers a variety of topics including:

  • the politics of Islam
  • oil
  • the Arab-Israeli conflict
  • the Arab Spring
  • the politics and theories of the state
  • the politics of human rights
  • international law

As well as placing the region in broader analytical, conceptual and theoretical debates of international relations and the social sciences, we also aim to foster knowledge of Middle East international relations by examining:

  • local cultures
  • histories
  • languages
  • religions

You will acquire a strong understanding of theoretical and conceptual tools required to understand Middle East international relations.

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

You will complete two compulsory courses and four option courses, after which you will work towards an independently researched dissertation.

Core courses

The compulsory courses are:

  • The Middle East in International Relations

Either:

  • International Relations Theory
  • International Security

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
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

This degree prepares you to have a specialized knowledge of the region and of International Relations that allows you to pursue careers in:

  • international development
  • research centres
  • foreign service
  • journalism

Our graduates also built on the skills that they acquired in this programme to pursue further academic training in doctoral programmes.

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

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 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 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:

Application fee

A non-refundable application fee of £50 must be paid after you submit your application. Your application will not be processed until we have received your application fee.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc2 YearsPart-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
  • 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, Dr Nida Alahmad
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 1368
  • Contact: nalahmad@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
13 September 2021 5 July 2021

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.

References are not usually required for applications to this programme.

Application fee

A non-refundable application fee of £50 must be paid after you submit your application. Your application will not be processed until we have received your application fee.

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

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Nida Alahmad
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 1368
  • Contact: nalahmad@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD