Postgraduate study
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The Middle East in Global Politics MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Part-time, Full-time

The Middle East continues to command the attention of scholars, journalists, politicians, NGO organisations and the public.

The politics of oil, the Palestine-Israeli conflict, external influences and waves of popular protests across the Arab world raise questions about the region and its place in a changing global world order. Internationally recognised scholars at the University of Edinburgh offer students a unique opportunity to study and develop an advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the politics, societies and international relations of this region. The programme provides its graduates with a highly advantageous skill set for careers in journalism, international and domestic civil service, international business and further research.

Drawing on interdisciplinary resources and expertise from the University of Edinburgh, this programme enables students to obtain an understanding of the main historical events, processes and actors that shape the political dynamics of the Middle East in a changing world. Through reading and writing assignments and a dissertation, you will learn and integrate a wide range of theoretical traditions in the study of politics and international relations in and of the Middle East.

You will be able to expand your network and deepen your knowledge by participating in the activities of the Middle East Research Group. The group is convened by staff members from the MSc programme. It hosts an interdisciplinary seminar series geared towards discussing work-in-progress by staff and research degrees students from across the university. The group also convenes the Contemporary Middle East Series, a series of public lectures, roundtables and teach-ins on modern and contemporary issues related to the region. The Series featured scholars and experts based in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

The MSc in The Middle East of Global Politics is offered as a one-year full-time or two-year part-time programme. The programme will be delivered through lectures, seminars, group work and guided independent study.

You will complete one compulsory course and five option courses, after which they will work towards an independently researched dissertation.

The dissertation is expected to tackle a research problem, engage the relevant literature, and build upon the relevant concepts and theories introduced in the taught elements of the degree. You will deploy a range of primary and secondary sources as well as appropriate data-analytic and bibliographic skills. Each student will be allocated a research supervisor from either IMES or PIR by the Spring to advise on and oversee her or his research progress.

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
MScThe Middle East in Global Politics2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2023/24
MScThe Middle East in Global Politics1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2023/24

You would achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Understand the politics and international relations of the Middle East from a complex, interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Use, evaluate and critique arguments about this geographic region.
  • Identify, analyse and deploy a range of primary and secondary sources to support arguments.
  • Develop and structure sophisticated pieces of writing.
  • Design, plan and manage a long-term autonomous research project.

Providing an advanced training in the politics and international relations of an important world region, this programme provides graduates with a highly advantageous skill set for careers in journalism, international and domestic civil service, international business and further research.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

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

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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:

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.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScThe Middle East in Global Politics2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScThe Middle East in Global Politics1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Graduate School of Social and Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 1 July 2024

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