Undergraduate applicants - 2024 Entry

Why study Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Edinburgh

Learn about our history, reputation and rankings, and find out what our students think of us.

History, reputation and rankings

The University of Edinburgh has a long tradition, and well-established reputation, for teaching Islam and the history, culture, languages and literatures of the Middle East.

Arabic has been taught here since the middle of the 18th century. As a department, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies was established in 1980.

Today, we are the only university in Scotland to offer courses in the Muslim world’s three main languages: Arabic, Persian and Turkish.

Study with us and you’ll be part of a friendly international community of staff and students in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).

We are ranked:

  • fifth in the UK for Middle Eastern and African Studies in the Complete University Guide 2024
  • third in the UK for Arts & Humanities in the QS World Rankings by Subject 2023
  • tenth in the world for Arts & Humanities in the QS World Rankings by Subject 2023

Browse The Complete University Guide University League Tables 2024

Browse the QS World Rankings by Subject 2023 on Top Universities

What our students say

Studying Arabic and Persian has not only given me the chance to learn two beautiful languages but also enter the rich and diverse cultures of the Middle East. I have enjoyed learning both languages while simultaneously exploring literature, history, religion and politics. The departments are passionate and supportive and constantly work to provide a fulfilling experience.

Lajeen, Arabic and Persian MA (Hons)

Diversity, equality, and inclusion are at the heart of Edinburgh University. I enjoy and look forward to the lectures and seminars. Our lecturers are from diverse backgrounds and bring with them a wealth of expertise and experience. The support staff are very friendly, supportive, and understanding.

Nazima, Year 3,  Islamic Studies MA (Hons)