MA Middle Eastern Studies
UCAS code: T600
Duration: 4 years
School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Introducing MA Middle Eastern Studies
Located at the crossroads between Europe, Africa and Asia, the Middle East has played a pivotal role on the world stage from ancient times. The University of Edinburgh is recognised in the UK and internationally as a leading institution for research and study of the Middle East, of Arabic and Persian languages, and of the Islamic world.
Taking an area studies approach to the region, our MA programme is designed to develop your knowledge and understanding of the Middle East. You’ll study historical, literary, cultural and political aspects, both past and present. This will involve discussion of key issues, practice in applying concepts both in discussion and in writing, and analysis and interpretation of material.
You will take classes and receive instruction in a Middle Eastern language, either Arabic, Persian or Turkish. You will also choose courses in Islamic history, the religion of Islam and/or Islamic and Middle Eastern cultures plus two option courses.
You will take Modern Middle Eastern History and option courses of your choice. You may continue with your language studies, taking either Arabic 2, Persian 2 or Turkish 2 as appropriate.
You will continue to study a range of courses on subjects relating to Islam or the Middle East, including history, politics, religion or cultural studies. Opportunities to study abroad may also be available.
You will continue with your honours courses from a wide range of relevant options from across the University. You will also complete a dissertation on a subject of your choice and under the supervision of an academic adviser.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Classes will take place within the University’s Central Area. You will have full access to the University’s computer facilities and libraries, which contain specialist resources and a collection of Islamic manuscripts.
You will have the opportunity to apply for an Erasmus exchange in Istanbul.
How will I learn?
Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars.
Throughout, students are encouraged to undertake independent reading to supplement and consolidate what is being taught formally and to broaden their individual knowledge and understanding of the subject.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed by a combination of exams and coursework, including essays, exercises and presentations. You will also complete a dissertation in your final year.
Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Graduating with an understanding of the Middle East is an excellent primer for a range of careers in the media, non-government organisations, industry, commerce, education, and the diplomatic and civil services. With increasing migration in response to changing global dynamics, there is high demand for such graduates both at home and abroad.
There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level, with Year 4 in particular developing the research skills you’ll need if you choose this path.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: AAAA - AABB by end of S5. If you haven’t achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: AAB - ABB.
- IB: 40 points (grades 766 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: English at grade C.
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at grade C or 4.
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at grade 5.
Please note that for degrees that have a subject requirement of a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
International Foundation Programme
If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
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.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
SQA National 5 Grade C
SQA Standard Grade 3
SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
GCSE Grade C or 4
Level 2 Certificate Grade C
IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
(Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.
Students who study abroad will incur additional costs. An Erasmus+ grant is available for participating students, to assist with the extra costs of studying and living abroad.
For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.
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