Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Subject area: Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies

Why choose Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We are ranked 4th in the UK for Middle Eastern & African Studies in the Complete University Guide 2020. We are passionate about enabling choice and broadening minds through flexible, four-year study of languages and cultures from around the globe.

  • The University has a long and well-established reputation for teaching Islam and the history, culture, languages and literatures of the Middle East. Arabic, for example, has been taught here since the middle of the 18th century.

  • You’ll join a small, friendly community with great links to the Alwaleed Centre, fantastic resources (including our own library), and regular programmes of workshops, film screenings and guest seminars.

  • You’ll be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh in a world-leading festival city alive with culture. We have a particularly strong relationship with the Edinburgh Iranian Festival (notably its Film strand), are home to a thriving student Islamic Society, and have won awards for our work with local communities.

  • Our teaching staff are also highly active researchers, passing on to you the same passion and world-class expertise that gained excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Our Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies research was part of the Area Studies submission in which 73 per cent of our publications rated either world-leading or internationally excellent on the overall quality profile.

Study abroad

Edinburgh is home to many Middle Eastern communities and this diversity really helps create a more immersive study experience.

Neil Robertson 3rd year MA (Hons) Middle Eastern Studies
Neil Robertson 3rd year MA (Hons) Middle Eastern Studies

Introducing Islamic Studies and 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. An understanding of the Islamic world remains highly relevant in the 21st century.

Our programmes explore past and present taking either an area studies (Middle Eastern Studies) or religious studies (Islamic Studies) approach, with the added option to learn elementary Arabic, Persian or Turkish.

Our emphasis is on developing your critical and analytical skills, so you’ll focus on discussing key issues, practice applying concepts – both in discussion and in writing, and learn to analyse and interpret source material.

You’ll engage with a range of subjects in Years 1 and 2, and specialise thereafter, choosing from a range of honours option courses spanning history, politics, religion, literature and culture.