Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MA Middle Eastern Studies

UCAS code: T600

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

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 the study of the Middle East, Middle Eastern languages, and 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's historical, literary, cultural and political aspects, both past and present. Your study will involve discussion of key issues, practice in applying concepts (both in discussion and in writing), the analysis and interpretation of source material, and - in Year 1 - language tuition in either Arabic, Persian or Turkish.

Year 1

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 from a wide range of subjects offered by the University of Edinburgh.

Year 2

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.

Year 3

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.

Year 4

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.

Programme structure

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.

Programme structure (2020/21)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area in a world-leading festival city bursting with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections, including the National Library, Museum, and Galleries of Scotland.

As well as the University's excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, you'll also have access to over 23,000 Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies resources in its collections, including Islamic manuscripts. We also have our own library in 19 George Square.

Study abroad

You will have the opportunity to apply for an exchange in Istanbul.

What are my options for going abroad?

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.

Programme details

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.

Programme details (2020/21)

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 our 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 the end of S5 or AAAA-AAAB by the end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.(Revised 09/04/2020 from AAAA-AAAB and to include alternate grades to be achieved by end of S6.)
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 43 points with 776 at HL - 37 points with 666 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5.

Additional requirements

Language requirement

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.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

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.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant 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 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 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 (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree 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.

English language requirements

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

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 Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Middle Eastern Studies

Additional costs

Students who study abroad will incur additional costs. A grant may be available for participating students, to assist with the extra costs of studying and living abroad.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding