Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Subject area: Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies

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

  • The University has a well-established reputation for teaching Islam and the history, culture, languages and literatures of the Middle East. Depending on your interests, you will have the option to learn Arabic, Persian or Turkish.

  • We are ranked fifth in the UK for Middle Eastern & African Studies in the Complete University Guide 2024, and fourth in the UK for Arts & Humanities in the QS World Rankings by Subject 2024.

  • Based at the heart of a world-leading festival city, you will benefit from great resources, including our research and outreach Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World. The University holds over 23,000 resources in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, including the Serjeant & Watt Collections and some of the world’s most precious Islamic manuscripts.

  • As part of our friendly international community, you will be able to attend a regular programme of workshops, film screenings and guest seminars on a variety of topics related to Islam and the Middle East. We have a strong relationship with the Edinburgh Iranian Film Festival, are home to a thriving student Islamic Society, and have won awards for our work with local communities.

Study abroad

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)
Nazima Year 3, Islamic Studies MA (Hons)

Introducing Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies

Located at the crossroads between Europe, Africa and Asia, the Middle East has played a key 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 and the Islamic world.

Our highly-flexible programmes explore the region using one of two approaches:

  • Area Studies - Middle Eastern Studies
  • Religious Studies - Islamic Studies

Each programme enables you to take courses from a broad list of disciplines in Years 1 and 2, and specialise as you progress through your honours years, choosing from courses in:

  • history
  • politics
  • religion
  • literatures
  • cultures

To help you access and interpret source material, you will take Year 1 classes in at least one of the three main languages of the Middle East. You have the option to continue language learning in Year 2.

Across all your courses, you will develop the skills to analyse, critique and compare key issues and concepts, both in group discussion and in written work.

You will graduate with a combination of specialist knowledge and Intercultural Competence valued by employers around the globe.