Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Information for offer holders on single and joint honours degree programmes involving Arabic, Persian, Islamic Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. أهلاً وسهلاً ومرحباً / خوش آمدید
Welcome from Professor Jeremy Robbins, Head of School
Thank you for your interest in the subject areas of Arabic, Persian, Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies - collectively known as IMES. Whichever programme you hold an offer for, congratulations on receiving it! I’m delighted that you are interested in studying with us, and we very much hope that you will join our community.
The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) offers one of the widest range of languages of any UK university, and has a well-established reputation for teaching Islam and the history, culture, and literatures of the Middle East. All our programmes include an element of language learning but don’t worry if you have no language experience - we specialise in teaching students from scratch, so you will be in good hands.
As a member of our community, you will have access to our Islamic library of nearly 6,000 materials, as well as over 23,000 Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies resources in the University’s collections. Our students and graduates tell us that they value the School’s friendliness, the connections they have made here, and the in-depth guidance of our staff, who are experts in their field and passionate about what they do.
Ordinarily, we’d be welcoming you to our building in the heart of the University of Edinburgh’s Central Area, just across George Square from the Main Library. As we can’t do that just now, we’ve provided as much information as we can here to help you on your way to choosing the right university for you.
Good luck, and we hope to see you in September.
Recording from our recent offer holder event
If you missed our live subject presentation, catch up now to learn more about Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Edinburgh and the range of support and opportunities available to you throughout your studies.
- Video: Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
- Our academic staff explain what it will be like to study Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Edinburgh
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 whilst simultaneously exploring literature, history, religion, and politics. The departments are passionate and supportive and constantly work to provide a fulfilling experience.
Edinburgh is home to many Middle Eastern communities and this diversity really helps create a more immersive study experience.
The detailed content of your degree programme has now been published in our Degree Programme Tables for 2021 entry.
What is my Degree Programme Table (DPT)?
Your Degree Programme Table provides information about what you will study on your programme at Edinburgh and how you will be assessed.
The information is correct for the academic year 2021-22. Your DPT will be updated each year that you study at Edinburgh, so details may change for future years of your programme.
Please note, there may be some minor changes to your degree programme since you applied, but the structure and compulsory courses remain the same.
What should I look out for?
As part of your programme you’ll take a selection of courses (some are compulsory and some you can choose yourself). Each course is assigned a number of credits and you’ll need to take 120 credits worth of courses each year.
Your DPT will show which courses are compulsory, which optional courses are open to your programme, and how many credits each course is worth.
You should also check your DPT to see whether there are any prerequisites (e.g. specific qualifications) you need to have to take a particular course.
Choosing your courses
You will make your course choices at the start of the academic year.
There will be a virtual Course Options Fair, where you can pick up more information on courses available within your programme.
You will be able to discuss your options with us, including availability of courses and timetabling. Some courses may have a limited number of places or you may find that the courses you’d like to take conflict in terms of scheduling, so you’ll need to consider a range of options.
We will be able to help guide you as you select your path of study.
The student-run Tandem Language Exchange helps members find language exchange partners in lots of languages - Arabic is one of its most popular. The group hosts weekly language cafes, monthly speed linguas, and other language-themed events.
This year, we've also been working with Edinburgh Global on the eTandem Global languages programme and vlog competition. Our students have had the chance to make new friends in different universities worldwide, practise languages, and learn more about each other’s culture.
Does my programme include study abroad?
All our Arabic programmes include time abroad studying in an Arabic-speaking country. If you’re taking Arabic and another language, you’ll likely spend time in two countries to practise both languages.
Students of Persian may also have study abroad options.
For students of Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies, going abroad is entirely optional.
When do I go abroad?
The Year Abroad will be the 2023-2024 academic year, your third year as an Edinburgh student. It will be your chance to turn classroom learning into living engagement with other cultures, developing lots of skills that you will use after university and that employers love to see.
If international travel restrictions mean that you cannot go abroad, don’t worry. You will be offered alternative ways of engaging with your subject(s), allowing you to meet your learning outcomes and prepare for your final year.
What if I don’t?
If your programme doesn’t include study abroad, and you choose not to take an optional Go Abroad experience, you will spend all four years studying in Edinburgh.
Find out more about Go Abroad opportunities at the University of Edinburgh and hear from our Study and Work Away Team.
One of the benefits of taking a four-year degree is the chance to study different subjects in your first two years. Most of our degree programmes have this flexibility.
If you love languages, and Arabic or Persian is the only one you are studying with us, why not pick up another language while you’re here?
We have a very wide range of languages to choose from, either as part of your programme, as a short evening course with the Centre for Open Learning, or socially.
The majority are suitable for complete beginners - no previous experience required!
Take a look around our School, and the wider University, with our Virtual Visit. Look inside 19 George Square (where IMES is based), check out the campus libraries and points of interest, and get a feel for what it's like to study and live in Edinburgh.
We currently plan to deliver a mix of in-person and digital teaching for the academic year starting in September 2021.
We’re monitoring government guidance on Covid-19 prevention measures and we’ll adjust our 2021-22 plans in response to any relevant changes.Current plans for teaching and learning in 2021-22
Lucilla Luprano has just been voted in as the Student Association’s Undergraduate Rep(representative) for the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) for 2021/22.
Asked what advice she has for school leavers starting university this year, she says: "No matter how scary it seems, just jump into all the opportunities you find interesting. Four years are actually shorter than they seem."Find out more about Lucilla’s role in LLC
What happens next?
We'd love you to accept your offer and become part of our community.
If you do accept your offer, you will receive further information about what to do next, including details of our New Students website and information about Welcome Week.