This distinctive programme offers an in-depth analysis of this vital region, delivered by an expert academic team. You’ll directly address the complex nature of the politics and international relations of the Middle East to gain an oversight of internal dimensions of the region and their links with regional and extra-regional relations.
Covering a range of approaches from Politics, Comparative Politics and International Relations, it addresses the security, economic, identity and political dynamics of the region. The programme will be of interest to you if you’re wishing to study these issues in more depth and to make comparisons across the region.
You’ll benefit from our specific expertise and research interests in a diverse range of areas relating to the Middle East - with particular focus on security issues, regional relations and the interest of the outside powers in the Middle East, as well as our in-depth research and experience in specific sub-regional areas.
Our academics are widely recognised as leading experts in their field. They boast specialisms in a range of areas: the politics of Islamism; the Persian Gulf; the Israel-Palestine conflict; the international organisations of the Middle East; democratisation in the region and issues of terrorism and insurgency. Teaching on the programme draws upon a network of Middle East specialists based at the University. They come from a range of disciplines and participate in the Middle East Research Group (MERG).
Our rich research culture within the School of Politics and International Studies is specifically focused on the Middle East. It also draws on other regions and cross-cutting themes such as the prevalence of authoritarianism and the problems of democratisation, meaning that there is a combination of focus on the Middle East which is also influenced by wider insights and research focus.
The compulsory modules will give you the opportunity to:
You’ll also be able to hone your research and writing skills in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.
The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.
Each semester you will take 60 credits amounting to 120 credits across the whole year. In semester one you will study Contemporary Politics of the Middle East and in semester two you will study The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, along with your chosen optional modules.
If you’re a part-time student, you’ll take one compulsory module and study some optional modules in your first year. You’ll then take the second compulsory module, the dissertation module and other optional modules in your second year to complete your programme.
Teaching is through a combination of lectures, lively seminar discussions and weekly readings. We expect you to participate fully in taught sessions and to study independently, developing your skills and preparing for lectures and seminars. You’ll also be able to benefit from an impressive range of research talks and seminars led by outside speakers or colleagues from within the department and University.
Within modules, assessment consists of a mixture of essays, exams and group presentations. At the end of your studies, a 12,000 word dissertation will allow you to pursue your own research interest under close supervision by one of our expert colleagues.
The programme is both academically cutting-edge and policy relevant at a time when the Middle East is undergoing radical change. It will produce graduates who are able to fill the growing need for experts on the region in a variety of industries from oil and investment to security and services. The Middle East is a growing market for many firms who all want to understand the risks and opportunities of working in the region better.
There is a growing market from employers for graduates with expertise in Middle Eastern politics, including NGOs and international institutions; ministries of foreign affairs, trade and defence; as well as consultancy and risk-management/analysis firms engaged in the region.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
With two of the leading economic powers situated in East Asia and a huge potential for regional conflict as well as cooperation, East Asia will be the focus of future global politics.
This programme is designed to equip students with the knowledge to critically engage with these developments through recognised masters-level training in both Chinese/Japanese/Korean Studies and the social, political, historical and cultural dimensions of international relations of East Asia.
The unique combination of expertise across the regions and across disciplines in Asian studies enables both in-depth and diversified knowledge about the interrelatedness of political, cultural and economic factors shaping international relations in the area and across the globe.
You will take three courses in the first semester: two compulsory courses and an option course. In the second semester you will choose three option courses from a wide range of subjects related to specialised regional knowledge and East Asian international relations. During the summer you will complete supervised dissertation work.
Option courses may include:
The unique combination expertise across the regions and across disciplines in Asian Studies enables both in depth and diversified knowledge about the interrelatedness of political, cultural and economic factors shaping international relations in the area and across the globe.
On completion of the programme, you will have:
The aim of this programme is to give you a thorough grasp of the historical and contemporary events, processes and actors involved in creating the dynamics of the East Asian region. Having acquired the tools to analyse and understand the complexities of East Asian relations in a global context, you could progress to a doctoral degree or apply your skills in professional areas, such as diplomacy, international relations and negotiations or journalism.
This is a programme geared towards preparing you for higher research into the interaction of the classical world with the Near East - partly through direct research training, and partly through modules taught by experts in their field in small-group seminars.
The relationship between the classical world and neighbouring civilisations is among the most important and most rapidly expanding areas of classical scholarship, and we have particular strength in this field: we offer tuition in Akkadian, and can draw on the resources of the Oriental Museum in Durham and the expertise pooled in the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East. The programme lasts for one year full-time (two years part-time).
You will take modules to a total of 180 or 190 credits. The structure of the course is as follows:
MA modules are 30 credits; you may substitute two undergraduate (20 credit) modules for one MA module. You may also take up to 40 credits of modules offered by other Departments (subject to approval).
Not all modules will be offered every year, and new modules (both elective and core) are added regularly.
Optional modules are offered according to the current research interests of members of staff. In recent years, optional modules available in the Department have included:
The MA in Greece, Rome and the Near East is principally conceived as a research training programme which aims to build on the skills in independent learning acquired in the course of the student’s first degree and enable them to undertake fully independent research at a higher level. Contact time with tutors for taught modules is typically a total of 5 hours per week (rising to 7 for someone beginning Latin or ancient Greek at this level), with an emphasis on small group teaching, and a structure that maximises the value of this time, and best encourages and focuses the student’s own independent study and preparation. On average, around 2 hours a week of other relevant academic contact (research seminars, dissertation supervision) is also available.
At the heart of the course is a module focused on the range of research methods and resources available to someone working in the field of Classics. This is run as a weekly class, with a mixture of lectures and student-led discussions. Three or four further elective modules deal with particular specialised subjects. You must choose one module involving work with a relevant foreign language (ancient or modern; beginners modules in each language and specialised text seminars for those who have already studied Greek and Latin are offered every year), and one dealing directly with research on interaction between the ancient Mediterranean and the ancient Near East. All the modules offered will form part of the current research activity of the tutor taking the module. Numbers for each module are typically very small (often no more than five or six in a class). Typically, classes are two hours long and held fortnightly, and discussion is based on student presentations. (Modules for those beginning ancient Latin or Greek are typically more heavily subscribed, but their classes also meet more often: 3 hours per week.) All students write a 15,000-word dissertation, for which they receive an additional five hours of supervisory contact with an expert in their field of interest.
All staff teaching on the MA are available for consultation by students, and advertise office hours when their presence can be guaranteed. The MA Director acts as academic adviser to MA students, and is available as an additional point of contact, especially for matters concerning academic progress. MA students are strongly encouraged to attend the Department’s two research seminar series. Although not a formal (assessed) part of the MA, we aim to instil the message that engagement with these seminars across a range of subjects is part of the students’ development as researchers and ought to be viewed as essential to their programme. In addition, MA students are welcomed to attend and present at the ‘Junior Work-in-Progress’ seminar series organised by the PhD students in the Department. Finally, the student-run Classics Society regularly organises guest speakers – often very high-profile scholars from outside Durham.
How will East Asia accommodate the rise of a more economically and militarily assertive China? Is the US declining as a superpower in the region, or will it maintain its regional dominance? Does Japan still have designs upon regional economic leadership, and will it come to play a bigger military role in the region? How does a ‘non-state’ conduct international relations?
Our MA in International Politics and East Asia gives you the opportunity to approach and answer these questions from a disciplinary basis. This is not a traditional area studies course on East Asia, but rather a disciplinary degree that focuses on the region for its case studies and thus offers unique advantages: strong disciplinary expertise combined with genuine regional expertise. East Asia’s emergence as the most dynamic region in the global political economy continues despite a series of crises since the early 1990s. If anything, the crises reinvigorated the study of the international relations and political economy of East Asia. Instead of just focusing on business and economics, the crises highlighted the politics of international economic relations, the impact of globalisation on the region and existing development paradigms, and the need for greater regional cooperation to cope with future economic shocks.
Our IPEA programme is one of the leading postgraduate programmes of its kind. We have among the greatest concentration of disciplinary based East Asia experts in the UK and Europe, and we are home to the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, researching issues of Asia-Pacific and East Asian regionalism
East Asia’s emergence as the most dynamic region in the global political economy continues despite a series of crises since the early 1990s. If anything, the crises reinvigorated the study of the international relations and political economy of East Asia. Instead of just focusing on business and economics, the crises highlighted the politics of international economic relations, the social, political, and security consequences of economic crises, the impact of globalisation on the region and existing development paradigms, and the need for greater regional cooperation to cope with future economic shocks. At the same time, the region has been faced with a series of major crises and challenges in the political and security dimensions, which are demanding of greater study by students of international relations.
The Political Economy of the Middle East MA is an interdisciplinary course that introduces students to political economy from a wide range of academic disciplines. The course has a strong emphasis on helping students think critically, creatively and effectively about promoting social justice, equality, democracy, sustainability and social change through political economy.
Issues of Political Economy in the Middle East are currently at the forefront of global media, policy and public discourses and there is a wide range of both governmental and nongovernmental organizations that will be looking for individuals with strong training in the area. The MA course Political Economy of the Middle East uses the Middle East as a vital arena to think through broader issues of the political economy and development, and conversely uses political economy as a substantive area of empirical and theoretical work through which to understand the Middle East.
Our course offers you an in-depth analysis of major scholarly debates in the political economy of the region through the required module Political Economy of the Middle East: Theory & Practice. It also allows you to pursue your own developing interests by choosing from a wide range of specialist modules.
This course is ideal for graduates with a degree in international relations, economics, politics, international political economy and Middle Eastern studies. We also welcome recent graduates from other disciplines in the humanities, the social sciences and law, as well as those from a professional background.
For every 20-credit module, we will typically provide you with 20 hours of lectures and seminars (two hours of teaching per week), and we will expect you to undertake 180 hours of independent study. For your dissertation, we will provide you with a course in Dissertation Methods which totals 20 hours of contact spread over two terms and up to four hours of one-to-one supervision. You will typically undertake 586 hours of independent study and project work.
As part of their two-year schedule, part-time students typically take the required Political Economy of the Middle East: Theory & Practice module and two optional modules in Year 1, and two optional modules and the dissertation module in Year 2.
We assess Political Economy of the Middle East: Theory & Practice through essay and class participation. You may also be assessed by essays, Q&As and class participation. The nature of assessment varies by module. Your dissertation will be a 10,000-word thesis on a topic of your choosing, and you may take it in the UK or overseas.
This course provides you with the enhanced skills and qualifications which will allow you to excel in future employment and research in an increasingly important field. Our students have transferred the skills they have developed to careers in development organisations, the corporate or financial sector, the diplomatic service, international NGOs, civil society organisations or journalism. Some students have gone on to further research in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, or another department.