This multidisciplinary degree focuses on the politics, religions, cultures and languages of the Middle East and North Africa. Current political events are covered in depth, alongside historical developments, paths towards democratisation, the role of gender dynamics and the interactions between religious authorities and civil society.
Core modules will introduce you to the complex intersections between Islam, culture and politics across the region. You’ll also choose from a range of optional modules, allowing you to explore issues such as Islam’s encounter with modernity in further depth, or to learn Arabic, Turkish or Persian from beginner level. Through your dissertation, you will carry out independent research on an aspect of the Middle East that particularly engages you.
This is a fascinating and unique opportunity to study and understand a diverse and complex region through a mix of approaches drawn from Area Studies (Middle East and North Africa), Islamic Studies and traditional disciplines including Politics, History and Law.
At Leeds we have a wealth of resources to help you make the most of your studies. Our archives contain 500 Arabic manuscripts and 10,000 archaeological artefacts, ranging from Pharaonic to early Palestinian eras.
There are also extensive library resources in our world-class Brotherton Library, and our fully equipped Language Centre features digital language labs, audio-video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) to help you develop your language skills.
We are committed to helping you to develop skills in critical reading, academic analysis and the presentation of your ideas and research and offer students dedicated sessions on these themes.
This programme is also available to study part-time.
Core modules will lay the foundations of the programme, introducing you to research methods and bibliography to prepare you for your own research and exploring the relationship between Islam, culture and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. You’ll then choose from a wide range of optional modules, allowing you to pursue your interests.
You’ll be expected to choose at least some modules in Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, which means you could learn Arabic, Persian or Turkish from scratch, explore Arab drama or media or study popular revolts and democracy.
However, you can also choose from relevant modules offered by the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science and the School of Politics and International Studies on topics such as Middle Eastern politics, the links between religion and global development or Muslims and multiculturalism among others.
By the end of the programme in September, you’ll be able to showcase the skills and knowledge you’ve developed when you research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.
If you choose to study part-time, you'll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
To help you make the most of our tutors’ expertise, we use a range of teaching and learning methods. Most of your modules will involve lectures and weekly seminars where you’ll discuss your reading and research, while language modules will involve intensive practical classes in small groups.
Depending on the modules you choose, you may experience different forms of assessment. Usually these will include essays, exams, oral presentations, practical assessments and even seminar participation.
This programme will equip you with a deeper understanding of Islamic and Middle Eastern culture, as well political awareness and potentially language skills. You’ll also develop more sophisticated skills in areas such as research, analysis, interpretation and communication which are highly valued by employers in a wide range of careers.
Opportunities are available in a range of careers within and beyond the UK with a Middle Eastern or Islamic dimension. These include journalism, teaching, NGOs and the charity sector, cultural organisations, travel and tourism, business and finance, the media, marketing and advertising and the civil, security and diplomatic services.
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.
This programme offers a flexible framework within which you can develop knowledge and skills in Islamic Studies in historical and/or contemporary contexts, and provides an ideal foundation for further research.
You will have the opportunity engage with material that is at the forefront of contemporary academic research in Islamic Studies, and explore a range of topics in Islamic Studies that reflect the expertise of academic staff: this may typically include content with historical, sociological, contextual, legal, textual or philosophical emphases.
The programme combines a set of core modules to provide you with a foundation for your studies with a range of options which allow you to specialise in areas of particular interest.
You will study three core modules:
You will also choose three optional modules from a range which typically includes:
Full module descriptions are available below.
Modules are typically assessed by written assignment. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.
Modules are delivered via a range of learning and teaching methods, including mini-lectures, seminars and tutorials. You also receive one-to-one supervision in the development of your dissertation.
Support with academic writing
As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.
International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.
The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.
You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.
Postgraduate employability: Theology and Religion
Birmingham’s Theology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.
Many of our graduates go into careers in churches of various denominations. Other students use their transferable skills in a range of employment sectors, including publishing, education and social work. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: Church of England; Methodist Church; NHS; and University of Birmingham.
In this research area, you can pursue interdisciplinary study of Islamic thought and practice, and of historical, theological, ethical and political encounters between Christianity and Islam.
Staff research interests focus on Islamic theology (kalam), law (shari‘a and fiqh), and philosophy; Qur’an, Hadith, and Tafsir; Muslim views of Christianity and Judaism; Christian theological engagements with Islam; constructive theology and ethics from a Christian or Muslim perspective; Arab Christianity, classic and contemporary; political Islam; political theology; comparative theology; migration, religion and politics.
You can find out more and identify a potential supervisor by looking at the School’s staff profiles, which give details of research interests and publications, and email addresses.
You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research project before making a formal application.
At the School of Divinity you will join a community of around 150 research students, drawn from around the world, and from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds.
You will study in a stimulating environment. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked the School’s research environment at 100% world-leading / internationally excellent, second in the UK on this front in theology and religion. This outstanding result reflects the vibrancy of the School’s research culture.
If you have academic training in theology or religious studies (or another relevant subject), and would like to develop your interest with a focus on a particular area, the Masters by Research may interest you.
You can study full-time (one year) or part-time (two years). Your pattern of study can either be three supervised research essays followed by a 15,000 word dissertation, or a 30,000 word dissertation. Most students take the ‘research essays + shorter dissertation’ path. All students receive research training.
The ethos of the Graduate School is to promote excellence in postgraduate study, within a stimulating and supportive environment. We value equality and diversity in the School community, and an academic culture that is both critical and constructive.
A University review (2015) commended the Graduate School for providing excellent support: responsive to student feedback; proactive in helping new postgraduates to adjust to their studies and to life in Scotland; enthusiastic and practical in promoting career development. The postgraduate student committee works closely with the School to make the research student experience the best it can be.
The School of Divinity, one of the largest centres for the study of religion in the United Kingdom, is located in the historic setting of New College, close to Edinburgh Castle and overlooking Princes Street.
Resources for research are excellent. You can draw on the outstanding holdings of New College Library, the University of Edinburgh’s main library, and the nearby National Library of Scotland. New College Library has one of the largest theology collections in the UK, with more than a quarter of a million items and a large and rich manuscript collection. The University library exceeds 2.25 million volumes. The National Library of Scotland – a ‘legal deposit’ library like the British Library in London and the university libraries of Oxford and Cambridge – is just around the corner.
The School provides an extensive programme of weekly research seminars and special guest lectures. In addition, three research centres provide a special focus for activity: the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins; the Centre for Theology and Public Issues; the Centre for the Study of World Christianity.
You will have access to excellent study facilities, dedicated to postgraduates. PhD and MPhil students have access 24/7, and can request an allocated desk. Masters by Research students have shared study space. All areas have printing/scanning and computer facilities. The main postgraduate study wing has a kitchen. New College has an on-site cafe that is open during term time.
The city of Exeter is the perfect setting for our MA in Medieval Studies. At the University there is a wide variety of resources and you will have access to extensive holdings, audio-visual collections and some medieval manuscripts in our Special Collections in the University library. Exeter Cathedral Library Archives and the Devon Heritage Centre, located nearby, contain further significant medieval manuscripts, documents and early printed books.
The MA Medieval Studies draws on the expertise of the Centre for Medieval Studies, which is one of the largest centres in the university. Exeter is unique in that we have a large number of specialists in medieval studies across various disciplines. Our expertise is especially strong in medieval history, archaeology, law, music, French literature, English literature, and Arab and Islamic studies.
Modules are taken from nine different disciplines meaning the course is varied and you will be offered comprehensive training on skills needed to study the Middle Ages, including medieval languages (Latin, Old English, and medieval French) and palaeography. With such a large number of medieval studies experts and excellent links to the local and national heritage sector we are in an excellent position to help you as you further your historical knowledge whether you are planning on progressing to PhD study, pursuing a profession, or simply exploring a passion for medieval studies.
The University's Streatham Campus is located with excellent access to the heart of historic Exeter which has a rich cultural heritage extending back to the Roman period and boasts particularly fine evidence of its medieval past. You will benefit from access to Exeter Cathedral Library and University libraries which maintain excellent holdings relevant to medieval studies.
A range of optional modules are available which reflect the varied research interests of academic staff across the Centre for Medieval Studies. These interests range widely across the medieval period and cover Britain, Europe and the Islamic world. They also represent several disciplines, including History, Archaeology, Classics, Literature, Music, Art History, Theology and Islamic Studies.
The core module Interpreting the Middle Ages: Images, Texts and Contexts will give students an overview of these different disciplinary approaches and show how they can be applied to the study of medieval texts and objects. Other core modules are Medieval Research Skills, which introduces students to the skills needed to work with medieval sources such as palaeography and codicology, and Current Research in Medieval Studies which asks students to reflect on how academic research projects are designed and presented, and gives them guidance in developing their own dissertation projects. Students also have the option of taking Latin modules and are strongly encouraged to do so if they are considering going on to an MPhil or PhD.
- offers an excellent, interdisciplinary education in medieval studies, covering a wide range of topics and approaches across the medieval period;
- gives students the opportunity to work with the medieval sources in and around Exeter, for example at Exeter Cathedral, the Devon Heritage Centre and the University’s Special Collections;
- produces graduates who are highly competent in subject-specific, core academic, and personal and key skills that are both relevant and transferable to employment;
- encourages participation in research seminar programmes offering insights into a very wide range of research cultures and specialisms and into how academics go about designing and presenting research projects;
- offers excellent preparation for students intending to continue on to doctoral-level research with a good track record in obtaining funding for further study.
As an MA Medieval Studies student you will be welcome to join the Centre for Medieval Studies, which brings together academic staff and Postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines across the University’s Colleges. We are brought together by our shared interests which run from the Early Middle Ages to the early Renaissance and may include archaeology, theology, music, literature and law. We hold regular seminars and research events which, if you decide to join us at Exeter, we hope you will not only attend but become an active part of.
Research is at the heart of History and our students are encouraged to come to Departmental Research Seminars and become an active part of wider research community. Our research centres regularly hold seminars and other research events which MA students are welcome to attend.
Our current research centres include:
As well as our research centres we also have a Postgraduate Reading Group for matters medieval which brings together our Masters and PhD students to share ideas.