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Masters Degrees (Middle East)

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This distinctive programme offers an in-depth analysis of this vital region, delivered by an expert academic team. Read more

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.

Course content

The compulsory modules will give you the opportunity to:

  • gain an advanced understanding of the issues of security, economy and society across the Middle East
  • undertake a comprehensive analysis of the ever-changing dynamics of this complex region
  • examine the pressing contemporary issues facing the Middle East
  • gain an insight into the internal dimensions of the region and their links with regional and extra-regional relations
  • study in-depth the ongoing peace negotiations in Israel-Palestine.

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Contemporary Politics of the Middle East 30 credits
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30 credits
  • POLIS MA Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Debating the Middle East: Islam, Politics and Culture 30 credits
  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance 30 credits
  • Contemporary Issues in Nuclear Non-Proliferation and WMD 15 credits
  • Insurgency 15 credits
  • Hezbollah: From Islamic Resistance to Government 15 credits
  • Policing Post-Conflict Cities 15 credits
  • Terrorism 15 credits
  • Counterterrorism 15 credits
  • Theoretical Approaches in International Relations 30 credits
  • Civil War and Intrastate Conflict 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read International Relations and Politics of the Middle East MA Full Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Careers support

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.



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The Islamic Middle East has given rise to an impressive material culture that continues in the present. This programme covers an area stretching from Islamic Spain through the Arab countries, Turkey, Iran and Central Asia in diverse historical periods. Read more
The Islamic Middle East has given rise to an impressive material culture that continues in the present. This programme covers an area stretching from Islamic Spain through the Arab countries, Turkey, Iran and Central Asia in diverse historical periods. It offers students an unmatched opportunity to study particular regions or categories of art, including Fatimid art; the architecture and urbanism of Morocco; Arab, Persian and Turkish painting; the calligraphy and illumination of the Qur'an; Mamluk art and architecture; the arts and architecture of the Ottomans in Turkey and the Balkans; and the material culture of western Iran. Archaeological issues of the Islamic Middle East are also considered.

In addition, the degree engages with trans-regional topics that extend beyond the Middle East, such as cultural and artistic relationships between the Islamic Middle East and Europe.

Students can decide to study complementary courses on non-Islamic traditions of the Middle East and/or the Islamic traditions of other regions.

The Department of the History of Art and Archaeology contains some of the world’s leading experts in the art history and archaeology of the Islamic Middle East, whose ground-breaking research informs and is informed by their teaching. Students benefit from the unparalleled knowledge and enthusiasm of staff. As members of the School of Arts, they profit from the insights of scholars and students working in other related fields, such as Music, Film and Media in the Middle East and the wider Islamic world. They can also select from courses in other departments, taking advantage of SOAS’s unrivalled expertise in the languages, history, religions and cultures of the Middle East.

A Masters from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/art/programmes/maaaime/

Structure

Students must complete three units (or 0.5 unit equivalent) of taught MA modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation. A minimum of two units (or equivalent) must be selected from the MA modules in the History of Art and Archaeology department related to History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East. Up to one unit (or equivalent) may be selected from the other MA modules in the department or from MA options offered by other SOAS departments. Students must complete the Dissertation in History of Art and Architecture of the Islamic Middle East (15PARC997).

Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis. The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two taught modules in the first year, and one taught module and the dissertation in the second. Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student takes one taught module in each year. The dissertation can be written in any year, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the programme. It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.

Teaching

Teaching consists of a combination of lectures and seminars. Classes are normally between two and three hours per week for each course. Teaching methods include lectures with discussion, seminars (at which students present papers) and museum visits. Students at all levels are expected to take an active part in class presentations. A particularly important element is the training of the student's visual memory.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS can participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

Assessment

For each of the three taught courses, the student will be expected to submit two or three pieces of written work usually around 3,000 to 4,500 words – for a total of 9,000 words per course. The emphasis is on developing essay skills during the session in preparation for the dissertation. In some courses the assessment is 100% on written work. On other courses, assessed course work forms 75% of the student’s final grade and an additional 25% is determined by slide quizzes, projects or other forms of assessment. The 10,000 word dissertation is submitted in September.

Learning Resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Destinations

A Masters from the Department of the History of Art and Archaeology provides students with expertise in the History of Art and/or Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our postgraduates progress to work in arts, culture and heritage roles, including in galleries, museums, archives, conservation, publishing and arts administration. The large portfolio of transferable skills they acquire enables them to forge careers in a range of other fields across the world. Our Masters programmes are also an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Asia House
Bonhams
British Museum
Christie's Hong Kong
Design Museum
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
Hong Kong Museum Of Art
India Foundation For The Arts
Museum of East Asian Art
National Gallery National Museum of Singapore
People Projects Culture & Change
Schoeni Art Gallery
Sotheby's
Taiwan Embassy
The Alliance for Global Education
The British Embassy
The Chester Beatty Library
The National Museum Of Korea
The Royal Collection

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Manager of Communications
Culture Programme Coordinator
Research Assistant
Social Anthropology Lecturer
Specialist - Indian Art
Architect
Art Historian
Development Specialist
Archivist
Gallery Director Innovation Programmes Learning Manager
Creative Director
Organisational Consultant
Travel writer
Art Collector
Chinese Painting Specialist
Professor of Silk Road History
Rights and Reproductions Officer
Public Education Coordinator
Senior Curator of Photographs

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The Master in Middle Eastern Studies (MIMES) is specifically tailored for graduates of various disciplines and backgrounds, who are interested in obtaining a better knowledge of the Middle East region, taking into account its social-historical complexity and cultural plurality. Read more
The Master in Middle Eastern Studies (MIMES) is specifically tailored for graduates of various disciplines and backgrounds, who are interested in obtaining a better knowledge of the Middle East region, taking into account its social-historical complexity and cultural plurality. The program aims to offer solid historical, political and institutional perspectives of the current domestic, regional and international dynamics affecting the stability of the region, as well as a critical outlook on current debates over the Middle East.

Learning objectives

MIMES aims to guide students across this diverse and fascinating region, which, since decades, is at the center of the geostrategic interest of the international system. The program mainly focuses on the contemporary period, through a multi-disciplinary approach ranging over international relations, geopolitics, conflicts and security, economy and energy. Nonetheless, specific sections are devoted to the analysis of the historical and religious foundations of the modern Middle East, from the birth of Islam to the evolution of Islamic thought, law and economy. A dedicated course will offer a linguistic analysis of the political and juridical terminology and a glossary in Arabic. MIMES analyses in details infra-regions and inter-regions peculiarities and relations, from Maghreb to Central-Southern Asia, encouraging a comparative and holistic area studies approach.

Career opportunities & professional recognition

MIMES provides graduate students with a detailed, comprehensive knowledge of the wider Middle East, beneficial to under-take a number of different careers, consistently with their previous training and experience, within international institutions, private companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), research centers and area studies, media networks, etc.

Curriculum

The Master in Middle Eastern Studies is articulated in five complementary levels, fostering multidimensional training and cross-fertilization, integrating scientific methodologies and operative competences.

1st level - Propaedeutic Phase: history, power and institution. The conceptual foundation of the Middle East
● Methodological introduction: debates on the Middle East
● History of the Middle East
● Religion, society and thought in the Islamic Middle East
● Islamic law and economy
● Study of political and juridical terminology - glossary in Arabic
● Middle East within the 20th century international order

2nd level - In-depth Analytical Phase: sub-regional contexts
● Maghreb
● Mashreq
● Sub-Saharan Africa
● South-West Asia and the Gulf
● Central-Southern Asia

3rd level - Thematic and Contemporary Issues
● Politics in contemporary Middle East and the current International Relations context
● Global security: jihadism, violent activism, conflicts and nuclear proliferation
● Post-conflict institution-building and human security
● Gender, ethno-religious diversity and pluralism in the Middle East
● Energy and geopolitics of resources
● Contemporary economic trends

4th level - Project Work
Students are required to develop a personal research project on a topic related to Middle Eastern affairs, under the supervision of a MIMES professor and/or a professional from a partner institution. The project work will often be connected to the internship experience.

5th level - Internship
The Master is completed with an internship in Italy or abroad within an institution whose mission and activities are consistent with the Master’s program. This gives students the invaluable opportunity to test and strengthen the competencies acquired during the Master and it usually lasts three months. As an alternative, students who do not carry out an internship may choose to attend an Arabic language course. Students will receive support and tutoring for their internship research.

Faculty & teaching staff

The Master in Middle Eastern Studies offers high quality training to students from all over the world. They will take part in team projects with the guidance of important scholars and leading professionals from the Middle East as well as from Europe and the U.S.

Faculty:
● Prof. Riccardo Redaelli - MIMES Director
● Prof. Paolo Branca - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
● Dr. Marina Calculli - American University, Beirut
● Prof. Massimo Campanini - Università degli Studi di Trento
● Prof. Martino Diez - Fondazione OASIS and Università Cattoli- ca del Sacro Cuore
● Prof. Wael Faruq - American University, Cairo
● Prof. Ersilia Francesca - Università degli Studi di Napoli l’Orientale
● Prof. Elisa Giunchi - Università degli Studi di Milano
● Prof. Mehran Kamrava - Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service
● Prof. Bahgat Korany - American University, Cairo
● Prof. Marco Lombardi - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
● Prof. Maurizio Martellini - Landau Network Centro Volta and Insubria Center on International Security
● Prof. Massimo Papa - Università di Roma Tor Vergata
● Prof. Vittorio Emanuele Parsi - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
● Prof. Paola Rivetti - Dublin City University
● Prof. Mahmood Sariolghalam - Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran
● Prof. Oktay Tanrisever - Middle East Technical University
● Amb. Roberto Toscano - Barcelona Center for International Affairs
● Mr. Franco Zallio - consultant

ASERI - a center of excellence

This Master has been created thanks to the experience of ASERI in the field of graduate education and training. Università Cattolica’s Graduate School of Economics and International Relations combines quality courses with strong connections to the business world. Courses are taught by academic professors, professionals and leaders from all over the world. The high quality of this training is ensured by the presence of an international faculty composed by renowned professors and experts, coming from both Middle East and US/EU universities and research centers.

Theory & practice

The strong theoretical basis is combined with a solid knowledge of the contemporary issues, in order to provide students’ with a specific understanding of one of the most important region in the international scenario and help them to convert their knowledge in professional skills.

A multidisciplinary approach

Thanks to the expertise of its faculty, this innovative program combines several perspectives on the Middle East: international relations, history, economics, law, geopolitics, security and energy. The analysis of the current dynamics, debates and most important topics regarding the role of the Middle East at a regional and international level, as well as dedicated modules on its sub-regions and their peculiarities, are strengthened by the theoretical basis provided during the first part of the program.

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All the courses offered by the Department of Economics approach the subject matter from a development perspective. Students on the MSc Economics with reference to the Middle East will complete courses on macro, micro, quantitative methods and growth. Read more
All the courses offered by the Department of Economics approach the subject matter from a development perspective. Students on the MSc Economics with reference to the Middle East will complete courses on macro, micro, quantitative methods and growth. In addition, students must complete two courses dedicated to the study of the economics of MENA, as well as an optional module and a dissertation in applied economics with a focus on one or more countries of the Middle East.

The objectives of the programme are:

- To enable students to apply the principles of economic analysis to the design of economic policy with reference to the Middle East
- To teach postgraduates the technical and analytical skills to qualify them to practice as professional economists
- To enable practising professional economists to improve and update their skills and knowledge
- To impart the skills and knowledge that enable students to progress towards PhD research

Students will benefit from studying with experts on the economics of the Middle East within the Department. More broadly, a large number of open lectures on topics relating to the Middle East will be available in various departments of the School throughout the year.

All students are required to complete the compulsory preliminary course in Mathematics and Statistics (including Computing) to begin studying on this programme. This course is taught over a three week period from the beginning of September covering mathematics, statistics and computing. For further information about this course including a timetable please see here: Preliminary maths and Statistics Course (https://www.soas.ac.uk/courseunits/15PECC050.html)

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/economics/programmes/msceconme/

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2015/2016 (pdf; 59kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/economics/programmes/msceconme/file39834.pdf

Teaching & Learning

The MSc includes eight taught modules plus a preliminary course in Mathematics and Statistics and an 8,000-word dissertation.

The courses are taught in seminar groups and lectures. The degrees are awarded on the basis of assessed coursework, examinations and the dissertation.

The MSc degrees are taught over a period of twelve months of full-time study within a structured programme. In the case of part-time study, the degrees will be taught over two or three years. Four modules are studied each year, with the dissertation normally being completed in the second year.

- Lectures

Most courses involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

- Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

- Dissertation

Students are required to complete an 8,000-word dissertation in applied economics.

Learning Resources

- SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Pre Entry Reading

- Preliminary Mathematics and Statistics Course

Our MSc programmes attract students with a wide range of backgrounds including many who have worked for a few years before coming to SOAS. Our popular quantitative courses are designed to be accessible to all of our students including those with a relatively small quantitative component in their first degree. Our well-received quantitative courses focus on applying basic methods used in empirical research. They equip students to carry out their own high quality empirical work and critically evaluate research, with relatively little emphasis on advanced econometric theory and mathematical proofs.

Our quantitative methods teaching begins with a three-week preliminary course in mathematics, statistics and computing.
The objective of the course is to review the basic quantitative skills assumed once formal teaching commences. This course is compulsory. Further details on the Preliminary Mathematics and Statistics Course (http://www.soas.ac.uk/courseunits/15PECC050.html).

Employment

A postgraduate degree in Economics with reference to the Middle East from SOAS equips students with a range of important skills to continue in the field of research as well as a portfolio of widely transferable employability skills valued by a wide range of employers.

These include numeracy, analytical thinking and general skills such as organisation and effective communication skills. Graduates will develop their regional expertise and understanding of the Middle East. In addition the study of Economics gives students particular problem solving skills including: abstraction, analysis, quantification, strategic thinking and adaptability. Postgraduate students from the SOAS MSc in Economics with reference to the Middle East have followed successful careers in both academic work and also in international banking and financial analysis, in national governments in many parts of the world, in international development agencies and in a range of non-government organisations.

A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

SOAS MSc graduates have been very successful in gaining highly competitive Overseas Development Institute (ODI) fellowships which have allowed them to work in government agencies in countries ranging from Mozambique to Papua New Guinea.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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This unique degree takes up the study of the relationship between politics, culture and communication in the Middle East. Read more
This unique degree takes up the study of the relationship between politics, culture and communication in the Middle East. The course draws on theoretical approaches central to the study of culture, politics, society and communication to critically assess the continuously changing media and cultural landscape in the Middle East. During the course of study, students are expected to examine different aspects of these changes, place them in their historical contexts, explore diverse perspectives and consider specific case studies in order to encourage new ways of thinking about the region beyond conventional theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding the Middle East and its peoples.

Building on the Centre of Media Studies’ commitment to theoretically and empirically challenge the Eurocentric approach of media studies, this programme is taught thematically and through comparative analyses of case studies and considers the role of media in relation to processes of social, political and cultural change.

The programme is designed for anyone seeking a more critical and richer knowledge and understanding of the relationship between communications, culture, politics and society in the Middle East. It provides a basis from which students may proceed to MPhil/PhD research.

Email:

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/media-studies/ma-media-and-the-middle-east/

Teaching & Learning

Knowledge:
All learning outcomes will be acquired through readings of recommended texts and issues explored in seminars and lectures.
Assessment: Through unseen examinations, course work, seminar presentations and research for and writing of the dissertation.

Intellectual (thinking) skills:
All learning outcomes will be acquired through discussion in seminars and the required readings.
Assessment: Through unseen examinations, course work, seminar presentations and research for and writing of the dissertation.

Subject-based practical skills:
All learning outcomes come from discussion in seminars and the expectation that students undertake the required reading each week, as well as the requirement to write.
Assessment: Through unseen examinations, course work, seminar presentations and research for and writing of the dissertation.

Programme Aims

- A sophisticated and broad-ranging knowledge of communications uses and practices in the changing Middle East environment.

- The ability to understand and explain international, transnational and global processes of communication using the concepts, theories and methods of the field of media studies, critical cultural studies and politics.

- The ability to conduct independent research based on the analytical foundations provided by student coursework

Programme Learning Outcomes

Knowledge:

- of the role of media in the contemporary Middle East.
- of the different approaches to studying the media and the Middle East, paying attention to particular situations and contexts rather than making generalised assumptions.
- of the role of media, particularly social media, in processes of political, cultural and social change
- of the relationship between the analysis of cultural production economics, power and politics in a fluid environment, with with reference both to normative and empirical issues

Intellectual (thinking) skills:

- be able to think critically – conceptually, politically, theoretically, empirically, and normatively
- be able to apply conceptual and theoretical material to empirical data of a variety of kinds
- be able to analyse and interpret empirical data of a variety of kinds
- be able to demonstrate independence of judgment, especially in relation to differing interpretations of political phenomen

Subject-based practical skills:

- be able to locate, retrieve, sift and select data and evidence from a variety of sources, including manuscripts and digital sources
- be able to deploy appropriate research techniques in a variety of specialised research libraries, institutes and other locations
- be able to solve problems of conflicting sources and conflicting interpretations
- develop the initiative and capacity to define research questions/hypotheses, and to adjust hypotheses and approach in the light of work undertaken for the dissertation
- be able to read rapidly and effectively a variety of types of report/paper, incorporating different types of evidence, methodology and disciplinary perspectives

Transferable skills:

- How to structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing
- how to work independently, manage time and work to deadlines
- how to work effectively in and contribute to groups to marshal and present evidence and arguments both orally and written
- how to retrieve, sift, select, analyse and digest information from a variety of sources

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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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. Read more

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.

Key benefits

  • Unique in combining the study of political economy and Middle Eastern studies.
  • Enables you to analyse the political economy of the Middle East from a variety of different perspectives.
  • Provides a strong intellectual and methodological foundation for further research.
  • Develop your communication skills by presenting and disseminating research in written and oral forms, to classmates, tutors, and the wider academic community.
  • Vibrant research community, designated as a Centre of Excellence in Middle Eastern Studies.

Description

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.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Career prospects

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.



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This programme provides you with the systematic knowledge and intellectual tools to critically review developments in the theory and practice of international relations. Read more
This programme provides you with the systematic knowledge and intellectual tools to critically review developments in the theory and practice of international relations. It enables you to evaluate in a sophisticated and critical fashion concepts, theories and paradigms within the broad field of international relations, drawing lessons from empirical studies involving both quantitative and qualitative investigations.

Students are able to develop their ability to deploy research strategies and methods in an appropriately advanced fashion to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship. Each study route aims to provide advanced knowledge and understanding of the dynamics, including cultural and local political and ideological factors, which shape the contemporary international relations of the area.

The course also provides an opportunity for studying international relations and in comparative and historical perspective taking account of regional specific political and economic factors.

Student Profiles

“From the moment I applied for the MA International Relations (Middle East) programme at Durham University, I knew it was going to be a perfect fit. The combination of theoretical and technical modules, coupled with the option to specialise in the regional area of my choice, immediately made this programme stand out. I was equally drawn to the academic reputation and international background of the SGIA department. Whilst seminars and lectures were intellectually stimulating, the academic staff was very approachable and keen to guide our independent research. Although many of us applied for the International Relations programme with a background in a different subject, the transition – although challenging – proved to be rewarding. Overall, my time at Durham has been an incredibly enriching and unforgettable experience.” Nina Schroeter, 2015/16

“My year at SGIA studying International Relations of the Middle East has allowed me to engage critically with the subjects I have studied. The department offered a rich variety of modules, including language courses delivered through the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. SGIA’s international and multicultural environment is ideal to study a transnational subject like international politics. The assessments have been stimulating occasions to apply the knowledge acquired and feedback has been provided throughout the year by helpful and available lecturers. All activities were properly organised and resources abounded, from the well-stocked library to the modern classrooms and an efficient staff. All this contributed to make my stay in Durham a pleasant and a rewarding one.” Simone Clericuzio, 2015/16

“Pursuing the International Relations (Middle East) MA at Durham has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The School of Government & International Affairs offers all students a chance to really engage in the issues they are interested in. The department provides the opportunity of specialising the course based on the world's regions you are most passionate about, while simultaneously opening your eyes to other issues in the wider world of International Relations. Coupled with a very approachable department with exceptional teaching standards, this course is both as comprehensive as it is detailed, attracting students and views from all over the world. These factors combine to offer an extremely positive and enriching experience, providing an exceptional foundation for future academic or professional goals.” Scott Chipolina, 2014/15

Course Content

Students will take five core modules to the value of 150 credits and optional modules to the value of 30 credits, 15 of which must be from the regional module list.

Core Modules:
-International Relations Theory
-Model United Nations
-Research Methods and Dissertation Production
-Dissertation

Middle East Route Core Module:
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-Regional Modules:
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East

Non-regional Modules - In previous years these have included:
-German Foreign Policy
-European Security
-Collective Memory and Identity in Post-War Europe
-European Institutions and the Policy Process
-The European Union as a Global Actor
-Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain
-America and the World: The Making of US Foreign Policy
-Human Rights
-Political Ideology
-Issues in the Politics of Military Occupation
-Just War in Political Theory and Practice
-Nationalism Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China
-Political Economy and Development of Chinese Business
-Political Ideology
-Region, Nation and Citizen in Southeast Asia
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis
-A module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MA degree programme is divided into four core and two optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 75 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

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The Middle East has seen significant political and social upheavals in recent years which have had huge repercussions both within the region and beyond… Read more
The Middle East has seen significant political and social upheavals in recent years which have had huge repercussions both within the region and beyond; the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the various peace initiatives launched to try and bring an end to that conflict, the end of the Lebanese civil war and the fragile peace that has followed and the war to ‘liberate’ Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein.

More recently we have witnessed the rise of Al Qaeda and the proliferation of Islamist groups affiliated to it operating far beyond the borders of the Middle East, a spate of popular uprisings calling for democracy in parts of North Africa and the Middle East popularly known as the Arab Spring and the fall-out of these rebellions both politically and socially in Egypt and Syria. The civil war in Syria has created a huge refugee problem which has created a humanitarian crisis in both Jordan and Lebanon, bordering countries that have neither the resources nor the necessary infrastructure to deal with such large scale migration. Political tensions have also been generated by the crisis.

The MA in Middle East Politics and Security Studies focuses on many of these themes and traces their origins historically in an effort to offer a much deeper level of understanding of social and political developments and broader security implications in this troubled region that have had - and continue to have -ramifications for peoples and governments far beyond the Middle East.

For more information on the part time version of this course, please view this web-page: http://www.brad.ac.uk/study/courses/info/middle-east-politics-and-security-studies-ma-part-time

Why Bradford?

This course is taught in Peace Studies — the largest centre in the world devoted exclusively to the study of peace and conflict.

Modules

Core modules
-Introduction to Peace Studies
-Framing the Modern Middle East
-The Israel-Palestine conflict: Dynamics and impact
-Dissertation (Middle East Politics and Security Studies)

Option modules
-Fragile States and the Security-Development Nexus
-International Politics and Security Studies
-Political Violence and Terrorism
-East Asia Security Politics
-Gender, Conflict and Development
-Natural Resource Governance, Conflict and Co-operation
-The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy
-Social Movements, Globalisation and Political Change
-Regional and Global Security Politics
-Religions, Conflict and Peacemaking in a Post-Secular World
-Sustainable Tourism Development

Career support and prospects

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

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This degree offers an intensive Arabic language programme (including a period spent in the Arab world) with an advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East. Read more

Programme description

This degree offers an intensive Arabic language programme (including a period spent in the Arab world) with an advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East.

This programme offers the opportunity to study the international politics and culture of the Middle East while learning to communicate, to an advanced level, in its dominant language, including a period of study in an Arabic-speaking country. No prior study of Arabic is required.

Programme structure

The programme will be delivered through lectures, seminars, group work and guided independent study.

You will complete three compulsory courses and three option courses, as well as a programme of intensive Arabic language studies, which will involve oral and written exams. You may also take language courses in Persian and Turkish, although they will not count towards your qualification.

Your second year of study will culminate in an independently researched dissertation.

Learning outcomes

You will obtain an in-depth understanding of the main historical events, processes and actors that have shaped and continue to shape political dynamics in the Middle East.

You will also acquire a strong understanding of International Relations theoretical and conceptual tools required to understand Middle East international relations, which will help you form an academically-based, independent and critical knowledge of the Middle East.

The intensive Arabic language element will see you reach a high level of competence in speaking, listening, reading and writing the language.

Career opportunities

The specialist knowledge you acquire through this programme will equip you for any career relating to international relations, particularly of the Middle East, either in academia (after further study) or with an international institution.

Your Arabic language skills will be invaluable in many contexts including academia, media and the NGO sector.

In addition, the transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.

Read less
This degree offers an intensive Arabic language programme (including a period spent in the Arab world) with an advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East. Read more

Programme description

This degree offers an intensive Arabic language programme (including a period spent in the Arab world) with an advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East.

This programme offers the opportunity to study the international politics and culture of the Middle East while learning to communicate, to an advanced level, in its dominant language, including a period of study in an Arabic-speaking country. No prior study of Arabic is required.

Programme structure

The programme will be delivered through lectures, seminars, group work and guided independent study.

You will complete three compulsory courses and three option courses, as well as a programme of intensive Arabic language studies, which will involve oral and written exams. You may also take language courses in Persian and Turkish, although they will not count towards your qualification.

Your second year of study will culminate in an independently researched dissertation.

Learning outcomes

You will obtain an in-depth understanding of the main historical events, processes and actors that have shaped and continue to shape political dynamics in the Middle East.

You will also acquire a strong understanding of International Relations theoretical and conceptual tools required to understand Middle East international relations, which will help you form an academically-based, independent and critical knowledge of the Middle East.

The intensive Arabic language element will see you reach a high level of competence in speaking, listening, reading and writing the language.

Career opportunities

The specialist knowledge you acquire through this programme will equip you for any career relating to international relations, particularly of the Middle East, either in academia (after further study) or with an international institution.

Your Arabic language skills will be invaluable in many contexts including academia, media and the NGO sector.

In addition, the transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.

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This programme offers an advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East, exploring and applying several theoretical models. Read more

Programme description

This programme offers an advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East, exploring and applying several theoretical models: realism, constructivism, historical sociology and structuralism.

This programme offers an in-depth understanding of the main historical events, processes and actors that have shaped and continue to shape the political dynamics of the Middle East.

The politics of Islam, oil, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Arab Spring and continuing regional unrest pose crucial questions about the Middle East and about its place in the world order. This recently developed programme draws on our research strengths in politics and international relations and Islamic and Middle Eastern studies to offer you a unique opportunity.

As well as placing the region in broader analytical, conceptual and theoretical debates of international relations and political science, we also aim to foster knowledge of Middle East international relations by examining local cultures, histories, languages and religions.

You’ll acquire a strong understanding of theoretical and conceptual tools required to understand Middle East international relations.

Programme structure

The programme will be delivered through lectures, seminars, group work and guided independent study.

You will complete two compulsory courses and four option courses, after which you will work towards an independently researched dissertation.

In addition to your work on your taught masters programme, you may wish to take advantage of opportunities to learn Persian or Turkish while at the University.

Career opportunities

The specialist knowledge you acquire through this programme will equip you for a career relating to international/Middle Eastern relations, either in academia or with an international institution.

In addition, the transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.

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This is a multidisciplinary degree which offers an advanced grounding in the security of three fascinating and turbulent regions. Read more

MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies

This is a multidisciplinary degree which offers an advanced grounding in the security of three fascinating and turbulent regions: the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia. It explores the security, politics, economics, history and culture of these strategically significant regions. It is aimed at professionals who have worked in or on the regions and for students with a decided interest in these themes and in this region. The course also offers an opportunity for language study in Arabic, Persian, or Russian. In most years, field trips to the region constitute a part of the programme. This degree will equip you to either continue with doctoral work or pursue a non-academic career in which you contribute to analysis, policy and planning (particularly in international diplomacy, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and consultancy work).

The MECACS Institute houses two of the School of International Relations’ largest-ever external grants, from the European Commission on ‘Post-Soviet Tensions’ and ‘Around the Caspian’, as well as the Centre for Syrian Studies. These all bring to St Andrews added international interactions with the degree’s regions. Our teaching is therefore deeply informed with “real world” experience given that we are able to bring practitioners and outsider experts regularly to the programme.

Middle East and Central Asian Security Studies postgraduates supply the need for analysts who combine analytical tools with in-depth familiarity of the culture of the geographic area of the Middle East and Central Asia/Caucasus. Recent graduates have gone on to: a leading European think tank on Caucasus and Central Asia, based in Brussels; the world’s largest regional intergovernmental security organisation, the OSCE, in Kazakhstan; various think tanks in Washington, DC; and local NGOs in Tajikistan, Central Asia.

Features

* There are over 40 academic members of staff in the School.

* International Relations was ranked top in the UK in Guardian University Guide 2016.

* There is a large and vibrant postgraduate community, with around 100 taught postgraduate and 80 research students in any year, which includes a large proportion of international students.

* We have an established reputation throughout the world for high-quality teaching and research.

* We have specialist areas in international security, terrorism studies, peace and conflict, international institutions, regional studies including the Middle East, Central Asia and Southern Africa, and international theory

Postgraduate community

International Relations has been taught at the University for 25 years; a department was created in 1990 which became a School in its own right in 2003. We are located at the centre of the University, occupying a purpose-built building which opened in 2008.

All International Relations modules taught on our MLitt programmes are distinctive options available only to postgraduate students. At the same time you are incorporated into the wider research life of the School, taking part in our regular research seminars and occasional series organised on specific topics.

The discipline of International Relations is both theoretical and practical. Academics teaching in the discipline are frequently called upon to apply their insights to the realities of international relations. In consequence staff members provide expert judgements in the media, give advice to legislatures or governments, or provide non-governmental organisations with briefings on specific issues or countries.

International Relations is a distinct discipline that draws on diplomatic history, political theory, political economy, political science and international law to provide theoretical perspectives to explain the processes and patterns of international affairs in the modern world. This enables you to assess developments in the international system and specific geographic regions. You will explore issues such as the origins of war and peace, foreign policy making, international trade, international terrorism, human rights, international organisations, international law, and the interaction of political and economic development. You also analyse the ways in which states relate to other international actors, and develop normative theories that relate the world as it is to the world as it might be. All of these have practical applications for you as both citizen and potential decision maker.

Careers

International Relations postgraduates may find employment as policy makers within national and EU civil services as well as political research units. Fieldwork-based jobs with aid agencies, other NGOs or journalism also present employment opportunities. With the increasing globalisation of industry, commerce and banking, the particular knowledge and awareness of the International Relations postgraduate are particularly relevant.

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Programme Description. This degree offers an intensive Arabic language programme to develop advanced Arabic proficiency, including a period spent in the Arab world, along with advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East. Read more

Programme Description

This degree offers an intensive Arabic language programme to develop advanced Arabic proficiency, including a period spent in the Arab world, along with advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East.

You will use the Arabic language both as a means of communication and a research tool to interview informants, read the local press and scholarship, and explore Middle Eastern culture in a way not available to non-Arabic speakers.

Programme Structure

The programme will be delivered through lectures, seminars, group work and guided independent study.

You will complete four compulsory courses and two option courses, as well as a programme of intensive Arabic language studies, which will involve oral and written exams. You may also take language courses in Persian and Turkish, although they will not count towards your qualification.

Your second year of study will culminate in an independently researched dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

You will obtain an in-depth understanding of the main historical events, processes and actors that have shaped and continue to shape political dynamics in the Middle East.

You will also acquire a strong understanding of International Relations theoretical and conceptual tools required to understand Middle East international relations, which will help you form an academically-based, independent and critical knowledge of the Middle East.

The Advanced Arabic language element will see you reach a high level of competence in speaking, listening, reading and writing the language.

Career Opportunities

The specialist knowledge you acquire through this programme will equip you for any career relating to international relations, particularly of the Middle East, either in academia (after further study) or with an international institution.

Your Arabic language skills will be invaluable in many contexts including academia, media and the NGO sector.

In addition, the transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.



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The LLM programme is a single subject law programme that may be taken over a period of one year (full-time), or part-time over a period of two, three or four years. Read more
The LLM programme is a single subject law programme that may be taken over a period of one year (full-time), or part-time over a period of two, three or four years. Every student will be required to take modules equivalent to four full units. The assessment of one of the chosen full units (which must be from your chosen specialism) will be by means of a 15,000 word dissertation.

The dissertation must be linked to a module offered at SOAS itself, and attendance on the module will be treated as being part of the process of supervision. With permission of the LLM tutor, students will be entitled to select one complementary subject or the equivalent from comparable Master’s module at SOAS including appropriate language modules. A complementary subject may be chosen in substitution for either a full or a half-subject.

Examinations for all taught modules will be held in May/June of each year and the dissertation will be due for submission during September of the final year of registration. The assessment for each module may vary according to the extent to which the research component of each module is to be stressed.

It is expected that all students will graduate with an LLM in law. It is possible, however, for students wishing to graduate with a ‘specialist’ degree, to do so by way of opting to take three or more modules from the relevant subject groupings below. In each case, the student must undertake a dissertation in that subject grouping.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/law/programmes/llm/llmlawmena/

Structure

Every student will be required to take modules equivalent to four (4.0) full units. Students who wish to graduate with a specialised LLM are required to take at least three (3.0) of the four (4.0) units within their chosen specialism, including the dissertation. The assessment of one of the chosen full units (within the LLM specialism) will be by means of a 15,000 word dissertation. The fourth unit can be chosen from either the general Law Postgraduate Modules or the following modules associated with the Law in the Middle East and North Africa specialisation:

Please note: Not all modules listed will be available every year. Please see the individual module page for information.

Full Module Units (1.0):
- Critical Jurisprudence in Islamic Law and Society - 15PLAC176 (1 Unit)
- Human Rights and Islamic Law - 15PLAC150 (1 Unit)
- Islamic Law - 15PLAC121 (1 Unit)
- Law and Society in the Middle East and North Africa - 15PLAC130 (1 Unit)
- Law, Human Rights and Peace-building: the Israeli-Palestinian case - 15PLAC133 (1 Unit)

Half Module Units (0.5):
- Foundations of Comparative Law - 15PLAH031 (0.5 Unit)
- Gender, Law and Society in the Middle East and North Africa - 15PLAH056 (0.5 Unit)
- Religion & Comparative Constitutionalism - 15PLAH052 (0.5 Unit)

Dissertation (1.0):
The dissertation module unit forms part of the required three (3.0) units within the chosen LLM specialism. Please see the dissertation module units below. You will need to attend the teaching on the module and then submit a dissertation in place of the module method of assessment.

- Critical Jurisprudence in Islamic Law and Society - 15PLAD176 (1 Unit)
- Human Rights and Islamic Law - 15PLAD150 (1 Unit)
- Islamic Law - 15PLAD121 (1 Unit)
- Law and Society in the Middle East and North Africa - 15PLAD130 (1 Unit)
- Law, Human Rights and Peace-building: the Israeli-Palestinian case - 15PLAD133 (1 Unit)

Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (L&SS)

Welcome to the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at SOAS. The faculty is the largest in the School in terms of student and staff numbers and consists of the departments of Development Studies, Economics, Financial and Management Studies, Politics and International Studies and the School of Law, as well as the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Sciences, the Centre for Gender Studies, the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, the Centre of Taiwan Studies and a number of department-specific centres. All five departments offer undergraduate programmes, and all but Finance and International Management offer joint undergraduate degrees which can be combined with other disciplines from across the School. Each department also offers a range of masters-level programmes with a regional or disciplinary specialism, as well as a postgraduate research programme. The range of course options and combinations is one of the most distinctive characteristics of studying at SOAS and all students are given the option of studying an Asian or African language, either as part of or on top of their degree.

Staff in the faculty come from all over the world and combine regional knowledge with disciplinary specialisms. Teaching draws heavily on academic staff’s individual research which allows the faculty to maintain a large portfolio of courses, often exploring cutting-edge issues. Many faculty members have played a significant part in public debates and policy-making in relation to Asia and Africa. Academics in the faculty are regularly consulted by governments, public bodies and multilateral organisations including the United Nations and the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, European Commission, DFID and other country-specific organisations and NGOs.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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This Master's degree in politics will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the history and politics of the Middle East and Islam, while honing your ability to make well-informed, critical analyses of the region in the context of global politics. Read more
This Master's degree in politics will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the history and politics of the Middle East and Islam, while honing your ability to make well-informed, critical analyses of the region in the context of global politics. The programme has its theoretical foundations in international relations and political science, using these as tools to explore and analyse the region's domestic and international politics and current concerns, including sectarianism and persistent authoritarianism. Particular attention is given to the intersection between Islam, conflict and development. Recognising that Islam is at the centre of urgent discussions and disputes today, the programme looks into key issues including Muslim identity, religious extremism and violence, and the impact of American foreign policy in the region, including the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the ongoing conflict within Syria. The programme also uses interdisciplinary scholarship to help you make comprehensive, balanced analyses of contemporary Islam and the Middle East in relation to the UK and the world.

The core module explores the domestic political structures and international relations of countries in the Middle East. You can then choose to either study how ideas of ethnicity and nationalism generate identities as well as tension and conflict, or consider how theories and institutions of global governance have arisen in response to the impact of globalisation. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You go on to choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree is a unique course, offering insights into the history and politics of the Middle East and a balanced understanding of issues pertaining to Islam in the modern world.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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