This interdisciplinary programme builds on a number of fields of study, including ancient history, Middle Eastern studies and Islamic studies. It is distinctive in its breadth and diversity, drawing on the University’s extensive expertise in Iranian historical and cultural studies from the pre-Islamic Iran to the present day. You will also learn from scholars with complementary interests in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
The programme provides a wide-ranging academic teaching and learning experience, one unique in the field of Persian studies, particularly for those who wish to combine research projects at postgraduate level with specialist methodological, theoretical, literary, and historiographical training.
The programme will combine seminar work, oral presentations and essays, culminating in a dissertation. You will complete one compulsory course, two research courses and three option courses over two semesters, followed by an independently researched dissertation. You may also take additional language courses in Turkish or Arabic, introductory, intermediate Persian.
Option courses may include:
This unique programme will provide you with research and analytical skills within the disciplinary field of Middle Eastern Studies, which can be extended into advanced study in this discipline. You will be equipped with skills that could be valuable in a range of careers, such as politics, the arts, or the cultural or heritage sectors.
The range of transferable skills you gain, such as communication, time management, team work, and project management, will prove highly valuable to potential employers in whatever field you choose to enter.
The end of classical antiquity in the Mediterranean and the Middle East witnessed the formation of polities, institutions and ideologies which define and continue to influence our world to the present day.
By combining a diverse, yet cognate range of research interests, this programme offers an exceptional selection of linguistic and disciplinary expertise in the study of the late antique, Islamic and Byzantine worlds, embracing archaeology, art history, history, languages and literatures, and auxiliary disciplines such as palaeography, numismatics, and sigillography. It presently provides training in the following source languages: Greek, Latin, Arabic, and/or Hebrew.
This programme provides you with excellent preparation for graduate research in historical, archaeological, literary or art-historical topics focusing on the Mediterranean and western Asia from late antiquity into the early middle ages.
You will have access to the expertise of academics who are all passionate about their area of study. Drawn from several schools across the University and brought together in the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the team comprises specialists in the various branches of late antique, Islamic and Byzantine studies.
The MSc comprises seminars, language classes and tutorials, which will include seminar discussion and debate, presentation to peers, directed and independent reading, as well as interactive language teaching. You will complete one compulsory course and select a further two language courses and an additional three options from a wide range on offer.
The compulsory course is:
Option courses previously offered include those listed below. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list:
The programme emphasises acquisition of essential language skills for original research and close work with key historical and/or literary sources of evidence and grounding in the issues surrounding them.
You will gain an appreciation of the associated material cultures, including issues surrounding its recovery, survival and curation, which will prepare you for future academic research and prospective careers in aspects of museums and heritage management.
Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers. Those interested in long-term academic careers consider the MSc as preparation for a PhD.
The MSc provides a toolkit of transferable skills in organisation, research and analysis that will be highly prized in any field of work. It can form a stepping stone to many careers, such as further academic research, museum and art curation, literary translation or analysis, education or public heritage. Graduates of related programmes are putting their skills to use as tutors, archivists, writers and conference coordinators for employers including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).