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Masters Degrees (Mystical Experience)

We have 3 Masters Degrees (Mystical Experience)

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Understanding the nature of consciousness has been described as the primary challenge facing us today. By combining the study of consciousness with recent developments in the psychology of spirituality, this MSc is distinctive in encouraging students to explore the further reaches of human experience. Read more
Understanding the nature of consciousness has been described as the primary challenge facing us today. By combining the study of consciousness with recent developments in the psychology of spirituality, this MSc is distinctive in encouraging students to explore the further reaches of human experience.

The MSc will appeal to those who share our vision that three core features are central to the study of consciousness and the human mind:

• Connectedness to a larger scale of being
• Recognition of the sacred
• Sense of quest - that some form of spiritual journey lies at the core of human experience.

The paradigm shift underpinning this course has had significant impact in professional arenas, with increasing recognition of spiritual values in the workplace, the role of transformational leadership, and the importance of transpersonal experience in working towards realisation of our potential.

The masters provides an intellectually-challenging programme of study including:

• The nature of consciousness and its relation to the brain
• The psychology of self and higher states of being
• Creativity and transformation
• Psychological aspects of spiritual and mystical practices
• Transpersonal approaches to therapy
• The dialogue between science and mysticism

Experiential approaches to learning are also used to enable you to integrate insights from the course into your own life journeys.

This Masters operates fully online, enabling you to take control of the timing and pace of your study. There are no external workshops or study days during this programme, enabling us to offer this programme at a competitive rate.

Visit the Consciousness Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology page on the Professional Development International web site, or http://www.aleftrust.org, for more details!

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This interdisciplinary programme builds on a number of fields of study, including ancient history, Middle Eastern studies and Islamic studies. Read more

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.

Programme structure

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.

Compulsory courses:

  • Critical Readings in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Research Skills and Methods in IMES
  • Research Methods and Problems in IMES

Option courses may include:

  • Cinema and Society in the Middle East
  • Ideology and Political Practice in the Modern Middle East
  • The Qur’an – Islam’s Holy Book
  • Mystical Islam
  • Muslims in Britain: Migration, Faith and Identity
  • Of Wine, Love and Loss: Reading Iran through Classical Persian Literature
  • Modern Persian Literature and 'Modern' Iran
  • The Syrian War and the Strategic Meltdown of the Middle East
  • Gender and Media in the Arab World

Career opportunities

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.



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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. Read more

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.

Programme structure

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:

  • Approaches to the Long Late Antiquity.

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:

  • Elementary Greek (PG) 1 and Elementary Greek (PG) 2
  • Intermediate Greek (PG) 1 and Intermediate Greek (PG) 2
  • Elementary Latin (PG) 1 and Elementary Latin (PG) 2
  • Intermediate Latin (PG) 1 and Intermediate Latin (PG) 2
  • Arabic 1A and Arabic 1B for MSc LAIBS
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy
  • Mosques, Palaces and Gardens in the Golden Age of Islam
  • Mystical Islam
  • The Qur'an - Islam's Holy Book
  • A Topic in Late Antique and Byzantine History, e.g.: Popular Culture in Late Antiquity; The Mediterranean in the Fifth Century; Centre and Periphery in the Age of Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Süleyman the Magnificent
  • Topics in Byzantine Literary History
  • Debating Marriage between Antiquity and the Middle Ages
  • Latin Text Seminar
  • Greek Text Seminar
  • Byzantine Text Seminar
  • Greek Palaeography
  • The Latin Manuscript

Learning outcomes

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.

Career opportunities

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).



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