This MA is unique in the UK in providing such a comprehensive overview of Asian archaeology and cultural heritage. The UCL Institute of Archaeology is one of the few places in the world with the expertise to deliver such a programme, encompassing not only India and China, but also South–East and Central Asia.
The aim of this programme is to develop a comparative appreciation of the cultural histories and heritage of Asia, moving chronologically from early human history, through movements towards the Neolithic, and the rise of cities and states, to the present day. It looks at current debates around conservation ethics, reconstruction and authenticity of archaeological remains.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation/report (90 credits).
All students are required to take the following:
Students take three further optional modules to the value of 45 credits. These can be selected from the outstanding range of Master's options available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, but for this degree, the normal choices include:
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars. Assessment is through essays, PowerPoint presentations, supervised independent research project and dissertation, and an oral viva towards the end of the degree.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Archaeology and Heritage of Asia MA
Graduates of this programme are expected to pursue further studies at PhD level or embark on a wide range of professional careers in archaeology - in the archaeological servics or heritage organisations specialising in Asian countries - and beyond.
The experience and skills acquired depends on the optional modules selected, and how those skills are developed through assessed work, practical elements and dissertation, but in general we expect students to develop expertise in the archaeology of specific regions of Asia (in particular East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia and to some extent South–East Asia) and a broader comparative, international perspective on that specific region. Students gain knowledge of both current scholarly debates in archaeology as well as heritage management issues.
This programme is unique in training pan-Asian specialists – escaping traditional study area boundaries where China, India, South–East and Central Asia are studied on their own – and conducting inter-regional dialogue on the human past.
Students are given the opportunity to develop depth of expertise in a particular region in Asia while benefiting from an innovative macro-regional comparative perspective.
This MA focuses on the development of human societies and civilisations in a part of the world which is becoming increasingly influential in world affairs but has been under-represented in most general and regional archaeological programmes.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology
73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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.
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.
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.
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
● 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 (or Arabic/ Persian/ Turkish language course)
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.
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.
● 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
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.
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.
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.