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Course content

You will gain an advanced, interdisciplinary understanding of the history, modern politics and culture of the Islamic Middle East, and explore the paradigms behind the various disciplines within this field.

Recognised in the UK and internationally as a leading institution for research and undergraduate and postgraduate study, our department is well resourced. We are home to the Alwaleed Centre, part of an international network of centres devoted to the promotion of better mutual understanding between the World of Islam and the West. We boast an impressive library of current and archival material.

Programme structure

The programme will combine seminar work, oral presentations and essays. You will complete one compulsory course, two research courses and three option courses over two semesters, followed by an independently researched dissertation.

Your option courses can be chosen from within IMES or from other disciplines such as history, divinity, politics or international relations. You may also take additional language courses in introductory Persian, Turkish or Arabic.

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:

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

Career opportunities

The aim of this programme is to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to advance to doctoral study, and perhaps an academic career. You may also choose to apply your skills to a role that involves the Islamic community, or use your transferable communication, research and other skills in an unrelated area.


Visit the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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