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Globalised and transnational Islam

Islam is Denmark’s – and indeed Western Europe’s – second-largest religion. The days are gone when it made sense to study the Arab and Islamic worlds as a distant “other”. Arab communities are to be found within Europe as well as in the Arab world, and Islam is now a Western religion as well as an Arab one. The MA in Arab and Islamic Studies therefore focuses on today’s globalised and transnational realities and on Islam and Muslims in Europe as well as in the Arab world. 

A transdisciplinary, research-based teaching environment

The MA in Arab and Islamic Studies is taught by faculty members from the Arab and Islamic Studies Research Network, a transdisciplinary research unit for all Aarhus University scholars interested in Islamic cultures and societies both within the Islamic world and transregionally. The research unit aims to provide a stimulating research milieu for both senior and junior researchers by promoting discussion and exchange as well as arranging events. 

The programme has two lines, A and B, both of which require students to complete courses with a total value of 120 ECTS credits. Line B, which is designed for students who wish to take an additional subject as a qualification for teaching in the Danish high-school system, will not normally be of interest to international students. 

The Arab and Islamic Studies programme is small and the study environment is informal, with close contact between students and teachers. There are also opportunities to attend research seminars and guest lectures, including those organised by the student-run Arab Studies Society. 

During the third semester, the student may choose between a profile course, an international elective subject, or an internship/field study. Many students spend this semester at one of the universities in the Arab world with which Aarhus has an exchange agreement, such as the American University of Beirut. 


All Western organisations that work with the Arab world or with Arab or Muslim communities in the West – from travel agencies to security services – need people with expertise in Arab and Islamic studies. There are opportunities to work in local government or aid organisations in the public sector, and some private-sector opportunities in the Western firms that operate within the Arab world. Previous graduates from the programme have also gone on to pursue careers in journalism, academia, and politics. 

“The MA in Arab and Islamic Studies at Aarhus University has definitely been a positive transition in my career. Here I found what I was searching for: authentic availability of numerous and qualified professors, a faculty actively connected to the rest of the academic world, a new method based on personal production and research. The programme’s multi-disciplinary theoretical approach provides the perfect toolbox for conducting research and writing about contemporary Middle East issues.” - Claudio Aceto, MA in Arab and Islamic Studies, from Italy, Project Officer, Expertise Consultancy House

Selection criteria

As the MA programme has a limited number of places each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme. The admissions committee will assess applicants on the basis of the average mark or GPA of their bachelor’s degree at the time of application; marks or grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA. The admissions committee will assess each applicant’s marks on the basis of information provided by diplomas and transcripts. 

Visit the MA in Arab and Islamic Studies page on the Aarhus University website for more details!




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