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Course content

This two-year programme offers a unique opportunity for in-depth study of Arabic language, region-specific culture, history and politics. It is intended for students who already have some knowledge of the Arabic language (approximately 400 hours of previous study or CEF level B1 or B2).

This programme takes a combined and communicative approach to the language, teaching all the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in parallel, combining both spoken ‘dialect’ and more formal Modern Standard Arabic, bringing learners to an advanced level in all skills.

You will have access to some of the UK’s leading experts in the field of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and will experience a three-month immersion in language and culture in an Arabic-speaking country.

Graduates of the postgraduate Arabic programme at the department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies have gone on to use their language and regional expertise in a wide variety of roles, including business, government, charities and NGOs and academia.

Programme structure

The first eight months of the programme are delivered in Edinburgh, with a combination of language training, survey and option courses. You then spend three months at an approved institution in an Arab country, further developing your skills. The second year includes specialisation through further optional courses as well as training in research skills and extensive support in preparation for the final dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

  • Advanced Arabic D & E
  • Critical Readings in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Advanced Arabic G & H
  • Research Skills and Methods in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Research Methods and Problems in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Option courses can be chosen from those offered by IMES, from elsewhere within the School or across the University. Among these are:

  • Cinema and Society in the Middle East
  • Ideology and Political Practice in the Modern Middle East
  • The Arab - Israeli Conflict
  • Gender and Media in the Arab World
  • Islamic Movements in the 20th Century

Career opportunities

Expertise in the Arabic language and Middle Eastern Studies are increasingly sought after. Graduates of this programme will be well-placed to use their language skills in - for example - business and commerce, governments, NGOs and charities, and academia.


Visit the Middle Eastern Studies with Advanced Arabic - MSc page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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