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Full time & Part time See Course MA 1 year full time, 2-3 years part time

About the course

The MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies provides exceptional opportunities for studying this diverse and fascinating area at the postgraduate level through a variety of disciplinary approaches. The main emphasis of the programme is on the modern period through the modules in history, geography, politics, economics and anthropology. Some exposure is provided, however, to the pre-modern culture and society of the area through modules in religious studies, Islamic art and archaeology, and history. Modules based on Arabic are offered for those with an adequate knowledge of the language, while modules in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish are available for those who wish to acquire or develop skills in these languages.

If you are interested in taking the MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies

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Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)


Course Content



Where is SOAS University of London


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Student Profile(s)

Padraig Belton

My training as a specialist in the Middle East and Subcontinent would be rather incomplete without these languages or a stay at SOAS!

I have been doing a Certificate in Arabic together with an MA in Middle Eastern Studies, which gives me an opportunity to study Arabic, Urdu and Persian, three languages I was initially exposed to as a foreign correspondent. I decided to take on these three several years into my doctorate in politics at Oxford, feeling my training as a specialist in the Middle East and Subcontinent would be rather incomplete without these languages or a stay at SOAS!

In this time I have found my lecturers all expert in their !field. Through SOAS’s doors drip a continued dribbling of speakers and conferences off the stream of those, knowledgeable in the School’s regions of specialism, who pass through London in the midst of their work. Having undergone parental bereavement in the course of my studies at SOAS, I also had occasion to find the administration supportive and flexible. One unexpected result of my time at SOAS is that a book proposal has grown from out of my class essays, thesis, and prior experience as a journalist, on the relationship between colonialism and the rise of the Arab press.

I happily give to SOAS, my two courses and my lecturers my warmest recommendation.


Mohammad Mirbashiri

As-Salaamu Alaikum,

SOAS is a truly great institution that provides a stimulating learning environment with extensive resources and outstanding teaching staff. My course is structured in a way that has given me the opportunity to study course units exploring the history; politics and cultures of the Middle East region, drawing upon the expertise of renowned academics from different disciplines.

The wide choice of course units on offer at the Near and Middle Eastern Studies program and its flexible nature have meant that I can study part time and work, as well as tailor my degree to best suit my academic interests. SOAS is a remarkable institution and I am happy to have chosen to study here. Students of the Middle East can really excel in their chosen fields and this year I have had the chance to study courses in the Politics and Media Studies Departments.

My decision to embark on the masters’ program has undoubtedly been a good choice. It has enhanced my understanding of the Middle East in addition to further inspiring my genuine passion and tantalising an unquenchable thirst to learn more about this key region, its languages and its people. Study at SOAS!

Wa alaikum us-Salaam


Samuel Southgate

After a few years spent working as a journalist, I was slightly nervous about returning to full-time education to do a Masters in Middle Eastern studies. I made the decision because I wanted to increase my knowledge to enable me to move into work covering this region.

SOAS seemed the natural place to come, not only because of its fantastic location in the heart of London, but also because of its specialist focus and its diverse student body. What I found was an incredibly friendly and welcoming institution with an always exciting array of lectures, concerts and other events throughout the year; the campus has a real buzz about it. More importantly, I found my courses always challenging and intellectually stimulating, the lecturers first-rate and unceasing in their willingness to give their time and assistance, a library with a wonderful collection covering my research area, as well as the half-dozen or so other accessible university libraries in the area.

My skills in Arabic have also increased hugely through taking evening classes at the school’s language centre. Now at the end of my studies at SOAS, I have enjoyed the course so much that I have decided against returning immediately to journalism. Instead I am going to continue my research at PhD level at a university in the US.


Samuel Kustaa Lammi

I came to SOAS with high expectations. Having lived in five Asian countries in 22 years, I thought I knew much of the world. The very first day, I realised I was in the right place, at the heart of understanding the countries I had lived in. I had found my tribe; those with backgrounds similar and different to mine and with the endless curiosity to comprehend and connect seemingly disparate worlds. As my year is closing, I realise SOAS has exceeded all my expectations by redefining them. I came thinking I knew much about Asia, and I leave realising how much I can yet learn.

SOAS is truly a microcosm in the heart of London. Students bring their unique backgrounds to the learning environment where they engage contexts and circumstances of their personal experiences. Everyone here is studying about their passion as much as the academics and, alongside their area of study, learn from friends and their interests. Living and breathing SOAS ensures you not only see and understand the complexities of our global world, but that you actually feel it, realising that you and I are inextricably linked in every way. This organic awakening to holistically see infinitely complex global situations is something found nowhere else than SOAS.

The interdisciplinary approach to Middle Eastern Studies has been excellent as it connects my various familiarities and intellect to understand this fascinating part of the world in all its cultural beauty, lively history and present complexity. Sharing of our contact with the region has made the academically abstract come to life through intelligent and informed discussions. Conversing with colleagues studying similar topics in other regions has also served to build a comprehensive understanding of contemporary themes and challenges facing Africa, Asia and the Middle East today.



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