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Our MA Political Economy of the Middle East explores the politics and economics of one of the most vital and interesting regions in the world. You will develop solid regional expertise in addition to the theoretical and methodological skills necessary for a career in political and economic analysis.

Key benefits

  • Unique in combining political economy and comparative politics with the study of Middle East. 
  • Located in one of the globally leading Departments on the study of politics and economics.
  • Wide range of optional modules taught by world-leading scholars in the study of the Middle East.
  • Provides a strong theoretical and methodological foundation in the social sciences.
  • Develop your critical and communication skills by presenting and disseminating research in written and oral forms, to classmates, tutors, and the wider academic community.
  • Opportunity to study Arabic, Turkish, Farsi or Hebrew through King’s Modern Language Centre.
  • Join vibrant research communities in the Department of Political Economy and the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies.


Our MA programme Political Economy of the Middle East combines the best of political science research at King’s with extensive expertise on the Middle East. It attracts a diverse mix of students from around the world who value the academic, social, economic and cultural appeal of one of Europe’s most dynamic cities. Our staff are world-leading researchers, experienced teachers, and passionate about their subject. In addition, we are able to draw on the expertise of Middle East-focused academics from across Faculty.

Through the required module Political Economy of the Middle East: Theory and Practice, the MA programme offers you a chance to explore different political and economic perspectives on a range of themes, which typically include economic development, the politics of oil, colonialism, state-building, authoritarianism, street protest, gender relations, elections, sectarianism and civil war. You will also have the opportunity to pursue your own developing interests by choosing from a wide range of specialist optional modules, both within the Department of Political Economy and in other departments at King’s.

With political and economic developments in the Middle East remaining at the forefront of global media, policy and public debates, there exists a wide range of governmental, intergovernmental, civil society and corporate organizations looking for individuals with strong training in both analytical skills and area expertise of the kind offered by this MA programme. This programme is ideal for graduates with degrees in such fields as politics, economics, international relations, political economy and Middle Eastern studies. We also welcome recent graduates from other disciplines in the social sciences, the humanities and law, as well as those coming from a professional background.

Further literature

Course format and assessment


For every 20-credit module, we will typically provide you with 20 hours of lectures and seminars (two hours of teaching per week), and we will expect you to undertake 180 hours of independent study. For your dissertation, we will provide you with a course in Dissertation Methods which totals 16 hours of contact spread over two terms and up to three hours of one-to-one supervision. You will typically undertake 581 hours of independent study and project work.

As part of the two-year schedule, part-time students typically take the required Political Economy of the Middle East: Theory & Practice module and two optional modules in Year 1, and two optional modules and the dissertation module in Year 2.


We assess the course through essays, class participation and Q&A's. The nature of assessment varies by module. Your dissertation will be a 15,000-word thesis on a topic of your choosing, you may take it in the UK or overseas.

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:

The Dissertation includes 16 hours of research/dissertation methods training spread out over terms 1 and 2.

Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take four modules (totalling 80 credits) from a range of optional modules that may include:

  • Political Economy of Authoritarianism in the Middle East (20 credits)
  • States, Markets and People in the Contemporary Middle East (20 credits)
  • Protest and Revolution in the Middle East (20 credits)
  • People, Protest, Mobilisation (20 credits)
  • The US & the Middle East: Intervention & Mediation since 1945 (20 credits)
  • Culture and Society in the Middle East & North Africa (20 credits)
  • Comparative Political Economy (20 credits)
  • Comparative Public Policy (20 credits)
  • The Political Economy of Corruption (20 credits)
  • The New Political Economy of the Media (20 credits)
  • A History of Arab- Israeli Conflict (20 credits)
  • Any Level 7 (Master’s) modules offered in the Department of Political Economy
  • Up to 40 credits from modules offered across the university subject to approvals
  • You may also take modules in a foreign language at level 6 or 7, up to a maximum of 20 credits.

If you are a part-time student, you will take Political Economy of the Middle East: Theory & Practice and two optional modules in your first year. In your second year, you will take your dissertation module and a further two optional modules.

Career prospects

This course provides you with the enhanced skills and qualifications which will allow you to excel in future employment and research in an increasingly important field. Our students have transferred the skills they have developed to careers in development organisations, the corporate or financial sector, the diplomatic service, international NGOs, civil society organisations or journalism. Some students have gone on to further research in the Department of Political Economy, or another department.

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Visit the Political Economy of the Middle East MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!