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MA Politics and International Relations of the Middle East

Course Description

Established in 1987, this very popular programme is the oldest Masters degree in Middle East Politics in the UK.

As a student here you will examine key issues in Middle Eastern domestic and regional politics, developing a critical understanding of the patterns of state-society interaction in the region, the processes of state formation, the constitution of social and political forces, and an awareness of the different perspectives and debates within this field.

This programme particularly explores the meaning of democracy within an Arabo-Islamic setting, developing your critical awareness of debates about democracy as well as the strategies and dynamics of political liberation in the Arab world. Our discussions will be located within discourses and counter-discourses on Orientalism, Occidentalism, Islamism, secularism, and civil society; and we will apply the concepts and methodologies discussed to concrete situations through our discussion of specific case studies from the Arab Maghrib and Mashriq.

To add a further dynamic to your studies you will also have the opportunity to take a beginners level introductory course in Persian, Arabic or Kurdish as part of this Masters programme.

Learning and Teaching

The teaching and assessment should enable you to develop knowledge and a critical, sophisticated understanding of:
• The processes of state formation and the constitution of social and political forces.
• The key issues in contemporary Middle East politics
• State-society relations, patterns of interaction, and the dynamics and trends in the politics of the Middle East.
• Debates about democracy and political reform in the Middle East and Arab World.

As a graduate of this programme you should also be able to:
• Synthesise and comment critically on a body of academic writing relating to research into Middle East politics, and evaluate government and other relevant publications in light of this reading.
• Construct and defend a rigorous argument, both in written form and orally, using primary and secondary materials.

Programme Structure

The programme comprises a dissertation as well as compulsory and optional taught modules. Each taught module is normally taught through seminars, underpinned by reading and essay assignments.
Please note that the modules offered are subject to change depending on staff availability, timetabling and student demand.

Compulsory Modules

Compulsory modules might include; State and Society in the Middle East and International Relations in the Middle East

Optional modules

These can be chosen from either Politics or Arab and Islamic Studies modules, some examples can be see on the website at the following links

• Politics (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/politics/modules/)
• IAIS (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/arabislamic/modules/)

Visit the MA Politics and International Relations of the Middle East page on the University of Exeter website for more details!

Student Profiles

Funding for Postgraduate Study - 20+ Awards

We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships and studentships for talented students. For 2016 entry, the total value of scholarships for taught postgraduate programmes exceeds £500,000. This is in addition to over 100 PhD studentships we make available each year.Students who reside in England and are interested in our Masters programmes can now take advantage of the UK government's postgraduate loan scheme which offers loans of up to £10,000.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Varies, but most awards are competitive and merit-based.

Application Procedure

Please see the details of each scheme as listed in our search: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/search

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Please see our website for full details. View Website

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