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MA Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies


Course Description

This multidisciplinary degree focuses on the politics, religions, cultures and languages of the Middle East and North Africa. Current political events are covered in depth, alongside historical developments, paths towards democratisation, the role of gender dynamics and the interactions between religious authorities and civil society.

Core modules will introduce you to the complex intersections between Islam, culture and politics across the region. You’ll also choose from a range of optional modules, allowing you to explore issues such as Islam’s encounter with modernity in further depth, or to learn Arabic, Turkish or Persian from beginner level. Through your dissertation, you will carry out independent research on an aspect of the Middle East that particularly engages you.

This is a fascinating and unique opportunity to study and understand a diverse and complex region through a mix of approaches drawn from Area Studies (Middle East and North Africa), Islamic Studies and traditional disciplines including Politics, History and Law.

Specialist resources

At Leeds we have a wealth of resources to help you make the most of your studies. Our archives contain 500 Arabic manuscripts and 10,000 archaeological artefacts, ranging from Pharaonic to early Palestinian eras.

There are also extensive library resources in our world-class Brotherton Library, and our fully equipped Language Centre features digital language labs, audio-video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) to help you develop your language skills.

We are committed to helping you to develop skills in critical reading, academic analysis and the presentation of your ideas and research and offer students dedicated sessions on these themes.

This programme is also available to study part-time.

Course Content

Core modules will lay the foundations of the programme, introducing you to research methods and bibliography to prepare you for your own research and exploring the relationship between Islam, culture and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. You’ll then choose from a wide range of optional modules, allowing you to pursue your interests.

You’ll be expected to choose at least some modules in Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, which means you could learn Arabic, Persian or Turkish from scratch, explore Arab drama or media or study popular revolts and democracy.

However, you can also choose from relevant modules offered by the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science and the School of Politics and International Studies on topics such as Middle Eastern politics, the links between religion and global development or Muslims and multiculturalism among others.

By the end of the programme in September, you’ll be able to showcase the skills and knowledge you’ve developed when you research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Visit the MA Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in a related subject. Professional experience will also be considered. IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components.

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Recipient: University of Leeds

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