MA Middle East and Islamic Studies 2018/19 entry

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • Arab and Islamic Studies
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


The MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies is highly flexible in that it enables you to select 75 credits of options, followed by a 60 credit dissertation on an approved subject of your choice - thereby creating your own personalised programme. This award is very well suited to students who need to study for the specific requirements of an employer, as well as those who welcome the opportunity to create an individualised study pathway.

On this programme you will study three core modules, which will bring you into contact with other students on Institute masters programmes. In this way you will be welcomed as a part of our student community and will benefit from contact with a wide range of students with similar interests, no matter which options you later choose.

Programme structure 2018/19

Students take a total of 180 credits, comprising 105 compulsory credits stemming from three core modules and a dissertation. Students may also take a further 45 credits from the modules offered by the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. These include language modules (up to 30 credits only), offered at Undergraduate level to students with no previous knowledge of the language, subject to the approval of the Programme Director.

Compulsory modules

A total of 105 credits stemming from three core modules and a dissertation.

Compulsory modules are: 

ARAM190Research Methods Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies 15
ARAM027MA Dissertation 60

Students MUST choose two of the following three modules:

ARAM215Studying the Contemporary Middle East 15
ARAM214Islamic Culture and Civilization 15
ARAM213Approaches to Middle East and Islamic Studies: States, Societies and Identities 15

Optional modules

You choose 75 credits from the optional modules.

45 credits from modules offered by the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. You may include language modules in Arabic or Persian (up to a maximum of 30 credits) which are at undergraduate level and do not require you to have any previous knowledge of the language.

30 credits from modules offered by the College of Social Sciences and International Studies (which may include further study of Institute modules).

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies modules

ARAM054 State and Society in the Middle East30
ARAM102 Islam in Practice30
ARAM112A Independent Reading Course - Sem 115
ARAM112B Independent Reading Course - Sem 215
ARAM131 Nationalisms in the Middle East15
ARAM187 The Middle East Before 194530
ARAM188 The Middle East Since 194530
ARAM190 Research Methods Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies15
ARAM204 The History and Historiography of the Palestine Question30
ARAM209 Palestinian Politics after Oslo15
ARAM210 Themes and Conflicts in Iranian History and Culture30
ARAM211 The Revolution of 1978/79, the Islamic Republic and the Politics of Contemporary Iran15
ARAM213 Approaches to Middle East and Islamic Studies: States, Societies and Identities15
ARAM214 Islamic Culture and Civilization15
ARAM215 Studying the Contemporary Middle East15
ARAM217 Sufism, Islamic Mysticism and Devotional Life30
ARAM220 Gender, Politics and Society in the Middle East30

More detailed information on the modules can be found here Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies modules

College modules

See the full list of all College modules

Undergraduate level language modules

See the full list of Undergraduate level language modules

Some examples below

ARA1015 Arabic for Beginners I30
ARA1013 Elementary Persian I15
ARA1020 Elementary Persian II15

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Your subject knowledge and skills are developed via lectures, class discussion, group work and student presentations. In the lectures, students will be presented with cutting-edge research carried out by those actually giving the lectures; a reality that is hoped will inspire students. The programme also makes use of class discussions, group work and student presentations (both individual and in groups) as different people learn in different ways. However, there is no doubt that all students, regardless of how they best learn, will benefit from input from their peers. Moreover, group work, class discussion and student presentations are seen as ways in which students can take some responsibility for their own (and each others) learning, which is expected at the MA level.

You will fine-tune your critical reading skills, learn to present in front of an audience, to ask and field incisive questions, and work with your peers to develop consensus views and challenge those of others. A range of media will be used in teaching, from video and audio, newspaper articles and academic journal articles.

As a Masters student you can attend regular research seminars held across the College of Social Sciences and International Studies and organised by our research centres. These are given by academics from Exeter and other Universities in the UK and overseas, as well as guest speakers from the private, public and charity sectors.

Assessing your work

The taught modules on this programme are assessed by a combination of essays, presentations and group work. Following completion of these in April, you will then be assessed by a 15,000-word dissertation for submission in September.


Graduates from this programme may find professional employment in a wide range of sectors both in the UK and internationally. A comprehensive background in Islamic Studies is relevant to careers in:

  • academia and education
  • international agencies such as the United Nations or the European Union
  • international development
  • print and broadcast media
  • politics
  • private sector companies with interests in Islamic countries

Employment and professional development

Our excellent Employability and Graduate Development Service provides invaluable support, advice and access to graduate employers. Visit the employment and professional development pages for more information, including podcasts and profiles, about the range of support available.

Research areas

Our research is focused on a number of specialist research centres:

Our research culture is collaborative and democratic, drawing together doctoral researchers, staff and students to produce cutting-edge new knowledge about the Arab and Islamic worlds.

Our research newsletter will also give you a flavour of our research.

Previous graduates have commented that they enjoyed the dissertation element of their programme because of the scope of potential subjects to choose from, due to the number of experts available.

Entry requirements 2018/19

A 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in the Social Sciences or Humanities.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding 2018/19

University funding

The Scholarships, Bursaries and Studentships website has information on all available options for funding open to prospective students of taught Masters programmes. You can also use the searchable database of all Scholarships and Bursaries to find funding for which you are eligible.

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £7,995 full-time; £3,995 part-time
  • International: £16,995 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2018.

Contact us

Please contact us if you would like more information about any of our programmes or activities, or if you would like to arrange to come and see us.

Postal address

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
University of Exeter
Stocker Road
United Kingdom

Postgraduate Taught admissions

For all enquiries relating to this programme, please contact:

SSIS Student Recruitment Office
Phone: +44 (0)1392 723192
WebEnquire online

Where to find us

The Institute is located on the University’s Streatham Campus. For information on how to find us, please see our directions to Streatham Campus and the Streatham Campus map.