|Duration||1 year full time
2 years part time
- Equips you with the skills, sources and tools to study the Middle East, North Africa and the Muslim world
- Introduces you to theorists whose work has underpinned scholarship in key fields
- You’ll learn how to make choices around your own work and be exposed to the forms of work found in the most successful research
- Option to choose a specialist pathway: Comparative Politics, Gender Studies, Gulf Studies, Iranian Studies, Islamic Studies, Kurdish Studies or Palestinian Studies
- Your understanding and appreciation of the culture, history and language of the Middle East will open up career paths in a wide variety of areas such as academia and education, international development, government and NGO’s
Largest Centre for Middle East Studies in a UK university
Home to Europe’s most important research collection on the Arab world
Scholarships available and HRH Prince Alwaleed Al Saud Awards to support study visits to Arab countries
I enjoy having the freedom to explore a huge range of topics and areas - – there are modules offered on literature, politics, gender studies, language, media and specific conflicts, but with the flexibility to apply those studies to different situations around the world.
Arab and Islamic Studies Masters student
We are looking for graduates with a high 2:2 or equivalent in a social sciences or humanities discipline. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, we would welcome your application.
The MA in Middle East Studies will equip you with the general research skills, sources and tools relevant to the study of the Middle East, North Africa and the Muslim world in general, and introduce you to a broad range of key theorists whose work has underpinned scholarship in several key fields of study.
You will learn how to make self-conscious choices around your own work and promote forms of theoretically-aware and interdisciplinary work found in some of the most successful research in Arab, Islamic and Middle East Studies.
You must take 180 credits in total.
30 credits of core modules plus a dissertation.
|ARAM232||Theorising the Middle East||15|
45 credits of optional modules chosen from modules offered by the IAIS, including up to 30 credits worth of modules offered outside of the department (also at the UG level) in line with the University’s modularity policy.
Pathway specific modules
45 credits of pathway specific modules. See below.
All students graduate with an MA in Middle East Studies, but if you elect to specialise, you will have one of the following pathways named in your degree title:
45 credits of pathway specific modules.
If you follow a pathway you must choose 45 credits of pathway specific modules and write your dissertation, ARAM027, on the specialism of the chosen pathway. You will then receive for example, an MA in Middle East Studies with Gender Studies.
If you then choose to do all 45 credits of optional modules within a second pathway and your dissertation focuses on the specialisms of both fields, you can add a second pathway to your degree title. For example, an MA in Middle East Studies with Gender Studies and Palestine Studies.
|Palestine Studies pathway - view video|
|ARAM221||The Palestine Question Past and Present||30|
|ARAM230||Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Palestine/Israel||15|
|Gulf Studies pathway - view video|
|tbc||Sociology and Anthropology of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula||15|
|tbc||Contemporary History and Politics of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula||30|
|Kurdish Studies pathway - view video|
|ARAM147||The Kurds: History and Politics||30|
|ARAM112A or ARAM112B||Independent Reading Course||15|
|Comparative Politics pathway - view video|
|ARAM054||State and Society||30|
|ARAM131 or||Nationalisms in the ME or ARAM186A||15|
|ARAM186A||International Relations of the ME or ARAM131||15|
|Gender Studies pathway - view video|
|ARAM225||Gender and Politics in the Middle East||30|
|ARAM230||Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Palestine/Israel||15|
|Iranian Studies pathway|
|ARAM055||Iranian History, 1500-the present||15|
|ARAM210||Themes and Conflicts in Iranian History and Culture||30|
|ARAM131 or||Nationalisms in the ME or ARAM225||15|
|ARAM225||Gender and Politics in the Middle East
|Islamic Studies pathway - view video|
|ARAM102||Islamic in Practice||30|
New Approaches to Islamic Thought
|ARAM214||Islamic Culture and Civilization||15|
UK fees per year:
£9,200 full-time; £4,600 part-time
International fees per year:
HRH Prince Alwaleed Al Saud Scholarship for short study courses abroad
Students undertaking MA Programmes in Islamic Studies or Middle East and Islamic Studies are eligible to apply for an award of up to £1,500 to enable them to spend time in an Arab country for further language module studies or for collection of material relevant to their dissertations. Find out more.
The University of Exeter is offering scholarships to the value of over £4 million for students starting with us in September 2021. Details of scholarships, including our Global Excellence scholarships for international fee paying students, can be found on our dedicated funding page.
Teaching and research
- Lectures will give you direct access to the cutting-edge research being carried out by our academic team
- Take responsibility for your own learning and that of your peers by participating in group work, class discussions and student presentations
- Fine tune your critical reading skills and learn how to ask and field incisive questions
- Utilise a range of media from video and audio to articles from newspapers and academic journals
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.
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.
The Institute is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including a computerised language lab, lecture theatres, seminar rooms, lounge, satellite TV for viewing Middle Eastern channels and a gallery for Middle Eastern art exhibitions.
The Arab World Documentation Unit based in the Research Commons is a valuable research resource, housing numerous collections of academic textbooks, press cuttings, government papers and reports, periodicals, pamphlets, business yearbooks, and much more, with material in English, Arabic and Hebrew.
Gareth has been a regular commentator and adviser on Middle East politics over the last decade. He lived in pre-regime change Iraq between 1996 and 2001, where he was funded by the UK government to advise the Kurdish leadership.
He served as a Senior Political Adviser to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and is a member of the Command Advisory Group of the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters.
He has considerable fieldwork experience in a range of countries in the Middle East and Islamic World, including Iraq, Syria, the Kurdish regions, Morocco, the states of the Gulf, and more recently Afghanistan.
Professor Gareth Stansfield
Institute Director, Al-Qasimi Professor of Arab Gulf Studies, Professor of Middle East Politics
William teaches on the core module Theorizing the Middle East. His special interests are in the history of colonial North Africa and, more generally, relations between the European and Arab-Islamic worlds from the medieval period to the contemporary world.
He aspires to produce work with and for subaltern communities, particularly in the Maghreb, and also publish widely in historical theory. Much of his recent work has also been translated into French, Turkish, and Russian.
Professor William Gallois
Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean History, Director of Research
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
- private sector companies with interests in Islamic countries
- business and risk analysts
The academic skills developed on the MA Middle East Studies will enable to you to pursue doctoral study. The Institute has an international profile for our pioneering regional focus on the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula and expertise in Islamic Studies providing an ideal place in which to undertake an MPhil/PhD.
Employment and professional development
Our excellent Career Zone 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.
In addition, the location of this programme within a hub of renowned academia will offer you the possibility of connections, networking opportunities, advice and guidance from others with extensive academic and career-related experience in this field.
Fantastic facilities, outstanding teaching, world-leading research and exceptional graduate employability are just a few of the reasons we think you'll love it here. Find out what our students say about choosing Exeter.
Studying at our campuses in Devon or Cornwall means you'll have some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the UK on your doorstep. Find out about student life at Exeter and the huge range of sports, clubs and societies on offer.
One University, two locations
We have around 20,000 students across our three campuses in Devon and Cornwall which means we offer the academic excellence and facilities you'd expect of a major university but also a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.