|Duration||1 year full time
2 years part time
|Discipline||Arab and Islamic Studies|
- Advanced and critical study of the history, politics, economy and culture of the Gulf, in one of the world's leading centres, which has played a key role in the evolution of this field of study
- A flexible programme which you can tailor to your particular interests and conduct independent research, with the option of using our unique holdings and research collections
- Our research-led modules are taught by a multidisciplinary team of high-profile academic specialists
- Exeter is a world leader in Gulf Studies. Our students play an important role in the activities of our lively Centre for Gulf Studies
- Your knowledge and expertise of the Gulf region will be valued by public and private sector employers and open doors for further academic study
Largest Centre for Middle East Studies in a UK university
Home to Europe’s most important research collection on the Arab world
Masters Excellence Scholarships available for 2022 entry
4th in The Complete University Guide 2022
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
For admission to the programme we would normally expect that you hold a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a social sciences or humanities discipline. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a high 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.
Entry requirements for international students
English language requirements
International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.
The MA Gulf 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.
UK fees per year:
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.
We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students and have over £2.5 million in scholarships available, including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students.
For information on how you can fund your postgraduate degree at the University of Exeter, please visit our dedicated funding page.
*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.
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 Centre for Gulf Studies has the world’s largest concentration of researchers in humanities and social sciences interested in the Gulf region, including the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Iran. Our expertise encompasses: archaeology, history, international relations, Islamic studies, material culture, political economy and politics.
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
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
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 Kurdish 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.