Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies MA

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 the principles and practice of research in order 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, 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.

    If you choose to study part-time, you'll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Dissertation in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies 60 credits
    • Debating the Middle East: Islam, Politics and Culture 30 credits
    • Principles and Practices of Research 30 credits

    Optional modules

    • Modern Arab Media 30 credits
    • Islam and Modernity 30 credits
    • Arab Drama on Stage and the Screen 30 credits
    • Authoritarianism and Democratisation in the Arab World 30 credits
    • The Hadith: History, Criticism and Canonisation 30 credits
    • Democracy and Development 30 credits
    • Contemporary Politics of the Middle East 30 credits
    • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30 credits
    • Religions and Global Development 30 credits
    • Contemporary Issues in Religion and Gender 30 credits
    • Muslims, Multiculturalism and the State 30 credits
    • Religion, Society and Public Life 30 credits
    • Turkish for Beginners 20 credits
    • Comparative Arabic/English Stylistics 1 15 credits
    • Comparative Arabic/English Stylistics 2 15 credits
    • Arabic For Beginners 1 30 credits
    • Arabic for Beginners 2 30 credits
    • Arabic For Beginners 3 30 credits
    • Persian for Beginners 30 credits
    • Show more

    For more information on typical modules, read Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue

    For more information on typical modules, read Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies MA Part Time in the course catalogue

    Learning and teaching

    To help you make the most of our tutors' expertise, we use a range of teaching and learning methods. Most of your modules will involve lectures and weekly seminars where you'll discuss your reading and research, while language modules will involve intensive practical classes in small groups.

    Assessment

    Depending on the modules you choose, you may experience different forms of assessment. Usually these will include essays, exams, oral presentations, practical assessments and even seminar participation.

  • Applying, fees and funding

    Entry requirements

    A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in a related subject. Professional experience will also be considered.

    We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies admissions team.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

    Improve your English

    If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

    • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
    • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

    Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

    How to apply

    Application deadlines

    UK/EU students: 4 September 2018

    International students: 28 August 2018

    It can take between four and six weeks to assess an application, so we advise you to apply as early as possible. Application deadlines for many scholarships are also much earlier than the application deadline, and you may need to leave time for arrangements such as visa applications or moving to Leeds.

    • Apply (Full time)
    • Apply (Part time)

    This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
     
    If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

    Documents and information you'll need

    • Transcripts of your degree and other relevant qualifications, or a partial transcript if you're still studying
    • We do not generally request references, unless further information is required to support the assessment of your application
    • Evidence of your English language qualifications if English isn't your first language
    • A personal statement of around 500 words explaining why you want to study Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, how it will benefit your career and why you want to study the programme at Leeds in particular.

    Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

    Fees

    UK/EU: £7,250 (total)

    International: £17,500 (total)

    Read more about paying fees and charges.

    For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

    Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

    Additional cost information

    There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

    Scholarships and financial support

    If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

  • Career opportunities

    This programme will equip you with a deeper understanding of Islamic and Middle Eastern culture, as well political awareness and potentially language skills. You'll also develop more sophisticated skills in areas such as research, analysis, interpretation and communication which are highly valued by employers in a wide range of careers.

    Opportunities are available in a range of careers within and beyond the UK with a Middle Eastern or Islamic dimension. These include journalism, teaching, NGOs and the charity sector, cultural organisations, travel and tourism, business and finance, the media, marketing and advertising and the civil, security and diplomatic services.

    Careers support

    We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

    The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

  • Related courses

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    Arabic/English Translation MA
    Audiovisual Translation Studies MA
    Professional Language and Intercultural Studies MA
    Conference Interpreting and Translation Studies MA
  • MA, MA Award
    September Start
    Full-time, Part-time Study Mode
    12 months Duration

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