SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies

duration:
One calendar year (full-time), or two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU fees:
£7,985
Overseas fees:
£17,215

This is a Band 1 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2016 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Start of programme: September intake only

The MA in Near and Middles Eastern Studies provides exceptional opportunities for studying this diverse and fascinating area at the postgraduate level through a variety of disciplinary approaches. The main emphasis of the programme is on the modern period through the courses in history, geography, politics, economics and anthropology. Some exposure is provided, however, to the pre-modern culture and society of the area through courses in religious studies, Islamic art and archaeology, and history. Courses based on Arabic are offered for those with an adequate knowledge of the language, while courses in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish are available for those who wish to acquire or develop skills in these languages.

Convenors

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

Students take three taught courses, one of which is considered a major, and complete a 10,000 word dissertation related to the major. As the emphasis in the Regional Studies programmes is on interdisciplinary study, students are required to select their three courses from more than one discipline.

The two minor courses can be taken from the same discipline (but different to that of the major) or two different ones.

Some disciplines such as politics, economics or social anthropology require an appropriate qualification (such as all or part of a first degree) if any of their courses are to be taken as the major subject.

Students who intend to register for the MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies program, but choose 3 options also available in the MA Israeli Studies program will be required to apply for MA Israeli Studies.

Anthropology and Sociology
Available as minors only
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Issues in the Anthropology of Gender 15PANH024 0.5 Unit Term 2
Culture and Society of the Near and Middle East 15PANC097 0.5 Unit
Art and Archaeology
Available as majors or minors
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Islamic Art & Architecture of Medieval Anatolia and the South Caucasus (11-13th centuries) 15PARH070 0.5 Unit Term 1
Arab Painting 15PARH054 0.5 Unit Term 1
Art and Architecture of the Fatimids 15PARH035 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Development Studies
Available as a major or minor
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Problems of development in the Middle East and North Africa 15PDSH019 0.5 Unit Term 2
Economics
Available as a major or minor
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Economic development of the Middle East 15PECC341 1 Unit Full Year
Gender
Available as a minor only
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Gender in the Middle East 15PGNH001 0.5 Unit Term 1
Gendering migration & diasporas 15PGNH002 0.5 Unit Term 1
History
Available as majors or minors

Please note that the 'Modernity and Transformation' courses can be taken together or individually, ONLY as majors.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Reading Classical Arabic Historians: Themes and Trends in Islamic Historiography 15PNMC378 1 Unit Full Year
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics 15PNMH006 0.5 Unit Term 1
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society 15PNMH007 0.5 Unit Term 2
Encountering the Other: the Middle East during the Crusading Period 15PHIH037 0.5 Unit Term 1
Zionist Ideology 15PNMC035 1 Unit Full Year
Israel, the Arab World and the Palestinians 15PNMC038 1 Unit Full Year
Outsiders in Medieval Middle Eastern Societies: Minorities, Social Outcasts and Foreigners 15PHIH006 0.5 Unit Term 2
The End of Empire in the Middle East & the Balkans 15PHIC004 1 Unit Full Year
Turkey:Continuity and Change 15PNMC377 1 Unit Full Year
Modernity and the Transformation of the Middle East I 15PHIH031 0.5 Unit Term 1
Iran: History, Culture, Politics 15PNMC405 1 Unit Full Year
Modernity and the Transformation of the Middle East II 15PHIH032 0.5 Unit Term 2
Language
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Introduction to Standard Modern Arabic 15PNMC032 1 Unit Full Year
Arabic 300 (Postgraduate) 15PNMC390 1 unit - 45 cats Unit
Arabic 2 (PG) 15PNMC382 1 Unit Full Year
Arabic 4 (PG) 15PNMC391 1 Unit Full Year
Elementary Hebrew (PG) 15PNMC392 1 Unit Full Year
Intermediate Hebrew (PG) 15PNMC393 1 Unit Full Year
Advanced Hebrew (PG) 15PNMC394 1 Unit Full Year
Elementary Written Turkish 15PNMC386 1 Unit Full Year
Intermediate Modern Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC383 1 Unit Full Year
Intensive Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC395 1 Unit Full Year
Advanced Translation (Turkish) 15PNMC044 1 Unit Full Year
Elementary Written Persian 15PNMC387 1 Unit Full Year
Persian for Readers of Arabic Script (PG) 15PNMC422 1 Unit Full Year
Persian Language 2 (PG) 15PNMC033 1 Unit Full Year
Practical Translation from and into Persian 15PNMC051 1 Unit Full Year
Avestan I 15PSRC033 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Arabic/English/Arabic Translation 15PLIC001 1 Unit Full Year
Law
Available as majors or minors
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Islamic Law (Ma/Llm) 15PLAC121 1 Unit Full Year
Law and Society in The Middle East and North Africa 15PLAC130 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Human Rights and Islamic Law 15PLAC150 1 Unit Full Year
Literature
Available as majors or minors
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Identity and Language in Hebrew Literature 15PNMC412 1 Unit Full Year
Modern Palestinian Literature (PG) 15PNMC379 1 Unit Full Year
Arabic Women's Writing: Theories and Practices 15PNMC411 1 Unit Full Year
Social and Political Dimensions of Modern Arabic Literature 15PNMC347 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Arabic Popular Literature: Themes, Genres & Theory 15PNMC045 1 Unit Full Year
Arabic Poetry and Criticism 15PNMC048 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Modern Palestinian Literature (PG) 15PNMC379 1 Unit Full Year
Reading Classical Arabic Historians: Themes and Trends in Islamic Historiography 15PNMC378 1 Unit Full Year
Medieval Arabic Thought: the Philosophical and Theological Traditions 15PNMC388 1 Unit Full Year
Classical Persian Poetry (Masters) 15PNMC401 1 Unit Full Year
Research Methods In Translation Studies 15PLIH046 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Modern Arabic Literature and the West 15PNMC002 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Media
Available as minors only
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches 15PMSC005 1 Unit Full Year
Film and Society in the Middle East 15PNMC230 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 0.5 Unit Term 1
The Transnational News Environment: Production, Representation and Use 15PMSH006 0.5 Unit Term 1
Studies in Global Media and Post-National Communication 15PMSH007 0.5 Unit Term 1
International Political Communication 15PMSH009 0.5 Unit Term 2
Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity 15PMSH004 0.5 Unit Term 2
Music
Available as a major or minor
Politics
The two half-units below together constitute the major option for Politics of the Middle East
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Political society in the Middle East 15PPOH008 0.5 Unit Term 1
State and transformation in the Middle East 15PPOH011 0.5 Unit Term 2
Available as a minor only
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Comparative politics of the Middle East 15PPOC026 1 Unit Full Year
The Law & Politics of State Violence: An Interdisciplinary Perspective 15PPOH034 0.5 Unit Full Year
Available as majors or minors
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Israel, the Arab World and the Palestinians 15PNMC038 1 Unit Full Year
Turkey:Continuity and Change 15PNMC377 1 Unit Full Year
State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH022 0.5 Unit Term 2
Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH023 0.5 Unit Term 2
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics 15PNMH006 0.5 Unit Term 1
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society 15PNMH007 0.5 Unit Term 2
Study of Religions
Available as majors or minors
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 15PSRC052 1 Unit Full Year
Christians and Muslims in Syriac Texts 15PSRC175 1 Unit Full Year
Critical Theory and the Study of Religions 15PSRC037 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Modern Trends in Islam 15PNMC228 1 Unit Full Year
Religion, Nationhood and Ethnicity in Judaism 15PSRH030 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Zionist Ideology 15PNMC035 1 Unit Full Year
Translation Studies
Available as a minor only
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Research Methods In Translation Studies 15PLIH046 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Each course has its own series of classes and seminars, and in addition students attend general lectures and seminars organised by the Middle East Centre. In most courses there is one two-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or a student presentation. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.

The dissertation is on an approved topic linked to one of the taught courses.

Learning resources

SOAS library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 1 tuition fee.

The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£7,985 £17,215 £3,993 £8,608 £2,662 £5,738

Employment

A postgraduate degree in the Near and Middle Eastern studies from SOAS gives students competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law.   Postgraduate students leave SOAS with the linguistic and cultural expertise needed to continue in the field of research along with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in business, public or charity sectors including written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources. 

Graduates in MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies have entered various professions after leaving SOAS. Some have been able to pursue careers directly related to their study area while others have made use of the general intellectual training provided by the advanced study of cultures for involvement in analysing and solving many of the problems contemporary societies now face. Among a variety of professions, career paths may include academia, charity work, community, government, NGOs, media and publishing and UN agencies.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage
Asfari Foundation
Banque Saudi Fransi
Ministry of Defence
WAND - Women Power and PEace
World Economic Forum
Guardian and New Statesman
DFID
ICRC
CARE International
The Risk Advisory Group
Refugee Legal Aid Program
BBC
Kwintessential
UNESCO
International Committee of the Red Cross
Al Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation
Amnesty International
Janusian/Risk Advisory Group
European Parliament
The British Institute of Persian Studies
Dubai Women's Establishment

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Assistant Director of Middle East Studies
Chief Curator of Collections and Exhibitions
Chief Economist
Chief Editor
Civil Servant
Community Manager, Middle East
Director of Public Affairs
Humanitarian Worker
Intelligence Analyst
Legal Counsel
News Presenter
Political Advisor to the Secretary General
Political Risk Consultant
Professor of Islamic Studies
Programme Manager, International Trade
Research & Campaigns Assistant, East Africa Team
Senior Consultant
Strategist
Teacher
Vice President for University Advancement
Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

SOAS is a remarkable institution and I am happy to have chosen to study here. Students of the Middle East can really excel in their chosen fields and this year I have had the chance to study courses in the Politics and Media Studies Departments.

Mohammad Mirbashiri

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Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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    Postgraduate programme applications should be made through our online application system.

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