SOAS University of London

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

MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies and Intensive Languages (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2021 2020

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

Overview

The MA in Near and Middle 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 modules in history, geography, politics, economics and anthropology. Some exposure is provided, however, to the pre-modern culture and society of the area through modules in religious studies, Islamic art and archaeology, and history. The Intensive language programme has many language modules for students to pick and choose from, inlcuding introduction, intermediate, advance Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish. Students will also spend the summer taking an Advanced Study Abroad module, worth 45 credits, while also having a choice of studying two years full-time or four years part-time.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

duration:
Two years (full-time), or four years (part-time, daytime only)

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU fees:
£10,170
Overseas fees:
£20,930

Fees for 2020/21 entrants. 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

Convenors

Combinations

May be combined with:

The following Intensive Language pathways are available with the MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies

Structure

Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 255 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 60-credit dissertation as outlined below.

In their first year, students on the two-year Intensive Language programmes take 60 credits of intensive language instruction and 60 credits in the discipline. During the summer, they participate in a Summer School abroad. In the second year, they take another 30 language credits as well as 60 credits in the discipline; they also complete their dissertation in the discipline. 

Please note that on all Area Studies degrees, including Near and Middle Eastern Studies:

  • a maximum of 60 credits can be taken in any one subject area
  • a minimum of three subject areas must be covered.

For information on the programme structure for the four-year part-time version of the programme, please see the pdf programme specification at the bottom of this page.

Year 1 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

A major module(s) from the list below to the value of 30 credits.

Plus

A minor module(s) from the list below to the value of 30 credits.

Language Component

Students take 60 credits in the selected language.

Summer Abroad

Students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language.

Year 2 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

A minor module(s) from the list below to the value of 30 credits.

Plus

A module(s) from the list below to the value of 30 credits.

Or

A module(s) from Postgraduate Open Options to the value of 30 credits.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Near and Middle Eastern Studies 15PNMC996 60 Full Year
Anthropology and Sociology
Available as minors only
Module Code Credits Term
Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15 Term 1
Art and Archaeology
Available as majors or minors
Module Code Credits Term
Art and Architecture of the Seljuks and Ottomans (12th -15th centuries) 15PARH070 15 Term 2
Arab Painting 15PARH054 15 Term 2
Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 15 Term 1
Development Studies
Available as a major or minor
Module Code Credits Term
Problems of Development in the Middle East and North Africa 15PDSH019 15 Term 2
Economics
Available as a major or minor
Module Code Credits Term
Political Economy of Development and Change in the Middle East 15PECC028 15 Term 1
Gender
Available as a minor only
Module Code Credits Term
Gender in the Middle East 15PGNH001 15 Term 1
Queering Migrations and Diasporas 15PGNH002 15 Term 2
History
Available as majors or minors

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

Module Code Credits Term
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics 15PNMH006 15 Term 1
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society 15PNMH007 15 Term 2
Jerusalem: City in Conflict (PG) 15PNMH008 15 Term 1
Empire and Reform in the Modern Middle East, 1789-1914 15PHIH031 15 Term 1
Iran: History, Culture, Politics 15PNMC405 30 Full Year
Nationalism and Revolution in the Modern Middle East, 1914-1979 15PHIH032 15 Term 2
Language

You may select modules to the value of 60 credits from the languages below.

Students are allowed to take any of the NME language courses offered in any given year
Module Code Credits Term
Intermediate Arabic/English Translation Project (PG) 15PNMC418 30 Full Year
Higher Intermediate Arabic/English/Arabic Translation Project (PG) 15PNMC419 30 Full Year
Advanced Arabic/English/Arabic Translation Project (PG) 15PNMC420 30 Full Year
Hebrew 4 (PG) 15PNMC394 30 Full Year
Ottoman Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC397 30 Full Year
Turkish 3 (PG) 15PNMC427 30 Full Year
Persian 3 (PG) 15PNMC408 30 Full Year
Law
Available as majors or minors
Module Code Credits Term
Islamic Law (MA/LLM) 15PLAC121 30 Full Year
Law and Society in the Middle East and North Africa 15PLAC130 1 unit
Human Rights and Islamic Law 15PLAC150 30 Full Year
Literature
Available as majors or minors
Module Code Credits Term
Modern Palestinian Literature (PG) 15PNMC379 15 Term 1
Classical Persian Poetry: Texts and Traditions (PG) 15PNMC401 15 Full Year
Media
Available as minors only
Module Code Credits Term
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 15 Term 2
Studies in Global Media and Post-National Communication 15PMSH007 0.5
Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity 15PMSH004 15 Term 2
Politics
The two 15 credit modules below together constitute the major option for Politics of the Middle East
Module Code Credits Term
Political society in the Middle East 15PPOH008 15 Term 2
State and transformation in the Middle East 15PPOH011 15 Term 1
Available as a minor only
Module Code Credits Term
International politics of the Middle East 15PPOH047 15 Term 1
Available as majors or minors
Module Code Credits Term
State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH022 15 Term 1
Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH023 15 Term 2
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics 15PNMH006 15 Term 1
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society 15PNMH007 15 Term 2
Study of Religions
Available as majors or minors
Module Code Credits Term
Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 15PSRC052 30 Full Year
Modern Trends in Islam 15PNMC228 30 Full Year
Religion, Nationhood and Ethnicity in Judaism 15PSRH030 15 Term 2
Translation Studies
Available as a minor only
Module Code Credits Term

 

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Contact Hours

One-year Masters programmes consist of 180 credits. 120 credits are taught in modules of 30 credits (taught over 20 weeks) or 15 credits (taught over 10 weeks); the dissertation makes up the remaining 60 units. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework and revising for examinations. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary. 

There are ten weeks of teaching and a Reading Week in each of Term 1 and 2, and two weeks of revision teaching in Term 3, the rest of which is dedicated to exams. 15-credit modules are taught over ten weeks in either Term 1 or Term 2.

More information is on the page for each module.

Part-Time Students

Part-time students divide their workload of the required modules evenly between the number of years of part-time study, with the dissertation module taken in the last year of study. It is also best practice to take the Major module in the last year of study. However, different arrangements are possible with the approval of the convenor of the Major module.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge
  • How to assess data and evidence critically from manuscripts and digital sources, solve problems of conflicting sources and conflicting interpretations, locate materials, use research-sources (particularly research-library catalogues) and other relevant traditional sources.
  • Subject-specific skills are an amalgam of the skills described for each of the three options chosen by candidates from the cross-department/faculty choices available in the relevant course-descriptors.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • Students will learn to become precise and cautious in their assessment of evidence and should also come to understand through practice what documents can and cannot tell us.
  • Students will learn to question interpretations, however authoritative, and reassess evidence for themselves.
    Communicate effectively in writing.
Subject-based practical skills
  • Language-students will learn the chosen language at the appropriate level.
    Present seminar-papers.
  • Listen and discuss ideas introduced during seminars.
  • Practise research-techniques in a variety of specialised research-libraries and institutes.
Transferrable skills
  • Writing good essays and dissertations.
  • Structure and communicate ideas effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Study a variety of written and digital materials in libraries and research-institutes of a kind they will not have used as undergraduates.
  • Present (non-assessed) material orally.
Linguistic skills (two-year Intensive Language pathways)
  • To acquire/develop skills in a language spoken in the Near and Middle East to Effective Operational Proficiency level
  • To demonstrate awareness of the conceptual and communicative underpinnings of that language and through this interlinguistic and intercultural understanding.
  • Communicate in written and spoken medium in a relevant language.
  • Engage with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, understand the role of different frames of reference.

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.

Fees for 2020/21 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second & subsequent years of study will be higher. Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years Part-time 4 Years
Intensive Language only
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£10,170 £20,930 £5,085 £10,460 £3,390 £6,975 £5,085 £10,460

Scholarships
Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Ghana

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Japan

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Nigeria

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – South Korea

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

Special Language Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2020-07-31 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

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

I attended as many SOAS events as possible because it is the best way to meet non-study abroad students and interact with the community

Ranya Saadawi, Columbia University

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    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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