SOAS University of London

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


A unique concentration of world-class teaching and research on 5,000 years of culture, from cuneiform and ziggurats to Arabic and Islamic revolution.

The wide range of subjects studied within the Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East reflects not only the present economic and political importance of the region, but also the diversity and historical depth of culture within an area that stretches from North Africa to the borders of China and includes some of the most ancient cradles of civilisation and the birth-places of several of the world’s great religions.

The Department has received excellent ratings for both teaching and research, and many members of staff have been awarded major grants by funding bodies such as the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust. MA degrees and research supervision are offered in an impressively broad range of fields, spanning the languages and cultures of the Ancient Near East, medieval and modern Iran, Central Asia and the Caucasus, the Jewish tradition, and the Islamic world.

Although linguistic and literary studies form the core of the department’s work, some of its staff also specialise in the study of religions, and others have particular interests in such fields as cinema and music. Their expertise is complemented by that of Middle Eastern specialists in other SOAS departments, such as Art and Archaeology, History and Political Studies, the whole adding up to a unique concentration of world-class teaching and research.