Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time


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, including introduction, intermediate, advanced 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.

May be combined with:

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

  • Arabic
  • Persian
  • Turkish

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

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.

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

  • Dissertation in Near and Middle Eastern Studies

Anthropology and Sociology

Available as minors only

  • Issues in the Anthropology of Gender
  • Culture and Society of Near and Middle East

Art and Archaeology

Available as majors or minors

  • Art and Architecture of the Seljuks and Ottomans (12th -15th centuries)
  • Arab Painting
  • Art and Architecture of the Fatimids
  • Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts

Development Studies

Available as a major or minor

  • Problems of Development in the Middle East and North Africa

Economics

Available as a major or minor

  • Political Economy of Development and Change in the Middle East
  • Topics in the Political Economy of Contemporary Middle East

Gender

Available as a minor only

  • Gender in the Middle East
  • Gendering Migration & Diasporas

History

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

  • Reading Classical Arabic Historians: Themes and Trends in Islamic Historiography
  • Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics
  • Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society
  • Encountering the Other: the Middle East during the Crusading Period
  • Israel and the Palestinians
  • Jerusalem: Life in a Contested Place
  • Outsiders in Medieval Middle Eastern Societies: Minorities, Social Outcasts and Foreigners
  • Turkey: Continuity and Change
  • Modernity and the Transformation of the Middle East I
  • Iran: History, Culture, Politics
  • Islam in South Asia
  • Modernity and the Transformation of the Middle East II

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

  • Arabic 300 (PG)
  • Arabic 400 (PG)
  • Arabic 600 (PG)
  • Arabic 500 (PG)
  • Arabic 200 (PG)
  • Intermediate Arabic/English Translation Project (PG)
  • Higher Intermediate Arabic/English/Arabic Translation Project (PG)
  • Advanced Arabic/English/Arabic Translation Project (PG)
  • Elementary Hebrew (PG)
  • Hebrew 2 (PG)
  • Hebrew 4 (PG)
  • Intensive Turkish Language (PG)
  • Ottoman Turkish Language (PG)
  • Advanced Translation (Turkish)
  • Turkish 3 (PG)
  • Persian 3 (PG)
  • Persian for Readers of Arabic Script (PG)
  • Intensive Persian Language
  • Intermediate Persian Language (PG)
  • Practical Translation Persian into English
  • Practical Translation English into Persian
  • Elementary Persian Texts (PG)
  • Avestan I
  • Pahlavi Language

Law

Available as majors or minors

  • Islamic Law (MA/LLM)
  • Law and Society in The Middle East and North Africa
  • Human Rights and Islamic Law

Literature

Available as majors or minors

  • Hebrew Literature from the Arab World (PG)
  • Modern Palestinian Literature (PG)
  • Social and Political Dimensions of Modern Arabic Literature
  • Arabic Poetry and Criticism
  • Reading Classical Arabic Historians: Themes and Trends in Islamic Historiography
  • Medieval Arabic Thought
  • Classical Persian Poetry: Texts and Traditions (PG)

Media

Available as minors only

  • Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East: Theoretical and Analytical Approaches
  • Film and Society in the Middle East
  • Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications
  • Theoretical Approaches to International Journalisms
  • Theoretical and Contemporary Issues in Global Media and Post-National Communication
  • Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media: Networking, Connectivity, Identity

Politics

The two 15 credit modules below together constitute the major option for Politics of the Middle East

  • Political society in the Middle East
  • State and transformation in the Middle East

Available as a minor only

  • Comparative politics of the Middle East
  • International politics of the Middle East
  • The Politics of State Violence: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

Available as majors or minors

  • Israel and the Palestinians
  • Turkey: Continuity and Change
  • State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus
  • Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus
  • Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics
  • Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society

Study of Religions

Available as majors or minors

  • Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
  • Christians and Muslims in Syriac Texts
  • Modern Trends in Islam
  • Religion, Nationhood and Ethnicity in Judaism

Translation Studies

Available as a minor only

  • Practical Translation Arabic into English
  • Practical Translation English into Arabic

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Entry Requirements

Students with a demonstrably strong background in music performance and evidence of a serious and sustained interest in the development and creative communication. Undergraduate training in ethnomusicology, music psychology or music sociology would be an advantage, although a 2.1 pass in any social science degree would be acceptable. Under exceptional circumstances, significant fieldwork experience may off-set the absence of formal academic qualifications in this area.

English Language Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)

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Last updated October 3, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
Duration
2 - 4 years
Part-time
Full-time
Price
9,685 GBP
full-time fees per academic year: UK/EU £9,685; Overseas £19,930. Part-time 2 years fees per academic year: UK/EU £4,843; Overseas £9,965. Part-time 3 years fees per academic year: UK/EU £3,228; Overseas £6,643
Deadline
June 30, 2020
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
End Date
June 17, 2022
Application deadline
June 30, 2020

Sep 28, 2020

Location
Application deadline
June 30, 2020
End Date
June 17, 2022