Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies (MLitt) 2023 entry

The MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies (MECCASS) provides students with an in-depth familiarity with the political and security dynamics of the geographic area of the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia.

Start date
September 2023
End date
September 2024
Duration
One year full time
School
School of International Relations

Application deadline

Friday 28 April 2023

Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

“I chose to come here as I had not seen any other University combine these three regions in that manner (Middle East, Caucasus, Central Asia). Studying this programme has helped me expand my horizons a bit more and realise what possibilities and opportunities are out there.”
Martin
- Cologne, Germany

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé 
  • personal statement indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you (500 words) 
  • sample of your own, single-authored academic written work (2,000 words) 
  • two original signed academic references 
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates. 

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. See approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies is a one-year multidisciplinary degree run by the School of International Relations. It offers an advanced grounding in the security of three fascinating and turbulent regions: the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia. It explores the security, politics, economics, history and culture of these strategically significant areas. 

Highlights 

  • The course is designed as a prelude to professional work in diplomacy, government, NGOs, or international business or as a preparation for PhD study.  
  • In most years, the MECCASS teaching staff conduct a study trip for students to either Central Asia or the Middle East, offering unique insights (these trips depend on staff availability and conditions on ground, and cannot, therefore be guaranteed to be available every year; they are funded by participating students). 
  • The course offers an opportunity for language study in Arabic, Persian or Russian on undergraduate levels. 
  • Teaching is deeply informed with real-world experience as the programme regularly brings in practitioners and outside experts.  

Modules

All students taking the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies MLitt take one compulsory and one optional module in Semester 1 and two optional modules in Semester 2. 

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. 

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest  module catalogue which is for the 2022 - 2023 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2023 entry. 

 

All students must take the following compulsory module: 

  • Core in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies: focuses on major themes in the study of international security and applies them to the study of the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia. 

Students pick three optional modules. Unless students pursue a language track, they are expected to take at least one of their optional modules in the Middle East subject area, and one optional module in the Caucasus or Central Asia subject areas. 

Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered: 

  • Central Asia in Global Politics 
  • Conflict and Peace in Post-Communist Eurasia 
  • Conflict in the Middle East 
  • Conflict, Security and Democracy in the Greater Caucasus (30)
  • Contemporary Gulf Politics in a Changing Global Context 
  • International Relations of the Modern Middle East
  • International Society and Central Asia 
  • Iran and the World since 1921
  • Political Order and Violence in the Middle East  
  • The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict  

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development). 

Those doing a language track have an option to take, in place of one of the above modules, undergraduate language modules chosen from Russian, Arabic or Persian. These modules depend on staff availability and timetabling compatibility, and cannot, therefore be guaranteed to be available every year. 

The final element of the MLitt is a 15,000-word dissertation. The dissertation should focus on an area of Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian security studies in which you are interested. Each student is supported by a relevant supervisor from the School who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by the end of August. 

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt. 

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2023 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Teaching

The programme consists of four taught modules taken over two semesters and a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice. 

Modules are taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Average lecture sizes range from 20 to 30 students, and tutorial sizes range from 5 to 15 students.

Assessment methods include a combination of examination and coursework. 

Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.  

Events

The School of International Relations hosts a variety of research seminars throughout the academic session to promote the work of the faculty, students and visiting speakers. 

The Institute of Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasus Studies (MECACS) promotes cross-disciplinary education and research in these locales to understand their importance to their respective disciplines. The Centre for Syrian Studies hosts seminars and conferences on Syria.  

A number of student-led associations and organisations contribute to the development and profile of International Relations throughout the University and the community. 

  • Model United Nations (SaintMUN) promotes awareness and understanding of international affairs among the student body through simulated debates and seminars. 
  • International Politics Association (IPA) provides a platform for those involved in the practice of international relations and political affairs to express their views and offer their insights. 
  • The Foreign Affairs Society encourages the St Andrews community to explore global politics, conflict, security and democracy in the greater Caucasus and current affairs. 

Fees

Home
£13,470

Overseas
£27,230

More information on tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances. Find out more about the scholarships and postgraduate loans available.

All taught postgraduate scholarships

After your degree

Careers

Recent graduates from the MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies have gone on to work for: 

  • leading political risk consultancies 
  • various think tanks in the UK, Europe, Washington, DC 
  • local NGOs in The Middle East 
  • OSCE in Kazakhstan, the world's largest regional intergovernmental security organisation 
  • governments, in diplomatic or analysis posts. 

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.


Further study

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies. 

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in a PhD programme at St Andrews.

Postgraduate research

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Postgraduate virtual days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online visiting days.

Contact us

Phone
+44 (0)1334 46 1944
Email
irpgt@st-andrews.ac.uk
Address
School of International Relations
The Arts Building
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

School of International Relations website