Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies (MLitt) 2020 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.

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Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 September 2021

If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

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.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: £11,420
Overseas: £23,090

Application deadline

30 April 2020. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé
  • personal statement indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you (500 words)
  • sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

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

Course information

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.
  • Teaching is deeply informed with real-world experience as the programme regularly brings in practitioners and outside experts. 

Teaching format

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. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

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 2019–2020 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 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
  • Conflicts, Security and Democracy in the Greater Caucasus
  • International Relations of the Modern Middle East
  • International Society and Central Asia
  • Iran and the World since 1921
  • Social Movements and Ideologies
  • Social Movements, Revolutions and Authoritarianism in North Africa

Language track

Those doing a language track will, in place of one of the above modules, take language modules chosen from Russian, Arabic or Persian.

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).

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 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming postgraduate visiting days:

  • Wednesday 13 November 2019

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Virtual events

Find out more about studying at St Andrews, why it's unique and what it will do for your future.

Upcoming virtual events:

  • Sunday 18 October at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 22 October at 9.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 29 October at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 5 November at 9.15am (UK time)
  • Friday 15 November at 3.15pm (UK time)

Register

Research seminars, organisations and 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.

Funding

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews. 

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

After the MLitt

Research degrees

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. 

PhD in International Relations

Careers

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

  • a leading European think tank on Caucasus and Central Asia in Brussels
  • OSCE in Kazakhstan, the world's largest regional intergovernmental security organisation
  • leading political risk consultancies
  • various think tanks in Washington, DC
  • local NGOs in Central Asia.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Contact

School of International Relations
University of St Andrews
Arts Building
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 1944
Email: irpgt@st-andrews.ac.uk

Internation Relations website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).