Middle East Studies provides training in the history of the Middle East, extending across 1500 years from the rise of Islam to the modern Middle East. Your studies will cover the history, politics, cultures and languages of the Middle East, from pre-Islamic Iran and the rise of Islam and the Arab conquests through the Abbasid, Byzantine, Seljuk, Mongol, Ottoman and Safavid Empires to the 20th-century Middle East.
Whilst St Andrews does not offer Middle East Studies as a single Honours degree, you can take Middle East Studies in combination with a wide variety of other subjects as part of a joint Honours degree. Taken with another subject, Middle East Studies offers a good opportunity for historical and comparative analysis between different literatures, cultures, history and politics.
More information for 2020 entry will be available in September 2019. For information on the current year of entry for this course, see the 2019 page.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
Standard entry grades: AAAAB, including A in History
Minimum entry grades: AABB, including B in History
Gateway entry grades: BBBB, including B in History
Standard entry grades: AAA, including A in History
Minimum entry grades: ABB, including B in History
Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6), including HL6 in History
Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5), including HL5 in History
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.
You do not need prior knowledge of Middle Eastern history, but you must have studied History at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or equivalent.
Faculty entry requirements
You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.
SQA National 5 (B) or equivalent in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
GCSE (B or 5) in English, English Language or English Literature, and one GCSE (B or 5) from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
St Andrews students meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.
The School of History at St Andrews has an international reputation for the diversity of teaching programmes offered. The School has expertise in medieval and modern history, from Scotland to Byzantium, and the Americas to the Middle East and South Asia.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2018 as 94% of St Andrews final year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
Graduates in Middle East Studies go on to a wide range of careers for which an Arts degree is a recognised qualification. For those who wish to make particular use of their Middle Eastern expertise, there are opportunities for work in the Middle East with international agencies and welfare, educational or missionary organisations.
In the UK there are careers in the diplomatic service or other specialist government agencies, in Middle East related journalism, lobbying, commerce, financial services and business consultancy.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Middle East Studies students may participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the Study Aboad site.
From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.
Students of Middle East Studies may be interested in joining the Middle East Society which hosts regular social events including dinners, themed nights, shisha evenings and film screenings.
The School of History occupies three sites all within a few minutes’ walk of each other at the heart of the historic town of St Andrews. Students will attend tutorials, seminars and individual meetings with tutors in these buildings, while larger lectures are located in nearby buildings. The School of History sites are:
St Katharine’s Lodge, a 19th-century former school near the seafront
New Arts Building, a modern building with lecture classrooms and study spaces
St John’s House, located on South Street.
The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.
"I chose Middle East Studies because I love learning about the history and causes that affect current events there today — it also pairs well with my other focus (International Relations). Since so many international students are drawn to St Andrews, the diversity of perspective is valuable to any class discussion."
Anna (Philadelphia, USA)
School of History University of St Andrews St Katharine's Lodge The Scores St Andrews KY16 9BA
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).