Middle East Studies MA (joint degree) 2018 entry

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. 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.

Taken with another subject, Middle East Studies offer a good opportunity for historical and comparative analysis between different literatures, cultures, history and politics.

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Course type

Master of Arts (joint degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2022

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Middle East Studies MA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Typical entry requirements

SQA Highers AAAB, including History
GCE A-Levels AAA, including History
IB points 36, including HL6 in History

 

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.

International applicants

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.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

Students 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.

Other qualifications

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 webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.

Timetables

Students must meet with their advisor 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.

While every effort is made to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.

Course information

The Middle East Studies portion of the four-year joint Honours degree course is run by the School of History. The course teaches a wide range of disciplinary skills that are of great use in studying and understanding this culturally diverse and strategically important region of the world, one which is rarely out of the news at the present time.

In the first two years of study, you will take modules in mediaeval and modern history which include elements of the Middle East, as well as a second-year module dedicated to Middle Eastern history from late antiquity to the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979.

Separately from the Middle East modules in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year, you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.

In your third and fourth year, you will have the opportunity to take advanced modules which focus on specific regions and eras within Middle Eastern history.

Graduates in History from St Andrews can expect to have developed a wide knowledge in history, and to be able to make connections across different time periods and between different cultures.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.

Find out more about Middle East Studies at St Andrews.

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Middle East Studies along with modules from your chosen joint subject.

Typically, you will take one module including Middle Eastern history per semester during your first two years, and two modules during your third and fourth year (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students are required to take two of the following modules (which include some Middle East content) in their first year:

  • The Fall of Rome and the Origins of Europe (400 – 1000): examines how political, cultural and social life changed in the Byzantine, British and 'barbarian' worlds in response to major upheavals.
  • The Early Modern Western World (c. 1450 – c. 1770): looks at continental European history in the early modern period, and the expansion of Europe.
  • Themes in Late Modern History (c.1776 – 2001): provides a thematic coverage of major political and social developments in the Western world during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Students are required to take the following compulsory module in their second year: 

  • Introduction to Middle Eastern History: provides an introduction to Middle Eastern history from the dramatic reconfiguration of the Middle East in late Antiquity to its contested and contentious recent past.

You must also choose one of the following modules:

  • History as a Discipline: Development and Key Concepts: provides an introduction to key theoretical and methodological approaches which have characterised the emergence of history as a discipline since mediaeval times.
  • Mediaeval Europe (1000 – 1400): surveys the history of Europe and the Mediterranean world from the 12th to the 15th centuries and examines key themes that helped to shape Western Europe in this period.
  • Scotland, Britain and Empire (c. 1500 – 2000): provides an introduction to how and why the British nation state evolved from the separate kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland and how and why it has survived over the last three centuries.

If you take Middle East Studies in your third and fourth years, you will choose from a variety of advanced options from the history of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires to contemporary issues in modern Iran.

Examples of Honours modules which have been offered in the past include:

  • The Imperial City: Byzantine and Ottoman Constantinople
  • Eastern Approaches: Early Mediaeval Armenia
  • The Formation of Islamic Iran: From the Arab Conquests to the Seljuq Empire
  • From Leo VI to Basil II: Byzantium in the 10th Century
  • The Iranian World from the Timurids to the Safavids
  • Britain and Iran in the Modern Era.

In fourth year, students also undertake a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.


The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules currently available can be found in the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

Teaching at sub-honours level is delivered primarily through lectures (120 to 200 students) and small group tutorials (5 to 7 students). Lectures are given by all members of the School, enabling students to hear active researchers in each field talk about their specialism. Tutorials are an opportunity for students to discuss and develop their thinking in a small and friendly atmosphere, guided by a professional expert. 

Teaching at Honours level moves away from large group lecturing. Students meet in groups of about 10 to 15 students for longer classes in which they are expected to participate fully.

When not attending lectures and tutorials, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Middle East studies. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. 

Find contact information for all Middle East Studies staff on the School of History website.

In addition to your studies in the School of History, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.

Assessment

All sub-honours modules are assessed by a balanced combination of coursework and examination. At Honours level, module assessment varies, with some modules being assessed solely by coursework.

Coursework includes:

  • research essays
  • oral presentations
  • class tests.

Classroom examinations often incorporate essays and source exercises. In addition, most modules include a written examination held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

The School of History aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU Tuition fees for Scottish and EU applicants have yet to be set for 2018 entry.
Rest of the UK Tuition fees for applicants from the rest of the UK have yet to be set for 2018 entry.
Overseas £21,290

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

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

Accommodation fees

Accommodation fees for 2018 are yet to be set. Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017-2018.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take Middle East Studies as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following listed subjects.

It is also possible to take a degree in Modern Languages which combines Middle East Studies with both Arabic and Persian.

Your future

Careers

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.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Student life

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.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

Contact

School of History

University of St Andrews
St Katharine’s Lodge
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9BA

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2890
Email: middleeast@st-andrews.ac.uk

History website