Middle East Studies MA (joint degree) 2021 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.
Master of Arts (joint degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 June 2025
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
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
- 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 entry 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.How to apply
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
You do not need prior knowledge of Middle Eastern history, but you must have studied History at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or equivalent.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
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.
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 School was ranked best in Scotland in the most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework (REF) for the quality and impact of its research.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2020 as 92.7% 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.
Find out more about Middle East studies at St Andrews.
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 Early Modern Western World (c. 1450 – c. 1770): looks at continental European history in the early modern period, and the expansion of Europe.
- 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.
- Themes in Late Modern History (c.1776 – 2001): provides 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 medieval times.
- Medieval Europe (1000 – 1400): examines key themes that helped to shape continental Western Europe from the aftermath of the Carolingian Empire and beginning of the Crusades to the Black Death and the Hundred Years War.
- 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:
- Arabs, Persians and Turks in the Early Islamic East in the Age of the Caliphates (600 - 1200)
- Britain and Iran in the Modern Era
- Eastern Approaches: Early Medieval Armenia c.500 - 750
- From Leo VI to Basil II: Byzantium in the 10th Century
- The Imperial City: Byzantine and Ottoman Constantinople
- The Iranian World from the Timurids to the Safavids (1370-1722).
In fourth year, students also undertake a dissertation of around 10,000 to 12,000 words on a topic of their choice or an Honours project. These modules based on independent research enable you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken 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 appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.
Joint Honours degrees
You can take Middle East Studies as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following listed subjects.
"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)