Middle Eastern Studies


In Leeds

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This degree gives you a deep and wide-ranging understanding of the history, politics and culture of the Middle East. From the early history of the Arabs and Islam to the complex international relations of today, you’ll build your knowledge of the religious, social, cultural and political life of a diverse and fascinating region.
Core modules will build up your knowledge base on the key issues and themes in Middle Eastern studies, but you’ll choose from a range of optional modules to shape a programme that suits you. You can choose from a variety of topics, from Arab cinema to the Qur’an and Islamic legal theory.
You don’t need to be able to speak Arabic, but you’re also welcome if you do – and throughout your degree, you can choose Arabic language modules to develop those skills. You can even try something different by learning Turkish or Persian. Whether you decide to do this or not, you’ll still develop a real insight into the context of communities across the Middle East.
Part-time study
Year 1 can be studied part-time over two years through the Lifelong Learning Centre. The remaining years will be completed full-time through the School. For more information visit Arabic, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies on the Lifelong Learning Centre website.
Specialist resources
Leeds has a wealth of facilities for students of Middle Eastern studies. Our departmental archive contains 500 Arabic manuscripts, as well as 10,000 archaeological artefacts that ranging from Pharaonic to early Palestinian eras. It’s a fantastic research resource – as is our library, which has extensive collections relating to Middle Eastern and Islamic studies..
If you choose to study Arabic or another Middle Eastern language during your degree, you’ll find that Leeds has excellent language facilities too, including a fully equipped Language Centre with digital language labs, audio-visual booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)



Start date

Leeds (North Yorkshire)
Maurice Keyworth Building, The University Of Leeds, LS2 9JT

Start date

Different dates availableNow taking bookings

About this course

Entry requirements A-level: ABB Other course specific tests: Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be BBB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ. We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications. Select alternative qualification Access to HE Diploma BTEC Cambridge Pre-U International Baccalaureate y to higher education, or...

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  • Arabic
  • Turkish
  • Conflict
  • Politics
  • Part Time
  • Islam
  • Arabic

Course programme

Core modules in your first year will give you a sense of the diverse politics, history and civilisations that have shaped the Middle East today. You’ll also begin to tailor your degree to your interests, with optional modules allowing you to explore areas such as the region’s media, Islamic theology or even new languages.

The following year you’ll be able to build on this knowledge as you explore issues such as Zionism, the Arab-Israeli conflict and modern Middle Eastern society while choosing from a range of optional modules on topics from the Qur’an to Islamic legal theory.

Throughout your studies, you’ll develop critical and research skills alongside your subject knowledge. In your final year you will continue to strengthen these across your module choices, but you will also put them into practice in your final year project – an independent piece of research on a topic of your own choosing.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Modules Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Arab and Islamic Civilisation 20 credits
  • Early and Medieval Islamic History 20 credits
  • Introduction to the Middle East: Politics, Culture and Religion 20 credits
  • LCS Academic Essentials
Optional modules
  • Persian for Beginners 20 credits
  • Turkish for Beginners 20 credits
  • Arabic for Beginners 20 credits
  • Politics, Culture and Society 20 credits
  • Global Development Challenges 20 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict 20 credits
  • Culture and Society in the Arab World 20 credits
  • Modern Middle Eastern History 20 credits
Optional modules
  • The Shari’a: Theory, Practice, Transformations 20 credits
  • Arab Media, Politics and Society 20 credits
  • Revolution and Reaction: Political Problems in the 20th Century 20 credits
  • Globalization: Equality and Diversity 20 credits
  • The Sociology of Culture 20 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Middle Eastern Politics: Regimes, Societies and Conflict 20 credits
  • Final year project
Optional modules
  • Arab Drama on Stage and Screen 20 credits
  • Islam and Modernity 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Middle Eastern Studies BA in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Middle Eastern Studies

Price on request