The Master of Studies in Islamic Studies and History is a one-year degree for students who already possess substantial knowledge of the field and who are able, without further language training, to work with pre-modern Arabic, Persian and Turkish primary sources as appropriate to their particular research interests.
You can take specialised classes and undertake independent research under the supervision of a faculty member. Students often progress to doctoral work after completing the MSt.
The course focuses on the political, social, and intellectual history of the central Islamic lands (Egypt, the Fertile Crescent, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Central Asia, and Anatolia) up until c. 1800. The course is characterised by a strong emphasis on research methods and primary sources, thus making it a very good entry gate for subsequent doctoral study. You will already possess substantial general knowledge of Islamic or Middle Eastern studies and history.
You will receive specialised teaching in two elective papers, taught during the first two terms, while also working on a dissertation (or on two extended research essays) under the supervision of a suitable member of the faculty. You will also be required to demonstrate your research skills by means of a week-long take-home examination on methods and research materials. You will be assigned a supervisor who is responsible for offering academic guidance throughout the course.
Oriental Studies graduates have found employment in many and diverse fields including business, finance, law, civil service, journalism, government and industry. Many graduates have also undertaken further research into subjects linked with Oriental Studies and have pursued successful careers in the academic world, education and in museums.
The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Faculty of Oriental Studies.
As a minimum, applicants should normally hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications:
- a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in Middle Eastern studies, Islamic studies or a relevant cognate field.
If your degree is not from the UK, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.
For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.
GRE General Test scores
Applicants from the US and others who hold Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are recommended to submit these with their application. GMAT scores are not sought.
Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience
- Applicants must already possess substantial general knowledge of Islamic or Middle Eastern studies and history and be capable of working, without additional language instruction, with pre-modern Arabic and/or Persian and/or Ottoman Turkish texts.
- In view of the degree's strong research component, it is vital that the candidate's specific interests tally with the expertise of at least one faculty member. Applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to contact potential supervisors in advance of applying for admission to the degree.
Oriental studies graduates have found employment in many and diverse fields including business, finance, law, civil service, journalism, government and industry. Many graduates have also undertaken further research into subjects linked with Oriental studies and have pursued successful careers in the academic world, education and in museums.
For further information please refer to the MSt Islamic Studies & History 2018-19 Course Handbook.