Oriental Studies MSt

L0032394 Oriental Calligraphy Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

The MSt in Oriental Studies at Oxford aims to provide tailor-made courses for training graduate students at the beginning of their research in different areas of Oriental studies.

The course is aimed at intending doctoral students who need some additional training before commencing theirapplying for doctoral studies. Only specified teaching staff in Oriental Studies accept students for this degree (a list of these staff is available on the faculty’s course webpage). Once you and your prospective supervisor have agreed on your course of study, it is not normally possible to make any changes.

The MSt in Oriental Studies is designed for students who hold a BA in the same field as that of their proposed research, or one closely related. As an example, most students who wish to study Arabic for this MSt will have either a BA in Arabic or one in which Arabic has been a majority of the course. The decision on whether a candidate's BA qualifies for the course is taken by the Faculty Board.

The precise content of the course followed by you is fixed by your supervisor in consultation with yourself in order to provide the most useful training for you. The course content is in each case designed to advance your progress towards a research degree after the completion of the MSt. You may therefore be required by the supervisor, under the direction of the Faculty Board, to attend lecture courses, seminars, language classes and tutorials, and also to write more extended pieces of written work.

The course may be taught in a variety of ways, depending on your needs.

If you wish to learn a language these are normally taught in classes. If you wish to concentrate on historical issues, these may be taught primarily in regular tutorials for which you are expected to write essays. 



Evaluation of the course takes place entirely during the third term, through a combination of essays, examination papers and a dissertation.


You must contact a prospective supervisor before you apply to secure their agreement in principle to supervise you whilst pursuing the course. 

Please note that only specified teaching staff in the Faculty of Oriental Studies are able to accept students for this degree. A list of these staff is below. 

Admission is always subject to the assessment of a full application and a supervisor available and willing to oversee your work.

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Oriental Institute 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 Oriental Institute.

For the MSt in Oriental Studies, the course content is in each case designed to advance your progress towards a research degree after the completion of the MSt, and the topic of the MSt dissertation will normally be chosen in preparation for a subsequent DPhil. You should therefore also demonstrate clear potential for DPhil level work in your application.

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 Faculty of Oriental Studies has a number of scholarship and funding opportunities across a wide range of subjects. Please see here for a list of these opportunities.

Use the University's fees, funding and scholarship search tool to see what funding you might be eligible for. Apply by the January deadline to be automatically considered for most funding.