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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


MSc in International Relations of the Middle East With Arabic

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The application deadlines for this programme are 20th of December and 28th March.
International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic Programme Handbook

Welcome from the Directors   

Welcome to the IRME with Arabic website!

The Middle East commands the attention of scholars, journalists, politicians, NGO organisations and the general public. Political Islam, the Palestine-Israeli conflict, the Iraq invasion and the recent wave of popular protest across the Arab world continues to raise interesting questions about the region and its place in the global world order. At the University of Edinburgh, we draw on the academic resources of the Politics and International Relations and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies departments to offer students a unique opportunity to study the international relations and the chief language of this fascinating area over two years.

This degree offers an intensive Arabic language programme (including a period spent in the Arab world) and an advanced theoretical and empirical understanding of the international relations of the Middle East, exploring and applying several theoretical models. Students will obtain an in-depth understanding of the main historical events, processes and actors that have shaped and continue to shape the political dynamics of the Middle East as well as achieving a high standard of spoken and written Arabic. This will enable you to use the language both as a means of communication and a research tool to interview informants, read the local press and scholarship, and explore Middle Eastern culture in a way not available to non-Arabic speakers.

If you would like to know more about IRME with Arabic, please have a look through our on-line information of the programme and feel free to get in touch with us if you have any queries.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Jamie Allinson & Nacim Pak-Shiraz

For queries related to the Politics and International Relations component of the programme, please contact:

Jamie Allinson (PIR)

For queries related to the Arabic component of the programme, please contact:

Nacim Pak-Shiraz (Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies)

Selection Process for 2019/2020 Entry

This programme has two rounds of application for 2019/20 entry. As such, there are two application deadlines – 20th December 2018 and 28th March 2019. Complete applications* received by these dates will be sent for review by the programme directors.

*A complete application must have all required documentation present and accepted by the Admissions Department. Please check your Applicant Hub portal regularly to ensure that there are no outstanding requests from the Admissions Department.

This process may involve a Skype interview to assess your level of Arabic competency.  The degree is designed for students with little or very basic knowledge of the Arabic language, but other degree options are available for applicants with significant knowledge of Arabic. During this assessment process, your Applicant Hub will display your status as "on hold" while the programme directors reach their decision. 

Following this assessment, successful applicants in the first round will be issued with an offer by 23rd January 2019, and 18th April 2019 for successful applicants in the second round.

All other qualified candidates will be added to a waiting list. Those placed on the waiting list will be notified if space becomes available. Final decisions regarding the waiting list will be made in early July 2019.

All applicants who receive and accept an offer will have 28 days from the date of offer to pay a non-refundable fee deposit of £1,000.  This amount will be deducted from your tuition fees.

Please note that the MSc International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic programme carries a higher module English-language requirement than the majority of our other programmes:

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: 100 overall (at least 23 in all modules)
  • Pearson Test of English: at least 67 overall (at least 61 in each “Communicative Skills” module)
  • CPE: Grade B
  • CAE: Grade A

For further information on our English-language requirements, please see our Language Requirements page.

For further information on how to apply and our entry requirements, please see our How to Apply page.

For queries related to the admissions process, please contact:


This programme requires one academic reference. References must be no more than one year old from the date of submission, in a non-editable format (.pdf, .jpg), signed, dated and on headed paper. E-signatures (i.e. pictures of a signature) are not accepted unless they are sent to us directly from the listed referee's academic email account.

Fees and Scholarships

This is a two-year programme.  Please note that the second-year tuition fees will reflect any increase that is made for that year.

  • Full fees information, including part time fees, is available here.
  • Information on how to pay is available here.
  • Information on funding and scholarships is here.

Bologna Compatibility

Like all University of Edinburgh Masters programmes, the degree is fully Bologna compatible, and is recognised across Europe and beyond under the principles of the Bologna framework. The programme comprises 180 Edinburgh credits, which are equivalent to 90 ECTS credits.


Edinburgh4Learning offers an intuitive and easy to use funding information tool which allows students to search using a series of handy drop-down lists. Students can access the Edinburgh4Learning portal direct from the Scholarships and Student Funding Services website. Registration requires a valid university of Edinburgh e-mail address and in a matter of moments students can access numerous funding opportunities to help them during their studies