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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Middle Eastern Studies
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Middle Eastern Studies

Islamic State, the refugees from Syria, Israel and Palestine, the Middle East is daily news. Are you interested and do you want to know more about this fascinating region?

Choose the Master Middle East Studies in Groningen ! Read more about the department of Middle Eastern Studies.

Middle Eastern Studies in Groningen emphasizes current developments in the Middle East. You will study four core themes: history, politics, culture and religion. There are three specializations in the first semester: Conflict, International Organizations, and Research Seminar. The second semester is for internship in the Middle East or for a tutorial. You conclude your studies with writing a Master's thesis.

What do we offer you? Prevailing views about recent conflicts in the Middle East with focus on Jihadism and the war in Syria. Understanding the role of the United Nations and the Arab League in the Middle East. Cultural approaches to the Middle East in film and literature.

Our students are working in ministries and embassies, in businesses and NGOs, in the media and refugee organizations.

Facts & Figures
MA in Middle Eastern Studies
Course type
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
February, September
Why study this programme in Groningen?

› Intensive study progress supervision

  • Focus on modern, current themes
  • Master's programme and/or placement abroad are among the possibilities

The Master's program in Middle East Studies lasts one year. Each module yields 10 ECTS; the thesis 20 ECTS. Emphasis is on studying conflicts and international political relations in the modern Middle East.

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Religion and Politics in the Middle East: text analysis (5 EC)

Ondersteuning bij masteronderzoek en tekstanalyse met focus op het thema religie en politiek

Conflicts in the Middle East (10 EC)

Overzicht van de heersende opvattingen en inzicht in de methoden van bestudering en onderzoek.

International Organizations and the Middle East (10 EC)

Inzicht in de VN, Veiligheidsraad, de Arabische Liga en de grote mogendheden in relatie tot het Midden-Oosten.

Contemporary Developments in the Middle East (5 EC)

Ontwikkelingen op het gebied van politiek, religie en samenleving in het hedendaagse Midden-Oosten

Master Thesis (20 EC)
Tutorial / internship / study abroad (10 EC, optional)

Stages in binnen- en buitenland, zoals op NL ambassades in het Midden-Oosten, bij ministeries, mediaorganisaties en in de vluchtelingenopvang.

Programme options
Master's Honours Programme (honours program)

The Master's Honours Programme was developed especially for students who want to get more from their studies.

It is a programme worth 15 ECTS that is followed in addition to the standard Master's programme. It is a one-year interdisciplinary programme that is designed to introduce students to various aspects of leadership.

More information about this option

Master's placement (specialization)

A placement during this Master is most recommended.

It is your responsibility to find a placement yourself, but the Office for Student Affairs can offer help with this where necessary.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • Maximum of 10 EC

To be recommended for placement.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Extra taaleis Engels: een vwo-diploma of een certificaat vwo Engels (cijfer 6 of hoger), minimum TOEFL eis iBT 90 (met een minimum van 21 voor alle onderdelen), of IELTS 6.5 (met een minimum van 6 voor alle onderdelen). Talencentrum Engels test (LCET) niveau C1 (B2 voor niet meer dan 2 onderdelen). Cambridge C1 Advanced of C2 Proficiency met een minimumscore van 180. Als je een VWO diploma hebt, hoef je geen taaltoets te overleggen.

other admission requirements

Studenten met een WO-Bachelordiploma in een voor de Masteropleiding relevante richting (b.v. Godsdienstwetenschappen, Politicologie, Sociologie, Antropologie, Rechtsgeleerdheid, Wijsbegeerte, Culturele Studies, Mediastudies) kunnen worden toegelaten na uitdrukkelijke goedkeuring door de Toelatingscommissie van de opleiding. De Toelatingscommissie zal beoordelen of het programma en het niveau van de behaalde BA opleiding volstaan om te kunnen deelnemen aan de Master Midden-Oosten Studies.

Registration procedure

Note: it's not possible to start in February. For more information, please contact the study advisor.

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
All Research universitiesVia a pre-master
Middle Eastern StudiesAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
International Relations and International OrganizationAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
History (part-time)All Research universitiesNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

Registration procedure

Note: it's not possible to start in February. For more information, please contact the study advisor.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202001 September 2020
15 January 202101 February 2021
15 August 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
01 May 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
15 October 202001 February 2021
01 May 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 12500full-time
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 13500full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Experts in the field of Middle Eastern Studies can work for the government or for companies at home or abroad. There are job opportunities in teaching or in research, in the world of Middle Eastern journalism and media, the diplomatic service or in social and community-related work. Other possibilities for a career could be in the travel world and tourism, or in libraries and museums, or for various cultural events and festivals.

Job examples

  • Policy Officer Foreign Affairs
  • Diplomat in the Middle East
  • Employee NGO in Refugee Support
  • Middle East reporter for newspaper, radio or TV
  • Academic researcher

Each member of staff carries out research in a specific topic: Jihadism, Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Religion and Cognition, Hebrew and Arabic literature. You will be informed about the lecturer's research interests in the courses.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Master's day University of GroningenBroerstraat 5More information


If you want to know more about the programme Middle Eastern Studies, please contact:

  • Ask Your Question Here (please fill in this contact form, we will answer you as soon as possible.)
  • Rianne van Mierlo (Master Ambassador)
  • Sjors van Ooij (Studieadviseur Midden-Oostenstudies)
    Email: studieadviseurmos
  • Prof. Dr. Wout van Bekkum (Director of Studies)
    Email: w.j.van.bekkum
  • Admission Office
    Email: -
    Telephone: +31-(0)50 363 8976
						Testimonial of

    Middle Eastern Studies is the most topical degree programme there is

    Read more

    'After I had finished my BA in Art History, I wanted to focus more on current issues. I chose Middle Eastern Studies, the most topical degree programme there is. News items are discussed and extensively analysed in class the very same day they appear. A major plus about the programme was that it taught us a variety of different ways to delve deeper into a subject. For example, I wrote papers and gave presentations, but I also organized a study day on Iran together with my fellow students.

    What I also liked a lot was that the programme included the option to go on a placement. I followed my placement at the Koninklijke Militaire School Luchtmacht, the Royal Netherlands Air Force school at Woensdrecht air base, where I taught classes on all kinds of topics, from Dutch politics to Dutch mission areas in the Middle East. I also gave several lectures on the United Nations and thereby contributed to the Missiegerichte Opleiding Mali, the training programme for military personnel about to go on a mission to Mali.
    Right now I am busy applying for jobs and have already noticed that this Master’s degree programme prepares you for a wide range of jobs. So besides imparting a lot of knowledge about current issues in the Middle East, it also ensure great prospects for the future!’

						Testimonial of Nadieh Wesseling

    De Master biedt de mogelijkheid om actuele onderwerpen in de context van de regio, historie, cultuur en religie te plaatsen, dankzij de bekwame docenten

    – Nadieh Wesseling
    Read more

    De Master biedt de mogelijkheid om actuele onderwerpen in de context van de regio, historie, cultuur en religie te plaatsen, dankzij de bekwame docenten. Bij het studeren voor de vakken las ik boeken en artikelen die ik normaal gesproken ook zou in mijn vrije tijd zou willen lezen en de colleges helpen aanzienlijk om die materie te duiden. Het eerste semester bestaat uit drie tienpuntsvakken, met ongeveer 12 contacturen van maandag tot woensdag. De zelfstudie is aanzienlijk en vereist effectieve planning, zeker gecombineerd met een andere Master.

    Ik heb hiernaast ook het Honours Masterprogramma gevolgd, wat ook zeker een aanrader is als je verdieping en verbreding zoekt buiten het reguliere programma. Naast het vaste curriculum in het eerste semester is er voldoende mogelijkheid om je individuele interesses volop te ontplooien. Zo is er de mogelijkheid om stage te lopen of een semester of periode aan een universiteit in het Midden-Oosten te studeren. Ook het scriptieonderwerp kan (in overleg) vrij worden bepaald. Ik zou deze Master aanraden aan een ieder die geïnteresseerd is en het Midden-Oosten en zich meer wil verdiepen in alles wat de regio met zich meebrengt.

						Testimonial of Rianne van Mierlo

    The lecturers within the department are not only very much engaged with all students, but they are also very knowledgeable and visibly passionate about their fields of expertise

    – Rianne van Mierlo
    Read more

    Hello! My name is Rianne and I am currently enrolled in the master’s program of Middle Eastern Studies at the RUG. I started this program after having finished the premaster. I feel like Middle Eastern Studies is the perfect fit for me and I am excited to tell you about it!

    For a long time, I have been interested in learning more about the Middle East. In the media, the Middle East is more often than not portrayed as the battlefield for wars, humanitarian disasters, and an ongoing need for foreign presence and intervention. However, a closer look at the Middle East, its history, people, and cultures, reveal its incredibly dynamic character and offers a chance to better understand the colourful and diverse region. The MA Middle Eastern Studies takes a multidisciplinary approach, focussing on politics, religion, sociology, economy, anthropology, and much more. For me, the MA Middle Eastern studies provides an interesting challenge in learning more about the complex region that is ‘the Middle East’.

    Read more about Rianne van Mierlo and why she chose to study Middle Eastern Studies in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Rianne an e-mail!


Please note that starting with this master programme in February is only possible in exceptional cases. Please contact the study advisor for more information.

Please note that starting with this master programme in February is only possible in exceptional cases. Please contact the study advisor for more information.

University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts

Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Mexico, Russia, China, India, or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.

Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts.

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Study associations


Siduri is the study association for students of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Groningen. The association is open to all students who are interested in the Middle East, irrespective of their programme, political persuasion or the ideological beliefs to which they adhere.
Voor de eerstejaars studenten Midden-Oostenstudies die lid worden bij onze vereniging organiseren we een introductiekamp. Deze vindt plaats op 6-8 september. Geïnteresseerden kunnen zich inschrijven via de volgende link:"
Read more
Student profile

Anyone who is interested in the Middle East is welcome.

Study support

Each Master's degree programme has a study advisor whom you can contact if you have questions or need advice about your degree programme and other study-related matters. Everything you discuss will be treated confidentially. If you have a more complex problem, for example study delay, a performance disability or if you are ill for a long time, you should contact a student counsellor.

In addition, you can also follow various courses at the Study Support section of the Student Service Centre (SSC), for example on study stress and holding presentations.