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

Wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, revolts in Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia, power struggles in Turkey, Saudi-Arabia and Israel – conflicts in the Middle East are daily news.

Do you want to become a specialized expert on the region and its conflicts and meet the huge societal demand for knowledge and insights in the Middle East? Then join our Master’s programme Middle Eastern Studies in Groningen.

The one-year Master’s programme in Groningen focuses on contemporary developments in the Middle East, with particular emphasis on the theme of conflicts. The programme is interdisciplinary and research-driven, using insights from fields such as International Relations, Religious Studies and Anthropology to help you to understand this highly dynamic and fascinating region.

Interested? Join our Online Master Day!

Important information for prospective students starting a BA or MA in September 2020

If you have a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies, the Master’s programme enables you to specialize in the theme of conflicts and to increase your familiarity with important theoretical and methodological approaches to the region. If you have a Bachelor’s degree in another (related) discipline, the Master’s programme facilitates you to familiarize yourself with the Middle East and apply your expertise to this region, which is of huge importance in today’s world.

The programme offers core modules on contemporary developments in the Middle East, conflicts in the region, the role of international organisations and the theme of religion and politics. We discuss cases such as Syria, Israel-Palestine and Iran. We also give you ample space to pursue your own interests and develop your own expertise, for example through papers, tutorials and internships, for example, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, embassies or think tanks, media agencies and societal organisations working on issues such as migration, refugees, terrorism and security.

Read more about the department of Middle Eastern Studies.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in Middle Eastern Studies
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60842
Language of instruction
English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Arts
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Focus on contemporary developments in the Middle East; emphasis on the theme of conflicts
  • Highly qualified staff and research-driven education
  • Ample space to pursue own interests and develop own expertise
  • Internship integrated in the programme
  • Small-scale programme, strongly committed staff, dedicated students
Programme

The one-year Master's programme offers four core modules in the first semester; all focusing on different aspects of the contemporary Middle East and conflicts in the region. The second semester enables you to further develop your skills and expertise through an internship or a tutorial and a Master's thesis.

Periods
Courses1234
Contemporary Developments in the Middle East (5 EC)
Conflicts in the Middle East (10 EC)
International Organizations and the Middle East (10 EC)
Religion and Politics in the Middle East: text analysis (5 EC)
Master Thesis (20 EC)
Tutorial / internship / study abroad (10 EC, optional)
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

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. For more information on the LCET, refer to site of the language center.

other admission requirements

Students with a Bachelor degree in Middle Eastern Studies, History or International Relations from the University of Groningen will be immediately admitted to the Master's degree programme. The same is true for students with a Bachelor degree in the Humanities who successfully completed the 30 ECTS Faculty minor in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Groningen.

Students with Bachelor degrees other than the three mentioned above and who have not completed the Faculty minor in Middle Eastern Studies, can be admitted after explicit permission by the Admission Board of the programme. The Admission Board will assess whether the programme and level of the obtained Bachelor’s degree provide sufficient background for successfully participation in the Master’s programme.

Registration procedure

If you would like to start in February, please contact the study advisor for more information.

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

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202001 September 2020
15 January 202101 February 2021
15 August 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students15 October 202001 February 2021
01 June 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022
non-EU/EEA students15 October 202001 February 2021
01 June 202101 September 2021
15 October 202101 February 2022

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. For more information on the LCET, refer to site of the language center: https://www.rug.nl/language-centre/testing-unit/english-lcet/

other admission requirements

Students with an international diploma can be admitted after permission by the Admission Board of the programme. The Admission Board will assess whether the programme and level of the obtained Bachelor's degree provide sufficient background for succesfully participation in the Master's programme.

Registration procedure

If you would like to start in February, please contact the study advisor for more information.

Application deadlines

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

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

There is a huge demand for expertise on the Middle East, for example in relation to foreign policy, refugees and terrorism and security. Our alumni work both in the Middle East and Europe. Relatively many students find a job in politics and diplomacy, for example at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or an embassy or consulate. Quite a number of alumni have acquired a job in local authorities or NGO's in the development and refugee sector.

Others work in media, the security and counter-terrorism field or the cultural sector. The huge consequences of conflicts in the Middle East, both in the region itself as well as in the West provide ample opportunities to acquire Middle-East-related jobs and positions.

Job examples

  • Policy adviser at the Middle Eastern department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Embassy Employee in Turkey, Jordan, Israel or The Hague
  • Employee at an NGO in the Development Sector
  • Security analyst at the Police or the NCTV
  • COA employee working with asylum seekers
  • Middle East reporter for newspaper, radio or TV
Research

Teaching in the Master's programme is research-driven. The staff members are highly qualified and have diverse disciplinary backgrounds. Their expertise is directly related to the profile of the Master's programme, focusing on, for example, jihadism in Syria and political Islam in Egypt.

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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 rug.nl
  • Prof. Dr. Wout van Bekkum (Director of Studies)
    Email: w.j.van.bekkum rug.nl
  • Admission Office
  • 
						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!’

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Nadieh Wesseling

    – Nadieh Wesseling
  • 
						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!

    Close

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.

Read more

Study associations

Siduri

Siduri is the study association for both Bachelor and Master students of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Groningen. Siduri aims to create a unifying environment for its students by organizing study related activities, such as symposia, lectures and trips to various Middle-Eastern countries, but also socials and an annual Christmas dinner.
https://siduri.nl
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.