Research course

Near and Middle Eastern Studies

SOAS University of London · Department of Languages and Cultures of Near and Middle East

Entry requirements

Please visit our website for further information on entry requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

A unique concentration of world-class teaching and research on 5,000 years of culture, from cuneiform and ziggurats to Arabic and Islamic revolution.

The wide range of subjects studied within the Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East reflects not only the present economic and political importance of the region, but also the diversity and historical depth of culture within an area that stretches from North Africa to the borders of China and includes some of the most ancient cradles of civilisation and the birth-places of several of the world’s great religions.

The Department has received excellent ratings for both teaching and research, and many members of staff have been awarded major grants by funding bodies such as the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust. MA degrees and research supervision are offered in an impressively broad range of fields, spanning the languages and cultures of the Ancient Near East, medieval and modern Iran, Central Asia and the Caucasus, the Jewish tradition, and the Islamic world.

Although linguistic and literary studies form the core of the department’s work, some of its staff also specialise in the study of religions, and others have particular interests in such fields as cinema and music. Their expertise is complemented by that of Middle Eastern specialists in other SOAS departments, such as Art and Archaeology, History and Political Studies, the whole adding up to a unique concentration of world-class teaching and research.

The list of the staff of the Department provides information on the main areas of teaching and research, and supervision for research students can be provided across this wide range.

Some Recent Research Theses

  • Siba Aldabbagh Word and Image in Visual Art and Poetry from the Arab World
  • Charis Bredin Creaturely Encounters: Animals in the Libyan literary imaginary
  • Izabella Czyzewska How to Pray to Hittite Gods: A Semantic andContextual Analysis of Hittite Prayer Terminology with the New Editions of Selected Prayers of Muršili II
  • Maria De Cillis The Discourse of Compromise: Theoretical Constructs of Free Will and Predestination in the Works of Avicenna, Ghazālī and Ibn ʿArabī.
  • Jacob Eriksson Swedish mediation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a study of the utility of small-state mediation and Track II diplomacy.
  • Benjamin Geer Priests of the Nation: Nationalism and Power in Modern Egyptian
    Literature and Cinema.
  • Alyn D. Hine Russian Literature in the Works of Mikhail Nu'ayma
  • Christie Johnson Authorship in Kitab al-aghani: production, reception, subjectivit
  • Walid Khazendar Place in the Making: A Study on Image-Making in Early Arabic Poetry.
  • Maha Abdel Megeed Muwaylihi's Isa ibn Hisham: Between 18th-Century Revival and 19th-Century Neoclassical Renaissance
  • Krikor Moskofian Literature and Survival: Literary Criticism and the Construction of Cultural Identity in Armenian Printed Press of Diaspora 1919-1928.
  • Khadiga Musa A Critical Edition of a Twelve/Eighteenth Century Manuscript on Legal Maxims: ‘Umdat al-Nazir fi’l-Ashbāh wa’l-Naẓā`ir.
  • Laetitia Nanquette The Eye Sees Not Itself: Images of France and Iran Through Their Literatures (1979-2009).
  • Hany Rashwan Literariness and aesthetics in ancient Egyptian literature: towards an Arabic-based critical approach - Jinās as a case study.
  • Luis Siddall The reign of Adad-narari III.
  • Ludek Vacín Shulgi of Ur: Life, Deeds, Ideology and Legacy of a Mesopotamian Ruler as Reflected Primarily in Literary Texts.
  • Lisa Wilhelmi The Akkadian of Boğazköy

Information for international students

Information, including English Language requirements, can be found on our website.

Fees and funding

Please visit our website for further information on funding your studies.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months


full time
24 months
part time
36 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Office
+44 (0)20 7898 4700