Middle Eastern Studies and Politics BA
Year of entry 20242023 course information
- UCAS code
- Start date
- September 2024
- Delivery type
- On campus
- 3 years full time
- Work placement
- Study abroad
- Typical A-level offer
- Typical Access to Leeds offer
- BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
BBC at A Level, A in a relevant EPQ and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements
In this degree, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of two subject areas: the history, politics, religion and culture of the Middle East, and the study of politics more broadly. This allows you to analyse the complex political circumstances that shape our world today.
You’ll build your knowledge of key themes in Middle Eastern studies, from the early history of the Arabs and Islam to the complex international relations of today. Speaking Arabic isn’t a requirement for this course, but you can choose Arabic language modules to develop those skills throughout your degree.
You’ll also develop your understanding of political theory and systems of government around the world. You’ll study the mechanisms of power and influence of politics in public life, exploring the real politics behind the headlines and constructing practical solutions to political challenges.
With the international outlook and knowledge you develop, you’ll be well prepared for a career in a range of fields. Students on this course can also apply for study abroad or a work placement in their final year.
With a variety of specialist facilities and four libraries on campus, you’ll find plenty of space for study, group work and research.
The world-class Brotherton Library is home to a wide variety of manuscripts, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable assets for your independent research. These include rare copies of magazines and unpublished letters, with materials across the range of languages that we teach, from medieval Latin to the Leeds Russian Archive. Our main library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.
Our departmental archive contains Arabic manuscripts, as well as 10,000 archaeological artefacts that range from the Pharaonic to the early Palestinian eras. It’s a fantastic research resource – as is the University Library, which has extensive collections relating to Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. The University Library runs free classes and workshops so you can learn how to use them.
If you choose to study language modules, our Language Zone gives you access to free learning resources, including space for personal study, language learning software, and video, audio, books and magazines.
Take a look around our libraries:
A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but take fewer options and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects. You’ll also undertake a major project in either subject in your final year.
In your first year, you’ll gain a foundational understanding of politics and political ideas. You’ll explore the key debates that shape politics at an international level, using theory to understand and analyse political practices in the world today. You’ll compare the nature of politics and processes across different political systems, analysing how and why we make these comparisons.
As well as this you’ll gain an overview of the history of the Arab world, from the rise of Islam in the 6th century to the Ottoman conquest in the 16th. You’ll also study the Middle East in depth to understand the varied history, culture, politics, religions and languages of the region.
In your second year, you’ll explore issues relating to modern Arab societies and cultures, such as family life, gender relations, marriage, divorce and the role of religion. You’ll examine the formation of the modern Middle East from empires to nation-states and you’ll have options to learn about the politics of race, gender, and sexuality in the Middle East. You can also learn about the development of Arab media and its role in relation to politics, culture and society.
In addition to this, you’ll critically examine political theories and ideas in the 20th century, or political challenges such as justice, community and conflict. You’ll also study UK or international government and political systems from a choice of optional modules.
In your final year, you’ll undertake either a dissertation or create a podcast on a topic of your choice. You’ll choose from optional modules to tailor your learning to your interests and career aspirations. You can critically explore topics such as Islam and modernity, Middle Eastern politics and British foreign policy, among many others.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Middle Eastern Studies and Politics BA in the course catalogue
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Early and Medieval Islamic History||20|
|Studying the Middle East: Culture, History, Politics and Religion||20|
|Politics, Culture and Society||20|
|Freedom, Power and Resistance: An Introduction to Political Ideas||20|
Year 1 discovery modules
Students also have 20 free credits for Discovery Modules.
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Cultures of the Arab Middle East and North Africa||20|
|Modern Middle Eastern History||20|
Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Arab Media, Politics and Society||20|
|The Politics of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Middle East||20|
|Media and Democracy||20|
|Politics and Policy in the EU||20|
|Politics of Contemporary China||20|
|State and Politics in Africa||20|
|United States Politics||20|
|Revolution and Reaction: Political Problems in the 20th Century||20|
|Justice, Community and Conflict||20|
|Approaches to Analysis||20|
Year 2 discovery modules
Students have 20 free credits for Discovery Modules. They can also choose to take a further module in Middle Eastern Studies or Politics, or take this module:
- Towards the Future: Skills in Context (20 credits)
Year 3 compulsory modules
|Final Year Project: either dissertation in Politics, or choice between dissertation and podcast in Middle Eastern Studies||40|
Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Islam and Modernity||20|
|Middle Eastern Politics: Regimes, Societies and Conflict||20|
|Performing Islam: Piety and Environment in Dialogue||20|
|British Foreign Policy||20|
|The Politics of national identity in the UK||20|
|Violence and Reconciliation in Africa||20|
|Extreme Right Parties||20|
|Europe in the World||20|
|Gender and Security in Global Politics||20|
|Terrorism: Concepts, Debates, Cases||20|
|Radical Political Ideas: Marx, Nietzsche, Schmitt, Foucault, Kristeva||20|
|Reimagining Politics: Gender, Race, and Popular Culture||20|
|Video Games: Politics, Society and Culture||20|
|Nuclear Weapons and Global Politics||20|
|Philosophy of Human Rights||20|
Year 3 discovery modules
Students have 20 free credits for Discovery Modules. They can also choose to take a further module in Middle Eastern Studies or Politics, or take one of these modules:
- Contemporary World Literature (20 credits)
- Material Cultures and Cultures of Consumption (20 credits)
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
You will learn through a mix of seminars, lectures, workshops, group sessions and one-to-one supervisions, as well as independent learning supported by a rich range of resources. Our tutors are passionate researchers and dedicated teachers who use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops.
Independent study is also central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You’ll be able to apply your skills and knowledge in a final year research project on a topic of your own choice.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We are creative in our approach to assessment, and we consistently support your independent learning to ensure assessment is fair and inclusive.
We use a wide range of assessments including essays, exams, presentations, podcasts, literature reviews, reflective logs, and group projects. We offer support in these areas as well. For example, we run extra classes on skills such as public speaking, structuring essays and exam techniques which you can attend throughout your time at Leeds.
Assessments are designed to deliver the transferable skills needed for the world of work; task-based activities are designed to evidence critical thinking, demonstrate initiative, and show knowledge of a range of relevant subjects and sources.
Other course specific tests:
If you’re taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you’re taking A Levels, this would be ABB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.
Access to HE Diploma
Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
D3, M1, M2
35 points overall including 16 at Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
A in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers
AAAABB in Highers.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds offer:
BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
BBC at A Level, A in a relevant EPQ and pass Access to Leeds.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: To be confirmed
International: To be confirmed
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 are available on individual course pages.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 will be available on individual course pages from September 2023.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
Read our guidance about applying.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
This course is taught by
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies
School of Politics and International Studies
You’ll gain the professional skills to prepare you for an international career in a wide range of sectors. By taking this joint honours course, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the Middle East and of fundamental aspects of world politics.
As well as demonstrating that you’re intellectually versatile, this joint honours course will equip you with a wide range of skills across different disciplines which are attractive to employers such as:
- good research skills and the ability to analyse complex information from multiple sources before drawing your own conclusions
- communication skills enabling you to defend your views clearly, either verbally or in writing
- strong organisational skills and the confidence to work independently or in a team
- a deep understanding of cultural diversity, allowing you to work effectively with people whose backgrounds differ from yours
Leeds graduates have pursued careers across the globe and in a range of sectors including education, the media, law, publishing, the civil service, business and finance and the charity sector. Many others have also pursued postgraduate study, including further training in language-based careers such as translating and interpreting.
Leeds is the 5th most targeted university in the UK by graduate recruiters (The Graduate Market in 2022). At Leeds, we are fully committed to developing your employability and career prospects. You’ll have a wealth of opportunities to develop your skills and make the most out of your time at Leeds and during the time you’ll spend abroad.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
As a student with us, you will be guided in your career choices and prepared for life after your degree in a variety of ways. Workshops and events are organised for you by the School throughout the year and focus on networking, understanding the value of your skills, hearing from alumni about their career experiences and hosting graduate recruiters who want to hire you.
We’ll also keep you informed of work/voluntary placements for your time abroad and any other part-time and volunteering opportunities that you can fit around your studies.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.