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COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Leiden University’s master’s in Middle Eastern Studies programme is a one-year, full-time master’s programme that is taught completely in English. It deals with a wealth of fascinating, inspirational and highly relevant topics. Two starting dates are possible: in September and in February.

Some of the many good reasons to choose this programme

  • This is a highly flexible programme that allows you to focus on your own specific area of interest.
  • Leiden University has one of the largest Middle Eastern Studies research and teaching faculties in Europe.
  • The work of our teaching faculty and researchers is widely respected all over the world.
  • Thanks to our partnership network we can offer you the opportunity to study at a university in the Middle East and immerse yourself in your chosen language and culture.

The one-year (60 EC) master’s in Middle Eastern Studies provides intensive and comprehensive training with a flexible programme format allowing you to focus on your specific interests. The programme prepares you for a range of careers requiring specialist language or cultural knowledge.

Programme structure

In 2018-2019, you will take one common core course of 10 EC, Theories and Methods in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, 30 EC of courses related to the specialisation of your choice and, furthermore, write a thesis of 20 EC, discussing your progress in a thesis seminar.

From 2019-2020 onwards you will still take one of more courses on theories and methods related to doing academic work on the Middle East. Besides this (these) course(s) you can choose courses in historic and contemporary manifestations of cultures, languages, literatures and religions, either directed at the Middle East in general, or at one of the regions of the Middle East in depth, namely the Arab world, the Ottoman and Turkish world, the Persianate world, and Israeli society from the period of political Zionism to the present day. In line with one of these courses the you will write a thesis.

Career prospects

The Middle Eastern Studies programme can open doors to you in a wide variety of industries in which the Middle East plays a prominent role, or serve as a stepping-stone to help you reach the next level of your academic education.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Humanities

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (14,31,018) per year
Application deadline

Expected April 2023

More details

Start date

Expected September 2022


Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,



2311, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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