MA programme overview

Throughout their studies, master´s students not only engage in education by means of lectures and readings, but through in-house internships they also get the opportunity to immerse themselves into diverse work methodologies by actively taking part in the research conducted at CMES. First year students also have the opportunity to enrol in Arabic language training in addition to their MA programme courses. In-house internships and language training are optional and not part of the curriculum, but we encourage students to benefit from the opportunities available.

Semester one: Mandatory courses

With increased international integration, “the Middle East” becomes to a growing extent inextricably linked to and affects the rest of the world. As its relevance increases so does the need for knowledge and a more comprehensive grasp of this region. 

The first semester builds on a conceptual foundation for researching the Middle East through courses on relevant theory, methods, and historical perspectives. We offer courses in Discourses and Debates on the Middle East; Middle East Theories; Middle East Methods and the Formation of Middle East Modernities. 

Semester two: Elective courses

The second semester aims to introduce and include students in the research conducted at the Center of Middle Eastern Studies `The Middle East in the Contemporary World´ (MECW). Students will choose four elective courses; three of the four elective courses should be on one of CMES main research domains:

  A) Democratization and Social Development in the Middle East B) Environment and sustainable Development in the Middle East C) Middle East Migrations: diasporas and Minorities in Globalized Societies D) Religion, Processes of Interpretation, and Identity formation in the Middle East

By the end of this semester an advisor will be appointed to help students build a ‘project plan’ for the third semester.

Semester three: Research internships, independent research, or practical internship

During the third semester students choose to do research internships with partner institutions or organizations of their choosing; independent research based on their selected method or a practical internship. Our aim is to integrate students to the Center’s effort to produce, disseminate and share knowledge with future researchers, officials, and practitioners, through working with authorities, think tanks, NGOs, and other organizations. Students are not necessarily required to travel to the Middle East. With an adviser, students will work to develop the following independent courses:

  • Field Course, 15.0 credits
  • Individual Specialisation, 7.5 credits
  • Individual Methods Course, 7.5 credits

Semester four: Master´s thesis

In the fourth and last semester, students work towards presenting their research through their Master thesis, 30.0 credits. Students will also attend mandatory seminars and present their theses at a final seminar. Our aim is that the students not only understand one subject or area, but appreciate the importance of broadening perspectives and methods, thus recognizing “the Middle East” as diverse instead of perceiving it as “one” or a “homogeneous” geographical and cultural region.


Upon completion of the programme, a degree of Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies (with several disciplinary majors possible), in compliance with the National Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 2006:1053), will be awarded.