Middle Eastern Studies: Arabic Studies

Universiteit Leiden

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Deze opleiding

!Deze opleiding communiceert alleen in het Engels.
We tonen daarom de Engelstalige opleidingsinformatie.
Explore the rich world of Arabic culture, history, religion, language and literature with a master's that is unmatched in Europe.

Designed by leading faculty in the field, the Master's in Arabic Studies at Leiden University explores the language, literature, history and cultures of the Arab world.

Leiden University has the largest department in Arabic Studies in the Netherlands and a reputation that is unmatched in Europe.

Expect a programme that delivers the best in academic skills and knowledge across a wide spectrum of topics. Unified around the dual themes of unity and diversity and continuity and change, teaching and research guidance is given on topics ranging from the birth of Islam and the medieval world of 1001 Nights, to the modern-day cultures of the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia.

Key features of the programme include academic rigor, an emphasis on linguistic immersion, and practical experience. You have the opportunity to study courses at other universities, including at our partner universities in Cairo and Rabat, and the University of Amsterdam.

Leiden University's Humanities Faculty was recently ranked 17th in the Times Higher Education worldwide ranking.
open_in_newstudy website


diplomaMA Midden-Oosten Studies
typeregulier, 60 EC
start1 februari, 1 september
taalvolledig English
opleidingsduur12 maanden voltijd
heeft geen numerus fixus
heeft een honours programma
Geesteswetenschappen: Jouw vooruitzicht op werk

Waarom aan de Universiteit Leiden?

Leiden University offers ambitious students the latest knowledge and the freedom to develop their own area of expertise.
  • Leiden University's Humanities Faculty recently ranked number one in Europe and 17th in the world in the Times Higher Education worldwide ranking. You learn from Leiden's top scholars, as well as experts from our extensive international network. You also have the possibility of studying at institutions and universities in the Middle East itself.
  • Leiden University has one of the largest research and teaching departments in the field of Middle Eastern Studies. Our Master's in Middle Eastern Studies covers virtually the entire Middle East both in time and in geography, offering students a rare educational opportunity. Access the unique resources of Leiden University's world-famous library.
  • All Master's in Middle Eastern Studies give you the freedom to construct a personalised programme. Tailor your degree by opting for a particular disciplinary approach, geographic region, or historical period.
  • Our reputation as a centre of excellence means that your qualification is respected by organisations worldwide. Our graduates enjoy successful careers thanks to their mix of relevant professional abilities, specialised and in-depth knowledge, and critical-thinking skills.

Open dagen en meeloopdagen

Masterdag Leiden
Ben jij je aan het oriënteren op een masteropleiding? Bezoek dan onze Masterdag. Hier bezoek je opleidingspresentaties en kun je vragen stellen aan docenten, studenten, alumni en studieadviseurs. En maak kennis met de leukste studentensteden van Nederland: Leiden en Den Haag!


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The Master's in Arabic Studies is a multidisciplinary programme spread over two semesters. You have the opportunity to explore a wide range of topics covering the history and society of the Middle East and North Africa.
Three courses must be taken during your first semester. One course is compulsory and taken jointly with students from the other Middle Eastern Studies specialisations. You have the freedom to select your second two courses from those offered within Arabic studies. Of these two, you may opt for a course from the Arabic Studies programme at the University of Amsterdam.

During your second semester you follow one course from the Arabic Studies programme at Leiden University. You also work on your master's thesis. Throughout this process you are guided by a thesis adviser. An extra-curricular course on research methods is offered to interested students.

For a detailed programme, see the e-Prospectus: https://studiegids.leidenuniv.nl/studies/show/middle-eastern-studies-Arabic-Studies. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may differ slightly.

For a detailed programme, see the e-Prospectus: https://studiegids.leidenuniv.nl/studies/show/middle-eastern-studies-Arabic-Studies. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may differ slightly.
Theories and Methods of Middle East and Islamic Studies
10 EC
Specialisation Courses
20 EC
Specialisation Course
10 EC
MA Thesis
20 EC
Thesis Seminar in Middle East and Islamic Studies


taal van onderwijs100% en
The aim of the Master's in Arabic Studies is to introduce you to the concepts and academic approaches current in Arabic Studies, including various disciplines: linguistics, literature, history and social sciences. You will learn to use these concepts and approaches in researching and analysing source material in Arabic. Your thesis work will give you the opportunity to apply these methods in your own research.
The development of in-depth knowledge of the field, and the ability to think critically and analytically are key goals of this programme. Opportunities are provided for students to broaden their world experience and professional skills in preparation to excel early in their chosen career.

honours-/excellence program Leiden Leadership Programme

The Leiden Leadership Programme (LLP) is an honours programme of 15 ECs on top of the regular master's curriculum. The programme consists of training courses, seminars and a practical assignment.

Are you looking for an extra challenge in addition to your Leiden master's programme? Are you adventurous enough to look beyond the borders of your own master's programme? The Leiden Leadership Programme may be just what you are looking for. The programme gives you the opportunity to develop your leadership skills. You will follow seminars and courses, as well as carrying out a practical assignment for a company or organisation as part of a small, multidisciplinary team. Your lecturers will be leading academics and experienced professionals from the business sector.

Students can apply who have:

  • Good study results in the bachelor's programme;
  • The ambition and motivation to develop leadership qualities;
  • A broad and interdisciplinary span of interest.

Toelating en studiekosten

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1 februari 2018
aanmelding deadline : 1 december 2017
wettelijk tarief : € 2060
1 september 2018
aanmelding deadline : 15 juni 2018
wettelijk tarief : € 2060
studie kosten
bron: Universiteit Leiden
bedrag kostenpost
€ 10000levensonderhoudper jaar
inbegrepen in collegegeld

estimated monthly costs

bron: Nibud
350kamerhuur in Leidenrond het landelijk gemiddelde
158collegegeldop basis van € 1906 per jaar
80studieboeken en -spullen
77uiterlijkkleding, kapper, schoenen
132vrije tijdstappen, uit eten, vakantie
42vervoernaast de OV-kaart

€ 1218totale maandelijkse uitgaven landelijk gemiddelde is € 1181
Hiernaast staat een overzicht van de gemiddelde kosten die een uitwonende student heeft. Niet iedere student heeft met iedere kostenpost te maken. Het totaalgemiddelde is dus niet gelijk aan de optelsom van alle kostenposten.

Bekijk ook de uitgebreide toelichting: wat kost studeren?

Studenten en studentenleven


? studenten volgen deze opleiding
?% daarvan is vrouw
? eerstejaars gestart in 2012
?% daarvan is vrouw
26505 studenten aan de Universiteit Leiden
60% daarvan is vrouw
bron: HBO-raad/VSNU


Hikma is a study association intended for all master and PhD students working on Middle Eastern, Near Eastern, and Islamic studies. We intend to offer an addition to the study programmes with lectures, informal peer review sessions, and a online blog in which students can publish their work.
Membership is open for all students in the master programmes of Middle Eastern Studies and Religious Studies, but also students from other disciplines (e.g. social sciences) working on the Middle East are invited to join.

Op kamers in Leiden

31058studenten studerend
12630studenten woonachtig   
€ 350gemiddelde kamerprijs
kamer betaalbaarheid
20 m2gemiddelde kameroppervlak
kamer beschikbaarheid
bron: Nationale Studenten Enquête

aan het woord: studenten en docenten

Ivan Gospodinov
Ivan Gospodinov - Student Testimonial Middle Eastern Studies Leiden University

Studying Middle Eastern Studies in Leiden lived up to the hype and high expectations that I had beforehand.

As a student, I was also able to benefit from the rich library of the university, which contains not only the latest and most renowned sources of information, but I also had the great experience of seeing and learning how to work with some of the oldest manuscripts in the world.

All aspects of student life
On top of all the academic benefits that the University provides, Leiden is one of the most picturesque and beautiful towns in the Netherlands. You are able to enjoy all spectrums of student life, from university organised activities, sightseeing, having fun with your fellow students and even having a cup of coffee or tea in a small café next to one of the beautiful canals whilst enjoying the view of the classic old Dutch windmill.

Editor of international affairs
I am very happy to say that my academic background as a Master's student at Leiden University was one of the main reasons I was chosen for an internship as an editor in one of the fastest growing and innovative news outlets in the Netherlands – Zapaday. The internship began during my second semester and as of this writing I am a full-time employee holding the position of “editor of international affairs” with a focus on the developments in the MENA region and I am delighted to say that the knowledge I gained is already being put to use on a daily basis. 

lees verder ...
Prof. Erik-Jan Zürcher
Testimonial Prof. Erik-Jan Zürcher

“It is only possible to gain a better under-standing of present-day developments in the Middle East if you understand the historical background.”

“Leiden University enjoys a rich research tradition, and has a great many publications about Turkey to her name. The Turkish Languages and Cultures department is also well-known, particularly as text
books written in Leiden are used throughout the world...
I myself am fascinated by the Middle East and by modern history, in particular the period around World War I. This makes Turkey a rewarding subject for study.

Until the First World War, the greater part of the Middle East belonged to the Ottoman Empire. Around 1918, the great empires came to an end: not only the Ottoman Empire, but also the German
Empire, the Hapsburg Empire and the Romanov Dynasty in Russia. The centuries-old multicultural Ottoman Empire was transformed into the modern mono-cultural republic of Turkey.

As a result of the start of accession talks between Turkey and the EU, the number of students with an interest in political science has been growing of late, but teaching in the MA specialisation Turkish Studies focuses primarily on the language, history and cultural heritage of Turkey. I firmly believe that it is only possible to gain a better understanding of present-day developments in the Middle East if
you understand the historical background.

Turkey is two things at the same time: a young state which has been created by a political elite, but also an ancient state, heir to the Ottoman Empire, which
existed for six hundred years. This has left its mark on the country.”

lees verder ...


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1/10 Universiteit Leiden
Arabic Studies
€ 350 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
100% Engelstalig
2/10 Universiteit Leiden
Islamic Studies
€ 350 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
100% Engelstalig
3/10 Universiteit Leiden
Middle Eastern Studies
€ 350 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
100% Engelstalig
4/10 Universiteit Leiden
Israel Studies
€ 350 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
100% Engelstalig
5/10 Universiteit Leiden
Persian Studies
€ 350 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
100% Engelstalig
6/10 Universiteit Leiden
Modern Middle East Studies
€ 350 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
100% Engelstalig
7/10 Universiteit Leiden
Turkish Studies
€ 350 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
100% Engelstalig
8/10 Rijksuniversiteit
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
100% Engelstalig
9/10 UvA
€ 424 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
50% Nederlandstalig
50% Engelstalig
10/10 UvA
Hebrew and Jewish Studies
€ 424 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
?% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
100% Engelstalig
disclaimer: bovenstaande cijfers en beoordelingen zijn aangeleverd door de opleidingen zelf. Wij kunnen de juistheid niet garanderen.

Feiten en / studie in cijfers

bron: Nationale Studenten Enquete 2015
algemeen oordeel3.83.8


De Nationale Studenten Enquete is het grootschalige onderzoek van de overheid onder studenten in Nederland naar de kwaliteit van opleidingen aan hogescholen en universiteiten.
In 2015 hebben meer dan 200.000 studenten hun oordeel gegeven over hun studie en instelling.

Middle Eastern Studies: Arabic Studies aan de Universiteit Leiden is beoordeeld door 12 respondenten. Gemiddeld waarderen ze de opleiding met 3.8 uit 5.

Na de studie

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Beroepsperspectief / arbeidsmarkt

The MA in Middle Eastern Studies qualifies you to work in a wide variety of careers requiring specialist language or cultural knowledge.
Leiden University's Humanities graduates do very well in the job market. A master's degree enhances the career prospects of all bachelor's graduates. Examples of these careers include positions within the diplomatic service, at ministries, Immigration and Naturalisation Service, the educational sector, NGOs involved in development cooperation projects, international organisations, cultural tourism or the socio-cultural sector.

Some of the positions of our graduates include:

  • Co-owner of a travel agency
  • PhD candidate at Leiden University
  • Content and digital marketing assistant at an online dictionary service
  • Policy officer for Sahel region at a ministry
  • Production assistant at a Swedish museum
  • Teacher of English/Islamic religion at an educational institute in Saudi Arabia
  • Middle East representative at a shipping and forwarding company
  • Assistant defence attaché at a Dutch embassy in the Middle East
  • International copyright manager at a publishing house in Turkey
  • International affairs officer at a Dutch university.

current job market

vergeleken met andere studies

zoektijd baanzeer slecht
salaris na 1,5 jaar zeer slecht
kans op een vaste baan gemiddeld
bron: Elsevier beste banen 2015

aansluitende masteropleidingen

UvALerarenopleiding Arabisch part-time educational+ aanv. eisen
UvALerarenopleiding Hebreeuws part-time educational+ aanv. eisen
bron: doorstroommatrix.nl

Potentiële beroepen

  • beleidsmedewerker of voorlichter
  • diplomaat of attaché
  • docent
  • journalist of buitenlands correspondent
  • medewerker bedrijven met vestigingen in het midden-oosten
  • medewerker bibliotheekwezen, toerisme, onderwijs en wetenschap
  • medewerker bij bedrijven met vestigingen in het midden-oosten
  • pr-functionaris
  • tolk
  • verslaggever midden-oosten voor krant, radio of tv
  • vertaler
  • wetenschappelijk onderzoeker
bron: CBS


Studielijn Universiteit Leiden
E: studielijn@leidenuniv.nl
T: +31 (071)5271111
Meer informatie?
Bezoek de website van deze opleiding.

open_in_newstudy website