Deze opleiding

!Deze opleiding communiceert alleen in het Engels.
We tonen daarom de Engelstalige opleidingsinformatie.
Designed for high-achieving students, Leiden University's Master's in Middle Eastern Studies (Research) offers you unmatched resources and expertise.

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typeonderzoek, 120 EC
start1 februari, 1 september
taalvolledig English
opleidingsduur2 jaar voltijd
numerus fixusnee
honoursheeft honours track
Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Leiden University has a reputation for its breadth and depth of expertise that is unmatched in Europe. You can explore subjects that span virtually the entire Middle East both in time and geography.

The two-year research master's allows you to freely combine subjects from seven specialisations: Turkish Studies; Arabic Studies; North African Studies; Persian Studies; Islam; Eastern Christianity; and Modern Middle East Studies.

Focus on a region such as the Arab world, North Africa or the Persian world, or on a discipline such as history, politics, literature or languages across a region. A key feature is our comparative approach to learning, which includes intra-Middle Eastern comparisons.

Additional courses develop your academic skills to an advanced level. You also have the opportunity to conduct field research in the Middle East or study courses at another top university.

  • Leiden University's Humanities Faculty was recently ranked 25th in the Times Higher Education worldwide ranking.
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 is one of Europe's top research universities and an international centre of expertise for research in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Students access the unique resources of Leiden University, including its world famous collections of original manuscripts and periodicals.
  • At Leiden University, students can choose subjects from an expansive curriculum, including specialised subjects not available elsewhere. All classes are taught by accomplished scholars. Small classes give students valuable time interacting with lecturers.
  • Our Master's in Middle Eastern Studies (Research) programme allows you to tailor your degree to reflect your interests. You can choose subjects from any of the seven specialisations. You also have the option to follow courses at another university, or conduct field research in the Middle East as part of your MA research project.
  • Your qualification from Leiden University is respected by organisations worldwide. But that's not the only advantage of studying at Leiden. We challenge you to think harder, analyse more deeply, and devise new, creative solutions. Our graduates are critical thinkers in demand by organisations worldwide.


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The two-year MA in Middle Eastern Studies (Research) consists of three compulsory core courses, specialisation courses, and an academic thesis.
Three compulsory core courses must be taken during your master's:

  • Theory and Issues in Area Studies provides you with the theoretical and methodological tools used in the field of Area Studies.
  • Choose between two core courses during your second semester. One course focuses on socio-scientific methods in Area Studies, and the other on cultural studies methods in Area Studies.
  • A final core element during your third semester focuses on developing your research and academic writing skills in Areas Studies.

Core courses are complemented by courses specific to either Asian Studies or Middle Eastern Studies. You have the possibility of combining courses from both.

Your research MA is concluded with the writing of a thesis, which, in summarised form, could be published in an academic journal. Your thesis is central to your formal examination, during which you will present and defend your thesis.

For the most up to date course overview, see the e-Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ:

1e jaar For a detailed programme, see the e-Prospectus: Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.
Theory and Issues in Area Studies
10 EC
Core Elective Course
10 EC
Elective Courses
10 EC
Mixed Methods in the Social Sciences and Humanities (ResMa)
10 EC
Core Elective Course
10 EC
Elective Course
10 EC
2e jaar For a detailed programme, see the e-Prospectus: Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.
Fieldwork / Study Abroad
30 EC
Thesis Writing Seminar
5 EC
MA Thesis
25 EC


taal van onderwijs100% en
excursion, group discussion, lecture, literature study, oral presentation, research, research project, research proposal, project, seminar, internship, self study
The aim of the two-year Master's in Middle Eastern Studies (Research) is to provide you with in-depth and specialised knowledge within the field of Middle Eastern Studies with the added value provided by a comparative, area studies approach.
The acquisition of advanced academic skills in the interpretation of texts, the analysis and solution of conceptual problems, and the ability to independently conduct scientific research are other key goals of the programme. Opportunities are provided for students to broaden their academic skills by conducting field research or by taking subjects at another university.

study abroad
After the completion of their first year students are expected to spend a complete semester to do fieldwork or to study abroad at one of the institutions affiliated with the programme.
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.

Toelating en kosten


1 februari 2020

aanmelding deadline : 1 december 2019
collegegeld nog niet bekend

1 september 2019

aanmelding deadline : 15 juni 2019
wettelijk tarief : € 2083 (€1042 in het eerste jaar)
niet-EU/EER studenten : € 17500

1 september 2020

aanmelding deadline : 15 juni 2020
collegegeld nog niet bekend

Good grades comparable with an average mark of at least 7.5 (Dutch grading system) for the entire bachelor's programme, and a grade for the bachelor's thesis of an 8 or higher.

Knowledge of the fundamentals of Middle Eastern Studies and/or area studies, literary studies, linguistics, history and/or social sciences.

A bachelor's degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor's degree.

inbegrepen in collegegeld

estimated monthly costs

bron: Nibud
350kamerhuur in Leidenrond het landelijk gemiddelde
172collegegeldop basis van € 2060 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


13 studenten volgen deze opleiding
69% daarvan is vrouw
2 eerstejaars gestart in 2017
100% daarvan is vrouw
27713 studenten aan de Universiteit Leiden
59% daarvan is vrouw
bron: StudieData


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

Farah Bazzi
Farah Bazzi - Student Testimonial Middle Eastern Studies (research) Leiden University

“Understanding the present situation starts with understanding the history”

“Already having a Bachelor's in Political Science and a Bachelors in Middle Eastern Studies, I wanted to choose a master's that would combine both interests, and prepare me for a PhD. The research master's was the ideal choice because it is so interdisciplinary. As a student, you have a lot of freedom to put together your own programme. It's a small-scale master's with just 25 students, so you have more intensive contact with the lecturers.

I'm interested in the Levant, and specifically Lebanon and Syria...
There are always conflicting ideas in these countries about how the country should be run, and by whom. An example is the conflict between (Lebanese and Syrian) nationalists and those who favour a pan-Arabic world. It's important to remember that there are 18 different minorities living in Lebanon, a country that is less than half the size of the Netherlands. The sectarian political identities, that developed during the Mandate period, are still at the heart of the conflict today.

With my research I want to look beyond the nationalist discourse and come to a different interpretation of Lebanese history. There are many different factors that play a role in the present conflict. If we want to explain the current situation in both Lebanon and Syria, we need to have a good understanding of the history of the region.

In the third semester there's the opportunity to do some fieldwork. For me, that will mean delving into the archives of the League of Nations in Geneva for some original material from the period.

In this master's you learn to put the Middle East in its global context. The programme gives you the intellectual baggage you need to go on to take a PhD.”

lees verder ...
Dr. Seyed Gohrab
Testimonial Dr. Seyed Gohrab

“Poetry is the most tangible icon of the identity of the Persian people.”

“I am a specialist of the New Persian language, literature and culture. Leiden University has a long history in studing New Persian. Shortly after the foundation of the University in 1575 Persian was being studied here, and masterpieces from Persian literature were being translated.Even today Leiden has an eminent reputation in this field, not only in Persian-speaking countries but also in Europe and America...
Until the nineteenth century Persian was a cultural language of India and a large part of the Ottoman Empire. When we talk of 'Persian', we are referring generally to this large area where Persian language and culture are or were important.

I am fascinated by the beauty of the Persian language. Poetry is the most tangible icon of the identity of the Persian people. Unlike in Egypt, for example, Persian kept its own language and culture after the invasion of the Islamic Arabs in Persian cultural areas.

Poetry is a bearer of Persian culture in all its facets. Astronomy and medical treatises were expressed in poetic form and even now we see on many ceremonial occasions, such as births and marriages, that classical Persian poems are recited. A TV presenter of a game show in Iran can readily recite a classical poem. Poets and writers have prominent status in Iran.”

lees verder ...

Feiten en / studie in cijfers


bron: Nationale Studenten Enquete
algemeen oordeel4.24.2
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 2017 hebben meer dan 280.000 studenten hun oordeel gegeven over hun studie en instelling.

Middle Eastern Studies (Research) aan de Universiteit Leiden is beoordeeld door 9 respondenten. Gemiddeld waarderen ze de opleiding met 4.2 uit 5.

Na de studie

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Beroepsperspectief / arbeidsmarkt

The MA in Middle Eastern Studies (Research) prepares students for a wide number of careers in which in-depth knowledge and advanced conceptual, analytical and interpretative skills are essential.
Our graduates have pursued successful careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Graduates have also gone on to pursue a PhD and a career in academia. If you wish to pursue an academic career, your master's is excellent preparation for a PhD programme or a career in a research agency or the research department of a company or government organisation. Your strong analytical and problem-solving skills can also be applied in a wide range of other vocations.

Positions of our graduates include:

  • Freelance writer/translator/project coordinator at a translation centre
  • Lecturer at a Dutch university
  • Translator and executive secretary at an embassy in the Netherlands
  • Policy officer for education and funding at a national student union
  • PhD candidate at a university in Spain
  • PhD candidate at Leiden University
  • 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.

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

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