Universiteit Leiden

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Middle Eastern Studies (MA)

Why Leiden University

Why follow the Middle Eastern Studies programme? Because it will improve your insights, expertise and understanding of the region and all the issues it faces and creates. And why at Leiden University? Because thanks to our experts, expertise, facilities and network, few universities in the world are better qualified to give it.

Thought leadership

You’ll be taught and coached by lecturers and researchers who are global leaders in their respective fields. Guest speakers from other universities and organisations regularly come to Leiden to share their thoughts on their work. Their talks cover a wide range of topics: from academic work on premodern Middle East societies to hands-on, in-the-field experiences regarding contemporary issues.


This is a flexible programme in which you can specialise in Arabic Studies, Islamic Studies, Israeli Studies, Modern Middle Eastern Studies, Persian Studies and Turkish Studies.

Past and present

The programme covers virtually the entire Middle East, both in time and in geography. Courses about contemporary global and regional issues in the Middle East are complemented by courses on the region’s historical and cultural background.

Be part of a top-ranked faculty

Leiden University's Faculty of Humanities is consistently ranked among the top 30 humanities faculties worldwide in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking. At Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, learning incorporates the latest research and resources found nowhere else in the world, such as those of the famous Leiden University Library and its collections of original manuscripts, periodicals, and photos.

Study at a world-class university

Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands and enjoys an excellent worldwide reputation built up over more than four centuries. Since 1575 we’ve provided sound personal education for hundreds of thousands of students. We’ll do our utmost to give you the best possible support. And if you can and want to do more, we’ll challenge you every step of the way. For many years, we’ve been among the leaders in Dutch university rankings and we are currently to be found in a variety of top international rankings too.

More reasons to choose Leiden University

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