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 insight, expertise, and understanding of the region, the central debates and issues, and its interconnections with other regions, global issues, and processes. And why at Leiden University? Because thanks to our experts, expertise, facilities and networks, few universities in the world are better positioned to offer this outstanding education.

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 work and collaborate with scholars at Leiden. 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.


The programme offers a wide breadth of opportunities for a tailored and specialised education.

Past and present

The programme covers virtually the entire greater Middle East (from North Africa to Central Asia), 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.

Diversity and inclusion

We are convinced that our education can only flourish if everyone within the programme feels supported, respected and empowered to do their best work. We find it important to offer a learning environment that allows for different perspectives and points of view that students bring with them, depending on their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, health, religion, age or socio-economic background. Every new generation sees the world from a new perspective – and our students are the newest generation. We look forward to hearing more about your perspective. Leiden University has been pursuing diversity policy since 2014, with the aim of creating a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment for all staff and students.

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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