Middle East in Global Politics: Islam, Conflict and Development (MSc)

Year of entry

2017

Start date

October 2017

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved
Applications for this course will open in September

Duration

One year full-time or two years part-time

Attendance

Four evenings a week full-time or two evenings a week part-time, October to June

Other entry years for this course

2018

This Master's degree in politics will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the history and politics of the Middle East and Islam, while honing your ability to make well-informed, critical analyses of the region in the context of global politics.

The programme has its theoretical foundations in international relations and political science, using these as tools to explore and analyse the region's domestic and international politics and current concerns, including sectarianism and persistent authoritarianism. Particular attention is given to the intersection between Islam, conflict and development.

Recognising that Islam is at the centre of urgent discussions and disputes today, the programme looks into key issues including Muslim identity, religious extremism and violence, and the impact of American foreign policy in the region, including the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the ongoing conflict within Syria. The programme also uses interdisciplinary scholarship to help you make comprehensive, balanced analyses of contemporary Islam and the Middle East in relation to the UK and the world.

The core module explores the domestic political structures and international relations of countries in the Middle East. You can then choose to either study how ideas of ethnicity and nationalism generate identities as well as tension and conflict, or consider how theories and institutions of global governance have arisen in response to the impact of globalisation. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You go on to choose two option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Read more about our Department's top news stories, our world-class research, our 40-year history, and what it's like to study with us.

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Highlights

  • This Master's degree is a unique course, offering insights into the history and politics of the Middle East and a balanced understanding of issues pertaining to Islam in the modern world.
  • Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
  • You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is five minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
  • Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.
  • The Department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
  • Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
  • Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.
  • Find out more about why you should study with us.
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Course structure

You take two core modules, choose from a range of option modules and write a dissertation.

Option modules are normally available in:

  • Politics of the Middle East and political Islam
  • Politics of globalisation and international political economy
  • International relations, international security and US foreign policy
  • War, conflict, nationalism, politics and religion
  • Political theory and political sociology
  • Policy analysis, policy-making processes and comparative public policy
  • Public management and public sector reform
  • Research methods.

Please see timetable below where there are links to current module descriptions.

Read more about modules

Core modules

MSc Middle East in Global Politics: Islam, Conflict and Development Dissertation

Sample timetable

PDF document icon Department of Politics Postgraduate Timetable.pdf — PDF document, 273 KB (279653 bytes)
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