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Political Economy of the Middle East MA

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Our MA Political Economy of the Middle East explores the politics and economics of one of the most vital and interesting regions in the world. You will develop solid regional expertise in addition to the theoretical and methodological skills necessary for a career in political and economic analysis.

Key benefits
  • Unique in combining political economy and comparative politics with the study of Middle East. 
  • Located in one of the globally leading Departments on the study of politics and economics.
  • Wide range of optional modules taught by world-leading scholars in the study of the Middle East.
  • Provides a strong theoretical and methodological foundation in the social sciences.
  • Develop your critical and communication skills by presenting and disseminating research in written and oral forms, to classmates, tutors, and the wider academic community.
  • Opportunity to study Arabic, Turkish, Farsi or Hebrew through King’s Modern Language Centre.
  • Join vibrant research communities in the Department of Political Economy and the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration 1 year FT / 2 years PT, September to September

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180 / ECTS 90

Course intake Not set number

Course leaders

Dr Ferdinand Eibl, Dr Neil Ketchley & Dr Michael Farquhar

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2979
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200


Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Political Economy



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Course detail


Our MA programme Political Economy of the Middle East combines the best of political science research at King’s with extensive expertise on the Middle East. It attracts a diverse mix of students from around the world who value the academic, social, economic and cultural appeal of one of Europe’s most dynamic cities. Our staff are world-leading researchers, experienced teachers, and passionate about their subject. In addition, we are able to draw on the expertise of Middle East-focused academics from across Faculty.

Through the required module Political Economy of the Middle East: Theory and Practice, the MA programme offers you a chance to explore different political and economic perspectives on a range of themes, which typically include economic development, the politics of oil, colonialism, state-building, authoritarianism, street protest, gender relations, elections, sectarianism and civil war. You will also have the opportunity to pursue your own developing interests by choosing from a wide range of specialist optional modules, both within the Department of Political Economy and in other departments at King’s.

With political and economic developments in the Middle East remaining at the forefront of global media, policy and public debates, there exists a wide range of governmental, intergovernmental, civil society and corporate organizations looking for individuals with strong training in both analytical skills and area expertise of the kind offered by this MA programme. This programme is ideal for graduates with degrees in such fields as politics, economics, international relations, political economy and Middle Eastern studies. We also welcome recent graduates from other disciplines in the social sciences, the humanities and law, as well as those coming from a professional background.

Further literature

Course format and assessment


For every 20-credit module, we will typically provide you with 20 hours of lectures and seminars (two hours of teaching per week), and we will expect you to undertake 180 hours of independent study. For your dissertation, we will provide you with a course in Dissertation Methods which totals 16 hours of contact spread over two terms and up to three hours of one-to-one supervision. You will typically undertake 581 hours of independent study and project work.

As part of the two-year schedule, part-time students typically take the required Political Economy of the Middle East: Theory & Practice module and two optional modules in Year 1, and two optional modules and the dissertation module in Year 2.


We assess the course through essays, class participation and Q&A's. The nature of assessment varies by module. Your dissertation will be a 15,000-word thesis on a topic of your choosing, you may take it in the UK or overseas.

Regulating body

King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant courses of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on this course page for updates. 

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:

The Dissertation includes 16 hours of research/dissertation methods training spread out over terms 1 and 2.


Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take four modules (totalling 80 credits) from a range of optional modules that may include:

  • Political Economy of Authoritarianism in the Middle East (20 credits)
  • States, Markets and People in the Contemporary Middle East (20 credits)
  • Protest and Revolution in the Middle East (20 credits)
  • People, Protest, Mobilisation (20 credits)
  • The US & the Middle East: Intervention & Mediation since 1945 (20 credits)
  • Culture and Society in the Middle East & North Africa (20 credits)
  • Comparative Political Economy (20 credits)
  • Comparative Public Policy (20 credits)
  • The Political Economy of Corruption (20 credits)
  • The New Political Economy of the Media (20 credits)
  • A History of Arab- Israeli Conflict (20 credits)
  • Any Level 7 (Master’s) modules offered in the Department of Political Economy
  • Up to 40 credits from modules offered across the university subject to approvals
  • You may also take modules in a foreign language at level 6 or 7, up to a maximum of 20 credits.

If you are a part-time student, you will take Political Economy of the Middle East: Theory & Practice and two optional modules in your first year. In your second year, you will take your dissertation module and a further two optional modules.

Entry requirements & how to apply

PE of the Middle East Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements 2:1

Minimum 2:1 honours undergraduate degree in such an appropriate subject as politics, economics, international relations, political economy and Middle Eastern studies. Candidates who do not achieve a 2:1 but have professional or voluntary experience will also be considered. Mature candidates will be considered favourably.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £55 applies.

Your application will be assessed by the programme's admissions committee. We aim to process all complete applications within four to six weeks of receiving all the required documents, though during February and March applications may take longer due to the volume we receive at this time.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

PE of the Middle East checklist
Personal Statement Yes In your personal statement you should explain fully your motivation for applying to the MA Political Economy of the Middle East at King's, and how you believe it will contribute to your own intellectual and professional development. You should also explain how you believe your own experience and qualifications would make you well placed to benefit from this MA programme. If you have identified a likely dissertation topic at the time of applying, you may also use part of the personal statement to briefly outline your research ideas.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application.


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 29 March 2019. Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full. For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 26 July 2019 or from UK/EU nationals after 30 August 2019.


Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home/EU fees: £12,300 per year (2019/20)
  • Full time overseas fees: £22,500 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £6,150 per year (2019/20)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,250 per year (2019/20)

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2019, payment is due by 27th April 2019.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2019 and 30th June 2019, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2019 and 31st July 2019, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2019, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Graduatation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • Non-compulsory field trip fee and associated subsistence costs
  • Non-compulsory travel and subsistence costs for dissertation fieldwork in UK or abroad

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

This course provides you with the enhanced skills and qualifications which will allow you to excel in future employment and research in an increasingly important field. Our students have transferred the skills they have developed to careers in development organisations, the corporate or financial sector, the diplomatic service, international NGOs, civil society organisations or journalism. Some students have gone on to further research in the Department of Political Economy, or another department.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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