The two languages taught, Arabic and Persian, are the two main languages of the Middle East since the emergence of Islam in the 7th century AD. Together these languages are the key to the culture of this fascinating and complex region, both past and present. Although very different to Europe in some ways, the Middle East is its closest neighbour and cultural contact has always occurred.
Some of those interactions, for example the Crusades and colonialism, have been violent and confrontational but, even when conflict has been at its height, positive cultural exchanges have taken place. Europe owed its emergence from the Dark Ages in part to the knowledge of science, medicine and mathematics which it learned from the Muslims of Spain and the Levant. Conversely, Middle Easterners have in the last centuries appropriated the technology, science and political ideas of modern Europe.
Our degree programmes are designed to encourage students to appreciate and understand the Middle East and its rich heritage through learning its languages, Arabic, the sacred language of Islam and Persian, one of the world's great literary languages. They also try to explain the complexity of the region's relationships with other parts of the globe.
We offer both undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. For undergraduates we offer courses leading to a BA degree which converts to an MA three years after graduation. For post-graduates we offer a one year M.Phil. and a research PhD.
All students have access to the Faculty Library which has extensive collections in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and European languages, and the University Library. They also have access to the Libraries of other Departments and Faculties and to their College Libraries.
For prospective undergraduates wishing to visit the Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies we hold regular open days in association with the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages. Colleges also run open days. For details of Faculty open days, please contact the administrative secretary at the Faculty. Alternatively, prospective applicants are always welcome to pop in and have a look around for themselves.
A £500 prize is offered for the best essay written by second-year undergraduate students (studying Persian in this Faculty) on their experience during their year-abroad in Iran in 2010-11. Details here.
The Gibb Memorial Trust invites applications for the Gibb Centenary Scholarship of £2,000, which is awarded annually. Postgraduate students at an advanced stage of their doctoral research in any area of Middle Eastern Studies (7th century to 1918), and who are studying in a British university, are eligible to apply:
Applicants should submit their CVs and two references, together with an outline of not more than three pages of their research and a statement of their funding position.
Applications must reach The Secretary, The Gibb Memorial Trust, 2 Penarth Place, Cambridge CB3 9LU, United Kingdom, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, by 30 April, 2012.
The result will be announced at the end of June and posted on our web site:
Pembroke College, Cambridge and the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation invite applications from rising and established scholars of Islamic studies, with particular interests in Islamic manuscripts or art, for a Visiting Scholarship tenable at Pembroke College in the summer of 2012.