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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies



MPhil applications for 2024/25 are now closed. Applications for 2025/26 will open in September 2024.

The taught MPhil in Hebrew and Pre-Modern Jewish History History and Culture gives you the opportunity to make an in depth study of the history and culture of the pre-modern Jewish history and culture of North Africa and the Middle East. The focus of the course will be on the world of the medieval manuscripts of the Cairo Genizah. You will apply the skills gained during your undergraduate studies and advance your research expertise, particularly though the study of primary sources. 

You will already be competent in Hebrew, usually to a level at least equivalent to two years of full time study of the language.

For specifics on how to apply, requirements, fees and finance, please see the University Postgraduate Admissions pages for this course

The course entails

  • a core module providing an overview of the wider field of Middle Eastern Studies and on-going training and support for your dissertation
  • two optional modules providing specialist training in specific aspects of the history and literatures of the Jews of pre-modern North Africa and the Middle East, including further development of their skills in reading Hebrew or other Middle Eastern source materials
  • a 15,000-word research dissertation on a topic of your choice

Before you apply, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your research interests.  Please see the list of Faculty members below.  For more general queries about the degree course please contact the Postgraduate Administrator.  If possible, please attach a draft research proposal for your MPhil dissertation when contacting us.  The proposal should usually be fewer than 1,500 words in length and can later be submitted as part of your formal application.

The course provides an excellent foundation for doctoral research for those interested in continuing their academic careers. Postgraduates have also found employment in a wide range of fields including the cultural sector and education and other fields where cultural understanding, linguistic skills and high level critical thinking, analysis and communication skills are needed.

Faculty Members with Research Interests in Hebrew and Pre-Modern Jewish History and Culture

University Associate Professor in Hebrew
Research interests: Ancient Hebrew philology and linguistics, Ancient Hebrew periodization, exegesis

Regius Professor of Hebrew

Professor Khan is happy to supervise projects relating to any area of his research.

Research interests: Semitic philological and linguistic studies, particularly of Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic. Also endangered dialects of Neo-Aramaic and the history of Judaeo-Arabic, including modern spoken varieties.