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Graduate Admissions

About the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Cambridge has a long and distinctive tradition in the study of the Middle East and Asia. The Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies prides itself on exploring these fields through the local languages and encourages students to learn through real world engagement. If you are interested in these world regions and want to discover their languages, cultures, histories, religions, and politics, then FAMES is the home for you.

The Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies houses the study of the languages, cultures and histories of East Asia, the Middle East and South Asia. The Faculty employs about 40 permanent academic staff as well as several temporary researchers and lecturers from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, research areas and expertise. Please refer to the 'staff list' and 'research groups' links on the Faculty's website for further information:

http://www.ames.cam.ac.uk/people

https://www.ames.cam.ac.uk/research

The Faculty provides opportunities for postgraduate study in the following subject areas:

  • East Asian Studies - covering Chinese, Japanese and Korean Studies.
  • Middle Eastern Studies - covering Arabic, Persian, Hebrew & Semitic Studies.
  • South Asian Studies - covering Sanskrit Studies.

16 courses offered in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

The PhD in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies is offered at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies to those students who wish to study Chinese Studies, East Asian Studies, Hebrew Studies, Korean Studies, Japanese Studies, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (Arabic or Persian) and Sanskrit and South Asian Studies.

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The MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (Arabic Studies) is a one-year research Masters which gives graduate students an opportunity to develop their analytical, research and writing skills in preparation for further academic research in a PhD or entry to professions requiring such skills.

This MPhil programme is taken by thesis only. This entails working closely with one supervisor throughout the year on a thesis of not more than 25,000-word thesis to be submitted in mid-August.

Good working knowledge of Arabic appropriate to the research work will be expected.

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The MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (Aramaic Studies) is a one-year research Masters which gives graduate students an opportunity to develop their analytical, research and writing skills in preparation for further academic research in a PhD or entry to professions requiring such skills.

This MPhil programme is taken by thesis only. This entails working closely with one supervisor throughout the year on a thesis of not more than 25,000 words to be submitted in mid-August.

Good working knowledge of Aramaic will be expected.

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The MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese Studies) is an intense one-year course primarily for students who intend to go on to do a PhD in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese Studies) at the University of Cambridge or elsewhere. It is designed for highly motivated future researchers who have a substantial undergraduate background in Chinese studies or related fields but need more exposure to topic-specific or discipline-based analytical frameworks and more intensive training in primary source language(s) and research skills.

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The MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (Chinese Studies) is a one-year research course primarily for students who intend to go on to do a PhD in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Chinese Studies) at the University of Cambridge or elsewhere. It is designed for highly motivated future researchers who have a substantial undergraduate background in Chinese studies or related fields but need more exposure to topic-specific or discipline-based analytical frameworks and more intensive training in primary source language(s) and research skills.

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The Classical Islamic History and Culture MPhil  pathway is a one-year Masters course designed for highly motivated students with an interest in the history and culture of the pre-modern Islamic world.  The degree provides training in topic-specific and discipline-based analysis and exposure to primary sources and research skills. Applicants are expected to have an existing level of competence in Arabic and/or Persian necessary for the taught papers and dissertation research they plan to undertake (usually at least equivalent to two years full-time study of the language).

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The Hebrew and Pre-Modern History and Culture pathway is a one-year Masters course designed for highly motivated students with an interest in 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. The degree provides training in topic-specific and discipline-based analysis and exposure to primary sources and research skills. Applicants are expected to have an existing level of competence in Hebrew necessary for the taught papers and dissertation research they plan to undertake (usually at least equivalent to two years full-time study of the language).

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The Hebrew and Semitic Studies pathway is a one-year Masters course designed for highly motivated students with an interest in Hebrew and related Semitic languages.  The degree provides training in topic-specific and discipline-based analysis and exposure to primary sources and research skills. Applicants are expected to have an existing level of competence in Hebrew or another Semitic language necessary for the taught papers and dissertation research they plan to undertake (usually at least equivalent to two years full-time study of the language).

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The MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (Hebrew Studies) is a one-year research Masters which gives graduate students an opportunity to develop their analytical, research and writing skills in preparation for further academic research in a PhD or entry to professions requiring such skills.

This MPhil programme is taken by thesis only. This entails working closely with one supervisor throughout the year on a thesis of not more than 25,000 words to be submitted in August.

Good working knowledge (oral and written) of Hebrew will be expected.

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The MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (Japanese Studies) provides initial research training and, in most cases, aims to develop students' linguistic skills, methodological sophistication, as well as providing a foundation for those students wishing to continue their research at the doctoral level.

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The MPhil programme in Japanese Studies is a specially designed one-year graduate seminar and research course with substantial taught elements for students who want to deepen their undergraduate education and/or prepare for a PhD in Japanese Studies. 

All students in the year group attend the Theories and Methodologies in Japanese Studies Seminar, at which they meet regularly and are introduced to various disciplinary approaches in Japanese studies. In addition, they are guided through the various steps of academic research, writing, presentation and career development. They are free to choose two additional courses from a variety of options so that each student receives a tailor-made education. Approximately half of the time is allocated to individual research and the writing of a dissertation under the guidance of leading scholars.

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The MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies) is a one-year research Masters course, especially for students who intend to go on to do a PhD in Middle Eastern or Islamic Studies or a profession requiring advanced research skills and knowledge of the subject.

This MPhil programme is taken by thesis only. This entails working closely with one supervisor throughout the year on a thesis of not more than 25,000 words to be submitted in August.

Good working knowledge of Arabic and/or Persian, appropriate to the research work will be expected.

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The Modern Middle Eastern Studies pathway is a one-year Masters course designed for highly motivated students with an interest in any aspect of the modern Middle East. The degree provides training in topic-specific and discipline-based analysis and exposure to primary sources and research skills. Applicants are expected to have an existing level of competence in one of the three main languages of study (Arabic, Hebrew or Persian) necessary for the taught papers and dissertation research they plan to undertake (usually at least equivalent to two years full-time study of the language).

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The Muslim-Jewish Relations pathway is a one-year Masters course designed for highly motivated students with an interest in Muslim-Jewish relations viewed in historical and contemporary perspectives.  The degree provides training in topic-specific and discipline-based analysis and exposure to primary sources and research skills. Applicants are expected to have an existing level of competence in one of Arabic, Hebrew or Persian, necessary for the taught papers and dissertation research they plan to undertake (usually at least equivalent to two years full-time study of the language).

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The MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies by Research (South Asian Studies) is a one-year programme designed to promote an understanding of the region’s rich and complex cultural, religious and intellectual histories through the extensive corpus of textual sources in Sanskrit. This MPhil programme offers an in-depth introduction to South Asia’s seminal textual sources, significant language skills to interpret and analyse such sources, an understanding of the relevant historiographical and theoretical issues, and methodology training.

The programme is appropriate for students who have already had some previous training in Sanskrit.

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The Advanced Diploma is a nine-month postgraduate qualification that provides instruction in the Hebrew language for students with a first degree whose knowledge of the language is at an intermediate or lower intermediate level at the time of entry with the objective of bringing their knowledge up to an advanced level. The learning outcome of advanced level Hebrew is intended to prepare students for two possible pathways after the course: (i) an MPhil degree with a research component, with a view to advancing thereafter to a PhD or another career requiring high level language and research skills (ii) a career in specialist Hebrew language teaching.

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Department Members


Lucy Cavan
Graduate Programmes Administrator

Andrea Newman
Graduate Programmes Administrator


http://www.ames.cam.ac.uk/

Research Areas