Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies (MLitt) 2016 entry
The MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies (MECCASS) provides students with an in-depth familiarity with the culture of the geographic area of the Middle East and Central Asia/Caucasus.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time
A strong 2.1 Honours degree. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
UK and EU: £9,400
- letter of intent indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you
- sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references.
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you are looking to start this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
- The course is designed for professionals who have worked in or on these regions and for students with a decided interest in this area.
- In most years, the MECCASS teaching staff conducts a study trip for students to either Central Asia or the Middle East, offering unique insights; these trips are contingent on staff availability and conditions on ground, and are funded by participating students.
- The course offers an opportunity for language study in Arabic, Persian, or Russian.
- The MECACS Institute brings practitioners and outside experts regularly, creating a teaching environment that is deeply informed with real world experience.
The MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies is a multidisciplinary degree which offers an advanced grounding in the security of three fascinating and turbulent regions: the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia. It explores the security, politics, economics, history and culture of these strategically significant areas.
The programme is a one year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of International Relations which consists of four taught modules taken over two semesters and a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice.
Modules are taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials with average lecture sizes ranging from 20 to 30 students and tutorial sizes ranging from 1 to 15 students. Multi-core seminars, held over multi-hour periods may have higher enrolled numbers. Assessment methods include a combination of examination and coursework.
Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.
All students taking the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies MLitt take one compulsory and one optional module in Semester 1 and two optional modules in Semester 2. Unless students pursue a language track (below), they are expected to take at least one of their optional modules in the Middle East subject area, and one optional module in the Caucasus or Central Asia subject areas.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue.
All students must take the following compulsory module:
- Core in Middle Eastern and Central Asian Security Studies: focuses on major themes in the study of international security and applies them to the study of the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia.
Students must also choose one module in either Middle East or the Central Asia/Caucasus regions. In 2016-2017 these were:
- Ideologies and Social Movements in the Middle East: examines prominent ideologies in the modern history of the Middle East, and the role ideas play in the political mobilisation of society.
- Political Order and Violence in the Middle East: examines the origins and the causes and consequences of political order in this contested region.
- Central Asia in Global Politics: analyses nation- and state- building agendas in post-Soviet Central Asia and its geopolitical status.
Students choose two of the following optional modules, ensuring that among the total of three optional modules, one is from the Middle East and one from the Caucasus or Central Asia. In 2016-2017 these were:
- New and Emerging Security Threats in the Caucasus and Central Asia: examines specific under-studied threats and risks comparatively across eight countries.
- Conflict in the Middle East: investigates the political, economic and social conditions generating conflict both within and between states in the Middle East.
- Conflicts, Security and Democracy in the Greater Caucasus: examines the conflicts and efforts at their resolution in the North and South Caucasus.
- Social Movements, Revolutions and Authoritarianism in North Africa: examines the structural and inter-subjective features of democratic, authoritarian and revolutionay change, and locates them vis-à-vis the evolution of regional politics and the international system.
- Iran and the World since 1921: takes an in-depth look at the development of the modern Iranian state from its inception under Reza Khan in the 1920s to the present day.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry.
Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
Those doing a language track will, in place of one of the above modules, take 30 to 40 language credits chosen from Russian, Arabic or Persian.
The final element of the MLitt is a 15,000 word dissertation. The dissertation should focus on an area of Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian security studies in which you are interested. Each student is supported by a relevant supervisor from the School who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by the end of August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
Conferences and events
The School of International Relations hosts a variety of research seminars throughout the academic session to promote the work of the faculty, students and visiting speakers.
The Institute of Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasus Studies (MECACS) promotes cross-disciplinary education and research in these locales to understand their importance to their respective disciplines.
A number of student-led associations and organisations contribute to development and profile of International Relations throughout the University and the community.
- Model United Nations (SaintMUN): promotes awareness and understanding of international affairs among the student body through simulated debates and seminars.
- International Politics Association (IPA): provides a platform for those involved in the practice of international relations and political affairs to express their views and offer their insights.
- The Foreign Affairs Society: encourages the St Andrews community to explore global politics and current affairs.
After the MLitt
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies.
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in a PhD programme at St Andrews.
The Economic and Social Research Council provides PhD studentship funding for UK students which covers university and college fees and contributes towards living costs.
Recent graduates from the MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies have gone on to work for:
- a leading European think tank on Caucasus and Central Asia in Brussels
- OSCE in Kazakhstan, the world's largest regional intergovernmental security organisation
- leading political risk consultancies
- various think tanks in Washington, DC
- local NGOs in Tajikistan, Central Asia.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).