MRes Modern East Mediterranean History

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This degree offers the chance to explore key aspects of East Mediterranean history in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on the study of primary evidence. Special emphasis is put on the causes and consequences of Great Power intervention in the region, such as the world wars, the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the war on terror.


The programme comprises a major individual research project, supervised by a specialist in the field of study, and taught elements which provide the context and skills needed to conduct independent research into a region which includes the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa.


Picture: Oil well fires rage outside Kuwait City in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. The wells were set on fire by Iraqi forces before they were ousted from the region by coalition forces.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Combined research and taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Start date: September


The programme is made up of 60 credits of taught modules (see the modules section below)  and 120 credits achieved through a 20,000 word supervised research project on a topic of your choice. We recommend that you discuss your proposed research project with a potential supervisor before applying.




Core Module


Research Methods and Skills (20 credits)


This module provides the necessary techniques to go about constructing a thesis, such as how to conduct research at secondary and primary levels, writing techniques, composing chapters etc.




Optional Modules


Conflict in the Modern Middle East (20 credits)


The module covers the causes and consequences of a succession of conflicts in the Middle East from 1914 to the present including the world wars, the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Gulf wars and the War on Terror. Successive British and American dominance of the region and its effects, the emergence of Israel and its quest to survive amidst a hostile Arab world are among the themes covered.


This module runs alternate years.


America as a World Power (20 credits)


This module reviews the emergence of the United States onto the world stage and the impact it has exerted through case studies of crises such as the American Civil War, the world wars, the Cold War and the War on Terror. The underpinning causes of American intervention, the foundations of American power, the beliefs associated with intervention abroad and the nature of American power will also be discussed.


This module runs alternate years.


Greek Politics and Culture since the Civil War (20 credits)


This module deals with the interaction of politics and culture in Greece from the 1950s onwards by focusing on developments in the areas of literature, film, music and popular culture. It involves the analysis of the cultural impact of major political events such as the military dictatorship (1967-1974); the rise of PASOK to power; Greece's entry into the EU and the developments in the Balkans during the 1990s. It also examines the role of Orthodoxy in the Balkan context; the development of the media in Greece; language and cultural controversies; attitudes to the past; the role of censorship; the significance of the family in Greek society; and the impact of tourism and multiculturalism.


Nationalism in the Balkans and Middle East (20 credits)


The emergence of nationalism as a force for change exerted itself in the Balkans from the mid nineteenth century and in the Middle East during and after the First World War. This module will consider the impact of nationalism through a series of case studies in the Balkans and Middle East considering the internal dynamics of change and the way in which these were manipulated by external Great Powers to their advantage.


Historical Methods


This module will familiarise you with different approaches towards the study of history which will be beneficial when researching and writing up your thesis. 




Students may also select modules from the MA in Contemporary History.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are currently as follows:

  • Home / EU £4,052 full-time; £2,026 part-time
  • Overseas: £13,195 full-time; £6,597.50 part-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Learn more about postgraduate tuituion fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme

For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.

Entry requirements



Applicants will typically have a background in the study of history of this era.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

Learn more about applying

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

The Modern East Mediterranean History MRes forms part of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (CBOMGS) which is the only centre in the UK which brings all of these subjects together within a single unit. CBOMGS aims to provide a stimulating environment for cross-disciplinary research and inter-cultural dialogue for the wider research community, meaning that you’ll benefit from the insight of academic staff and peers from across the College of Arts and Law.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Related research


The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Graduates with a postgraduate degree in Modern East Mediterranean History can boast a wide combination of skills that can be applied in many types of work and which employers regard very positively. That’s why, over the past five years, over 94% of our History postgraduates have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation.