Middle Eastern Sociology/Anthropology and History (MESH)

Fotografie aus dem Libanon
Master programme

Degree profile

Begin of study
winter semester
4 semester
Academic degree
Master of Arts (M. A.)
full time and part time
Faculty of Philosophy
Tuition fee
semester contribution only
Admission restriction
no restricted admission
Teaching language
German, English, French

Enrolment in the Master's programme History and Sociology/Anthropology of the Middle East in Global Perspective (MESH) will be suspended for the winter semester 2023/24.

Course Details

Historical change, cultural diversity and political upheavals in the Middle East are among the focal points of the bi-national Master's programme History and Sociology/Anthropology of the Middle East in a Global Perspective (Middle Eastern Sociology and History). The joint studies with Lebanese students in Erfurt and the semester abroad at a university in Lebanon are central to studying the region not only from a German and European, but also from a global perspective. The phase abroad is supported by DAAD scholarships.

Focus: World region of the Middle East

  • Interactions between the Middle East and Europe
  • (Post-)Colonialism
  • Spatial and urban history
  • Gender issues
  • Ethnic and religious diversity

The interdisciplinary and intercultural course of studies is basically open to students of different disciplines, so that a lively exchange of different perspectives can take place in the seminars. Guest lecturers from Lebanon also teach in Erfurt.

The programme is carried out jointly with the Université Saint-Joseph (Beirut/Libanon) and other partner universities.

Students acquire a unique and diversified qualification profile, which includes subject-specific as well as theoretical-methodological knowledge and language skills. Graduates receive an academic double degree (Master of Arts, M. A./master recherche).

Chair of West Asian History

Glockenturm Beirut

Job & Career Perspectives

The programme is research-oriented and prepares students for a doctorate and independent research in one of the participating disciplines or a related subject, but also offers various practical career perspectives, for example

  • in integration and development work
  • in cultural management
  • in political and economic consulting
  • in the fields of journalism and media
  • in archives and libraries
  • in international youth and adult education

Get to know our graduates:

After finishing my Master's degree, I worked at the University of Erfurt before switching to refugee social counselling. In the meantime, I work in migration counselling for adult immigrants. The interdisciplinary approach of the MESH programme and the intercultural and linguistic competences it imparted are tremendously valuable for my current job and have enabled me, as a career changer, to enter this field of work.

Robert, MESH-Alumni

more Alumni-Statements

Why to study MESH at University of Erfurt?
  • Acquisition of an academic double degree
  • integrated phase abroad at the partner university in Lebanon
  • theoretical and practical acquisition of knowledge about the world region of the Middle East in a global, comparative cultural perspective
  • teaching of discipline-specific and interdisciplinary approaches, theories and methods
  • Strengthening of intercultural competences by the examination of another culture during the phase abroad
  • Promotion of foreign language skills (Arabic, French, English)
  • strong research-practical orientation (participation in smaller field research projects)
  • intensive personal support and guidance by the lecturers of both universities

MESH in Detail

Structure of the study programme

The 120 credit points (LP) programme is divided into a study phase (90 LP) of three semesters and a fourth semester in which the Master's thesis (30 LP) is written.

1st semester: Studies at the home university

  • Theories and methods of historical science
  • Improving foreign language skills
  • Deepening of the scientific knowledge of the region of the Near East and especially the Levant

2nd semester: joint studies of Lebanese and German students at the University of Erfurt

  • Deepening of scientific and interdisciplinary theoretical-methodological knowledge
  • Improving foreign language and intercultural skills
  • Substantive deepening
  • Comparisons between Orient and Occident and other world regions
  • Preparation for the foreign phase in terms of content

3rd semester: joint studies of German and Lebanese students at the partner universities in Lebanon

  • Sociology and Anthropology of the Middle East
  • Improving and using foreign language skills
  • Development of intercultural skills

4th semester: Writing the interdisciplinary Master's thesis at the home university

Study abroad & Scholarships

Study abroad

The programme includes an integrated phase abroad at the partner university in Lebanon. The International Office is happy to assist in the organisation of the stay abroad.

MESH Partner Universities

Study and internship abroad

Scholarships for the period abroad

A limited number of scholarships are available for the study abroad phase, subject to funding approval by the DAAD, which cover living expenses as well as health insurance and travel costs in Lebanon.

Call for scholarship applications

Admissions qualification

  • an above-average Bachelor's degree (better than 2.3) in history, sociology, anthropology or a related subject such as Islamic studies or cultural studies
  • Interest in the region of the Middle East
  • scientific previous knowledge
  • if necessary, first own experiences on site

Language requirements

  • German: Upon application, international applicants must prove German language skills at level B1.
  • English: language skills at level B2 (Abitur)
  • French: language skills at least at level B1 (reading comprehension), to be proven by the time the student reaches the foreign phase in the 3rd semester
  • basic knowledge of Arabic is advantageous

Proof of knowledge of French can be provided by means of a language-related certificate of achievement, such as a source interpretation or translation of a specialist text.

For non-native speakers of German:

  • German language skills corresponding to at least DSH-2 and English language skills at level B2 or
  • German language skills at least on level B2 and very good English skills

Language Center

The Language Centre (Sprachenzentrum) offers around 140 language courses per semester in 16 modern and ancient (foreign) languages. It supports you in acquiring and deepening your language skills.

International applicants

International applicants whose native language is not German must provide proof of sufficient German language skills (level B1) upon application.

Information on required German language skills and the German language test for university admission (DSH):

Language and Admission Requirements 

Open Day

Studierende am Info-Punkt bei den Schnuppertagen
Open Day

Open Day

Numerous information and advisory services offer you the opportunity to see the study and living conditions in Erfurt for yourself at the open day. Get to know the green campus and the beautiful old town centre on guided tours. Information on the programme: Open Day

Order or download information material

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Similar study programmes

We study: M.A. MESH – Middle Eastern History and Sociology

Vorschau Master-Studiengang Mesh

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At the request of the Department of History and the Faculty of Philosophy, enrolment in the Master's programme History and Sociology/Anthropology of the Middle East in Global Perspective (MESH) will be suspended for the winter semester 2023/24.

The background to this is the currently very unstable political and economic situation in Lebanon. This makes it irresponsible for the university to enrol students in this degree programme at the moment for reasons of student welfare (e.g. no guaranteed basic medical care).

For international students


Want to study one semester or year at the University of Erfurt?

Exchange Studies

You come from abroad and are interested in studying for a Bachelor's or Master's degree at the University of Erfurt?

Degree Seeking Students

Foto Credits: Mathias Birsens