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Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies


Our research is focused on a number of specialist research centres as well as more informal research circles and activities. The quality of IAIS research was recognised by us being ranked first for Middle Eastern Studies, and second overall for all Area Studies in the UK in REF 2021 and with 100% of our research in Arab and Islamic Studies assessed as having world-leading impact. 

Our research culture is collaborative and democratic, drawing together doctoral and early career researchers, established staff and students to produce cutting-edge new knowledge about the Arab and Islamic worlds. In addition to our established disciplinary strengths in politics, archaeology, history, Middle Eastern languages, gender studies, and Islamic studies, key inter-disciplinary research themes have emerged facilitating interdisciplinary dialogues across political economy, environmental studies, materials science, theatre and performance studies and art history and geography. 

Read more from Professor Timothy Insoll

Professor Timothy Insoll

Al-Qasimi Professor of African and Islamic Archaeology

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The IAIS is the strongest Middle Eastern Studies Department in the UK

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The IAIS is No. 2 in the UK for world-leading Area Studies research

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The Impact of our research (outside of academia) was judged at 100%

Research centres

Our research centres are central to research success in the IAIS providing a base for groups of subject specialists who promote and nurture research in their particular areas and provide support and mentoring at all levels. Integrated activities are as varied as their specialisms, integrating conferences, seminars, publications, conversations, film showings, fieldwork, exhibitions, and performances, frequently with an outreach into the wider community and organised by staff and students alike.

The following research centres are based within the Institute.