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"We are committed to ensuring that Exeter remains one of the premier universities in the UK at which to study the Arabic language and Middle East Studies, and we will be pleased to have your help, in coming years, in maintaining and enhancing that reputation."

Professor Christina Phillips
Institute Director

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The Arab World Documentation Unit (AWDU) is based on the lower floor of the IAIS building.

About us

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies is one of the foremost academic institutions in the UK offering research and taught degree programmes in a wide range of areas within the field of Arab, Middle Eastern, and Islamic Studies. We offer Arabic and Middle East languages as well as comprehensive education in the literatures and cultures of the Arab world and Middle East, the history, politics, economies, societies, and anthropology of the region and almost every aspect of Islamic studies from medieval to modern Islam. A number of dedicated research centres and links with other subject areas provide you with an opportunity to branch out into other disciplines and areas of study, as well as reinforcing the teaching you receive through cutting-edge research and engagement with current issues. 


  • Our Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies research is No2 in the UK for world-leading research*
  • Research Centres focus on sub-regional specialist areas of interest



  • The Institute has its own dedicated building, completed in 2001 to a distinctive architectural style evocative of the region studied.
  • The building includes a postgraduate study centre, a state-of-the-art language laboratory and computing facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • The Middle East Collections is now housed in the Forum Library.  The Arab World Documentation Unit, which provides unique collections on Arab Gulf states, is based on the lower floor of the IAIS building.
*Based on 4* research submitted to REF 2021, Submitted to UoA25 Area Studies