Undergraduate study

Undergraduate study

What are Arab & Islamic Studies?

Arab and Islamic Studies focuses on the predominantly Muslim regions of the Middle East and Central Asia together as a major point of attention in the post-Cold War world. The areas of coverage are: the Arab world, including North Africa, and Iran and Turkey, as well as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Arab and Islamic Studies integrates the study of Arab, Middle Eastern and Central Asian culture, civilisation, politics, history and economics, and places these within the broader framework of the changing global order. It examines the role of religion - especially Islam - and fosters the study of the most relevant languages, particularly Arabic and Persian, and looks at gender politics. It also focuses on issues pertinent to Australia's interests in, and the development of its commercial, scientific and industrial ties with these dynamic regions.

What can I study?


CAIS offers a Bachelor of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies taken over three years full-time.

The Bachelor of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies (BMECA) takes students through the topics, debates and developments in the Middle East and Central Asia. Students study the socio-cultural, political, historical and economic structures of these regions and develop a comprehensive knowledge of their relationship to global socio-cultural, political and economic trends. In order to further engage with the history and culture of the regions, students can elect to study a Middle Eastern or Central Asian language as either a major or minor in their program. (BMECA CRICOS Code: 074006D

The CAIS Study Guide 2019 can be downloaded from the document section below

How to enrol in a BMECA

Domestic applications for 2020 are through University Admissions Centre

Read more about Applications and Offers.

The Centre currently offers courses in Middle Eastern and Central Asian politics, a foundation course in Islam, and three of the major languages of the regions of its coverage – Arabic Program, Persian Program and Turkish Program.

Majors, Minors and Electives

The undergraduate courses offered by the Centre can comprise a Major, Minor or elective in a BMECAS, BArts, Bachelor of Languages, Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Studies, and in a range of other degrees.

BMECA Honours

CAIS now offers a Bachelor of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies (Honours) taken over one year. (HMECA CRICOS Code 082705K)

The Bachelor of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies (Honours) degree exemplifies the ANU commitment to research-led education. Building on the Bachelor of Bachelor of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies, it gives you high-level preparation for professional life or a higher degree by research through the development of an advanced knowledge of the research principles and methods and theoretical concepts of Middle Eastern and Central Asian studies, and through the design and implementation of a research project, typically a 20,000 word thesis, that leads to the development of new understandings or that provides solutions to complex problems.

Applicants should in the first instance contact the CAIS Honours convenor.

The Delegated Authority for the Bachelor of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies (Honours) plan HMECA is the CASS Associate Dean Students. All admissions to this plan must be approved by the Delegated Authority.


Updated:  19 September 2019/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications