Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Cattolica International

Course details

The Master in Middle Eastern Studies is articulated in five complementary levels, fostering multidimensional training and cross-fertilization, integrating scientific methodologies and operative competences. The topics are the following:

1st Level. Propaedeutic Phase: history, power and institution: the conceptual foundation of the Middle East

  • Methodological introduction: debates on the Middle East
  • History of the Middle East
  • Religion, society and thought in the Islamic Middle East
  • Islamic law and economy
  • Study of political and juridical terminology - glossary in Arabic
  • Middle East within the 20th century international order

2nd Level. In-depth Analytical Phase: sub-regional contexts

  • Maghreb
  • Mashreq
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • South-West Asia and the Gulf
  • Central-Southern Asia

3rd Level. Thematic and Contemporary Issues

  • Politics in contemporary Middle East and the current International Relations context
  • Global security: jihadism, violent activism, conflicts and nuclear proliferation
  • Post-conflict Institution-building and human security
  • Gender, ethno-religious diversity and pluralism in the Middle East
  • Energy and the geopolitics of resources
  • Contemporary economic trends

4th level. Project Work

Students are required to develop a personal research project on an issue related to Middle Eastern affairs, under the supervision of a MIMES professor. It is suggested to connect the project work to the internship experience.

5th level. Internship (or Arabic/Persian/Turkish Language Course)

The Master's program is completed with an internship within an institutions whose mission and activities are consistent with the Master's program. This gives students the invaluable opportunity to test and strengthen the competencies acquired during the Master and it usually lasts three months. As an alternative, students who do not carry out an internship may choose to attend a certified Arabic, Persian or Turkish language and culture course. In any case, the course will have to be positively evaluated by the Master's Direction (additional fee depending on the organizing institution may occur).

Students will receive support and tutoring for their internship research, specifically concerning CVs and cover letter preparation, vacancies research and internship announcements indication.

  • Prof. Riccardo Redaelli, MIMES Director - Università Cattolica
  • Dr. Ibrahim Al-Marashi - California State University San Marcos
  • Ms. Eleonora Ardemagni - ISPI and Nato Defense College Foundation
  • Prof. Paolo Branca - Università Cattolica
  • Dr. Michele Brignone – Fondazione OASIS
  • Mr. Alberto Brugnoni – ASSAIF and TIEF
  • Prof. Massimo Campanini - Università degli Studi di Trento
  • Prof. Martino Diez - Fondazione OASIS and Università Cattolica
  • Prof. Wael Faruq - American University in Cairo
  • Dr. Sameh FAWZY - Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt
  • Prof. Ersilia Francesca - Università degli Studi di Napoli l’Orientale
  • Dr. Michele Gaietta - JRC (Joint Research Center)
  • Prof. Mehran Kamrava - Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar
  • Prof. Bahgat Korany - American University in Cairo
  • Mr. Marco Latif - Monitor Deloitte
  • Mr. Paolo Lembo – former UNDP and World Green Economy Organisation
  • Dr. Paolo Maggiolini – Università Cattolica
  • Dr. Francesco Mazzucotelli – Università degli Studi di Pavia
  • Dr. Alessia Melcangi – Sapienza Università di Roma
  • 2.    Dr. Massimo Nicolazzi -  University of Turin 
  • Prof. Massimo Papa - Università di Roma Tor Vergata
  • Prof. Aldo Pigoli – Università Cattolica
  • Dr. Andrea Plebani – Università Cattolica
  • Dr. Massimiliano Trentin – Università di Bologna Alma Mater
MIMES provides graduate students with a detailed, comprehensive knowledge of the wider Middle East, beneficial to undertake a number of different careers, consistently with their previous training and experience, within:
  • International Institutions
  • Private Companies
  • NGOs
  • Research Centers and Area Studies
  • Media Networks
  • Diplomacy related institutions
  • Regulatory bodies

Past Internships

ACSIS Arab Institute for Security Studies - Jordan
ActionAid - Italy
Ahlan World - Morocco
ASSPI - Associazione per lo sviluppo del sistema di protezione internazionale - Italy
Child and Youth Finance International - Netherlands
Consulate of Ecuador - Italy
EEAS EU delegation – Italy
Embassy of Afghanistan – Austria
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom - Turkey
ICDT - International Center for Democratic Transition - Hungary
Fondazione Internazionale Oasis - Italy
Fondazione Mission Bambini Onlus - Italy
ISPI – Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale - Italy
LechLecha - Italy
Musawah - Malaysia
NENA News - Italy
OCHA - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Switzerland
Perigeo NGO - Italy
Transparency International - Germany
WAREG European Water Regulators – Italy
Windows for Peace - Israel

“I would certainly define my experience as a student of the Master in Middle Eastern Studies as a key turning point in my life. The courses have provided an in-depth knowledge of the socio-political, economic and cultural situation of the region and have represented a thought-provoking occasion to deal with the complexity of the area, thanks to a skilled and professionalized faculty. The Master has allowed me to develop scientific methodologies and operative competences in the research field, enhancing my critical attitude and encouraging me to question everything I thought it was well-established. In addition, I have had the possibility to attend a multicultural and international environment, where I have met inspiring people, enriching classmates and dear friends. This Master, and the internship I attended, have offered me the analytical tools and categories to read and have a better understanding of the Middle East under different perspectives. It has been an exciting, insightful, intense and meaningful journey I will always be grateful for.”

Francesco Teruggi, MIMES student 2017-2018 (Italy)


“At the end of this path, I think the aspect of the course that I appreciated the most- the one I remember more dearly and I will certainly miss- was the amazing opportunity to be lectured by experts coming not only from very different geographical, but also professional backgrounds. I could see the enthusiasm and the involvement in the eyes of many among them when they told us about their direct experiences in Middle Eastern countries. Their words guided us in the discovery and exploration of this region, and were also fundamental to foster our interest and to give a clearer face to our hopes and expectations.“

Lorena Stella Martini, MIMES student 2015-2016 (Italy)


“As a graduate from the Master in Middle Eastern studies 2016, I can definitely describe 2016 as the most inspiring, eye-opening and challenging year so far. During my time at ASERI, academic discussions with a variety of experts in a diversified environment were accompanied by the development of what I know will be friendships for a lifetime. The Master gave me the opportunity to intern in Tel Aviv, Israel, a goal I had wanted to achieve for a long time. Because of this specializing Master, I feel capable of pursuing an international academic career."

Marie Figoureux, MIMES student 2015-2016 (Belgium)


“From the first day of the beginning of this fantastic experience I understood that my thirst for knowledge could be satisfied day by day. And so it was. Myself and all of us had the opportunity to increase our cultural background through lessons and a continuous and rich exchange with professors, academics and researchers.
In addition to this, which is truly to be considered a fortune, we have had and personally I have experienced the immense joy of sharing. Together with my colleagues we all understood how strong and aggregating it can be to have a shared passion. For us was and is the Middle East. Everyday we had the chance to know it more and more and it was like we had the chance to visit it each day by entering the classroom and taking our exams. We have lived and breathed it also through our stories and experiences. I can’t thank enough the opportunity I had to do this Master, to have met any of the most important people of my life and to have known and been in contact with some of the most experienced and passionate teachers of the Middle East. All this was possible in ASERI and I wish every student, eager to grow and get to know the Middle East to end this experience with the same joy, determination and passion with which I ended it!“

Desirée di Marco (Italy)

Classes takes place at ASERI - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan - Italy, from January 2023 to December 2023

Attendance is mandatory in order to obtain the diploma.

Detailed calendar:

January - June 2023 Classes and exams
June - September 2023 Project work and internship
November 2023 Project work discussion
December 2023 Graduation


If you are looking for a flexible and autonomous solution to learn Italian while studying at Università Cattolica, you can access the self-learning linguistic lab (CAP) of the SeLdA (Servizio Linguistico d’Ateneo) and benefit from a personalized language advisory service. 

In addition, SELDA organizes fee-paying Italian language courses, for more information contact SELDA from the dedicate iCatt function (in the homepage, box “request for information”).