(MENAFN - The Peninsula) In response to the growing need in the region, the Gulf Studies Programme at Qatar University (QU) yesterday announced the launch of its doctorate (PhD), which will be first of its kind in the Middle East.
The interdisciplinary three- year programme includes course work, research and a thesis and will enrol six most eligible students in Fall 2015, officials told a press conference at QU.
Students enrolling to the PhD will have a choice to obtain the degree from QU or a joint degree offered from QU and Durham University, the UK.
Students are required to hold a Master's degree in Gulf Studies from QU or in a related subject, or its equivalent, from an accredited university, for admission.
Those who have not completed Master's in Gulf Studies will require to attend bridging courses according to their needs and backgrounds, which will be determined by the programme.
"The PhD is being introduced upon the success of the Master's programme and to meet the need for research-based studies on various aspects of the region," said Dr Eiman Mustafawi, Dean, College of Arts and Science, QU, said.
Applications will open online on QU's website next week; however interested students could apply directly.
"We have started receiving applications from a considerable number of students. Some are those who hold a Master's in Gulf Studies from QU," Dr Abdullah Baabood, Director, Gulf Studies Centre, QU, told this daily. However, selection of students will be competitive and only the best will be enrolled in the first year," he added.
Dr Baabood claimed that students from other regions had also applied.
The PhD programme draws on an interdisciplinary curriculum to provide a holistic examination of the six GCC member states, Iran, Iraq and Yemen.
It includes topics in the areas of politics, economics, history, literature, international relations, security, energy industry, ecology and culture.
Classes are taught by expert faculty and academics who specialise in Gulf studies.
All classes are taught in English. Students will also be required to develop language skills by taking the Arabic for Non-Native Speakers programme and Persian for Arabic-speaking students, which will be offered by other QU programmes.
The Gulf studies programme has seen six students graduating from the Master's program since its launch in Fall 2011 and 10 will graduate this year.
Currently, the Master's program has a class of 13 students selected from among 60 applicants.