About the Programme

The Master of Arts in Eurasian Studies at Nazarbayev University is a two-year inter-disciplinary area studies programme taught in English. It is the first of its kind to be offered in Kazakhstan, and one of only a handful across the Eurasian Region.


Since the 1990s, the Eurasian region has seen incredible changes at the political, economic and cultural levels. Newfound economic development in Kazakhstan, the re-emergence of Russia as a leading world power, the influence of Chinese economic growth on the region and American and European engagement in Central, East and South Asia have all created a growing need for a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the region. The M.A. in Eurasian Studies prepares students to understand the exciting developments in Eurasia of the past two decades. It offers an exciting opportunity to explore the cultures, languages, histories, communities, societies, and politics of Eurasia while based in Astana, at the heart of the region itself. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nazarbayev University has an unrivalled concentration of internationally-qualified Faculty who research and teach on the Eurasian region across different disciplines

The programme consists of 120 ECTS credits, made up as follows:

Eurasian Studies Courses Credits Explanation
Core Courses 40 8 credits Introduction to Eurasia
8 credits General Methodology
8 credits Disciplinary Methodology
8 credits Qualitative Methods
8 credits Research & Fieldwork practicum
Elective Courses 40 Five 8-credit elective courses in anthropology, history, religious studies, political science, sociology, or literature to be taken over two years.
Thesis 40 All students will complete a 20,000 – 30,000 word thesis
Total Degree Credits 120

Sud Biev

On successful completion of the M.A. in Eurasian Studies, students should be able to:

1) Critically analyze and demonstrate detailed knowledge of the history, culture and society of the Eurasian Region through independent research and study.

2) Design, plan and undertake independent research using appropriate methods and techniques, and draw their own conclusions from the data they have collected.

3) Differentiate, compare and employ concepts from different disciplines and/or interdisciplinary approaches as a means of understanding the Eurasian Region and as praxis.

4) Identify, define, use and critically interrogate a range of primary and secondary, written and/or oral and/or visual sources, in their original language.

5) Construct comprehensive research bibliographies, read and analyze of complex scholarly texts in English with a high degree of speed and proficiency, present their research in fluent English, and to produce English-language written work of article length and of publishable quality in the field of Eurasian Studies.

Where necessary, students should also acquire knowledge of a Eurasian language and apply these linguistic skills effectively at Master’s Level.

Holders of the qualification will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment in academia, policy-making, research, journalism, NGOs and government service within and beyond the Eurasian region. These include the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; the ability to sift and evaluate large amounts of evidence and data, and use them to compose clear and well-ordered arguments; decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations; a critical approach to knowledge, and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional and academic development.

For more information see our brochure.