Dr McClary received his doctorate, entitled “The Rūm Saljūq Architecture of Anatolia 1170-1220”, from the University of Edinburgh in 2015. Prior to that he was awarded an MA in Islamic Art and Archaeology by the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University in 2011. He has lectured extensively on the topic of Medieval Islamic architecture around the world and has conducted fieldwork in India, Turkey, Central Asia and the Middle East.
He is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow here at the University of Edinburgh, examining the surviving corpus of Qarākhānid tombs in Central Asia. He currently teaches the third year honours course entitled "The Golden Age of Islamic Architecture: Masterpieces from Spain to India".