Programme Code: T620 BA/A Duration: 4 years
2016 Entry Requirements
- A Levels: AAB - ABB
- A Level language preferred
- IB: 35 (6/6/5)
- BTEC: DDM
- Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
- Scottish Highers: AAABB
- Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB
- Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
- Advanced Placement: 4 4 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
- Euro Bacc: 80%
- French Bacc: 14/20
- German Abitur: 2.0
- Italy DES: 80/100
- Austria Mat: 2.0
- Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects
Minimum Entry Requirements: Languages at SOAS are taught ab initio, and no prior knowledge of Arabic is required.
Subjects Preferred: A good pass in a foreign language at A-level, or equivalent, is preferred
Interview Policy: Candidates with "non-standard" qualifications may be invited for interview
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
In the first year the programme's major component is the intensive study of Modern Standard Arabic; the student is free to choose as the year's minor component a second course on Arabic culture, Middle Eastern literature or Islam.
The second year continues the study of Modern Standard Arabic and, at the same time introduces the student to classical Arabic and modern Arabic literature. An appropriate fourth course is chosen from the list of approved optional courses.
The third year of the course is spent at an Arab university or Language Institute in the Middle East, where students study the colloquial language as well as Modern Standard Arabic, and write an extended essay in Arabic. View the prize-winning essays (with English abstract) written by students during the academic year 2014-15.
In the final year study of language and literature is continued at the advanced level. In addition, the freedom to select two other appropriate units from the list of options gives students the opportunity of specializing in a field of particular interest.
Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.
Students take 4 units per year; there is some element of choice to develop special interests.
Language courses at an advanced level are also available to students who have the necessary background.
1. Core Module
Must be passed in order to proceed to the following year of study
- Arabic 1 - 155900896 (3 Unit) - Full Year
2. Choose one of the following
- Introduction to Arabic Culture - 155901205 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Literatures of the Near and Middle East - 155900991 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- H130 Introduction to the History of the Near and Middle East - 154800230 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Arabic 2 - 155900897 (1 Unit) - Full Year
2. Compulsory Module
- Introduction to Arabic Literature - 155905004 (1 Unit) - Full Year
3. Compulsory Module
Choose from the following modules
- Introduction to Early IslamicTexts - 155901115 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Introduction to Arabic Dialects - 155901396 (1 Unit) - Full Year
4. Option Unit
A further module from the list below or modules to the value of one unit from the Arabic related options at approved level OR an open option
- The Muslim World: Unity in Diversity - 155901258 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Introduction to Sufism - 155901375 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Please click the "Teaching & Learning" tab above for more information on the Arabic Year Abroad.
1. Core Module
- Arabic 4 - 155900899 (1 Unit) - Full Year
2. Compulsory Modules
Choose modules to the value of two units from the following
- Arabic Womens' Writing - 155901406 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Medieval Arabic Thought - 155901377 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Sufism: Texts and History - 155901381 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2016/2017
- Politics and Aesthetics in Modern Arabic Literature - 155901382 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2016/2017
- Culture Society and Politics in Classical Arabic Literature - 155901373 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Reading Classical Arabic historians - 155901334 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Language and Oral Literature of an Arabic Vernacular - 155901376 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Quran and hadith Studies - 155900734 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Islamic Texts - 155900356 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2016/2017
- Independent Study Project in Arabic Studies (using Language sources) - 155901344 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Independent Study Project in Arabic Studies - 155900733 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Intensive Turkish Language - 155901194 (2 Unit) - Full Year
- Persian Language 1 - 155901242 (2 Unit) - Full Year
- Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa 1 - 155905000 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa 2 - 155905001 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
Modules to the value of one unit from the list above OR from the list of Arabic related options OR an open option
Arabic Related Options (not all available every year)
Before selecting a module, student's must first check that the module is at the correct level. They must also ensure that they meet any pre-requisites.
- Elementary Written Turkish - 155901051 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Modern Hebrew Language: Elementary - 155901407 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Persian for Readers of Arabic Script - 155905002 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Introductory Akkadian - 155900426 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2016/2017
- Economic development of the modern Middle East - 153400031 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Government and politics of the Middle East - 153400060 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- H248 The Making of the Modern Middle East - 154800227 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Mosaics, Manuscripts, and Wall Painting in Islamic Art - 154900134 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2016/2017
- Art and Material Culture of the Islamic World: 7th to 14th Centuries - 154900138 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2016/2017
- Islamic Law - 155200037 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Teaching & Learning
SOAS Arabic Language Year Abroad
Students have the choice to spend the Arabic Language Year Abroad at one of the following four institutions:
- The Alexandria School of Languages, (ACL) in Alexandria, Egypt (Alexandria term dates 2016-17)
- An-Najah University in Nablus, Occupied West Bank (An-Najah University briefing paper)
- The Alif Institute in Fez, Morocco
- The Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan
Courses run from September to May of the following year and involve 18 to 20 hours of instruction per week. While the syllabus differs somewhat from one institution to the other, the prime focus throughout is on enhancing the students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in Modern Standard Arabic as well as on imparting an advanced level of competence in the local form of Colloquial Arabic.
Towards the end of their stay students are expected to write an Arabic ISP (Independent Study Project) in Arabic of some 3000-3500 words on a subject of their choice. Supervision and guidance will be supplied by designated staff at the year abroad institution.
In order to be admitted to the final year of their degree students will need to have passed the final language examinations at the year abroad institution and to have submitted their ISP by the specified deadline. The ISPs will be marked by the year abroad institution and reviewed by members of the SOAS Arabic Section. The best ISP from each location will be published on the SOAS website.
Students who fail the year abroad examinations or fail to submit their ISPs are deemed to have failed the year abroad. In order to be admitted to the final year of their degree they will need to repeat the language year abroad programme in one of the four designated locations.
For general advice on tuition fees, travel arrangements, health and insurance issues see the SOAS Registry guidelines on the Language Year Abroad.
The SOAS Arabic Section arranges year abroad meetings and briefing sessions where second year students are informed in detail about the year abroad locations and have the chance to meet and consult with returning students.
In determining the safety of year abroad locations SOAS is guided by the relevant Travel Advice published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. During their stay abroad it is recommended that students subscribe to the relevant FCO website .
Approximate living costs (rent, plus food and travel) will typically be between £350 and £500 per month.
As a graduate who specialised in the Arabic, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law. Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include: written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem-solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.
Because the Middle East occupies a place of major importance in global politics and economics graduates of Arabic have a considerable range of career opportunities. SOAS alumni with degrees in
Arabic have found jobs in business, finance and diplomacy, as well as in humanitarian aid, higher education and the media. There is also an increasing need for graduates of Arabic in Arab companies with subsidiaries in the East and the West.
Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:
- Policy Advisor
- Production Manager
- HM Ambassador to Beirut
- British High Commissioner
- Senior Advisor
- Political Analyst, East and Central Africa
- Press Attache
- Senior Research Fellow
- Professor, Social Psychology
- Associate, Emerging Markets
- Professor of Islamic Studies
Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:
- Amnesty International
- Arab British Chamber of Commerce
- British High Commission
- Capital Advisory Group
- Department for International Development
- Embassy of Jordan
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office
- House of World Cultures
- Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
- Middle East International
- National Center for Social and Criminal Research
- Royal United Services Institute
- Saïd Foundation
- United Nations
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
How to apply
How to apply
- How to Apply
- UCAS website
- Request a prospectus
- Got a question - use our enquiry form (opens a new window)
- Funding options
- English language requirements
- Tuition Fees
- Admissions Contacts
Application Deadline: 2016-04-22 00:00
A Student's Perspective
It’s a global experience and, thankfully, everyone is included, no matter what their colour, religion, or ‘class’.