SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

BA Arabic and ...

4 years

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Undergraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 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
A Levels:
A Level language preferred
35 (6/6/5)

View alternative entry requirements


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

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply


At SOAS the study of Arabic can be combined with an unparalleled range of disciplines and languages. Combined-honours degrees in Arabic are intended to give students a solid grounding in Modern Standard and classical Arabic, as well as conversational ability in Egyptian colloquial Arabic, in combination with a second subject. Intensive study of a wide range of Arabic language and literature is a compulsory feature of combined-honours degrees in Arabic. Students are usually required to spend the third year of study at a university in the Middle East or on an equivalent programme elsewhere. Arabic and a discipline: Arabic can be combined with Development Studies, Economics, Geography (with King's College London), History, History of Art/Archaeology, Law, Linguistics, Management (with Birkbeck College London), Music, Politics, Social Anthropology and Study of Religions Arabic and another language: Arabic can be combined with French (with University College London), Georgian, Hausa, Hebrew, Indonesian, Persian and Turkish. For BA Arabic and French UCL is the admitting institution.


Key Information Set Data

Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.


May be combined with:

* Taught at University College, London (Apply to UCL for this degree)
** Taught at King's College, London

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data


Learn a language as part of this programme

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.

The syllabus of the combined-honours degrees varies according to combination. 

In a two-subject programme combining two languages the second language is normally begun in the second year of the programme.

Students whose other subject is Linguistics will take Arabic 2 and three course units in Linguistics in Year 2.

Year 1
1. Core Module

Must be passed with an overall mark of 50 to proceed to the following year of study.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Arabic 1 155900896 3 Unit Full Year
2. Compulsory Module

Please choose one unit in your second subject

Year 2
1. Core Module

Must be passed with an overall mark of 50 to proceed to the following year of study.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Arabic 2 155900897 1 Unit Full Year
2. Compulsory Modules

Choose EITHER three units in the second subject OR two units in the second subject and one unit from List A below.

Year 3

Please click the "Teaching & Learning" tab above for more information on the Arabic Year Abroad.

Year 4

Students who chose 2 Arabic units from Year 2 should choose ONE Arabic related unit from List B below. Student who chose 1 Arabic unit in Year 2 are expected to choose TWO Arabic related units in Year 4 from List B below.

List A: Arabic-related Second Year Options
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Introduction to Early IslamicTexts 155901115 1 Unit Full Year
Introduction to Arabic Literature 155905004 1 Unit Full Year
Introduction to Arabic Dialects 155901396 1 Unit Full Year
List B: Arabic-related Fourth Year Options (not all are running every year)
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Arabic 4 155900899 1 Unit Full Year
Arabic Womens' Writing 155901406 1 Unit Full Year
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

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Year abroad

SOAS Arabic Language Year Abroad

Students have the choice to spend the Arabic Language Year Abroad at one of the following four institutions:

  1.  The Alexandria School of Languages (ACL) in Alexandria, Egypt (Preparatory Guide for Students Undertaking Residence Abroad at Alexandria Centre for Languages in 2016/2017)
  2. An-Najah University in Nablus, Occupied West Bank (An-Najah University briefing paper)
  3. The Alif Institute in Fez, Morocco
  4. 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 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. To get an impression of the standard students have achieved and the type of topic they can tackle view the prize-winning essays (with English abstract) written by students during the academic year 2014-15.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.

The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

BA, BSc, LLB £9,000 £16,250
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,350 £8,125


As a graduate who specialised in Arabic, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a study of language in combination with literature, development studies, economics, geography, history, history of art and archaeology, law, linguistics, music, politics, social anthropology or religion.

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. Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of the region, or to make comparative study with other areas. The study of Arabic may be combined with a huge range of other disciplines. For more information on the extra skills you will gain from your second subject, please see the relevant departmental page.

The Middle East occupies a place of major importance in global politics and economics, so graduates of Arabic enjoy a considerable range of career opportunities. SOAS alumni with degrees in Arabic have found jobs in business, finance, diplomacy as well as 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.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

It’s a global experience and, thankfully, everyone is included, no matter what their colour, religion, or ‘class’.

Mysa Kafil-Hussain


Find out more

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