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

BA Arabic and ...

Duration: 4 years

Overview

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2015 Entry Requirements

  • A Levels: AAB
  • 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

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.

Combinations

May be combined with

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

Structure

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
Core Course

Must be passed in order to progress to the following year of study

  • Arabic 1 - 155900896 (3 Unit) - Full Year
Other Unit

One unit in second subject

Year 2
Core Course

Must be passed in order to progress to the following year of study

  • Arabic 2 - 155900897 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Choose one of the following
Other Units

Two units in the second subject

Year 3

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

Year 4
Students are expected to choose one of the following language courses. Arabic 4 is recommended.
Other Arabic approved units which are also available to 4th year students.
Other Units

Students take remaining units in the second subject.

Programme Specification

Teaching & 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. Alexandria School of Languages Briefing Paper (msword; 65kb) (ACL)  in Alexandria, Egypt
  2. An-Najah University Briefing Paper (pdf; 806kb) in Nablus, Occupied West Bank
  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 (ISP) 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. (pdf; 212kb) .

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 .

Destinations

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