SOAS University of London

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

Introduction to Arabic Culture

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 1

This is an introductory course to Arabic Culture with focus on the Modern Arab Middle East. On completion of this course, students will have gained basic knowledge of:

(1) Theories and methods of studying culture and (2) History of development of Arabic culture as well as the major cultural institutions in the contemporary Arab World.




The module is taught over 10 weeks with one hour classromm time per week

Scope and syllabus

This module will cover topics including religious and ethnic diversity, impact of the West, stereotyping, the role of tradition, education (traditional and modern), family structure and value, gender politics, media, life in city, town and village, labour and labour migration, the Palestinian refugee problem and Arab exile communities, culinary cultures, and tourism.

Method of assessment

  • 1 x AS1 - Essay to be submitted in term1, week 4, day 5  (20%)
  • 1 x AS2 - Essay (600-800 words) to be submitted in term 1, Week 7, day 5 (25%)
  • 1 x AS3 - Essay (750-1000 words) to be submitted in term 1, Week 11, day 5 (25%)
  • 1 x OR1 - Virtual Presentation due in term 2, Week 1, day 5 (30%)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules