SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Urdu Literacy A (PG)

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2022/2023
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 1

The module is designed to meet the needs of students who already speak and understand Urdu or Hindi to some degree; students are not assumed to have any previous knowledge of the Urdu script. The module covers the basics of the Urdu writing system. The module also introduces students to a selection of texts and provides practice in reading comprehension by looking at selected Urdu texts and textual extracts. Successful students will gain the ability to read lower-intermediate level Urdu texts, and write short Urdu passages.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • gain knowledge and understanding of Urdu vocabulary at lower-intermediate level
  • develop the ability to read and understand short to medium-length passages in written Urdu taken from literary and journalistic sources at lower-intermediate level
  • develop the ability to produce short passages in written Urdu at lower-intermediate level


Total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

Students on this module will be studying the following:

  • Urdu alphabet and joining letters
  • High frequency words in Urdu
  • Writing words and sentences
  • Reading prose texts
  • Comprehension of a variety of texts

Method of assessment

  • One reading task (recorded as a sound file) (300 words) (25%)
  • One writing/translation task (300 words) (25%)
  • One transcription task (300 words) (25%)
  • One writing task (300 words) (25%)

Suggested reading

Core Reading

Delacy, Richard. 2010. Read and Write Urdu Script. London, Teach Yourself Books

Narang, Gopi Chand. 1967. Urdu: Readings in Literary Urdu Prose. New Delhi, National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language

Additional Reading

Matthews & Dalvi. 2014. Complete Urdu. London, Hodder Education

Asani Ali. 2007. Let’s Study Urdu.  Yale University Press

Bhatia, Tej. 2000. Colloquial Urdu.London, Routledge

Platts, John T. 1977. A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English. New Delhi, Oriental Books Reprint Corporation

Schmidt, Ruth Laila. 1999. Urdu: An Essential Grammar. London,  Routledge


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules