SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Urdu Beginners Course

Duration: 1 term per sub-level; 10 weeks per term, 20 hours blended learning. Each term courses are subject to quorum requirements.

  • Overview
  • Structure


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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

Fees: Course fees quoted are per term

Course Aim:

The course aims to provide you with a thorough introduction to contemporary Urdu. You will cover basic grammatical constructions and acquire essential vocabulary to communicate within a range of everyday situations likely to be encountered in Urdu-speaking areas. As the course progresses, it aims to provide you with further confidence and vocabulary to discuss more complex topics, write and read more challenging texts in Urdu.


The course is taught in English and Urdu with coverage of the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, and a balance between communicative activities, structure practice and grammar. The cultural context is embedded within the study of the language to allow you to appreciate the appropriateness and linguistic etiquette when interacting with native speakers. You are expected to attend regularly, participate in class and complete homework regularly to ensure learning progress. You will receive regular feedback from your tutor.

This will be achieved through 20 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. This is supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning supported by complementary material and regular feedback from the tutor. The course objective will be achieved within the course.

Online Course Requirements

Please ensure you have checked the Learner Support page


The course will be based on the textbook:
Matthews, D. and Dalvi, M. K. (2010) Complete Urdu (+CDs). Teach Yourself Books: London.

Course materials are not included in the course fee and can be purchased from the SOAS bookshop

Entry requirement and progression route:

For the first stage of Urdu Beginners (i.e. Urdu Beginners 1), no previous knowledge is required. To be able to join Beginners 2 or 3 you should have completed Beginners 1 and 2 respectively at SOAS Language Centre or have an equivalent knowledge of guided learning hours (20 hours per each sub-level). The progression route from Urdu Beginners 1 is to Urdu Beginners 2; from Beginners 2 to Beginners 3. Upon successful completion of Urdu Beginners 3 you will be able to progress to the Elementary level course in Urdu.

Urdu Beginners 1 (complete beginners) is offered as part of our Intensive courses starting August 2022:

Urdu Beginners 1 Online Intensive Course (42886) 2nd August - 1st September 2022

Timetable Information:
Related Information

See more information on the Urdu Language Homepage.

Back to the Language Centre Homepage


Urdu Beginners 1:

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Use greetings and farewells
  • Use the Urdu alphabet
  • Introduce yourself and use titles
  • Say where you come from
  • Ask and give directions
  • Ask and give telephone numbers
  • Use numbers 0-20
  • Use extended greetings and use polite form
  • Use some formal expressions
  • Invite friends and introduce to one’s family
  • Describe your home
  • Talk about school subjects
Urdu Beginners 2:

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Express likes and dislikes
  • Identify food and drinks
  • Ask about Pakistani restaurants
  • Identify spices, textures and tastes in cultural dishes
  • Order a meal and drinks at a Pakistani restaurant
  • Deal with local currency
  • Talk about your family and relatives
  • Talk about jobs and professions
  • Tell the time
  • Use parts of the day and days of the week
  • Describe your daily routine
  • Get to know about the people of Pakistan: origin and backgrounds
  • Talk about social identities
Urdu Beginners 3:

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Describe the weather and climate
  • Use the months of the year
  • Use further greetings and expressions of politeness
  • Buy a train ticket
  • Be familiar with the dos and don’ts when travelling by train
  • Hire a taxi and a porter at the station
  • Booking a hotel room
  • Check in and out of a hotel
  • Ask and give directions
  • Identify more of the geography of Pakistan
  • Identify
  • Go shopping
  • Say where you went and how you were
  • Make comparisons
  • Be aware of cultural and local hospitality

The above is an indication of content that may be covered over the duration of the course but it could vary depending on the level and progress of students in the class.