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 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 required to spend the third year of study at a university in the Middle East
Arabic and a discipline: Arabic can be combined with Development Studies, Economics, English, History, History of Art/Archaeology, International Relations, Islamic Studies (for details see BA Arabic and Islamic Studies), Law, Linguistics, Music, Politics, Social Anthropology and Study of Religions.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- 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:
- AAB - ABB
- 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
- 4 years
Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.
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.
Students take modules to the value of 120 credits per year. There is some element of choice to develop special interests.
Year 1 students take the following compulsory Arabic language modules below and select modules to the value of 60 credits from their second subject.
Must be passed with an overall mark of 50 to proceed to the following year of study.
Year 4 students select modules to the value of 60 credits from their second subject (this may include 'Guided Options')
Must be passed with an overall mark of 50 to proceed to the following year of study.
Students take the following compulsory modules and select modules to value of 30 credits from 'List B' below
Year 3 - Year Abroad
Students participate in the Arabic Year Abroad in one of our partner Institutions. For more details please click the "Teaching & Learning" tab above.
Students take the following compulsory Arabic language modules and select modules to value of 30 credits from 'List C' below
Students choose language modules according to their level from the List Below to the value of 30 credits. Plus another 30 credits from List C
List of modules (subject to availability)
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
SOAS Arabic Language Year Abroad
Students have the choice to spend the Arabic Language Year Abroad at one of the following four institutions:
- The Alexandria School of Languages (ACL) in Alexandria, Egypt (Preparatory Guide for Students Undertaking Residence Abroad at Alexandria Centre for Languages in 2016/2017)
- The Alif Institute in Fez, Morocco
- The Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan
Year Abroad Programmes 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.
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.
Teaching & Learning
All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, taught in modules of 30 credits (taught over 20 weeks) or 15 credits (taught over 10 weeks). The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others.
In the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, undergraduate modules take various forms. Modules may be taught through 1 or 2 hours of lectures a week, and some may have an additional 1-2 hours of weekly seminars. Languages classes may be 4-5 hours per week in the first and second year, typically less at higher levels.
More information is on the page for each module.
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
Nothing can truly describe your own personal SOAS experience, but one thing I can say is that it will be something you will remember for a lifetime and learn from not only your classes, but through life experience while being here.