Language Centre

Arabic (Modern Standard) Proficiency Course

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Key information

1 term per sub-level; 10 weeks per term
Attendance mode
Part-time, online/blended learning

Course overview

Course aims

The Proficiency course is for students who have completed the full Advanced course at SOAS or an equivalent number of hours of formal Arabic language study (a minimum of 420 hours). (If neither of these apply to you but you think this may be your level, an online assessment can be conducted, please book an assessment.

Learners will be able to initiate and sustain discussion of topics of general interest, understand the main points of any non-technical text, carry out basic research (identify important sources and comfortably understand main ideas), understand the general ideas of lectures on familiar topics, and write essays and opinion pieces on a wide variety of topics.

Students will be taught how to write in a more advanced way, including elements they learn and analyse from the literature they study in class. This course is delivered by the Language Centre


The course is taught in Arabic with very little to no use of English and includes great exposure to Arabic grammar and vocabulary. It also further develops the skills of comprehension in listening and reading, and the skills of expression in speaking and writing.

This will be achieved through 20 hours of blended learning: 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher and supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning which is supported by complementary material. The course objective will be achieved within the 10-week course.


Our course materials page shows you what you need to buy for this course.

Entry requirements and progression route

This course is aimed at students who have completed the full Advanced Course (Arabic MSA Advanced 1, 2, and 3) or equivalent (approximately 420 hours of formal study). After completing Proficiency 1, students progress onto Proficiency 2, and then Proficiency 3.

Please note, that each term, courses are subject to quorum requirements.

For course dates and information, please see our timetables


Arabic (Modern Standard) Proficiency

These are the umbrella topics for the course, they are subject to change according to the
interests of the students and current affairs. For every topic studied, the teacher will create and
source authentic texts of which the students can analyse and study the grammar and literature.

  • Arab culture
    ○ Traditions of festivals
    ○ Cross-cultural impressions
    ○ Art of the Middle East and North Africa
    ○ Prominent figures of the Arab World
  • Media and current affairs
    ○ Media in the Middle East
    ○ Life in the virtual world
    ○ Impact of social media
    ○ Politics and social changes
  • Economic development
    ○ Business
    ○ Finance and investment
    ○ Markets
    ○ Trade relations
  • Social issues
    ○ Population and demographics
    ○ Migration and Refugees
    ○ Education
    ○ Health and medicine
  • Science and Technology
    ○ Research
    ○ Scientific development
    ○ The planet and global warming
    ○ Technology and society

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.

Contact us



Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules

Related information

See the full list of Language Centre short courses in Arabic on the Arabic language homepage

Back to the Language Centre

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