BA Arabic Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our BA Arabic Studies course will enable you to achieve near-native proficiency in modern Arabic while studying the language within its cultural and historical context.

You will start as an absolute beginner in reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension of Arabic and develop to an advanced level by the end of the four-year course.

You will also look more widely at Arab culture and literature, and be introduced to social and cultural trends in the Arab Middle East and beyond.

The course is carefully structured so you can measure your progress step by step. Learning modern Arabic also opens the door to the vast literature of classical Arabic, including religious and secular texts, and provides a perfect platform from which to learn one or more of the colloquial dialects.

You will spend your third year studying abroad at an academic institution in an Arab country, an ideal way to improve your fluency in the language while gaining a fascinating first-hand experience of the Arab world.

You can choose from a wide variety of course unit options to focus on your special interests or to study other disciplines within the University, such as linguistics, history, archaeology or the social sciences.

In addition, Flexible Honours may allow you to study an additional arts, languages or cultures subject.

Special features

Residence abroad

All of our Modern Language degrees offer the opportunity to study and/or work for up to a year in a country or countries relevant to your chosen language(s).

You'll improve your communicative language skills through focused learning in a native-speaker environment, and develop a first-hand understanding of the history and culture of your host country or countries.

Find out more about residence abroad for modern languages students, including destinations and support.

Palaver Festival

Palaver Festival , a collaboration with the neighbouring Contact Theatre, offers you the opportunity to explore links between language and performance across a range of genres including literature, theatre, dance and more.

Collaborations and partnerships

The University has links with language and cultural institutions across the city, including:

  • Instituto Cervantes - a centre for Spanish culture
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film
  • Alliance Française - home of French language and culture.

Societies

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related student societies offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences.

You can learn more about colloquialisms in language through native speakers and take part in discussion groups and socials.

Some of our societies also coordinate trips abroad to language-specific destinations.

Teaching and learning

You'll learn through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, spending approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions.

For every hour of university study, you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • in your final year, a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Assessment methods vary from course unit to course unit - see individual course unit listings for more information.

Course content for year 1

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa MEST10092 20 Mandatory
History and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa MEST10711 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 1 MEST51011 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 2 MEST51022 20 Mandatory
The History and Sociopolitics of Palestine/Israel (1882-1967) MEST10042 20 Optional
Introduction to Islam MEST10061 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Post Colonial Arabic Literature MEST20002 20 Mandatory
Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa MEST20352 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 3 MEST51031 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 4 MEST51042 20 Mandatory
Themes in the Histories of Arab and Jewish Nationalisms MEST20271 20 Optional
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20501 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is spent abroad under approved conditions.  For more information on the period of residence abroad please consult the following: Residence Abroad

Course content for year 4

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Arabic Literature in Translation MEST30121 20 Mandatory
Media and Business Arabic MEST30182 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 5 MEST51050 20 Mandatory
Dissertation in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies MEST30000 40 Optional
Contemporary Debates in Islam MEST30032 20 Optional
Historical controversies in the Study of Israel/Palestine MEST30722 20 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

Residence Abroad Support  We offer dedicated financial support packages of up to £2,000 for residence abroad students, based on household income. You will be automatically assessed for this, based on your Student Finance finance assessment - you just need to make sure you apply for a financial assessment in the academic year in which your residence abroad will take place.

RWS Brode Scholarship   You may be eligible for this scholarship if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • Your qualifications were achieved at a state-funded school in the UK
  • your total household income does not exceed £60K (as verified by the Student Loan Company)
  • You achieve high marks in your A-levels (or equivalent qualifications), usually AAB or above
  • You apply to (and remain on) either a single honours Language programme, or a dual-language programme

Awards will be made according to a sliding scale, benefitting those who have the achieved the highest marks, whilst being from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.  Again, you will be automatically assessed for this, after you have registered on your degree programme. You simply need to make sure you allow the University access to your records when applying for your Student Loan (we cannot otherwise assess your eligibility).

Facilities

The University Language Centre is home to language resources, including a new interpreting suite, purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages.

The Centre also offers multilingual word processing, language learning software, off-air recording and AV duplication, multilingual terrestrial and satellite TV, and extensive support and advice for learners.

Learn more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk