BA Linguistics and Arabic / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course description

Our BA Linguistics and Arabic course will enable you to delve into the science of language - an everyday phenomenon which impacts our lives on an individual and a global scale.

You will study topics such as the ways in which children acquire their first language, differences between the speech of men and women, how the sound systems and grammars of different types of language are organised, what happens when speakers of different languages come into contact, and much else besides.

You can also achieve near-native proficiency in Arabic while studying the language within its cultural and historical context. You will start as an absolute beginner and go through to an advanced level over four years.

Language study offers much more than just language fluency. You'll explore diverse aspects of the culture, society, history, politics and literature of the countries in which Arabic is spoken, helping you to develop intercultural awareness and communication skills - both highly valued by employers.

You'll benefit from excellent teaching, student support and cutting-edge study facilities, as well as from the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself, Western Europe's most multilingual city.

With placement options available at partner universities and in professional environments in several Arabic-speaking countries, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.

Our course will help you to develop analytical and problem-solving skills. Often dealing with granular and complex data, your combination of humanities and scientific understanding will allow you to make connections across multiple fields of employment.

Special features

University Language Centre
Take advantage of the library, language labs and multimedia facilities at the University Language Centre.

Study or work abroad

Your  year abroad  will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in an Arabic-speaking country, and further develop your language skills.

Learn from language experts

Language courses are mainly taught by native speakers of each language, giving you a richer learning experience.

Access outstanding resources

You'll have the opportunity to access cutting-edge resources, including one of the largest holdings of linguistics texts in the UK, and to conduct research using English manuscripts held in our prestigious Special Collections.

Get involved with interesting projects

Our students are encouraged to take an active role in funded teaching-enhancement projects, whose outputs benefit them individually and collectively. For example, some of our students have developed an online atlas of dialect variation in the UK.

Enjoy cultural activities

Join The Manchester University Arab Society and learn first-hand about local Arabic speakers through events, language, food, music and more.

Teaching and learning

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

For every hour spent at University, you will be expected to complete a further two to three 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).

Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.

In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

In first year Linguistics you learn to look at language in a new way. You will study topics ranging from grammar to semantics, from phonetics to discourse analysis. You will take 60 credits of Linguistics including phonetics and phonology, semantics and (English) grammar. Your other 60 credits come from the other component of your Joint Honours programme

First year study will concentrate on intensive language learning, with a core course on the contemporary Middle East.

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
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 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
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Optional
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Optional
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Optional
From Text to Linguistic Evidence LELA10401 20 Optional
The History and Sociopolitics of Palestine/Israel (1882-1967) MEST10042 20 Optional
Introduction to Islam MEST10061 20 Optional
Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa MEST10092 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

In second year linguistics, the emphasis switches to linguistic theories. You will build on your new analytical skills by considering ideas about the nature of language and models of its structure. You will study 30 credits' worth of units in Syntactic Theory and Phonology and either Typology or Grammatical Semantics, as well as a number of specialised course-units of your choice - 70-90 credits for Single Honours and 10-50 credits for Joint Honours students.

In the second year you will continue your language learning, increase your reading of authentic texts and choose from a range of options that include 'postcolonial Arabic literature' and 'politics of the Middle East'.

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
Arabic Language 3 MEST51031 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 4 MEST51042 20 Mandatory
Phonology LELA20012 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20032 20 Optional
Societal Multi-lingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20281 20 Optional
Themes in the Histories of Arab and Jewish Nationalisms MEST20271 20 Optional
Women and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa MEST20352 20 Optional
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20501 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 2

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 our Residence Abroad pages.

Course content for year 4

In your final year you can develop interests in particular areas of your subject(s). In Linguistics we offer a very wide range of specialist options, including courses in the structure and description of a wide range of the world's languages and language families, as well as course units devoted to empirical fieldwork methodology, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and other domains. You will also have the option of writing a dissertation, where you explore and write about a particular topic in depth.

The fourth year covers an advanced language course, a variety of specialised thematic course choices in Islam and Middle Eastern Studies and finally a dissertation on an approved topic of your choice.

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
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

Facilities

Phonetics Lab
Undergraduate students can use the Phonetics Lab under supervision.

As well as making use of the wider University library network, you will have access to the University Language Centre, a modern open learning facility where you can study independently and make use of a library and audio-visual resources. There are also language laboratories and multimedia facilities.

For your Linguistics studies, we have two laboratories where you'll have the chance to use ultrasound imaging, laryngography and eye tracking technology. You'll also be able to use quantitative methods in the study of large language corpora.

Learn more on the Facilities pages for  Linguistics and English Language  and  Modern Languages and Cultures .

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