BA History and Arabic / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

BA History and Arabic provides you with the opportunity to study aspects of history that interest you most, from ancient, medieval, modern, and economic and social history, to the history of science, technology and medicine. 

You will also develop a comprehensive grounding in Arabic language, literature, culture, history and linguistics, enabling you to become proficient enough in Arabic to live and work effectively in an Arabic-speaking environment. 

History 

  • We offer one of the most diverse history courses in the UK, with our course units covering almost all human history, including British, European, American, Asian and African history, and ranging from the classical era (Greece and Rome), through the medieval and modern periods, to the late 20th century.  
  • We offer a wide variety of approaches to history, from political and economic history, to gender, social, cultural, and colonial history. 
  • You will benefit from studying in the historically rich city of Manchester, itself a living history book - from Peterloo to the anti-slavery and suffragette movements, and from Roman and Anglo-Saxon forts to medieval monuments.  
  • You can draw on the abundant library, archive and museum holdings of the local area, including the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Centre, Chetham's Library, The Museum of Science and Industry, The People's History Museum and the Working-Class Movement Library.  
  • You will also have access to one of only five National Research Libraries, including the special collections of The John Rylands Library, as well as the exclusive holdings of Manchester Museum. 
  • Our course content is directly informed by our world-leading research - the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (a UK-wide benchmark for research excellence) ranked History at Manchester 4th in the UK for the quality of our research outputs, with 82% of our overall research activity recognised as 'world leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*). 

Arabic

  • You have the opportunity to achieve near-native proficiency in modern Arabic while studying the language within its cultural and historical context.
  • You will also look more widely at Arab culture and literature from the medieval period to the present day, and be introduced to social and cultural trends in the Arab Middle East and beyond.
  • The range of culture units offered across all years of the programme combine the study of the history, politics, literary, and visual culture of the Arab world and are taught by a range of specialists within these fields.
  • 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 such as Jordan, Egypt or Morocco, an ideal way to improve your fluency in the language while gaining a fascinating first-hand experience of the Arab world.

Special features

Study 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.

Connect with like-minded students

Join the History Society, which plays a key role in building a community among History students at Manchester by organising trips (in the UK and on the continent) and hosting social events, and get involved with the student magazine,  The Manchester Historian .

Enjoy cultural activities

Manchester is a multicultural city that provides excellent general opportunities for contact with speakers of Arabic and the pursuit of Arabic and Islamic interests outside of the University (eg public lectures, societies, cultural events).

Teaching and learning

Our courses take maximum advantage of our well-established areas of research expertise, including everything from modern British and European cultural history, to economic and social history from the later Middle Ages to the 20th century.

You will learn through:

  • lectures;
  • seminars;
  • web-based seminars;
  • small group tutorials;
  • field trips.

We encourage you to study a diverse range of types of history and to develop your own original and imaginative approaches.

You will spend 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;
  • coursework essays;
  • research reports;
  • practical tests;
  • learning logs;
  • web contributions.

Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.

In your final year, you will write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

Your time will be split equally between History and Arabic Studies with 60 credits in each area. 

History 

  • In History you will have broad range of options covering a variety of topics, thematically, temporally and geographically. 

Arabic

  • In Year 1, you learn Arab language from complete beginner level - or `ab initio'. Ab initio students have seven contact hours per week with their nominated mother-tongue teacher as part of a course specifically designed to build confidence in comprehension, writing, speaking and listening skills. 
  • The Arab culture units offer a range of courses from the filmic and literary to the historic and religious, all of which reflect academic staff research interests.

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
History in Practice HIST10101 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
From Reconstruction to Reagan: American History, 1877-1988 AMER10002 20 Optional
From Republic to Empire: Introduction to Roman History, Society & Culture 218-31BC CAHE10022 20 Optional
The Making of the Mediterranean CAHE10132 20 Optional
Discoveries and Discoverers: Sights and Sites CAHE10282 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST10172 20 Optional
Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913 HIST10182 20 Optional
Imperial Nation: The Making of Modern Britain, 1783-1902 HIST10192 20 Optional
An Introduction to the Medieval World HIST10262 20 Optional
The Manchester History Workshop HIST10272 20 Optional
Bodies in History: An introduction to the History of Medicine HSTM10772 20 Optional
Empire and Culture in East Asia JAPA13222 20 Optional
Entrepreneurial Skills MCEL10002 10 Optional
Standing on The Shoulders of Giants: Foundations for Study in The Arts SALC10002 20 Optional
Living and Dying in the Ancient World SALC10602 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

As you move into your second year you can choose to maintain an equal weighting between the two subjects or devote more time to either History or Arabic Studies. 

You will write an individual independent research project with one-on-one supervision, as well as choosing from a range of courses. 

History 

  • Your work will build on knowledge and skills gained in your first year developing each subject area to provide a greater breadth and depth of experience. 

Arabic 

  • In Year 2, the language component of the course includes three contact hours per week in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.
  • Various options are available ranging from Arabic literature, Middle Eastern cinema, gender and cultural studies to the anthropology of Modern Islam as well as history and politics of the Arab World. The units are largely assessed by coursework.

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
Independent Research Project HIST20390 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Post Colonial Arabic Literature MEST20002 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 3 MEST51031 20 Mandatory
Arabic Language 4 MEST51042 20 Mandatory
Work and Play in the USA, 1880-2020 AMER20112 20 Optional
From Jamestown to James Brown: African-American History and Culture AMER20141 20 Optional
The American Civil War AMER21001 20 Optional
The Conquering Hero: The Life, Times and Legacy of Alexander The Great CAHE20041 20 Optional
The Roman Empire 31BC - AD235: Rome's Golden Age CAHE20052 20 Optional
Politics and Society in Classical Greece CAHE20061 20 Optional
Roman Women in 22 Objects CAHE20532 20 Optional
Weimar Culture? Art, Film and Politics in Germany, 1918-33 GERM20262 20 Optional
Making of the Modern Mind: European Intellectual History in a Global Context HIST20181 20 Optional
Winds of Change: Politics, Society and Culture in Britain, 1899 -1990 HIST20251 20 Optional
Late Imperial China: From the Jesuits to the East India Company HIST20422 20 Optional
The Cultural History of Modern War HIST20482 20 Optional
Colonial Encounters: Race, Violence, and the Making of the Modern World HIST21121 20 Optional
The Stuff of History: Objects Across Borders, 1500-1800 HIST21151 20 Optional
Back to the Future: The Uses and Abuses of History HIST21182 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST21192 20 Optional
Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913 HIST21202 20 Optional
A Transnational History of Europe in the Short Twentieth Century, c.1917-1991 HIST21212 20 Optional
Silk Roads: Eurasian Connections from the Mongols to Manilla, 1200-1800 HIST21242 20 Optional
Revolutionary Cities: The Urban World of the Middle Ages HIST21251 20 Optional
From Cholera to COVID-19: A Global History of Epidemics HSTM20081 20 Optional
The Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History HSTM20592 20 Optional
Information visions: past, present and future HSTM20782 20 Optional
In Frankenstein's Footsteps: Science Fiction in Literature and Film. HSTM20801 20 Optional
Aesthetics and Politics of Italian Fascism ITAL20502 20 Optional
The Italian Renaissance ITAL21011 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
Religion, Culture and Gender RELT20121 20 Optional
End of the World and Apocalypticism RELT21081 20 Optional
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS20242 20 Optional
The 1989 Revolutions and their Aftermaths RUSS20471 20 Optional
History of Latin America SPLA20362 20 Optional
Entrepreneur: Innovator and Risk-Taker UCIL24002 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 39 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  Residence abroad .

Course content for year 4

In Year 4 you will be able to balance your study time in each subject.  

You will undertake a more extensive research project resulting in a dissertation, again completed under personal academic supervision either in History or in Arabic. 

History  

  • Explore a huge variety of History course units to complete your degree. 

Arabic

  • You will complete your Arabic language studies at a high level. There is also the opportunity to study Business Arabic as well as to choose from a variety of specialised final year course units covering the Arab world.

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
The Visual Culture of US Empire AMER30521 20 Optional
American Hauntings AMER30812 20 Optional
The Roman Army and the North-West Frontiers CAHE30881 20 Optional
Egypt in the Graeco-Roman World CAHE31401 20 Optional
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30722 20 Optional
London and Modernity 1880-1960 HIST30101 20 Optional
Empire, Gender and British Heroes, c.1885 - 1985 HIST30622 20 Optional
Thesis (40 credits) HIST30970 40 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in Modern Africa HIST31001 20 Optional
China & the West: From the Opium War to the Olympic Games HIST31201 20 Optional
From National Crisis to National Government: British Politics, Economy and Society, 1914 - 1939 HIST31281 20 Optional
Sex, Drugs and Shopping: Readdressing Inter-war Britain HIST31342 20 Optional
Heroes and Holy Men: The Irish Sea World in the Viking Age, c. 780-1100 HIST31362 20 Optional
The Holocaust: History, Historiography, Memory HIST31492 20 Optional
The Comparative and Transnational History of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany HIST31521 20 Optional
John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1960s HIST31551 20 Optional
Defining the Deviant: Crime and British Society, 1888-2000 HIST31591 20 Optional
The Aftermath of War in France, Britain and Germany: Violence and Reconstruction after WW1 and WW2 HIST31672 20 Optional
The Black Freedom Movement, 1955-1975 HIST31751 20 Optional
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31842 20 Optional
Seaborne State? Venice and the East 1150-1550 HIST31861 20 Optional
Culture in Ottoman Society, ca. 1300-1800 HIST31871 20 Optional
'Brains and Numbers': Intellectual Life in Victorian Britain HIST31892 20 Optional
Caste Politics in Twentieth Century India HIST31911 20 Optional
Imperial Encounters, Soviet Frontiers: Nations, Borders, Migration in the Caucasus HIST31922 20 Optional
Becoming Christian in The Early Middle Ages HIST31952 20 Optional
The Normans in the Mediterranean World (1000-1200) HIST31992 20 Optional
Curating War and Human Rights: methods in cultural and public history HIST32011 20 Optional
Responses to Globalisation, 1500-1700 HIST32022 20 Optional
The Cultural Politics of Dissent: visual culture in China since 1970 HIST32041 20 Optional
Spatial History: Mapping the Past HIST32112 20 Optional
From Greed to Grandezza: A History of Capitalism from the Renaissance to Modernity (1250s-1900s) HIST32121 20 Optional
From New Left to New Times: Socialist Ideas in Post-War Britain HIST32152 20 Optional
Black Britain: Power, Neighbourhoods and the Everyday, 1948-1990 HIST32172 20 Optional
British Catholics and the Post-Reformation World HIST32191 20 Optional
Disease and Ecology in Global History HIST32201 20 Optional
Collecting and Exhibiting the Empire in Britain, c.1750-1939 HIST32211 20 Optional
Africa and Development: A Political History of the Social Sciences HIST32222 20 Optional
Reshaping the World: Thinking About Global Politics in the Twentieth Century HIST32232 20 Optional
Cultural Entanglements: Life and Death in Seventeenth-Century North America HIST32242 20 Optional
Health is a Human Right: The Global Quest for Universal healthcare HSTM30732 20 Optional
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today HSTM31712 20 Optional
From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: a history of forensic medicine HSTM32511 20 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33501 20 Optional
Madness and Society HSTM40332 20 Optional
Tools and Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30001 10 Optional
Tools & Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30002 10 Optional
Enterprise Feasibility MCEL30052 10 Optional
Dissertation in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies MEST30000 40 Optional
Contemporary Debates in Islam MEST30031 20 Optional
Nature, the Environment and Politics in Modern Arabic Literature MEST30122 20 Optional
Historical Controversies in the Study of Israel/Palestine MEST30721 20 Optional
Culture, Media and Politics in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia RUSS30601 20 Optional
History of the Spanish Atlantic World: Empire, Trade, War SPLA31151 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 56 course units for year 4

What our students say

There are so many other students from all around the world and lots of societies which organise events with and for international students.  

There's a great atmosphere of friendliness in Manchester, so international students have nothing to worry about!

Vendula Hoppe, History and French BA

Facilities

The University of Manchester owns the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Tabley House, giving you unique access to outstanding cultural and historical resources.

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.

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