BA Arabic and Islamic Studies

Programme Code: QT96 BA/ArlslSt

Duration: 4 Years

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

Minimum Entry Requirements: 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


Students take modules to the value of 120 credits per year. There is some element of choice to develop special interests.

Year 1

1. Core Module

Must be passed with an overall mark of 50 to proceed to the following year of study.

  • Arabic 1 - 155900896 (90 credit) - Full Year

2. Compulsory Module

Choose one of the following modules:

  • Introduction to Arabic Culture - 155901205 (30 credits) - Full Year
  • Literature of the Near and Middle East - 155900991 (30 credits) - Full Year
  • H130 Introduction to the History of the Near and Middle East - 154800230 (30 credits) - Full Year

Year 2

1. Core Module

  • Arabic 2 - 155900897 (30 credits) - Full Year

2. Compulsory Modules

  • Introduction to Islamic texts - 155901115 (30 credits) - Full Year
  • The Muslim World: Unity in Diversity - 155901258 (30 credits) - Full Year

3. Optional Module

Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List A or another approved open option at an appropriate level to the value of 30 credits.

Year 3

More information for the Arabic Year Abroad below.

Year 4

Students who wish to specialise in Islamic studies are able to opt for further text-reading courses in this field. There is also an opportunity to write an extended essay (ISP).

1. Core Module

  • Arabic 4 - 155900899 (30 credits) - Full Year

2. Compulsory Modules

Choose one of the following

  • Quran and hadith Studies - 155900734 (30 credits) - Full Year
  • Islamic Texts - 155900356 (30 credits) - Full Year - Not Running 2016/2017
  • Reading Classical Arabic historians - 155901334 (30 credits) - Full Year
  • Islamic Intellectual Tradition - 155901338 (30 credits) - Full Year

3. Optional Modules

Choose modules to the value of 60 credits

Year abroad

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)
  • An-Najah University in Nablus, Occupied West Bank (Al-Najah University briefing paper)
  • 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 Arabic ISP (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 2014-15.

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.

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Last updated January 22, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
4 years
9,250 GBP
Full-time UK/EU Fees: £9,250; Full-time Overseas Fees: £16,907 per academic year
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