BA Arabic and Islamic Studies

General

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


This four-year programme is intended to give students a solid grounding in Modern Standard and classical Arabic, familiarity with the core textual tradition of Islam, a broad knowledge of Islamic history and some insight into the methodology of religious studies. The third year is spent at a university in the Middle East.

Modern language teaching involves classwork, language-laboratory teaching, computer-assisted learning (CALL) and independent study. Introductory and intermediate modules in the Arabic language use a wide variety of learning experiences and techniques in large and small groups. Most other modules are taught in small classes. Assessment is by a combination of written examination, oral examination (where appropriate) and coursework.

Employment

As a student specialising in Arabic and Islamic, you will gain competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of the Middle East.

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in both business and the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

Students graduating with this degree have opportunities to work in further research in Arabic or Islamic Studies, Education, the Arab and Islamic media, Islamic centres, the BBC, in the Press, the Civil Service and non-governmental organisations.

Structure

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

Year 1

Core Module

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

  • Arabic 1 Intensive

Compulsory Module

Choose one of the following modules:

  • Introduction to Arabic Culture
  • Literatures of the Near and Middle East
  • H130 Introduction to the History of the Near and Middle East

Year 2

Core Module

  • Arabic 400

Compulsory Module

  • Introduction to Islamic Texts

and

Guided Option

Choose a module from List A below to the value of 30 credits.

or

Open Option

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits.

  • Language Open Option Modules
  • Non-Language Open Option Modules

Year 3

Students have the choice to spend the Arabic Language Year Abroad at one of the following institutions:

  1. The Alexandria School of Languages (ACL) in Alexandria, Egypt
  2. The Alif Institute in Fez, Morocco
  3. The Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan

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).

Core Module

  • Arabic 600

and

Compulsory Module

Choose a module from List B to the value of 30 credits.

and

Guided Option

Choose a module from List B OR List C to the value of 30 credits.

and

Guided Option

Choose a module from List B OR List C OR List D to the value of 30 credits.

or

Open Option

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits.

  • Language Open Option Modules
  • Non-Language Open Option Modules

List of modules (subject to availability)

List A: Second Year Options

  • Introduction to Arabic Literature
  • Introduction to Arabic Dialects
  • Persian for Readers of Arabic Script
  • Akkadian: The Language of Gilgamesh
  • H248 The Making of the Modern Middle East
  • Government and politics of the Middle East
  • Islamic Law

List B: Year 4 Arabic and Islamic Compulsory Courses (not all are running every year)

  • Quran and Hadith Studies
  • Islamic Texts
  • Reading Classical Arabic historians

List C: Year 4 Arabic and Islamic Related Options

  • Politics and Aesthetics in Modern Arabic Literature
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Language and Oral Literature of an Arabic Vernacular
  • Culture Society and Politics in Classical Arabic Literature
  • Arabic Women's Writing
  • Islamic Law

List D: Other Approved (Arabic related) Options (not all available every year)

  • Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa 1
  • Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa 2
  • Independent Study Project in Arabic Studies (using Language sources)
  • Independent Study Project in Islamic Studies
  • Independent Study Project in Arabic Studies
  • Akkadian: The Language of Gilgamesh
  • Persian for Readers of Arabic Script
  • H248 The Making of the Modern Middle East
  • Government and politics of the Middle East

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

To apply for an undergraduate degree at SOAS (including students wishing to transfer from another university) you must apply through the UK's central universities application organization, UCAS. An application form and details of courses can be found on their website. UCAS charges an applicant's fee for handling the application.

You can apply to up to five choices of higher education institutions or course on the UCAS form. How you utilise the choice is up to you. In other words, you could apply to do the same subject, for example, economics, at five different universities, or five different courses at the same university, or any combination of subject and institution. Nor do you have to use up all five choices. Whatever you choose you should list your choices in the order they appear in the UCAS handbook.

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.
  • A-Levels: AAB - ABB
    IB: 35 (665 at HL)
  • Interview Policy: Candidates with "non-standard" qualifications may be invited for an interview.

Alternative entry requirements

  • BTEC: DDM
  • 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

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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