Arabic MA (joint degree) 2018 entry

Whilst St Andrews does not offer Arabic as a single Honours degree, you can take Arabic in combination with a wide variety of other subjects as part of a joint Honours degree. It is useful to study Arabic, by far the most commonly used language of the Middle East, alongside almost any subject as it offers the opportunity for comparative analyses between different languages, literatures, cultures, histories, politics and economics.

By choosing to study Arabic, you will learn the language of the Arabic media as well as classical and modern Arabic languages and literature. All Arabic modules prioritise the building of a high level of competence in language skills, and after completing the first two years of your course, you will be able to read, write and converse in basic Modern Standard Arabic.

If you take Arabic with another language, you will have the opportunity to take an integrated year abroad between second and third year in a country where your other chosen language is spoken.

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Course type

Master of Arts (joint degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2022

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Arabic MA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Typical entry requirements

SQA Highers AAAB
GCE A-Levels AAB
IB points 36

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

You do not need previous knowledge of Arabic to apply, and modules are not designed for native speakers.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.

Timetables

Students must meet with their advisor at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.

While every effort is made to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.

Course information

The Arabic portion of the four-year joint Honours degree course is run by the Department of Arabic and Persian within the School of Modern Languages. The degree syllabus includes a wide spectrum of subjects from Islamic history to media Arabic, from mediaeval and classical literature to modern and contemporary literature.

Your first two years focus on enabling you to read, write and converse in simple Modern Standard Arabic. You will cover the Arabic alphabet and writing system and begin the study of Arabic grammar. You will also be introduced to contemporary issues and key themes in Arabic culture.

Alongside Arabic, in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.

If you are taking Arabic with another language, you will have the opportunity to take an integrated year abroad between second and third year in a country where your other chosen language is spoken. 

In your third and fourth years, you will have the opportunity to take modules which focus on topics ranging from the language of the Arabic media to classical and modern Arabic language and literature.

Graduates in Modern Languages from St Andrews can expect to have not only a high level of competency in language skills, but a highly developed appreciation for other cultures and peoples. Other transferable skills, including analysis, synthesis and communication skills will prepare you for a career in many fields, including government, law, journalism, NGOs and international companies.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.

Find out more about studying Arabic at St Andrews

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Arabic along with modules from your chosen joint subject.

Typically, you will take one Arabic module per semester during your first two years, and two modules per semester during your third and fourth years (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their first year:

  • Arabic for Beginners 1: enables students to read, write and converse in simple Modern Standard Arabic. It will cover the Arabic alphabet and writing system, and begin the study of Arabic grammar.
  • Arabic for Beginners 2: covers the remaining points of Arabic grammar from Arabic 1 using a selection of representative non-literary texts.

Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their second year:  

  • Intermediate Arabic 1: enables students to read and write Modern Standard Arabic to intermediate level with the aid of a dictionary, and to speak in standard Arabic on appropriate topics with a limited vocabulary.
  • Intermediate Arabic 2: prepares students for Honours modules in Arabic by applying language work to contemporary and modern writings.

If you take Arabic in your third and fourth years, you will choose from a variety of advanced options which incorporate literary, historical and cultural studies into language learning.

Modules in previous year at Honours level have included (but are not limited to):

  • Media Arabic
  • Modern Arab Culture and Society
  • Arabic Short Stories
  • Key Texts in Classical Arabic Literature and Culture
  • Exile and Identity
  • Classical Arabic Poetry
  • Novellas.

In fourth year, students have the option of undertaking a dissertation of about 10,000 words on an approved topic in Arabic and Middle East Studies. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.


The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

All Modern Language modules involve a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical language classes. Lectures provide information, stimulate thought, and suggest directions for further reading and personal study. Small language tutorials allow you to work actively together with your tutors to practice language skills, present papers, and discuss texts and issues relevant to the course.

Sub-honours Arabic modules are delivered through lectures and small-group tutorials. At Honours level, lectures are replaced by small classes alongside tutorials. Typical class sizes for Arabic:

  • first year: lectures 40-80, tutorials 10-15
  • second year: lectures 20-40, tutorials 10-15
  • Honours: classes 5-20, tutorials 5-15.

When not attending lectures, tutorials and practical language classes you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by a research-led teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Arabic. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of tutorials under the supervision of the module leader.

You can find contact information for all staff in the Department of Arabic and Persian on the School of Modern Languages website.

In addition to your studies in the Department of Arabic and Persian, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the Students with disabilities webpage.

Assessment

Modules in Arabic are assessed by a combination of coursework and end-of-semester examinations.

Coursework includes advanced language exercises, discursive essays in English, and oral presentations in Arabic.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand. Examinations are either entirely in written format or comprise both written and oral components.

Tutors advise you closely on the preparation of written work and give individual assessments of your performance. 

The School of Modern Languages provides feedback on every assessment, with a view to improving your performance in future, and aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU Tuition fees for Scottish and EU applicants have yet to be set for 2018 entry.
Rest of the UK Tuition fees for applicants from the rest of the UK have yet to be set for 2018 entry.
Overseas £21,290

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Accommodation fees for 2018 are yet to be set. Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017-2018.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take Arabic as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.

Modern language degrees

It is possible to combine a degree in Arabic with two modern languages. Any combination of French, German, Italian, Persian, Russian, and Spanish is possible.

You can also take Arabic as part of a Modern Languages joint Honours degree with two modern languages and one additional subject.

If you are taking:

  • Arabic

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

If you are taking:

  • Arabic

You can also take one modern language:

If you are taking:

  • Arabic

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

If you are taking:

  • Arabic

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

"With" degrees

You can take Arabic as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first named subject. St Andrews offers the following "with" degrees in Arabic.

Your future

Careers

Graduates in Arabic go on to a wide range of careers for which an Arts degree is a recognised qualification. Graduates of the Department have become:

  • academics in international institutions
  • civil servants in government departments (notably the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the US State Department)
  • human rights lawyers
  • journalists
  • employees in non-governmental organisations and international companies.           

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Working abroad

Completing a work placement abroad is a good opportunity to gain work experience in another culture or language and to enhance valuable skill sets. As part of specific degree programmes in Modern Languages, you may apply to undertake a work placement abroad for credit.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of Arabic may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • Middle East Society hosts regular social events including dinners, themed nights, shisha evenings and film screenings.
  • At Home and Abroad Society (AHAsoc) promotes study and work abroad programmes along with all forms of international cultural exchange.  

The School of Modern Languages is situated at the very centre of St Andrews in the Buchanan Building on Union Street. Within the Buchanan Building is the Multimedia Centre, a digital language lab which students will use as both a component of their module classwork and as part of individual study.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

Contact

Department of Arabic and Persian

School of Modern Languages
University of St Andrews
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3642
Email: arabhod@st-andrews.ac.uk

Arabic website