Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Entry Requirements

Find out more about this programme's entry requirements, career opportunities and English language requirements.

Programme description

This MSc is an intensive language programme coupled with research. It will equip you to function in Arabic at a high level both orally and in writing. A unique feature of the programme is that spoken Arabic will be taught alongside Modern Standard Arabic. You will acquire a strong understanding of a major spoken Arabic dialect, which is required to understand films, songs and an increasing amount of oral intellectual discourse. You will also develop your Modern Standard Arabic, enabling you to communicate as an educated native speaker of Arabic. You will refine your abilities to engage critically and analytically with different aspects of the Arabic language and undertake a sustained piece of independent research that demonstrates the research skills, training and knowledge you have acquired. You will also have the option of a course in Arabic pedagogy, which will equip you with the skills to teach Arabic to non-native speakers.

Minimum entry requirements

A UK 2:1 undergraduate degree or its international equivalent (www.ed.ac.uk/international/country). We expect most students will have a background in Arabic language/or Middle Eastern studies. Those who do not have a formal Arabic qualification but have a good knowledge of Arabic can also apply. All applicants will have to complete a rigorous and carefully calibrated Arabic assessment online before being offered a place on the programme. The level of Arabic required will be Intermediate Low-Mid (ACTFL) or the equivalent of B1 in the Common European Framework (CEF).

Programme structure

The language component of the programme will combine intensive class teaching with a wide range of activities including situational interpreting, listening and summarising and oral presentations. There will also be an e-learning element to the language learning. The research and option pedagogy components will be delivered in the form of seminars and workshops. The dissertation or language-based project will involve one-to-one meetings with supervisors and detailed feedback.

Career opportunities

The MSc in Advanced Arabic is both a professional and an academic qualification providing students with a solid linguistic as well as research foundation. You could use this qualification to continue in academic life either in teaching or research and the language skills gained will help you to use your Arabic in any professional capacity such as media, business, diplomacy, working for NGOs and other international organisations. Graduates are also in a good position to apply their language skills in various interpretive roles for organisations such as the International Red Cross.

English language requirements

Students whose first language is not English must show evidence of one of the qualifications below:

  • IELTS 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each section)
  • TOEFL iBT 100 (with at least 23 in all sections)
  • Pearson Test of English 67 (with no score lower than 61 in each of the ‘Communicative Skills’ sections)
  • CPE Grade B
  • CAE Grade A

Please note:

  • English language requirements can be affected by government policy so please ensure you visit our website for the latest details: www.ed.ac.uk/ english-requirements/pg/chss
  • Your English language certificate must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.
  • A degree from an English-speaking university may be accepted in some circumstances.

Abbreviations: IELTS − International English Language Testing System; TOEFL iBT − Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test; CPE − Certificate of Proficiency in English; CAE − Certificate in Advanced English. www.ed.ac.uk/english-requirements/pg