Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies


Hear from our previous students about why they enjoyed this programme and what they gained from their studies.

Students in the MSc Advanced Arabic programme receive rigorous training in translation and interpretation and are superbly prepared to work as translators or interpreters in either their home countries or in the Middle East. Most importantly, they are communicators who, like highly-educated native speakers of Arabic, have mastered the dialect of the intelligentsia and all the shades of formality and informality that lie in between fusha and amiyya—a truly rare achievement for non-native speakers. Graduates of the MSc Advanced Arabic programme not only finish the degree with this profound fluency in the language, but possess a rich, nuanced understanding of the Arab world, its history, its people, and current events.

Rebecca WolfeFormer student

This MSc programme is completely unique - a one-year, intensive course that offered excellent teaching with more hours than any other institution. The structure of the course allowed both linguistic development and the enrichment of cultural knowledge. It provided precisely the combination of literature, language and culture that I would expect the School to encourage: the opportunity to better understand the Arabic-speaking world holistically, countering the inclination to treat it as a pure geo-political space full of Orientalist imagery, religious fanatics and despotic dictators.

Isabel LachenauerFormer student

The MSc Advanced Arabic is an excellent postgraduate programme for people interested in using Arabic at a professional level. The intense language training, which includes translation and interpreting, allows the students to expand their knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic and to acquire fluency in Levantine Spoken Arabic. Moreover, the MSc Advanced Arabic is among the few postgraduate degrees offering a period of study abroad which is a great opportunity for the students to practice the language with native speakers on a daily basis and to get to know the Arab culture and life style.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a student of Arabic at the University of Edinburgh. I had the chance to develop my language skills and improve my knowledge of the Arab World in a stimulating environment where the teaching staff was always encouraging and helpful. I would definitely recommend this programme to anyone aiming to work using the Arabic language.

Laura FerreriFormer student

I took the MSc in Advanced Arabic course in preparation for PhD study. I found the course to be ideally suited for this purpose. The MSc is structured to cover all manner of language-based research skills including interpreting, interviews, writing and reading academic level texts in Arabic. Particularly useful for my future research plans was an assignment in which I conducted a thirty minute interview in Arabic with a child psychologist working in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The final project, in which students design and implement a language based project, was also ideal preparation for PhD research. The MSc offers intensive tuition, amongst the highest contact hours of any course at the university, and small class sizes which are perfect for language study. I also valued the regular and detailed feedback I received on all aspects of my language development. The teaching staff are highly committed and more than happy to engage with students in and outside of class time. I would definitely recommend the MSc in Advanced Arabic to anyone seeking to take their language skills to a research ready standard.

Benedict RobinFormer student

Having studied Arabic language and literature in my undergraduate degree, I was looking for a postgraduate programme that allowed me to take one step further in my linguistic and cultural understanding of the Arab world. The MSc Advanced Arabic gave me this opportunity thanks to a curriculum that focuses on language and diglossia while also looking at different cultural issues regarding the Arab world. Its integration of spoken Arabic in class is innovative and gives students a hands-on experience of language use. Moreover, the study abroad period allows learners to practice language in their day-to-day activities and master diglossia. All these aspects, in addition to the range of opportunities that the programme offers in terms of career development and cultural enrichment, make the MSc Advanced Arabic a unique programme in its kind.

Stefano CastiglioneFormer student