2024 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Subject area: Arabic and Persian

Why choose Arabic and Persian at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We are the only university in Scotland to offer courses in the Muslim world’s three main languages. You can take both Arabic and Persian to degree level, even if you are a complete beginner. We also teach Turkish to intermediate level.

  • We are ranked 5th in the UK for Middle Eastern & African Studies in the Complete University Guide 2023, and third in the UK for both Modern Languages and for Arts & Humanities in the QS World Rankings by Subject 2023.

  • Based in a world-leading festival city, we have a long tradition of teaching the languages, history, culture, and literatures of the Middle East. Arabic has been taught here since the mid 18th century.

Study abroad

Studying Arabic and Persian has not only given me the chance to learn two beautiful languages but also enter the rich and diverse cultures of the Middle East. I have enjoyed learning both languages while simultaneously exploring literature, history, religion and politics. The staff are passionate and supportive and constantly work to provide a fulfilling experience.

Lajeen 3rd Year MA (Hons) Arabic and Persian
Lajeen 3rd Year MA (Hons) Arabic and Persian

Introducing Arabic and Persian

Located at the crossroads between Europe, Africa, and Asia, the Middle East has played a key role on the world stage from ancient times to the present.

Our Arabic and Persian programmes provide a unique opportunity to learn the region's languages in the context of its:

  • history
  • literature
  • culture
  • religion
  • politics

You will study a wide range of material, from pre-Islamic poetry and early Islamic history to modern literature and cinema.

You will also develop the critical, analytical and comparative skills to interpret and discuss pivotal issues and concepts, all of which are key skills in a range of careers.

Our community

Study with us, and you will be part of a friendly international community, with great links to our research and outreach Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World.

You will have access to fantastic resources, including our Islamic library, and a regular programme of workshops, film screenings and guest seminars.

We have a particularly strong relationship with the Edinburgh Iranian Film Festival, and are home to a thriving student Islamic Society. We have also won awards for our work with local communities.

You will graduate with a combination of specialist knowledge and the Intercultural Competence valued by employers around the globe.