Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

MA Arabic and Politics

UCAS code: TL62

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Arabic and Politics

Arabic is the main language of more than 250 million people inhabiting a huge swathe of land extending from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf. It is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Given the central importance of the Arab world in current politics, and its importance as the immediate neighbour of Europe on the southern and eastern sides of the Mediterranean, Arabic and politics make an excellent combination.

The School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures at the University of Edinburgh is recognised in the UK and internationally as a leading institution for research and study of Arabic, Islam, the Middle East, and other related subjects.

Students of politics explore the origins and present-day contexts of conflicts over power and resources; the morality of political action, the limits of freedom and justice, and the processes of governance at various levels. Politics is part of a vibrant research-led community which is truly international.

We have students from all over the world and have a vibrant student society – the Politics Society. There is always plenty going on, and always someone for you to talk to about your academic studies, leisure interests or life in Edinburgh.

Year 1

You will study elementary Arabic to learn basic grammar and develop your vocabulary. You will also take courses in modern Middle Eastern history as well as Political Thinkers, an introductory political theory course, and Introduction to Politics & International Relations.

Year 2

You will continue with your language study and take courses in Islamic history or Islamic and Middle Eastern cultures. You will also study International Cooperation in Europe and Beyond – which examines how states cooperate in international organisations such as the European Union, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations – and Comparative Politics in a Globalized World, which introduces you to key methods in political science.

Year 3

You will spend Year 3 in an Arabic-speaking country, improving your language skills and undertaking independent study. You will also undertake year abroad work for Politics.

Year 4

You will continue to develop your language and translation skills and will write your honours dissertation. You will also choose from a range of option courses dealing with different aspects of Islam and the Middle East and from a wide range of specialist courses in politics.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

Classes will take place in and around the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, located within the University’s Central Area.

You will have full access to the University’s computer facilities and libraries, which contain specialist resources and a collection of Islamic manuscripts.

Study abroad

In Year 3 you can choose between at least two different countries in the Arabic-speaking world for your study abroad, where you will spend a minimum of 30 weeks.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Experienced lecturers and language instructors will teach a combination of lectures, tutorials and language classes.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of exams and coursework, including essays, exercises, presentations and oral language examinations. You will also complete a dissertation in your final year.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2019/20)

More than 250 million people are native speakers of Arabic, the fifth most widely spoken language in the world.

An understanding of the language, the cultures to which it opens doors, and of politics, is an excellent primer for a range of careers in the diplomatic and civil services, including policy development, and in non-governmental organisations, business and industry.

With increasing migration in response to changing global dynamics, there is high demand for languages and humanities graduates both at home and abroad, including in translation, interpreting, the media, and education. Our students have previously won an award for Outstanding Global Citizenship for tutoring Syrian refugees.

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level, with the fourth undergraduate year in particular developing the research skills you’ll need if you choose this path.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA - AABB by end of S5. If you haven’t achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 40 points (grades 766 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: a language other than English at grade A and English at grade C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: a language other than English at grade A or 7 and English at grade C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: a language other than English at 6 and English at 5.

Additional requirements

Language Requirement

Please note that for degrees that have a subject requirement for a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C

  • SQA Standard Grade 3

  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C

  • GCSE Grade C or 4

  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C

  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Arabic and Politics

Additional costs

Year 3 includes study abroad in the Middle East. You will incur associated travel costs (flights, visas etc).

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding