Undergraduate study - 2023 entry
Open to the world

MA Arabic and Business

UCAS code: TN61

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Accreditation
Study abroad

Introducing MA Arabic and Business

Arabic is the main language of more than 350 million people inhabiting a huge swathe of land extending from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf. It is the sixth 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 global commerce and industry, Arabic and Business make an excellent joint honours combination.

Arabic

Our programme is designed to give you a thorough grounding in both classical and modern Arabic. You will develop skills in writing, reading, listening to and speaking the language.

The Arabic language opens the door to a fascinating and varied region, providing access to the history, societies and cultures of the Middle East. You will study aspects of the Arabic-speaking world, past and present.

A year abroad provides complete immersion in Arabic language and culture.

Business

Studying Business will prepare you for the social, political and cultural challenges facing contemporary businesses, governments and not-for-profit organisations.

You will develop the personal and professional competencies required to work across a range of roles in contemporary business.

Why Edinburgh

The School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures at the University of Edinburgh is recognised in the UK and internationally as a leading institution for the research-led study of Arabic, together with Persian, Islam, and the Middle East.

The University's Business programmes are highly sought-after and accredited by a wide range of leading business education organisations and professional bodies. Leading graduate employers are involved across the curriculum.

Our programme is very flexible. In Year 1, for example, you will choose option courses from a wide range of disciplines. You will specialise as you progress through the programme and spend a year studying Arabic abroad.

When you graduate, you will have the combination of broad cultural education and specialist knowledge valued by employers worldwide.

Accreditation

Business School programmes are accredited by a range of world-leading business education organisations and professional bodies, and we have strong links to the world of practice through research, consultancy and teaching.

Details of our accreditation and rankings

This programme holds double accreditation from international ranking bodies:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)

One of the most attractive characteristics of this four-year programme is its flexibility.

In Year 1, the first of your pre-honours years, you will choose option courses from a wide range of disciplines in addition to your core subjects of Arabic and Business.

As well as broadening your education and skill set, this may enable you to change the focus of your programme in later years.

Year 1

Arabic

You will study elementary Arabic to learn basic grammar and develop your vocabulary.

Business

Your business courses will provide you with an understanding of the nature, structure and workings of contemporary business organisations, both locally and globally.

Option courses

You will complete your Year 1 studies with option courses chosen from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh.

You can, for example, opt to study another language. We offer one of the widest range of languages of any UK university - the majority are suitable for complete beginners and include cultural study.

It is also possible to study more aspects of Middle Eastern history and culture.

Other options include, but are not limited to, courses in:

  • linguistics and language sciences
  • business, economics and informatics
  • politics, social policy and social anthropology
  • art and architectural history
  • history, classics and archaeology
  • Celtic and Scottish ethnology
  • philosophy, divinity and law

Year 2

Arabic

You will continue with your language study and take courses in modern Middle Eastern history.

Business

You will choose from a range of business courses.

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 in an Arabic-speaking country, improving your language skills and undertaking independent study.

You will also work on your long essay for Business, an independent piece of research.

Our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has benefited their broader life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of the Arabic language and Middle Eastern culture.

If international travel is not possible, you will be offered alternative ways of engaging with your subjects. This will allow you to meet your learning outcomes and prepare for your final year.

Year 4

You will continue to develop your language and translation skills in Arabic.

You will also choose from a range of honours-level option courses dealing with different aspects of Islam and the Middle East and take specialist option courses in business.

Depending on your choices, you might write an honours dissertation.

Our facilities

On campus

When you are on campus, you can expect to spend most of your time in the University of Edinburgh's Central Area - in class, in the library, in a business lab, or in one of the University’s many social spaces.

The Central Area is located on the edge of Edinburgh's historic Old Town, surrounded by lots of green space.

Take a virtual tour of the Central Area

Libraries, collections and centres

The University holds over 23,000 resources in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES). These include the Serjeant & Watt Collections and some of the world’s most precious Islamic manuscripts, such as Rashid al-Din’s History of the World and al-Biruni’s Chronology of Ancient Nations.

The Main University Library has significant holdings of books, journals and databases for both Business and Arabic, while IMES has its own library in 19 George Square. This building also neighbours the Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World.

The Business School is also on George Square. It has dedicated teaching labs (and associated software and databases) for specialist business analytics, business research and finance related courses.

Events and activities

The Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) supports more than 300 student-led societies, clubs and social enterprises, and promotes opportunities with local charities through its volunteering centre.

A number of our students have volunteered for a tutoring and educational programme for teenage Syrian refugees in Edinburgh. This programme has won an Outstanding Global Citizenship Impact Award and a Sir William Darling Memorial Prize.

Edinburgh Innovations runs an enterprise service for students, offering advice, funding and support at every stage of your entrepreneurial journey.

In the city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections, including the National Library, Museum, and Galleries of Scotland.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad (a minimum of 30 weeks), choosing between at least two different countries in the Arabic-speaking world.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in Arabic-language and culture. It will allow you to develop broader life experience and skills that you can use after university.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Experienced lecturers and language instructors will teach a combination of:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • language classes

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of exams and coursework, including:

  • essays
  • exercises
  • presentations
  • oral language exams

You may also complete a dissertation in your final year.

Skills and experience

Combining a language with business demonstrates that you are a good communicator, a resilient problem solver, and someone open to other cultures and new ideas – what employers value as Intercultural Competence.

Our business programmes are highly sought-after and accredited by a wide range of leading business education organisations and professional bodies.

Beyond the language and business skills you will develop on this joint honours programme, and the nuanced understanding you will gain of other cultures and societies, graduating with a four-year Master of Arts degree from the University of Edinburgh shows high-level intellectual strength and flexibility.

The skills you will be able to demonstrate to employers when you graduate include the ability to understand, analyse and articulate key concepts, and to work to varied briefs to deadline, both independently and in groups.

Opportunities at home and away

More than 350 million people are native speakers of Arabic, the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. It is the lingua franca of the 22 countries in the Arab League, and one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

With increasing migration in response to changing global dynamics, there is high demand for Arabic-speaking graduates both at home and abroad. Wherever you are based, the ability to understand and communicate in the language will make you stand out.

This joint honours programme is an ideal primer for a career in business, finance and commerce, but an understanding of Arabic language and culture also opens other doors.

In addition to the business sector, previous graduates have gone on to work in:

  • communications, marketing, advertising and public relations
  • education, outreach, advocacy and training
  • journalism, broadcasting and media
  • leisure, tourism and travel
  • politics, policy work, diplomacy, civil service and law
  • publishing, culture, heritage and the arts
  • research, development and venture acceleration
  • translating and interpreting

Careers span the private, public, not-for-profit, and for-benefit sectors.

Further study

The enhanced research skills you will develop on a four-year programme, particularly in your honours years, are a valuable asset if you wish to continue studying at postgraduate level.

At the University of Edinburgh, for example, we typically offer MSc programmes in:

  • Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • The Globalised Muslim World
  • Global Strategy and Sustainability
  • International Human Resource management
  • a range of other business areas

Careers advice

We have an excellent Careers Service. Throughout your time with us, we will encourage you to identify and hone your employability skills, including through peer initiatives such as Life After LLC (Literatures, Languages and Cultures) where you can draw inspiration from our graduates.

Be inspired by our alumni

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAB-ABBB by end of S5 or AAAA-AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 36 points with 665 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: Mathematics at B, a language other than English at A, and English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: Mathematics at B or 6, a language other than English at A or 7, and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5, a language other than English at 6, and either Mathematics at 5 or Mathematical Studies at 6.

Additional requirements

Native speakers

Please note that the Arabic degrees involve beginners language study and are not suitable for native or near-native speakers.

Language requirement

For degrees that have a subject requirement of 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 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 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: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

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 degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

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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 Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Arabic and Business

Additional costs

As long as international restrictions allow, Year 3 will involve study abroad in the Middle East. The costs incurred will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Some study placements at language schools may charge a fee, but we will normally reimburse you for tuition costs as long as your activity has been approved. You will be responsible for associated travel costs such as flights and visas.

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