Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Subject area: Arabic and Persian

Why choose Arabic and Persian at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We are ranked 4th in the UK for Middle Eastern & African Studies in the Complete University Guide 2020.

  • Offering 16 languages and a wide range of joint programmes, we’re passionate about enabling choice and broadening minds through flexible study of languages and cultures from around the globe.

  • We are the only university in Scotland to offer courses in the Muslim world’s three main languages. It doesn’t matter if you're a complete beginner, you can take Arabic and/or Persian to degree level. We also teach Turkish to intermediate level.

  • We have a long and well-established reputation for teaching Islam and the history, culture, languages and literatures of the Middle East. Arabic, for example, has been taught here since the middle of the 18th century.

  • You’ll be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh in a world-leading festival city alive with culture.

  • Our teaching staff are also highly active researchers, passing on to you the same passion and world-class expertise that gained excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Our Arabic and Persian research was part of the Area Studies submission in which 73 per cent of our publications rated either world-leading or internationally excellent on the overall quality profile.

Study abroad

In language tutorials, the groups are small and you get lots of personal attention. I appreciate the very high teaching standards offered and the enthusiasm and welcoming attitude of staff.

Archie Vickers 3rd year MA (Hons) Arabic & Persian
Archie Vickers 3rd year MA (Hons) Arabic & Persian

Introducing Arabic and Persian

Located at the crossroads between Europe, Africa and Asia, the Middle East has played a pivotal role on the world stage since ancient times. An understanding of the Islamic world remains highly relevant in the 21st century.

Our Arabic and Persian programmes provide a unique opportunity to learn the region's languages in the context of its history, literature, culture, religion and politics, past and present. You’ll also develop the critical, analytical and comparative skills to interpret and discuss key issues and concepts.

During your programme, you will have the opportunity to study a full range of material, from pre-Islamic poetry and Islamic philosophy, to modern literature and cinema. You’ll also spend Year 3 abroad, turning classroom learning into living engagement with Middle Eastern culture.

Study with us and you’ll be part of a small, friendly community, with great links to the Alwaleed Centre, fantastic resources (including our own library), and a regular programme of workshops, film screenings and guest seminars. We have a particularly strong relationship with the Edinburgh Iranian Festival (notably its film strand), are home to a thriving student Islamic Society, and have won awards for our work with local communities.