Undergraduate study - 2025 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 Middle East’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 2024. We are also ranked 3rd in the UK for Modern Languages and 4th in the UK for Arts & Humanities in the QS World Rankings by Subject 2024.

  • 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.

  • You will have access to fantastic collections, including around 20,000 resources in the Arabic language, and a regular programme of workshops, film screenings and guest seminars.

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 Arabic and Persian MA (Hons)
Lajeen Arabic and Persian MA (Hons)

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 classical texts 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 with the Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World, which promotes a better understanding of Islam and Muslim culture locally, nationally and internationally.

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.