Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies

 

What courses? Arabic; Arabic studies; Middle Eastern studies; Middle Eastern languages; Asian and Middle Eastern studies; Islamic studies; Muslim cultures and civilization.

What do you come out with? A BA, most likely, unless you’re combining it with a science subject, in which case you get a BSc. Scottish students graduate with an MA after four years.

Why do it? "Taking Arabic and Middle East studies not only allows students to study a beautiful and intricate language from scratch but also to explore its long literary heritage and the historical and cultural contexts in which it developed and operates today. Whilst requiring application, Arabic fascinates students who love languages. Middle East studies covers a wide range of academic disciplines whose precise character will vary from university to university, extending across history, international relations and the social and political sciences. These all offer ways of thinking about and engaging with the Middle East, all the more compelling given the dramatic reconfigurations presently underway." - Dr Tim Greenwood, chair of mediaeval history and Middle East studies, University of St Andrews

What's it about? If you’re studying Arabic specifically, it’s mainly a language course, but degrees such as Arabic studies and Middle Eastern studies mix a number of different disciplines to give students a general flavour of this historically rich and increasingly important region and its many cultures. Despite this, Middle Eastern studies degrees generally include a minimum of one Middle Eastern language (including Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish or Armenian), and language courses often branch out into cultural studies as well. Topics typically include the history, politics, classical literature and religion of the region in question. Birmingham, UCLAN and Middlesex all have courses geared specifically at exploiting the increasingly important economic role the Middle East plays in the world today, where you study Arabic alongside international business.

Study options: At most universities, a year studying or working in your chosen region is compulsory, although some will offer the course as a three-year BA with a short ‘study trip’ to the Middle East at some point. In Scotland, courses last four years, and therefore you’re likely to be studying for five years if you take a year abroad into account.

What will I need to do it? While many may choose to pursue studies in the Middle East because they have previous experience in the area, universities tend not to require students to have any ability in Arabic or their chosen language. However, evidence of previous study in another foreign language is often encouraged, so universities can gage linguistic capability. When it comes to grades, for the top institutions it’s tough - SOAS and St Andrews both ask for AAB at A-level, while Cambridge requires A*AA and for Oxford it’s AAA. At Westminster, you can get in with BBC, and the Islamic College for Advanced Studies will consider applicants with as few as 140 UCAS points, if they can show a background knowledge of Islam and Arabic language.

What are my job prospects? Good, in terms of options, anyway. Many students are attracted to such a degree because of the demand for graduates caused by the Middle East’s increasing political and economical importance. Students may find themselves going into business, finance and diplomacy, as well as in humanitarian aid, higher education and the media. Graduates with a language qualification under their belt are particularly desirable, and often find positions in Arab companies with subsidiaries in the East and the West. Middle Eastern and African studies came sixth for graduate salaries in The Times' Good University Guide 2012, with pay averaging approximately £25,000 per year. However, according to the same guide, 11 per cent of graduates were unemployed sixth months after finishing, and only 30 per cent were in graduate level jobs.

Where’s best to do it? Oxford came top overall in the Complete University Guide 2012. Cambridge just missed out to St Andrews for the second place spot, although it did come top for student satisfaction. Edinburgh, Durham and SOAS all came out well too.

Related degrees: African studies; history; politics and international studies; classics and classical civilization; theology and religious studies.

News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
people
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction
music
Sport
Today's Liverpool Echo back page
football
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?