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Arabic and International Relations BA (Full time) 2018 start

Key facts

UCAS code: TLP2

Start date: September 2018

4 years full time

Typical A-level offer: ABB

UK/EU fees See fees section below
International fees £17,500 (per year)

Language requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component

Study abroad option: Yes
Work placement option: Yes


From the Arabic language to International Relations theory and Middle Eastern politics, this varied degree allows you to become fluent in a major world language while gaining an in-depth insight into the ways that countries interact with each other.

Core modules will build your knowledge of Arabic from beginners’ level, while introducing you to the key concepts and theories of international relations. You’ll also spend a year in an Arabic-speaking country to improve your language skills and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Optional modules in both subjects will allow you to shape your degree to suit you, with topics including Comparative Politics, development, US foreign policy, terrorism and security studies, the culture and society of the Arab world, Middle East history and politics or skills like Arabic-English translating or interpreting.

It’s a fascinating opportunity to gain a wide range of skills and explore some of the major political challenges facing the modern world.

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Course content

A Joint Honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each Single Honours course, but you’ll take fewer options and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects.

Your first year will involve core language modules to give you a good grounding in Arabic, while you’ll also be introduced to Arab and Islamic history and key issues in global politics. You’ll also take one of our Cornerstone modules, which brings your two subjects together. This year is designed to prepare you for the next, which you’ll spend at a university in an Arabic-speaking country to really develop your language skills.

When you return to Leeds, you’ll have deeper cultural awareness and a new perspective to bring to your studies. You’ll take advanced language classes and gain an understanding of theory behind international relations, as well as issues such as security and the complexities of Middle Eastern politics.

A wide range of optional modules will also be available, allowing you to choose from topics like the Arab-Israeli conflict, terrorism and insurgency, Arab cinema and European politics. You’ll also apply the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired to an independently researched dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

You’ll choose from a wide range of optional modules while maintaining a balance across your subjects. Follow the links to the Programme Catalogue for more example optional modules and the full course structure.

Compulsory modules

Beginning Arabic 1 20 credits
Beginning Arabic 2 20 credits
Early and Medieval Islamic History 20 credits
IT for LCS Students 5 credits
Politics, Culture and Society 20 credits
Comparative Politics 20 credits
International Politics 20 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Year Abroad 120 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Advanced Arabic Grammar and Translation 20 credits
Essential Skills in Practical Arabic 20 credits
Theories of International Relations 20 credits
Security Studies 20 credits

Optional modules

Examples of the optional modules available are shown below. Please contact us for more details of the requirements and choices available.

Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict 20 credits
Introduction to Modern Arabic Literature 20 credits
Culture and Society in the Arab World 20 credits
Modern Middle Eastern History 20 credits
Contemporary Arabic Media 20 credits
Politics and Policy in the EU 20 credits
State and Politics in Africa 20 credits
United States Politics 20 credits
Analysing Data in Politics, Development and International Relations 20 credits

Year 4

Compulsory modules

Advanced Skills in Arabic Language 20 credits
Final Year Project

Optional modules

Examples of the optional modules available are shown below. Please contact us for more details of the requirements and choices available.

Arabic Stylistics 20 credits
Middle Eastern Politics: Regimes, Societies and Conflict 20 credits
Advanced Media Arabic: Translation Skills in Text Typology 20 credits
The Politics of Aid 20 credits
Politics of Islamism 20 credits
Israel: Politics and Society 20 credits
Political Psychology: on Authority and Obedience 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Arabic and International Relations BA in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

The Schools of Languages, Cultures and Societies and Politics and International Studies (Polis) are both home to tutors who are leading researchers in their fields.

We use a range of teaching and learning methods so you can benefit from their expertise. These include lectures, seminars and tutorials, but you may also participate in workshops occasionally. Independent study is also a vital part of the degree, since this is where you really develop your critical and research skills.


Assessment takes many forms. These include exams and essays, but some modules may also assess you on oral presentations or group work. Support will be available throughout your degree, including extra classes on issues like exam technique and public speaking.

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Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

  • Access to HE Diploma

    Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required.

  • BTEC

    BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDM. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

  • Cambridge Pre-U

    M1, M1, M1

  • International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall including 16 at Higher Level.

  • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

    H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3

  • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

    BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers, or AABBBB in Highers.

  • Welsh Baccalaureate

    The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

  • Other Qualifications

    European Baccalaureate: 77%

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be BBB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: See fees section below
International: £17,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2019, the fee for 2019/20 will be £9,250. 

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

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Career opportunities

A Joint Honours degree in Arabic and International Relations will give you fluency in a major world language, a deep understanding of another culture and keen political awareness. All of this will equip you for a wide range of careers at home and abroad, but you’ll also have a broad base of transferable skills.

You’ll be an excellent communicator who can present and defend your ideas clearly. You’ll also be capable of working in a team or independently, and possess good research and analytical skills. Spending a year abroad will prove you’re adaptable and resilient, and you’ll have organisational skills from managing two subjects. You’ll also have an international outlook that allows you to appreciate other cultures and points of view.

Graduates have gone onto a wide range of careers including diplomacy, the civil service, journalism, the media, business and finance, marketing and education. Many others have pursued postgraduate study or specialised training in language-based roles such as translation or interpreting.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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Placement opportunities

Residence abroad

You’ll spend your second year at the Arabic Language Institute in Fes (ALIF), Morocco.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture, and when you’re not in your intensive language classes there will be plenty of time to travel and explore the region. For many of our students, it’s the highlight of their course.

Read more about Residence Abroad in Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Although you will spend your residence abroad studying rather than working, the University of Leeds offers opportunities to help you gain work experience. Each year the Careers Centre offers over 75 paid internship opportunities exclusively to University of Leeds undergraduates and recent graduates, including 8-12 week internships in the summer for undergraduates, and later in the year for graduates. A wide range of internships are available in local Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), charities and University of Leeds departments. Past internships have included marketing and PR, web design, research and IT support.
Additionally, the School and the Careers Centre offer support to help you make the most of the opportunities that the summer vacations offer to gain work experience. Throughout your studies, you will have access to the School’s Employability website where you can hear from employers interested in recruiting languages students to positions in both the UK and overseas.Read more about careers and employability in the School

Order a prospectus online or telephone +44 (0)113 343 2336