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Arabic and Islamic Studies BA (Full time) 2018 start

Course information for 2019 start

Key facts

UCAS code: TVP6

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


Arabic is one of the world’s major languages, and this degree allows you to become proficient while you build your understanding of the cultural, religious and historical contexts that have shaped the region.

You’ll benefit from a firm grounding in spoken and written Arabic – which you’ll strengthen by spending a year in an Arabic-speaking country – while gaining insight into the religious, cultural, social and political issues that have shaped the Middle East and wider Muslim world. You could even learn Persian or Turkish.

You'll be introduced to a wide range of modules covering different aspects of Islamic Studies.This course offers you teaching of the highest standard, in a research-intensive environment where leading scholars and students come together to explore the rich and variegated landscape of Islam, the Islamicate, Muslim societies and cultures. Our approach goes beyond both the methodology of conventional Islamic studies and Orientalism by offering innovative and creative engagement with the field of study. We deal with issues both historical and contemporary.

You'll gain critical, analytical and advanced communication skills that will really appeal to employers. With an active student community, excellent resources and tutors who are experts in their fields, Leeds is a great place to study Arabic and Islamic Studies.

Part-time study

Year 1 can be studied part-time over two years through the Lifelong Learning Centre. The remaining years will be completed full-time through the School. For more information visit Arabic, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies on the Lifelong Learning Centre website.

Specialist resources

Leeds has a wealth of resources to help you make the most of your studies. Our archives hold 500 Arabic manuscripts and as many as 10,000 archaeological artefacts ranging from Pharaonic to early Palestinian eras, offering plenty of original sources for research. These are complemented by our excellent library resources – and the University Library runs a comprehensive training programme so you can take the fullest advantage of them.

However, we also have a wide range of electronic resources, including specialised computing facilities for Translation Studies and dedicated Interpreter Training Suites so you can explore different career options. There is also a fully equipped Language Centre with digital language labs, audio-video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL).

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Course content

You'll be introduced to intensive Arabic language classes, which are delivered by leading teachers of Arabic. Core modules in your first year will provide you with practical Arabic language skills, which you will then build and refine as you spend Year 2 in an Arabic-speaking country. When you return, you’ll be able to work on your language skills in areas such essential skills in Arabic, advanced grammar and translation but you’ll also be able to choose from a range of optional modules to focus on the areas that interest you. Specialist subjects such as Arabic Media and Arabic Stylistics are offered on levels 2 and 3.

In Islamic Studies you will be introduced to a wide range of modules and disciplines. Our methodology is a hybrid of classical Islamic Studies (historical-philological), decolonial approaches, liberative/emancipatory hermeneutics, Critical Madrasa Studies and Critical Muslim Studies. The academic frameworks employed are multidisciplinary and include theology, linguistics, history, philosophy, sociology, politics and psychology.

From discussions of Sunni-Murji’ite and proto-Shi’i theology, Hanafi legal thought and sexual ethics to emancipatory readings of the Qur’an and Hadith by women (Muslimah theology), Black liberation theology and other subaltern perspectives, we bring to the centre voices that have been pushed to the peripheries of our discipline. Modules such as Global Jihad, read through the lenses of race, identity and Islamophobia, insist on close, introspective reading of discursive traditions which are all too often simplified and therefore misunderstood. Our field of enquiry also includes Persian, Turkish and Subcontinental Islamicate traditions, best represented by our work done under the aegis of the Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam.

Course structure

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

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Beginning Arabic 1 20 credits
Beginning Arabic 2 20 credits
Introduction to Islamic Theology 20 credits
Early and Medieval Islamic History 20 credits
IT for LCS Students 5 credits

Optional modules

Persian for Beginners 20 credits
Turkish for Beginners 20 credits
Introduction to Arab and Islamic Civilisation 20 credits
Introduction to the Middle East: Politics, Culture and Religion 20 credits
Religion in Modern Britain 10 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
Islamic Law: Theory and Practice 20 credits

Optional modules

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
The Qur'an: History, Text and Intepretation 20 credits
Contemporary Arabic Media 20 credits

Year 4

Compulsory modules

Arabic Stylistics 20 credits
Advanced Skills in Arabic Language 20 credits
Final Year Project: Extended Essay

Optional modules

Arab Drama on Stage and Screen 20 credits
Islam and Modernity 20 credits
Middle Eastern Politics: Regimes, Societies and Conflict 20 credits
The Hadith: History, Criticism and Canonisation 20 credits
Authoritarianism and Democratisation in the Arab World 20 credits
Advanced Media Arabic: Translation Skills in Text Typology 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Arabic and Islamic Studies 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

You’ll benefit from a variety of teaching and learning styles, including lectures, small-group seminars and tutorials. Workshops may also be involved in some subjects. However, independent study is also a crucial part of the degree, allowing you to develop your research skills and think critically about different sources. Our tutors are all experts in their subjects and we have a wealth of resources to help you.


We also use different types of assessment. Normally exams and essays make up the bulk of assessment, but oral presentations and group work may also be included. Plenty of support is available – we offer extra classes on topics such as exam technique, public speaking, research and structuring essays throughout the course of your degree.

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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.

It is also possible to study this programme part time. The programme content is the same but you will study at a lesser intensity. Find out more about how to apply, support available and the part-time student experience at the Lifelong Learning Centre.

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.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

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 degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies equips you with a wide range of skills for a variety of careers, as well as deep linguistic, theological and cultural understanding of one of the world’s most influential faith traditions and a region of global significance. Your knowledge and skills gained through the degree could lead to careers in media (television, radio, online and print); education; non-governmental organisations; business and commerce; translation and interpreting; Civil Service; FCO; local government; law and Islamic banking and finance.

A number of Arabic and Islamic Studies graduates have also gone on to CELTA courses which have led to teaching posts in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and other parts of the Gulf, where both universities and language institutes.

Increasingly, graduates with specialist knowledge of Islam, Muslim communities, Islamic law, theology and contemporary trends in Islamic thought are being sought by policy institutes and think-tanks, international development organisations and the MOD. And for those seeking to pursue postgraduate studies, there are a range of options allowing further specialisation in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies which can lead to PhD study and a career in academia.

Whatever your plans, we are committed to helping you achieve your career ambitions. The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures offers a number of internships every year, and we work closely with the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies’ Work Placements Officer to source internship and training opportunities.

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

Residency 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

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