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Undergraduate Study

BA Modern Languages and Arabic

UCAS code RT60
Duration 4 years
Entry year 2024
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Modern Languages and Cultures

Web: Enquire online
Phone: 0300 555 6060 (UK callers)
+44 (0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

A-Level: ABB
IB: 32/655

Contextual offers

A-Level: BBC
IB: 28/554


  • Enjoy a highly flexible programme which allows you to structure your studies around your interests or follow a specific career-orientated pathway. Study Arabic alongside one other language; French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian
  • Your final degree title will reflect your choices and you will divide your time equally between the two languages. In your second year, you will spend a year abroad in an Arabic-speaking country
  • You will undertake intense practical language training as well as theoretical learning to better understand the rich cultural, social and historical backdrop of Arabic and your other chosen language
  • The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies is one of the foremost academic institutions in the UK offering research and taught degree programmes in a wide range of areas within the field of Arab, Middle Eastern, and Islamic Studies
  • Get involved in activities outside class: language societies, tandem partnerships, liaison work in schools and the community such as our Translation! Festival – the only public festival dedicated to translation in the UK

Top 150 in world subject rankings for Modern Languages and Cultures

QS World University Subject Rankings 2023

Year abroad spent studying at a partner university or in employment

Largest purpose-built Middle East centre in the UK

Top 10 for Middle Eastern and African Studies

6th in The Complete University Guide 2024

Studying Modern Languages isn’t just about poring over endless grammar notes! Our course is so rich and varied that you will have the fantastic opportunity to develop not only your language skills, but a knowledge and interest in the culture of your chosen languages.

If you ask any student about the course, I very much doubt you will come away without them mentioning the Year Abroad, which for many is the highlight of the four years. I still cannot quite believe that I managed to go from working as a waitress over the summer in France, to studying in Italy, then to working as a marketing assistant in Spain all within the space of a year!

Aside from massively improving my language skills and cultural knowledge, this year definitely opened my eyes to the amazing opportunities out there for language students, and certainly made me realise how well my course and the support at the University of Exeter has prepared me for more exciting opportunities like this in the future.

Read more from Kate


BA Modern Languages (French, Italian and Spanish)

Entry requirements (typical offer)

Qualification Typical offer Required subjects
A-Level ABB Dependent on subjects chosen
IB 32/655 Dependent on subjects chosen
BTEC DDM Dependent on subjects chosen
GCSE C or 4 English Language
Access to HE 24 L3 Credits at Distinction Grade and 21 L3 credits at Merit Grade. Dependent on level chosen the required L3 credits in Modern Foreign Language subject area
T-Level Distinction Dependent on subjects chosen, GCE AL in a Modern Foreign Language will also be required.
Contextual Offer

A-Level: BBC
IB: 28/554

Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.

Other accepted qualifications

View other accepted qualifications

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

NB General Studies is not included in any offer.

Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply

Completing your UCAS form

When completing your UCAS form for RT60 indicate the modern language and route you wish to study under ‘Further details’ in the ‘choices’ section of the application using the abbreviations below. Please note that you may choose only one language. It may be possible to study further languages to a lower level of proficiency than degree level in the Foreign Language Centre, subject to demand: this is arranged on registration at Exeter. For further information on completing your UCAS form, please visit the UCAS website.

French Fren
German Germ
Italian Ital
Russian Russ
Spanish Span

Language requirements

An A-Level grade B or equivalent in one of the five non-Arabic languages offered for this programme (French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish).

We are only able to guarantee a place on the relevant language programme(s) if this information is included on your UCAS form. However, we understand that you may change your mind about the language you want to continue with or take up, so if you wish to change the choice of language(s) given on your UCAS application at any stage please contact either our Admissions Office who will be able to confirm whether or not you are eligible for consideration for a different language. If you do wish to be considered for an alternative language please make your request as early as possible, as capacity and planning constraints may limit our ability to allow late changes to your language choice.

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Course content

The Modern Languages and Arabic degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each, worth a total of 120 credits each year. Take up to 30 credits outside the department through modularity.

You will develop fundamental language skills such as reading, speaking, translating and writing, learning to perfect the delicate nuances of intonation, tone and inflection in your voice to become a skilled linguist. You will also study modules on Arab literature and on Islam and Arab history.

Open modules on linguistics, literature, medieval history, visual arts, film and culture will offer you the chance to further customise your programme to suit your specific needs and preferences.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

International Study Placement

Study Abroad in Year 2

All undergraduate Arabic language students on a four-year programme spend their second year at one of our accredited Arabic language study centres.

The International Study Placement  is an integral part of the study of Arabic, advancing your knowledge of grammar and syntax as well as reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. It provides an excellent opportunity for students of Arabic to become immersed in Arabic society and culture, and to gain fluency in a spoken dialect of the Arabic Language.

International Study Placement destinations can obviously vary from year to year dependent on current events in the Middle East and North Africa.

All undergraduate Arabic language students on a four-year programme spend their second year at one of our accredited Arabic language study centres. These include:

Does it count towards my degree?

The International Study Placement  is an assessed year and the marks obtained count towards your final degree classification. If you would like to arrange the year differently, you should first speak with the Programme Director for your language and/or the Study Abroad Officer.

How does it affect my tuition fee and funding?

For your International Study Placement you will pay a significantly reduced tuition fee to Exeter – for more information visit our fees pages. You will also continue to receive any Student Finance support for which you are eligible. Other financial support may also be available for certain students.

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Tuition fees for 2024 entry

UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £23,700 per year


The University of Exeter has many different scholarships available to support your education, including £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*. Financial support is also available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.

* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.

Find out more about tuition fees and scholarships

Learning and teaching

How will I learn?

Written language is taught through weekly classes, with teams of tutors, including native speakers who contribute to a programme aimed at grammar improvement and the development of advanced writing and translating skills. You’ll also have weekly oral practice in classes of eight to 10 students with native speakers of the language(s) that you are studying.


Teaching on our culture modules is varied: a class about linguistics takes a rather different form than a class about theatre or film, for instance. Most cultural modules involve a combination of lectures and seminars, backed up by smaller group work and web-based learning, via the University’s online learning environment. Between classes you prepare material, evidence and arguments, individually or in groups. Seminars are your chance to try out ideas, present material to other members of the group, and respond to new material based on the critical skills you’ve been taught.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework and exams (essays, source commentaries, research exercises, oral presentations), online assessment (for language and culture modules).​

Where will I study?

All language students have access to the language-learning facilities provided by the Foreign Language Centre.

Optional modules outside of this course

Each year, if you have optional modules available, you can take up to 30 credits in a subject outside of your course. This can increase your employability and widen your intellectual horizons.

Proficiency in a second subject

If you complete 60 credits of modules in one of the subjects below, you may have the words 'with proficiency in [e.g. Social Data Science]' added to your degree title when you graduate.

  • A Foreign Language
  • Law
  • Social Data Science
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership

Find out more about proficiency options

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Your future

Employer-valued skills this course develops

A degree in Modern Languages and Arabic gives you an appreciation and understanding of the culture, history and language of the Middle East and French-speaking countries. You will develop analytical and research skills as well as an awareness of different interpretations of issues and events, develop opinions and use effective communication skills to put forward your ideas and conclusions. You will also develop your time-management skills. All these skills are valued by employers from many different fields and can open career paths in a wide variety of areas from academic research and government work to more commercially based careers in law and business.

Employer visits

We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service, with offices at our Streatham Campus, ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. We offer the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award which include employability-related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market. Our graduates compete very successfully in the employment market, with many employers targeting the University when recruiting new graduates. For further information please visit our Careers Service.

Career paths

Recent Graduates now working as*:

  • European Funding Officer
  • Trilingual Fraud Specialist
  • Insurance Broker
  • Marketing and Communications Officer
  • Reporter
  • TV Researcher

Recent Graduates now working for*:

  • Civil Service
  • Bloomberg
  • Challenges Worldwide
  • Ernst & Young
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Hugo Boss

*This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 14/15, 15/16, and 16/17. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Further study

A Modern Languages degree is also excellent preparation for postgraduate study, and recent graduates have progressed to a range of courses, including:

  • MA Translation Studies
  • MA Global Literatures and Cultures
  • MA European Politics
  • Graduate Diploma in Law
  • PGCE Secondary French
  • MA International Relations
  • MSc Globalisation and Latin American Development
  • Professional Language Skills

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