BA Modern Languages and Arabic
|Typical offer||AAB–ABB; IB: 34–32; BTEC: DDD–DDM|
The University of Exeter has one of the leading and most respected centres for Modern Languages in the UK and ranked 4th for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2017. The BA Modern Languages and Arabic course structure is extremely flexible allowing you to study Arabic alongside one other language; French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian, all ranked in the top 10 in The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019. Your final degree title will reflect your choices and you will divide your time equally between the two languages.
As part of the degree course at Exeter, 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. 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.
In your second year, you will spend a year abroad in an Arabic-speaking country. Please note that Arabic can only be taken at a beginner level, which means that you must have an A Level or equivalent in your modern language choice. There are opportunities to study at one of our renowned partner universities, teach English as part of a British Council placement or gain valuable employment experience and practical applied learning by working abroad. Recent graduates worked at a number of prestigious firms, commercial organisations and within the administration offices of charities.
This intellectually stimulating degree engages you imaginatively in the process of analysing and understanding language and culture, encouraging you to become a global citizen. By the end of your degree, you will have acquired a diverse and transferable set of skills and intercultural awareness that are highly sought after by employers. Modern Language degrees offer a broad range of career paths in translation, linguistics, teaching and across multiple other industries. Recent graduates are now working in areas such as marketing and communications, project co-ordination, journalism and finance.
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.
The Modern Languages and Arabic degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.
Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.
|ARA1033||Elementary Arabic Language||60|
|One Modern Language module for your chosen language:|
|MLR1001||Contemporary Russian, Written and Oral||30|
Select 30 credits of Level 1 optional modules in your chosen Modern Language
|MLF1105||An Introduction to French Thought||15|
|MLF1119||French Cinema from the New Wave to the Present Day||15|
|MLF1121||French Visual History||15|
|MLF1014||Love and Death in French Culture||15|
|MLF1103||The French Language, Present and Past||15|
|MLF1015||War and Conflict in French Literature||15|
|MLG1014||A Nation Remembers: Issues in German Cultural Memory||15|
|MLG1015||Representations of Education in German Literature and Film: Satire, Trauma, Melodrama||15|
|MLG1016||War, Passion and Possibly Love: Approaches to Genre in German Literature||15|
|MLG1017||Turning Points in German History 1200 - 2000||15|
|MLG1018||Nature and the City in German Literature, Visual Arts and Film||15|
|MLI1054||Contemporary Italian Cinema: an Introduction to Reading Popular Film||15|
|MLI1055||Introduction to Italian Linguistics||15|
|MLI1121||A Thousand Faces: Cultures and History in 19th-Century Italy||15|
|MLR1005||Chekhov's Major Plays||15|
|MLR1023||Russia Empire and Identity||15|
|MLR1024||Russian Heroes and Heroines||15|
|MLS1012||Contemporary Latin America: Culture, Society and Institutions||15|
|MLS1021||The Generation of 1898: Imagining Spain||15|
|MLS1022||The Outsider in Hispanic Texts||15|
|MLS1023||Spain since the Transition: Society, Politics and Culture||15|
|MLS1062||Introduction to the History of the Spanish Language||15|
|MLS1064||An Introduction to the Hispanic World: Texts in Context||15|
Students will spend the second year of their studies in an Arabic-speaking country.
|ARA2139||Intermediate Arabic Language II||30|
|One Modern Languages Level 2 module for your chosen language|
|MLF2001||French Language, Written and Oral||30|
|MLG2001||German Language, Written and Oral||30|
|MLI2001||Italian Language, Written and Oral||30|
|MLR2001||Contemporary Russian, Written and Oral I||30|
|MLS2001||Spanish Language, Written and Oral||30|
Select 30 credits of Level 2 optional modules in your chosen Modern Language.
Select two 15-credit Arab and Islamic Studies Level 2 optional modules.
|MLF2003||Freedom and French Realism||15|
|MLF2012||Evolution of the French Language||15|
|MLF2029||Varieties of French||15|
|MLF2056||Provoking Thoughts: French Literature and Philosophy from the Renaissance to the 20th Century||15|
|MLF2063||Crime and Punishment in French Fiction||15|
|MLF2065||Contemporary French Film: Issues and Debates||15|
|MLF2066||Intimate Spaces of the French Enlightenment||15|
|MLF2067||Gender and Resistance: Contemporary Women's Writing in French||15|
|MLF2068||Telling Stories: Narrative Strategies in 19th- and 20th-century Fiction in French||15|
|MLF2069||East is East? Cross-Cultural Encounters in Medieval French Literature||15|
|MLG2018||Berlin - Culture, History and Politics||15|
|MLG2034||Crime and Madness in German Prose Fiction||15|
|MLG2042||Ideologies and Identities in German Cinema||15|
|MLG2045||Protest, Priests and Princes: Germany in the Early Modern Period||15|
|MLG2047||Language in the Goethezeit||15|
|MLI2024||Love (and Marriage?)||15|
|MLI2120||Alessandro Manzoni's The Betrothed||15|
|MLR2017||Monsters, Ghosts and Vampires in Russian Literature||15|
|MLR2018||Revolutionary Theatre: 1917-1932||15|
|MLR2054||Soviet History 1917-1991||30|
|MLS2032||Introduction to Commercial Spanish||15|
|MLS2045||Federico Garcia Lorca: Theatre and Poetry||15|
|MLS2053||Franco's Spain: Narratives under Dictatorship||15|
|MLS2060||Love and Death in Spanish Drama||15|
|MLS2061||The Latin American Short Story||15|
|MLS2067||Spain from Democracy to Dictatorship: Republic, Civil War and Francoism, 1931 - 1953||15|
|MLS2157||The Short Story of the Spanish Golden Age||15|
|SML2209||Music in Medieval Europe||15|
|SML2244||Multilingualism in Society||15|
|Arab and Islamic Studies|
|ARA2118||Gender-Identity and Modernity in the Middle East||15|
|ARA2121||Themes in the Arabic Short Story||15|
|ARA2131||M.E.20C Colonialism Revolution and Beyond||15|
|ARA2132||Islamic Law and Society||15|
|ARA2135||Conflict and Peace making Palestine/Israel||15|
|ARA2139||Intermediate Arabic Language II||30|
|ARA2144||Reading Qur'anic Arabic||15|
|ARA2146||Islamic Theological Traditions||15|
|ARA2148||Arabic for Beginners II||30|
|ARA2150||Muslims in Britain||15|
|ARA2151||Intermediate Persian II||15|
|ARA2160||Islamic Movements: From the Muslim Brothers to Al-Qa'ida||15|
|ARA2161||The Historiography of the Arab-Israeli Conflict||15|
|ARA2162||Political Economy of Development in the Middle East||15|
|ARA2164||Intermediate Turkish I||15|
|ARA2165||Intermediate Turkish II||15|
|ARA2166||Revolution, Reform or Status Quo||15|
|ARA2222||Career Planning Workshops (Level 2)||0|
Students must take either ARA3106 Dissertation or two 15-credit modules chosen from Arab and Islamic Studies Level 3 optional modules.
|MLF3111||Advanced French Language Skills||30|
|ARA3103||Advanced Arabic Language||30|
|Choose either ARA3106 Dissertation or two 15-credit optional modules|
Select 30 credits of French and Modern Languages Level 3 optional modules.
Select two 15-credit Arab and Islamic Studies Level 3 optional modules (if you are NOT taking ARA3106).
|MLF3034||Sociolinguistics of French||15|
|MLF3046||Dialectology in France||15|
|MLF3050||Music, Poetry, and Society At the Late Medieval French Court||15|
|MLF3053||Looking Awry: Exploring the Unorthodox in Early Modern France||15|
|MLF3056||Cultural Observation in the Ancien Regime||15|
|MLF3066||Contemporary French Visual Culture||15|
|MLF3069||Writing Women and Strange Monsters||15|
|MLF3072||Sex and the Text: Gender and Authority in Late Medieval France||15|
|MLF3073||Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu||15|
|MLG3022||The Foundation of Modern Germany 1860-1900||15|
|MLG3026||Pamphlets and Propaganda in German and Austrian History||15|
|MLG3028||Violence, Gender and Nationhood in the Work of Heinrich von Kleist||15|
|MLG3035||Violence and Vanitas: The German Baroque||15|
|MLG3036||Dictatorships on Display: History Exhibitions in Germany and Austria||15|
|MLG3037||Coping with Catastrophe: German Culture, Literature and Politics in the Interwar Years||15|
|MLI3028||Italian Varieties and Dialects||15|
|MLI3052||Representing Immigration in Contemporary Italian Cinema||15|
|MLI3053||Liaison Interpreting and Report Writing between English and Italian||15|
|MLI3199||Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend||15|
|MLS3031||The Varieties of Modern Spanish||15|
|MLS3037||Women and Feminism in 20th Century Spain||15|
|MLS3045||Spanish Romantic Drama||15|
|MLS3048||Memory and Autobiographical Writing in 20th Century Spain||15|
|MLS3057||Cross Currents: Memory, Myth and Modernity in Latin America||15|
|MLS3060||The Amorous Lyric of the Spanish Golden Age||15|
|MLS3061||Religion, Revolution and Counterrevolution||15|
|MLS3062||Spain and the fin de siecle: from Disaster to Modernity||15|
|SML3012||Law in Fiction||15|
|SML3031||Advanced Translation Skills||15|
|SML3035||The Fantastic in 19th and 20th Century Literature||15|
|SML3036||Beyond Sex and the City: Becoming a Woman in Contemporary Western Cinema||15|
|SML3037||Longing for an Audience: Medieval Troubadour Lyric||15|
|Arab and Islamic Studies|
|ARA3103||Advanced Arabic Language||30|
|ARA3107||Politics of Semi-democratic and Authoritarian Countries||30|
|ARA3129||Nationalisms in the Middle East||15|
|ARA3136||The History and Political Development of Iraq||15|
|ARA3138||Foundational Islamic Texts: Qur'an and Hadith||15|
|ARA3144||Advanced Persian Language I||15|
|ARA3145||Advanced Persian Language II||15|
|ARA3146||Iranian History, 1500 - the Present||15|
|ARA3149||Ethno-Politics: Theoretical Considerations and Case Studies||15|
|ARA3152||Folklore and Identity in the Middle East||15|
|ARA3158||Armed Islamist Movements: Jihadism and Beyond||15|
|ARA3159||The Orientalist Debate||15|
|ARA3160||Intermediate Arabic Language I||30|
|ARA3161||Islamic Art and Architecture||15|
|ARA3162||Britain in the Middle East, 1798-1977||15|
|ARA3163||Politics and Reform in the Gulf||15|
|ARA3185||EU and US Democracy Promotion in the Middle East and North Africa||30|
|ARA3186||The History and Political Development of Iraq||30|
Full module descriptions
For full module descriptions from previous years, please visit our Humanities student website.
Entry requirements 2020
AAB–ABB; IB: 34–32; BTEC: DDD–DDM
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.
|Fren||French||For the Beginners' route: GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language grade B
For the Advanced route: GCE AL French Grade B; IB French HL5
|Germ||German||For the Beginners' route: GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language grade B
For the Advanced route: GCE AL German Grade B; IB German HL5
|Ital||Italian||For the Beginners' route: GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language grade B
For the Advanced route: GCE AL Italian Grade B; IB Italian HL5
|Russ||Russian||For the Beginners' route: GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language grade B
For the Advanced route: GCE AL Russian Grade B; IB Russian HL5
|Span||Spanish||For the Beginners' route: GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language grade B
For the Advanced route: GCE AL Spanish Grade B; IB Spanish HL5
- Please note that Arabic can only be taken at a beginner level, which means that you must have an A Level or equivalent in your modern language choice.
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.
International students should check details of our English language requirements, and may be interested in our Foundation programmes and English Language programmes offered by the INTO University of Exeter centre.
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
Our teaching methods make full use of seminars, study groups and web-based learning. Language modules take place in small interactive classes of about 15-20 students, using the language laboratory, satellite TV, the internet and computer-assisted language learning. Non-language modules are delivered through small group lectures, seminars and textual study, tutorials and discussion.
You’ll get on average ten contact hours per week with tutors (teaching time) in language-based programmes. You are also expected to invest a lot of time in independent study outside of these contact hours; this involves individual study, contact with your study-group (for example, in preparation for seminars), and contact with your personal tutor. The exact amount of time spent working independently varies from module to module, but you should expect your total workload to average 40 hours per week during term time.
A flexible system of module choice allows you to tailor your programme to your particular interests as you progress. We'll teach you to work independently, to research, analyse and synthesise new and unfamiliar material and to communicate clearly using both the written and spoken word. In seminar presentations you’ll acquire the skill of confidently delivering coherent and precise arguments to an audience, as well as learning how to receive comments and criticism and develop the ability to lead in a team/group situation.
We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.
Research-inspired teaching ensures lectures are up-to-date and relevant so that you will benefit from access to the latest thinking, equipment and resources. All staff teach third year options which are linked to their own interests, which include the study of history and social sciences in the Middle East and Muslim world, Islamic studies, and language and literature including studies in Persian.
You will be assessed by exam and coursework, including essay writing and a dissertation (in the last year of study). An informal element of continuous assessment is also in place so you can gain on-going feedback on your progress. You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.
Full details of the assessment criteria for each module can be found on our module pages.
All undergraduate Arabic language students on a four-year programme spend their second year at one of our accredited Arabic language study centres.
The year abroad 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.
Year abroad destinations can obviously vary from year to year dependent on current events in the Middle East and North Africa. Previous destinations have included:
- Arabic Language Centre, University of Damascus, Syria
- Language Centre, University of Jordan
- International Language Institute (ILI), Cairo, Egypt
- Institut Francais Du Proche-Orient, Damas, Syria
- The Arabic Language Institute in Fez, Morocco
During your year abroad you will follow a course of study at your host institution, focusing on Standard Arabic, Media Arabic and the Colloquial Arabic of the place you choose to study in. Typically there is a great deal of opportunity for travel and many institutions organise study trips for you; for example the ILI in Cairo organises trips to the Oases and to the Red Sea.
Many students take the opportunity to travel further within the region, often visiting Lebanon and Turkey, and some are reluctant to come back to Exeter when the year is over! On returning, you’ll be encouraged to enter any photographs you’ve taken during time away in the Year Abroad Photography Competition, the winner of which receives a cash prize.
Further information can be found on our Study Abroad pages .
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 up career paths in a wide variety of areas from academic research and government work to more commercially-based careers in law and business.
Many students take part in the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award . These schemes encourage you to participate in employability related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market.
Exeter has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students and graduates compete very successfully in the employment market. Many employers target the University when recruiting new graduates.
Find out more about the destinations of Arab and Islamic Studies graduates on our Employability site.