The Study of Arabic is central to the Programme as it enables students to read and understand the Qur’an and other primary texts. The Department runs three levels of Arabic instruction, (Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced). First year students who have no knowledge of Arabic are typically placed at the Beginners level and work to master the grammar and basic vocabulary of Modern Standard Arabic. The Intermediate level, often comprised of second-year students, familiarises students with Qur’anic Arabic. Students at the Advanced level spend time on language study of Qur’anic Arabic and on the study of pre-modern texts.
The overall aim is that students reach the Advanced Level and to they have the skills needed to read primary texts in Arabic in different disciplines and from different historical periods. Students who are already fluent in Arabic will be required to study Persian in order to read and understand core Persian texts. They will be placed at the Beginners level in the first year while working towards the Advanced level in their second year.
Prior to the start of the first year, students undertake a four week Intensive Pre-Sessional course at the IIS. At the end of the first year, students participate in a Summer Immersion Arabic/Persian programme in an Arabic speaking country.