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Arabic Studies

With over a quarter of a billion native speakers spread across a huge area stretching from Morocco in the West to Iraq in the East, Arabic is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. It has been taught at the University of Durham for half a century, and the Department of Arabic can boast an international reputation in the field of Arabic and Middle Eastern studies.

The Department aims to offer students a challenging and dynamic environment within which to gain a solid grounding not only in the written and spoken language varieties, but also in the fascinating culture, history and society of the Arabic-speaking world. In addition to the core Arabic language courses, you will be able to choose from a range of specialised subjects, such as Arabic literature, Middle Eastern culture, as well as the history, politics and religion of the Middle East.

The course runs over four years, the third year of which you will spend studying in an Arab country in order to consolidate and deepen your knowledge of both the language and the culture. For students taking Arabic and another language the minimum period is four months, whereas those who take only Arabic are required to stay a minimum of seven months. The School funds the required periods at selected, accredited institutions. As the paths chosen by our alumni bear out, studying Arabic at Durham provides you with a very broad set of skills and background in order to pursue careers in a wide variety of fields (e.g. translation, business, media, diplomacy).