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School of Modern Languages & Cultures: Department of Arabic

 School of Modern Languages & Cultures: Arabic

Welcome to the Arabic Department


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. 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).

At postgraduate level, the Arabic Department offers a taught MA in Arabic/English Translation, an MA by Research and PhD supervision in the above-mentioned topics, as well as in Linguistics, Translation, and many other fields, depending on the research interests of the individual student.

The Department of Arabic at Durham University participated in RAE08 and received detailed feedback in January 2009. 90% of all of the research submitted by Durham University staff was assessed as being at least of International Quality (2* and above) in terms of originality, significance and rigour. Of the research assessed from Arabic, 65% is recognised as Internationally Excellent or World Leading (3* and 4*). This places us 4th in a ranking of UK institutions based on the same criteria.

Contact Details

Department of Arabic
University of Durham
Elvet Riverside
New Elvet
Durham DH1 3JT
Tel: +44 (0)191 334 3420
Fax: +44 (0)191 334 3421