Welcome to Arabic Language and Cultures

The Department of Arabic Language and Cultures (formerly known as Department of Arabic Language and Islamic Studies) offers an innovative program that combines the acquisition of language skills with a critical understanding of the diversity of Arab cultures and societies around the world.

Whether you are interested in learning Arabic for basic communication skills, or in order to use it effectively in diplomacy, business, education, law, health, media, translation, or community work, we have appropriate Arabic courses for beginners as well as for post-HSC students. Any student can take units to acquire beginner, intermediate, or advanced language skills or units (taught in English) on Arab cultures, societies, history, politics, Arab diasporas, and the role of the Arab world and the region on the global stage.

Our teaching is strongly focused on student participation, communication, and cultural immersion. This means that a major in Arabic Language and Cultures will help you develop both communicative Arabic language skills and cultural competency. You will gain the background knowledge necessary to understand the diversity of Arab societies today and over time, and be equipped to conduct cross-regional projects and to interrogate geo-cultural boundaries.

Undergraduate Studies

At the undergraduate level, the department offers a three-year sequence in each stream (beginner, intermediate, advanced) of Arabic language.
To complement your language study (taught in Arabic), you will have, each semester, a wide range of Arabic literature, culture, art, and film classes (taught in English) to choose from. Not all culture courses are offered every semester, so please consult the departmental website and the university timetable to learn which units are offered any given semester.

Beginning in semester 1, 2015, a major in Arabic Language and Cultures requires at least 36 senior credit points, including at least 18 from culture units of study (taught in English) and 18 from language units of study (taught in Arabic). At least 6 credit points of Arabic language units must be taken at 3000 level.

Important note: If you started your major as an ARBC or ARIS major before 2015, you will be able to complete your major under the requirements in place when you began, Please read the information under the tab “Undergraduate study” for further information. Feel free to contact the Department for additional information or advice.

We strongly encourage students to enhance their expertise in Arabic language and cultures through a range of electives offered in the Department and elsewhere, as well as through intensive summer and winter classes and in-country study opportunities.

A student can take the major in Arabic Language and Cultures within the Bachelor of Arts degree or within the Bachelor of Arts (Languages) or any combined degree with Arts. Our major also combines well with History, Asian Studies, European Studies, International and Global Studies, Government and Political Science, Anthropology, Religion, Education, Law, Business, and Science.

Students can also pursue advanced studies through the Fourth Year Honours Program where they conduct original research leading to the production of a substantial work of scholarship (Honours Thesis). Go to our Honours webpage for further information.

For those who don't want to complete a Bachelor of Arts, there are other opportunities to do Arabic Language and Cultures including a Diploma of Language Studies or a Diploma of Arts. If you have just a casual interest in learning the subject, you can also take our courses as a non-award student.

Postgraduate Studies

Students with the appropriate qualifications can pursue postgraduate research in the field of Arabic Language and Cultures leading to a Master of Arts (MA Research), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), and/or a PhD. Students are assessed on the basis of the quality of their research and the completion of their thesis. Go to our research webpage for more information on the research areas that our Department specializes in.

Prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in Arabic Language and Cultures are encouraged to contact the School of Languages and Cultures for further information.