Programme Specification for the 2014/5 academic year

BA (Hons) Arabic and Kurdish

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBA (Hons) Arabic and Kurdish Programme codeUFA4IAIIAI07
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2014/5
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
Programme start date


NQF Level6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

This Exeter-based programme is studied over four stages corresponding to four years, with the second year spent in an Arabic speaking country. The focus is on training students to a high level of proficiency in reading, speaking and writing Modern Standard Arabic and Kurdish (Kurmanji and Sorani), and develop an understanding of the language, literature, history and cultures of the Arabic speaking and Kurdish speaking areas.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

Both elements of this combined honours programme aim:


To train you to a high level of proficiency in reading, speaking and writing Modern Standard Arabic and Kurdish (Kurmanji and Sorani), which will enable you to communicate readily on a personal and professional basis.
To offer you at the higher stages of the programmes a range of options in the language, literature, history and cultures of the Arabic-speaking and Kurdish-speaking areas which will enable you, within the boundaries of a coherent degree programme, to develop your own particular interests;
To provide you with a variety of approaches (both traditional and innovative) to teaching and learning, and a lively and supportive studying environment which stimulates enjoyment and independent study;
To enable you to become reflective and autonomous independent learners.
To enable you to gain language competence in both Arabic and Kurdish for those entering the world of work on graduation, together with a suitable basis for those who wish to pursue further research in the relevant subject or subjects.
To use the research expertise of staff to promote a stimulating interaction of teaching and research within the flexible modular course structure created by Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.
To enable you, through a period of residence abroad, to reinforce their competence in the language and knowledge of Arabic.
To provide a broad and challenging intellectual training and a foundation for the future study of Arabic and Kurdish (the latter an innovation unique in British universities).

4. Programme Structure

This Exeter-based programme is studied over four stages corresponding to four years, with the second year spent in an Arabic-speaking country. Exeter is unique amongst English-speaking universities in offering a thorough grounding in both major Kurdish dialects; this programme uses this linguistic element as a complement to a high-level acquisition of Arabic, giving not only a broader linguistic profile but also the stimulus of engaging directly with the language and culture of the Middle East’s largest minority whilst also studying the dominant language and cultural forms. The programme is arranged into two twelve-week semesters each year and is divided into units of study called modules. Language modules have a value of 15, 30, or 60 credits; non-language modules are worth 15 or 30 credits; and the BA dissertation is worth 30 credits. Each year comprises 120 credits. The Arabic language modules comprise 60 credits in the first year, and 30 in each of years 3 and 4. Stages 1, 3 and 4 each comprise 30 credits of Kurdish language (Kurmanji and Sorani). Other core modules on Arab and Kurdish society and culture are chosen from the modules offered by IAIS. Final assessment for the 4-year programme is based on marks gained at stages 2, 3 and 4.
The full list of modules in IAIS is available at

In order to proceed to stage 2, students must achieve an average of 40% across their stage 1 modules and pass any modules that are designated non-condonable. Students may progress to the next stage (or in the final year, to proceed to the award of an honours degree) once they have passed 90 credits and achieved an average of 40% or more for modules taken in their current stage.

Those modules below marked with an asterisk (*) are non-condonable: if failed, the failed assessment(s) must be retaken, for a maximum possible mark of 40%. The consequences of failing more than 30 credits in a year, or of failing a module at the second attempt, are explained in the School assessment procedures.

The classification (1st, Upper 2nd, Lower 2nd, 3rd) of a student’s BA is determined as follows:
Stage 1: does not count towards classification.
Stage 2 (abroad): 1 (07.70%)
Stage 3: 4 (30.77%)
Stage 4: 8 (61.53%)

Interim Awards
In exceptional circumstances, you may exit this award with a Certificate in Higher Education in Arabic and Kurdish where you have achieved 120 credits at stage 1 or a Diploma in Higher Education in Arabic and Kurdish where you have achieved 240 credits across stages 1 and 2, with at least 90 of these from stage 2.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

You may take option modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site.

Stage 1

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARA1033 Elementary Arabic Language 60Yes
ARA1025 Kurdish 1 (Sorani) 15No
ARA1026 Kurdish 1 Kurmanji 15No
ARA1027 Kurdish Culture and Society 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
Arabic (Persian) stage 1 modules 2017-8 One 15 credit module (non-linguistic) from 1st level modules in IAIS and two 15 credit modules from 1st level modules in IAIS.
ARA1010 Politics and Economy of the Contemporary Middle East 15 No
ARA1030 Introduction to Islamic Archaeology 15 No
ARA1032 Elementary Turkish II 15 No
ARA1009 History and Society in the Middle East 15 No
ARA1015 Arabic for Beginners 30 No
ARA1031 Elementary Turkish I 15 No
ARA1034 Elementary Indonesian 1 15 No
ARA1035 Elementary Indonesian 2 15 No
Total Credits for Stage 1


Stage 2

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARA2000 Year Abroad 120Yes
Total Credits for Stage 2


Stage 3

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARA2139 Intermediate Arabic Language II 30Yes
ARA2156 Kurdish 2 (Sorani) 15No
ARA2157 Kurdish 2 (Kurmanji) 15No
ARA2131 M.E.20C Colonialism Revolution and Beyond 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
Arabic (Persian) stage 2 modules 2017-8 Three 15 credit modules chosen from 2nd level modules in the IAIS
ARA2118 Gender-Identity and Modernity in the Middle East 15 No
ARA2121 Themes in the Arabic Short Story 15 No
ARA2131 M.E.20C Colonialism Revolution and Beyond 15 No
ARA2132 Islamic Law and Society 15 No
ARA2135 Conflict and Peacemaking Palestine/Israel 15 No
ARA2146 Islamic Theological Traditions 15 No
ARA2148 Arabic for Beginners II 30 No
ARA2150 Muslims in Britain 15 No
ARA2156 Kurdish 2 (Sorani) 15 No
ARA2157 Kurdish 2 (Kurmanji) 15 No
ARA2160 Islamist Movements: From the Muslim Brothers to Al-Qa'ida 15 No
ARA2161 The Historiography of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 15 No
ARA2162 Political Economy of Development in the Middle East 15 No
ARA2164 Intermediate Turkish I 15 No
ARA2165 Intermediate Turkish II 15 No
ARA2166 Revolution, Reform or Status Quo 15 No
ARA2222 Career Planning Workshops (Level 2) 0 No
Total Credits for Stage 3


Stage 4

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARA3103 Advanced Arabic Language 30Yes
ARA3106 Dissertation 30No
ARA3155 Kurdish 3 (Sorani) Language and Literature 15No
ARA3156 Kurdish 3 (Kurmanji) Language and Literature 15No
ARA3140 The Kurds: History and Politics 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
Arabic (Persian) stage 3 modules 2017-8 One 15 credit module from 3rd level modules in IAIS.
ARA3107 Politics of Semi-democratic and Authoritarian Countries 30 No
ARA3129 Nationalisms in the Middle East 15 No
ARA3136 The History and Political Development of Iraq 15 No
ARA3138 Foundational Islamic Texts: Qur'an and Hadith 15 No
ARA3149 Ethno-Politics: Theoretical Considerations and Case Studies 15 No
ARA3152 Folklore and Identity in the Middle East 15 No
ARA3158 Armed Islamist Movements: Jihadism and Beyond 15 No
ARA3159 The Orientalist Debate 15 No
ARA3160 Intermediate Arabic Language I 30 No
ARA3161 Islamic Art and Architecture 15 No
ARA3162 Britain in the Middle East, 1798-1977 15 No
ARA3163 Politics and Reform in the Gulf 15 No
ARA3185 EU Democracy Promotion in the Middle East and North Africa 30 No
ARA3186 The History and Political Development of Iraq 30 No
Total Credits for Stage 4


6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate a high level of accuracy and fluency in the production and comprehension of Modern Standard Arabic and Kurdish, both orally and in writing.
2. Communicate effectively and appropriately with native and other competent speakers of Modern Standard Arabic and Kurdish in an academic context, both orally and in writing.
3. Demonstrate understanding of and ability to analyse the structures and registers of Arabic and Kurdish.
4. Show detailed knowledge of chosen aspects of the history and cultures of the Arabic-speaking and Kurdish -speaking areas, and ability to evaluate them critically, using appropriate methodologies.
5. Analyse and interpret texts in Arabic and Kurdish (including non-literary texts and other media, e.g. film) in relation to their cultural, historical and generic contexts, and articulate one's understanding orally and in writing.
6. Show ability to use the target language to undertake and present the results of an extended project, while living and working in the target-language environment.

The core language modules at stage 1 include an introduction to language-learning strategies, so that students are enabled from the outset of their programme to become autonomous language learners. Subsequent stages require students to make systematic use of self-access material available in the library and on ELE, and in the Language Lab of IAIS.
The core language modules at each stage use authentic materials in the languages studied , both written (texts in a variety of styles and registers) and spoken (oral classes with native speakers, together with use of TV and the electronic media). These forms of target-language material are used in a variety of ways, including reading or listening comprehension, translation, and production of related material in Arabic and Kurdish through exercises such as summarising, essay-writing and oral presentations.

Classroom instruction is reinforced by regular formative assessment of students work, including comment on appropriateness of style, register, presentation, etc., as well as correction of grammatical and other errors.

Formal grammar is taught, both in class and by guided study of a textbook, at a level appropriate to each stage of the programmes and to students level of achievement at the outset of their programme.

The familiarity with the target language acquired in the core language modules is reinforced by the study in optional modules of a wide range of literary and other texts in Arabic and Kurdish.

4 & 5:
The level 1 core module on Kurdish Culture and Society (ARA1027) gives students a fundamental knowledge on which to base their choice of options at higher levels, enabling them to explore and develop their interest in particular areas of Kurdish Studies.

Knowledge of the relevant aspects of Arab and Kurdish culture is acquired through lectures and seminars, guided reading of primary and secondary texts (including those in non-printed media, e.g. film), and directed independent study.

Students learn to use the critical methodologies appropriate to the options chosen (literary criticism, linguistic or philological study, political or social history, film studies etc) through writing essays and preparing seminar presentations, following initial guidance from lecturers and through feedback on work submitted.

1 & 2 are assessed explicitly, and 3 implicitly, by coursework marked throughout the year at stage 1, and by end-of-year written and oral exams at stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 for the respective languages. In some optional modules, assessment includes an oral examination in Arabic or Kurdish.

3 is also explicitly assessed in optional modules in linguistics.

4 is assessed by a combination of essays written during the module and end-of-year written examinations.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

7. Demonstrate understanding of the linguistic principles required to assimilate and analyse the structure of a foreign language
8. Examine critically any form of discourse arising from the close reading and analysis of texts.
9. Demonstrate understanding of generic conventions and the shaping effects upon communication of circumstances, authorship, textual production and intended audience.
10. Show understanding of the variety of approaches to research in the field of languages and related studies, and of the reasons why such approaches may change
11. Demonstrate receptiveness to foreign cultures and ability to see the relativity of one's own cultural perspective.
12. Show ability to plan and manage his/her own language learning through an extended period of independent study

7 is developed through the core language modules throughout the programme, in students' language work and in feedback from lecturers (in the form of both written comments and explanation in subsequent classes).

8-11 are developed through lectures and seminars in optional modules, with progression from a relatively high level of input from lecturers at stage 1, to greater student autonomy at later stages. Modules at stages 3 and 4 are related to the research specialisations of the staff teaching the modules, giving students an insight into relevant research issues.

11 is implicit in all study of the language and culture of another country, and all modules challenge students to reflect critically on their receptiveness to foreign cultures.

7 is assessed by the strategies described for the core language modules under A above.

8-12 are assessed by module essays and end-of-year examinations, also as described under A above.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

13. Identify and analyse problems and appropriate strategies for resolving them.
14. Achieve effective communication in English of information, ideas and arguments, both orally and in writing.
15. Gather, select and organize material from a variety of sources and critically evaluate its significance.
16. Demonstrate skills of time-management and organization in planning and executing a project to a prescribed length and deadline
17. Exercise independent thought and judgment
18. Be an effective and self-aware independent learner
19. Work flexibly and creatively with others and engage in rational debate
20. Demonstrate library and bibliographical research skills
21. Demonstrate ability to use IT effectively both as a learning tool and as a means of communication
22. Show ability to adapt to the working practices of a foreign country.

13 & 17 are essential elements in all academic study, and are developed by teaching strategies which require progressively more initiative from students as they progress through the programme, at each stage building on the skills which they have acquired at earlier stages. Typically, stage 1 modules are largely lecture-based while those at stage 4 are based predominantly on seminar-style teaching.

18 is similarly developed throughout the programme but is specifically the focus of the year abroad / independent language-learning modules.

19, oral communication and interpersonal skills are developed in seminars, in both giving and responding to presentations. Skills of written communication are developed in essays and other exercises such as book reviews and dissertations.

15, 16 & 20 are organizational skills which are developed through the experience of preparing essays and presentations. The IAIS has a standard essay feedback sheet which provides for evaluation and comment on these skills, along with other aspects of the essay.

21 is developed through word-processing essays and dissertations for which internet research may be used. Guidance on responsible use of the internet is given in the IAIS Undergraduate Student Handbook and is reinforced in feedback given on students essays.

13 & 17 are skills which underpin successful performance in virtually all academic assessments, whether written or oral, seen or unseen. Skills in 2 are assessed by oral and written exams, by assessed essays and dissertations.

15 & 20 are assessed in essays and other written assignments.

16 is assessed by the requirement to meet deadlines and observe word lengths in submitting work for assessment, with penalties if these are not met.

18 is assessed specifically in the modules taken during the year abroad.

19 Group presentations are assessed in some optional modules; in those where team working skills are not explicitly assessed, these skills nonetheless contribute to the successful outcome of oral and written presentations.

21 is reflected in the marks awarded for presentation in essays and dissertations.

7. Programme Regulations

University Regulations on the number of credits to be taken and at what level for each stage of the programme can be found in the Credit and Qualifications Framework.


Condonement is the process that allows you to be awarded credit (and so progress to the next stage or, in the final stage, receive an award), despite failing to achieve a pass mark at a first attempt. You are not entitled to reassessment in condoned credit. Regulations on condonement can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

Assessment and Awards

For undergraduate degrees assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. Details of the weightings for each year of all programme lengths can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.


Full details of assessment regulations for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes and the classification of awards can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

You can also read details of Generic Marking Criteria.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic Tutoring

It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you with individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support fo the duration of your programme, and this support extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Information on the College Personal Tutoring system, library provision, ELE resources and access to College support services can be found on the College webpages for current students.

Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC)

SSLCs enable students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Learning Resources

The University Library maintains its principal collections in the main library buildings on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, together with a number of specialist collections in certain Colleges. The total Library collection comprises over a million volumes and 3000 current periodical subscriptions.

IT Services

A wide range of IT services are provided throughout the Exeter campuses, including open-access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, while most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

Student Support Services

The University provides many support services including health and wellbeing, multifaith chaplaincy, family support, the Students' Guild and international student support.

10. Admissions Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates for undergraduate programmes must satisfy the undergraduate admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of education provision. The College documents the performance in each of its tuaght programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Student Experience Review (ASER).

Subject areas are reviewed every five years through a College Academic Audit scheme that includes external contributions.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

Not applicable to this programme.

18. Final Award

BA (Hons) Arabic and Kurdish

19. UCAS Code


20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits


ECTS credits


22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Area studies

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision