Programme Specification for the 2014/5 academic year

BA (Hons) French and Arabic

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBA (Hons) French and Arabic Programme codeUFA4SMLIAI01
Study mode(s)Full Time
Part Time
Academic year2014/5
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
Programme start date


NQF Level6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

Arabic and French places emphasis on literary study and covers a broad range of developments in literature in its historical and national contexts. Modules provided in French are designed to help you develop the necessary critical skills to read literary texts. The second year of this four year programme is spent abroad in an Arabic speaking country or in approved paid or voluntary employment. 

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. to train students to a high level of proficiency in reading, speaking and writing French and Arabic , which will enable them to communicate readily on a personal and professional basis;
2. to offer students at the higher stages of the programmes a range of options in the language, literature, history and cultures of the French and Arabic-speaking worlds which will enable them, within the boundaries of a coherent degree programme, to develop their own particular interests.
3. to provide students 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.
4. to provide a broad and challenging intellectual training and a foundation of c) Personal and Key Skills for those students 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.
5. to use the research expertise of staff to promote a stimulating interaction of teaching and research within the flexible modular course structure created by the two Colleges.
6. to enable students to become reflective and autonomous independent learners.
7. to enable students, through a period of residence abroad, to reinforce their competence in the language and knowledge of the Arabic-speaking world and their capacity for independent learning.

Both programmes aim to 

4. Programme Structure

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.

The modules are designed like building blocks, with modules at later stages building on the work of the preceding stage, helping you to progressively develop your academic skills. The 'level' of a module within these stages is designated by the first number in the module code. You will find that your work becomes more specialized as it becomes more advanced. The 4-year programme is studied in four stages, one for each year of study; the second year is spent in an Arabic speaking country. Each stage comprises 120 credits. 60 credits are taken in French and 60 credits in Arabic at each of stages 1, 3 and 4. At stage 2 (the year abroad) all 120 credits are taken in Arabic.

With the exception of the year abroad, modules have a credit rating of either 15 or 30 credits. The availability of all optional modules is subject to timetable and staffing constraints and to permission from the Director of Education and/or Head of Modern Languages.

Exceptionally, other arrangements may be approved by the relevant Director of Education and/or Head of Discipline. On the year abroad all students are required either to take a core module which tests language acquisition, intercultural competence and develops employability skills and environmental awareness.

Assessment marks obtained at Stage 1 do not contribute to the overall mark for the summative classification of the award, although 90 credits must be awarded for progression to Stage 2. The overall mark for the summative degree assessment is calculated from the marks for Stages 2, 3 and 4, which are weighted in the ratio 1:2:4.

Credits at stage 1 must be successfully completed in order to proceed to stage 2, but marks gained at this stage play no further part in the final assessment. Final assessment is based on marks gained at stages 2, 3 and 4. In SML, double weighting is given to stage 4 (i.e. stage 2 credits are weighted at 50% of their value, stage 4 at 100%). In order to correct the imbalance in credits between the two Colleges arising from the year abroad, each College calculates its weighted average and percentage distribution of credits, and classification is based on the average of the two averages and the aggregate of the credit percentages.

University regulations allow students to fail up to 30 credits per stage, provided that an average of at least 40% has been achieved over the 120 credits of assessment for a stage, including the marks for any failed and condoned modules. However, modules marked with an asterisk below are 'non-condonable', that is, if failed the failed assessment(s) must be retaken, for a maximum possible mark of 40%. If failed at a second attempt the Board of Studies will make a recommendation which can include repeating the year, progressing to the next year and either retaking the failed module(s) or taking (a) substitute module(s) in addition to the 120 credits for the following stage, or withdrawing from the programme.

Stage 1

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
MLF1001 French Language 30Yes
ARA1033 Elementary Arabic Language 60Yes

Optional Modules


Select two further 15-credit level 1 optional modules. The full list of French modules can be accessed here -   (select Modern Languages - French)

Total Credits for Stage 1


Stage 2

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARA2000 Year Abroad Study year in an Arab country120Yes
Total Credits for Stage 2


Stage 3

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
MLF2001 French Language, Written and Oral 30Yes
ARA2139 Intermediate Arabic Language II 30Yes

Optional Modules


Select two further 15-credit level 2 optional modules. The full list of French modules can be accessed here -   (select Modern Languages - French)

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
Arabic (Persian) stage 2 modules 2017-8 Two 15-credit modules chosen from IAIS Level 2 modules
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?
MLF3111 Advanced French Language Skills 30Yes
ARA3103 Advanced Arabic Language 30No
ARA3106 Dissertation Or two 15-credit modules chosen from IAIS Level 3 modules30No

Optional Modules


ARA3103 Advanced Arabic Language (30 credits) 
ARA3106 Dissertation (30 credits) 
Two 15-credit modules chosen from IAIS Level 3 modules.


Select two further 15-credit level 3 optional modules. The full list of French modules can be accessed here -   (select Modern Languages - French)


CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
Arabic (Persian) stage 3 modules 2017-8 2 x 15-credit
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 French and Arabic, both orally and in writing.
2. Communicate effectively and appropriately with native and other competent speakers of French and Arabic in an academic context, both orally and in writing.
3. Demonstrate understanding of and ability to analyse the structures and registers of French and Arabic.
4. Show detailed knowledge of chosen aspects of the history and cultures of the French and Arabic-speaking worlds, and ability to evaluate them critically, using appropriate methodologies.
5. Analyse and interpret texts in French and Arabic (including non-literary texts and other media, e.g. film) in relation to their cultural, historical and generic contexts, and articulate his/her 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 includes 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 the self-access material available in the library, in the Foreign Language Centre, in the Language Lab of IAIS and on the French department's web site. The student's own reflection on her/his language-learning experience is developed in the French Department's year-abroad module.  The core language modules at each stage uses authentic materials in the language 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 French and Arabic 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 French and Arabic. In addition, a significant amount of teaching in optional modules is delivered in French, especially at the higher levels.

4 & 5

Knowledge of the relevant aspects of French and Arab 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 2, 3 and 4 for the respective languages. In addition, all end-of-year examinations require one question to be answered in French. In some optional modules, assessment includes an oral exposé in French.
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. At levels 3 and 4 of the French section of the programme students may choose to be assessed in one or more of their optional modules by an essay written in French in lieu of the end-of-year examination. 

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).

8-10 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.

8-11 are assessed by course essays and end-of-year examinations, also as described.

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 judgement.
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.

14, 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. Both Colleges have standard essay feedback sheets which provide for evaluation and comment on these skills, along with other aspects of the essay.

21 is developed through the requirement, in the core language modules at stages 1 and 2, for students of French to use specially created departmental web sites; these are also used for a significant number of optional modules. IT skills are also developed in both Colleges through word-processing essays and dissertations. Guidance on responsible use of the internet is given in the SML 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, and in the Independent language-learning module on the 3-year programme in French.

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 Humanities (CHUM)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by


18. Final Award

BA (Hons) French and Arabic

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
[Honours] Languages and related studies

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision