Programme Specification for the 2015/6 academic year

BA (Hons) Politics and Arabic

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBA (Hons) Politics and Arabic Programme codeUFA4HPSHPS24
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2015/6
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
Programme start date


NQF Level6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

This programme allows you to combine the study of the language, history and culture of the Arabic world with the analysis of political ideas, institutions and practices more generally.

This Exeter-based programme is studied over four years with Year 2 of study abroad in an Arab country. 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, divided equally (as much as possible) between the Politics Department and the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS), with the exception of Year 2.

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 marked as such below 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 College 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 % (100% Arabic)
Stage 3: 4 30.77 % (48% Arabic, 52% Politics)
Stage 4: 8 61.53 % (48% Arabic, 52% Politics) Educational aims of the programme:

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. To provide an excellent education across the range of political studies, from core to specialist, in a supportive and responsive learning environment that is enriched by research
2. To enable students to understand and use the main concepts, approaches and theories of the discipline; to analyse, interpret and evaluate political events, ideas and institutions; and to relate the academic study of politics to questions of public concern.
3. To train you to a high level of proficiency in reading, speaking and writing Arabic which will enable you to communicate readily on a personal and professional basis
4. To develop your competence in the specific skills required in Political Science and in Arabic, and in core academic and personal and key skills
5. To offer you during stage 2 of your degree programme a range of options in the language, literature, history and culture of the Arabic-speaking countries which will enable you, within the boundaries of a coherent degree programme, to develop your own particular interests
6. To offer you a wide range of choice within the programme of study, insofar as this choice is consistent with the coherence and intellectual rigour of the degree
7. 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
8. To develop your competence in subject-specific, core academic and personal and key skills
9. To equip you to be questioning and productive members of society
10. To enable you, through a period of residence abroad, to reinforce your competence in the language, your knowledge of the Arabic-speaking world and your capacity for independent learning

4. Programme Structure

Your BA Politics and Arabic programme is a 4 year programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 6 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is divided into 4 ‘Stages’. Each Stage is normally equivalent to an academic year.  The programme is also divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work. 

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 BA Politics and Arabic degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.

Depending on your programme you can also take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.

Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.

Stage 1

The first year will improve your language skills and introduce you to key methodological and theoretical debates within the study of politics and provide foundational knowledge in British and European politics, the history of political thought, international politics and the study of political behaviour and civil society.

Compulsory Modules

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

Optional Modules

60 credits from the list of Politics level 1 modules: [Politics Modules S1 2012/13]

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
POL1006 State and Society 15 No
POL1016A History of Political Thought 1 15 No
POL1016B History of Political Thought 2 15 No
POL1019 Power and Democracy 15 No
POL1020 Politics in Europe 15 No
POL1905 Employability 0 No
POL1001B State of Britain 15 No
Total Credits for Stage 1


Stage 2

Students spend the year abroad in an agreed programme of work/study. The year abroad comprises 120 credits and assessment is based on the credits gained at the partner institution.

Compulsory Modules

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


Stage 3

In the third year you will advance your knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARA2139 Intermediate Arabic Language II 30Yes

Optional Modules

60 credits from Level 2 Politics modules: [Politics Modules S2 2012/13]

Plus 30 credits: ARA2118, ARA2135, ARA2132, ARA2131, ARA2130.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARA2118 Gender-Identity and Modernity in the Middle East 15No
ARA2135 Conflict and Peacemaking Palestine/Israel 15No
ARA2132 Islamic Law and Society 15No
ARA2131 M.E.20C Colonialism Revolution and Beyond 15No
ARA2130 Society and Empire in the Modern Middle East 1798-1914 15No
POL2055 EU Member States 15 No
POL2071 Experimental Research in the Social Sciences 15 No
POL2052 Foreign Policy: Leadership, Power and Responsibility 15 No
POL2067 Gendering World Politics 15 No
POL2068 Global Justice and Transnational Democracy 15 No
POL2058 Governance and Public Policy in the EU 15 No
POL2001 Government II: Comparative Politics 30 No
POL2042 International Relations - Order and Justice 15 No
POL2039 International Relations, Introduction to Strategic Studies 15 No
POL2037 International Relations, Rethinking Third World Politics 15 No
POL2038 International Relations, War and Peace in the Middle East 15 No
POL2063 Introduction to Middle East Politics 15 No
POL2021 Introduction to Postcolonial Politics 15 No
POL2036 Introduction to Strategic Studies 30 No
POL2049 Media, Public Opinion and Campaigns 15 No
POL2008 Middle East Politics 15 No
POL2032A Modern Political Thought: From Hobbes to Wollstonecraft 15 No
POL2032 Modern Political Thought - From Hobbes to Marx 30 No
POL2032B Modern Political Thought: From Kant to Marx 15 No
POL2030 Order and Justice in International Society 30 No
POL2026 Political Analysis: Behaviour, Institutions, Ideas 15 No
POL2045 Political Analysis: Methods 15 No
POL2022 Political Ideologies 15 No
POL2050 Political Philosophy 15 No
POL2059 Political Thought of Modernity 15 No
POL2053 Power Politics and Leadership 15 No
POL2041 Ppa - Politics of the Public Sector 15 No
POL2040 Ppa - Public Policy 15 No
POL2060 Public Policy and Administration 15 No
POL2003 Public Policy and Administration 30 No
POL2070 Quantitative methods in political science 15 No
POL2072 Race, Ethnicity and Politics 15 No
POL2033 Rethinking Third World Politics 30 No
POL2057 Security Studies 15 No
POL2046 The Economics of Politics 15 No
POL2064 The Political Economy of Globalization 15 No
POL2027 The Politics of the World Economy 15 No
Total Credits for Stage 3


Stage 4

The centre-point of the final year is the dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. You will also take up to three other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
POL3040 Dissertation 30No
ARA3103 Advanced Arabic Language 30Yes

Optional Modules

Plus 30 credits from Level 3 Arabic Modules: [IAIS Modules S3 2012/13]

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
Arabic (Persian) stage 3 modules 2017-8
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. Understand the nature and significance of politics as a human activity
2. Apply concepts and theories used in the study of politics to the analysis of political ideas, institutions and practices
3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different political system operating at the national, European and international level
4. Evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events
5. Demonstrate understanding (at increasing depth, according to level) of issues (increasingly complex, according to level) arising from the subject matter of the elective modules taken
6. Demonstrate a high level of proficiency (written and oral, active and passive) in Arabic
7. Show wide-ranging knowledge of the history and culture of the Arabic-speaking world
8. Show awareness of the linguistic, literary, cultural and socio-historical contexts in which texts are produced and read
9. Show awareness of how language produces and reflects cultural change and difference
10. Apply strategies for acquiring proficiency in Arabic
11. 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

  • Outcomes 1 and 4 are developed across all programme stages, moving from broad areas of politics in stage 1 to progressively more specialized aspects at stages 2 to 3. Outcomes 2 and 3 relate in some form to all Politics modules. Development of 2 is ensured through the requirement that students take two 'theory' modules in stage one and the Comparative Government modules in Stage 2. Outcome 3 is also ensured through directed module choice embedded in programme pathways at stages 1 and 2.
  • 6- 9.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 and through the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE), and in the Language Lab of IAIS.
  • 10-11.The core language modules at each stage use 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 Arabic through exercises such as summarizing, 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.

The assessment of these skills is through a combination of term-time essays, reaction papers, oral presentations, and examinations (and, where applicable, Research Methods Project , Politics or Arabic Dissertation work). The criteria of assessment pay full recognition to the importance of the various skills outlined. 

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:

12. Draw thematic comparisons between material from different sources (benchmark 6.1.3)
13. Show awareness of contrasting approaches to research (benchmark 6.1.1)
14. Understand and demonstrate the different uses of qualitative and quantitative data, and evaluate their relative advantages and disadvantages (benchmark 6.2.3)
15. Show awareness of the basic philosophical questions arising from academic research
16. Think and write broadly about large themes
17. Use library and the world-wide web to find appropriate and relevant information
18. Develop and deploy argument, grounded in theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence (benchmark 6.2.4)
19. Identify problems of reliability and bias in, and more generally evaluate, empirical evidence (benchmark 6.2.3)
20. Collate data from a range of sources (benchmark 6.2.2)
21. Produce accurate reference to sources in written work
22. Answer questions concisely and persuasively in written work (benchmark 6.3.6)
23. Present work and answer questions orally
24. Deploy complex terminology in a comprehensible manner (benchmark 6.3.6)
25. Assimilate and analyze the structure of a foreign language
26. Analyze texts (including where appropriate non-literary texts and other media, e.g. film) taking account of their cultural, historical and generic contexts, and articulate one's understanding orally and in writing
27. Show receptiveness to a foreign culture and ability to see the relativity of one's own cultural perspective
28. Show ability to plan and manage his/her own language learning through an extended period of independent study

These skills are developed throughout the degree programme, but the emphasis becomes more complex as students move from stage to stage. They are developed through lectures and seminars, language classes, written work (including translation work), and oral work (both presentation and class discussion).

These skills are assessed through term-time essays, language tests, assessed presentations, and examinations

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:

29. Undertake independent study and work to deadlines.
30. Use a range of basic IT resources (such as e-mail and the Internet) to acquire and manipulate general and subject-specific information; use writing programmes (such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect)
31. Digest, select and organize material for written work and oral presentations, and write to varying word lengths
32. Evaluate own work
33. Sit timed, unseen examinations of a challenging nature
34. Participate in oral discussions; present and evaluate complex arguments and ideas orally; digest, select and organize material for oral presentations
35. Work with others as part of a team on challenging material
36. Interact effectively with peers and staff
37. Undertake group work, including the presentation and discussion of material in groups
38. Communicate and argue effectively, both orally and in writing
39. Express and defend opinions on a wide range of current and abstract issues
40. Advance linguistic competence independently
41. Plan the execution of demanding work over a very long time scale
42. Show ability to adapt to the culture and working practices of a foreign country

29. This skill is an essential part of the successful completion of the programme.
30. This skill is developed through the requirement that all written work be typed, and through the requirement on students to use the Internet for bibliographical searches.
31. This skill is developed through essay and presentation work throughout the programme.
32. This skill is encouraged and developed throughout, and is aided by the student Self-Appraisal system which takes place in the inter-semester week of Spring Term.
33. This skill is developed through practice: at all stages, students are partly assessed by timed, unseen examinations.
34. This skill is developed through seminars, which form the whole or part basis of all modules.
Skills 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 are developed to some extent in all modules, through interaction in seminars and in discussion with tutors about essay work, and in response to criticism both collective and individual.
40. This skill is developed through oral and written work on the core Arabic language modules.
41. This skill is developed through the Dissertation, which has a single end of year deadline.
42. This skill is developed though the year abroad programme

  • Skills in 29, 30 and 31 are assessed in all modules.
  • Skill 31 is covered by the fact that students write essays, which are formatively and summatively assessed, of differing lengths and in the Dissertation.
  • Skill 32 is assessed implicitly throughout, and is aided by the student Self-Appraisal exercise conducted in the inter-semester week in Spring Term.
  • 33. Timed examinations are used in all modules except the dissertation.
  • Skill 34 is a continuous part of formative assessment.
  • The skills in 35, 36 and 37 are developed to some extent in all modules, through interaction in seminars and in discussion with tutors about essay work, and in response to criticism both collective and individual.
  • Skills 38-40 form the basis of assessment in the core Arabic language modules, building in complexity as the student progresses through the programme.
  • Skill 41 is covered by the Dissertation.
  • Skill 42 is assessed through regular contact with students while being abroad.

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


18. Final Award

BA (Hons) Politics 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] Politics and international relations

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision