This two-year programme offers a unique opportunity for in-depth study of Arabic language, region-specific culture, history and politics. It is intended for students who already have some knowledge of the Arabic language (approximately 400 hours of previous study or CEF level B1 or B2).
This programme takes a combined and communicative approach to the language, teaching all the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in parallel, combining both spoken ‘dialect’ and more formal Modern Standard Arabic, bringing learners to an advanced level in all skills.
You will have access to some of the UK’s leading experts in the field of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and will experience a three-month immersion in language and culture in an Arabic-speaking country.
Graduates of the postgraduate Arabic programme at the department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies have gone on to use their language and regional expertise in a wide variety of roles, including business, government, charities and NGOs and academia.
The first eight months of the programme are delivered in Edinburgh, with a combination of language training, survey and option courses. You then spend three months at an approved institution in an Arab country, further developing your skills. The second year includes specialisation through further optional courses as well as training in research skills and extensive support in preparation for the final dissertation.
Option courses can be chosen from those offered by IMES, from elsewhere within the School or across the University. Among these are:
Expertise in the Arabic language and Middle Eastern Studies are increasingly sought after. Graduates of this programme will be well-placed to use their language skills in - for example - business and commerce, governments, NGOs and charities, and academia.
This MSc is an intensive language programme coupled with research. It will equip you to function in Arabic at a high level both orally and in writing. A unique feature of the programme is that spoken Arabic will be taught alongside Modern Standard Arabic.
You will acquire a strong understanding of a major spoken Arabic dialect, which is required to understand films, songs and an increasing amount of oral intellectual discourse. You will also develop your Modern Standard Arabic, enabling you to communicate as an educated native speaker of Arabic.
You will refine your abilities to engage critically and analytically with different aspects of the Arabic language and undertake a sustained piece of independent research that demonstrates the research skills, training and knowledge you have acquired.
You will also have the option of a course in Arabic pedagogy, which will equip you with the skills to teach Arabic to non-native speakers.
The language component of the programme will combine intensive class teaching with a wide range of activities including situational interpreting, listening and summarising and oral presentations. There will also be an e-learning element to the language learning.
The research and option pedagogy components will be delivered in the form of seminars and workshops.
The dissertation or language-based project will involve one-to-one meetings with supervisors and detailed feedback.
The MSc in Advanced Arabic is both a professional and an academic qualification providing students with a solid linguistic as well as research foundation. You could use this qualification to continue in academic life either in teaching or research and the language skills gained will help you to use your Arabic in any professional capacity such as media, business, diplomacy, working for NGOs and other international organisations. Graduates are also in a good position to apply their language skills in various interpretive roles for organisations such as the International Red Cross.
Why do languages change? Why does your mobile device suggest funny completions for words you are typing? How did it happen that Finnish is spoken mostly in Finland, but its linguistic relatives are scattered over a larger area? How can you study a language that does not have a standard orthography? Why can you sometimes tell where other people come from just by their accent? Why do some people stick to their dialect, but others give it up when they move to the city? Should you try to support language diversity? Can we save languages that are spoken by a very small number of people? How can computer-synthesised speech be made to sound more human? Why do some languages seem so much more difficult to learn - are they inherently more complex?
This Master's programme will provide you with an understanding of the nature and diversity of human language and with the theoretical tools for working with language material. If you are interested in languages but are unable to decide which of them you want to study, this Master's programme offers several fields of specialisation. One of them might be just perfect for you.
During your studies, you will:
After completing your studies, you will be able to work independently in various fields that require multidisciplinary expertise in linguistic sciences. You will have the theoretical knowledge and skills that are required for postgraduate studies in the doctoral programme in language studies.
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age is an integrated international programme that offers you a comprehensive view of all subfields of the science of language. As a student in the programme you will be able to choose among four specialist options: (1) General Linguistics, (2) Phonetics, (3) Language Technology, and (4) Diversity Linguistics.
General Linguistics gives you comprehensive in-depth training in a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches to language structure and language in use. Special emphasis is put on language typology in a global perspective as well as the documentation and description of endangered and previously undocumented and under-documented forms of speech.
Phonetics will introduce you to the tools for working with the articulatory, acoustic and perceptional aspects of human speech from a multidisciplinary perspective. At the more advanced level, you will become acquainted with the methods of experimental phonetics.
Language Technology combines linguistics with digital technology in an interdisciplinary approach with close links to computer science. The focus areas include natural language processing (NLP) for morphologically rich languages, cross-lingual NLP and language technology in the humanities.
Diversity Linguistics encompasses all aspects of linguistic diversity in time and space, including historical linguistics as well as the extralinguistic context of languages: ethnicities, cultures and environments. The areal foci in Diversity Linguistics are Eurasia and Africa.
These four specialist options interact at all levels. There is a study module common to all students in the programme regardless of the specialist option they choose. The integration of these four perspectives into one programme is unique - no similar programme exists anywhere else.
In the context of “Humanities”, the programme has the closest relationship to natural sciences, and many subfields of the programme involve methods directly linked to laboratory sciences, including digital technology and neurosciences.
The teaching in the programme includes lectures and seminars, practical exercise sessions, reading circles, fieldwork excursions, as well as work practice (internship). The broad spectrum of teaching methods guarantees optimal support for your learning processes.