UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION
1. Awarding Institution/Body: SOAS, University of London
2. Teaching Institution: SOAS, University of London
3. Programme Accredited By: N/A
4. Final Award: BA
5. Programme Title: Arabic Cultural Studies
6. Registry Code: UGSF0028
7. Programme Convenor: Dr. Wen-chin Ouyang
8. Date of Revision: 2007-2008
9. Criteria for Admission: A Levels (ABB) IB: 34 points
10. Relevant QAA Subject Benchmarking group(s): Language, culture and related studies
11. Educational Aims of the Programme: The programme aims to provide competence in Modern Standard
Arabic, and familiarity with Arabic literature and culture through
the study of language, literature, history, cinema, art, music,
politics and economics.
12. Programme Outcomes - The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and
understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:
A Knowledge & Understanding Teaching/Learning Methods & Strategies
1. Arabic language Acquisition of 1 is through attendance at language-learning
2. Arabic literature classes. Acquisition of 2-6 is through attendance at lectures,
3. Other cultural products in Arabic (cinema, art, music) classroom discussion, essay writing and Independent Study
4. Key methods and concepts of literary and cultural analysis Project.
5. Reasoned awareness and critical understanding of the
history and culture of Arabic-speaking peoples Assessment
6. Intercultural awareness and understanding Testing of knowledge is through a combination of mid-term tests
(1), year-end written examinations (1-6), and assessed essays and
other coursework (1-6).
B Intellectual (thinking) Skills Teaching/Learning Methods & Strategies
Ability to: Intellectual skills are developed through the teaching and learning
1. Identify, describe and analyse problems and devise programme outlined above. Each course, whatever the format of
appropriate strategies for their resolution teaching, involves discussion of key issues, practice in applying
2. Communicate information, ideas and arguments cogently concepts both orally and in writing, analysis and interpretation of
and coherently both orally and in writing with due regard for material, and feedback on work submitted.
the target audience
3. Apply literary and cultural studies concepts Assessment
4. Demonstrate and exercise independence of mind and The assessment methods employed all place great emphasis on
thought the learner’s ability to demonstrate skills 1-5 through the
5. Appreciate the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of production of coherent written and oral responses to set problems
knowledge and tasks. An independent study project in the final year of study
provides a perfect additional vehicle for the demonstration and
assessment of these skills.
C Practical Skills Teaching/Learning Methods & Strategies
The programme aims to help students with the following Acquisition of skills 1-6 is through attendance at language-
practical skills: learning classes, language-laboratory work, computer-assisted
Ability to: learning, lectures, classroom discussion, text-reading classes and
1. Communicate in Arabic competently. independent study, typically preparation, directed reading and
2. Exploit for a variety of purposes and, as appropriate, essay writing. The period of study abroad fosters skills 1, 3 and 6
contextualise a broad range of topics relevant to the in particular.
understanding of Arabic culture.
3. Apply effectively and appropriately analytical skills Assessment
learned from engagement with cultural studies in a
professional context Testing of practical skills is through a combination of mid-term
4. Demonstrate a broad knowledge and, using appropriate tests (1), year-end written examinations (1-6), oral examinations
methodologies, a critical understanding of the cultures and (1-6) and assessed essays and other coursework (1-6).
societies of Arabic-speaking countries.
D Transferable Skills Teaching/Learning Methods & Strategies
The programme will encourage students to: Many courses require regular written work, usually in the form of
1. Gather, process and evaluate critically information from a essays, and regular feedback on this is given to the learner to
variety of paper, audio-visual and electronic sources develop not only understanding but also research techniques and
2. Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally powers of expression (skills 1 and 2). Skills 3-7 are developed
and in writing especially in the practice of independent study. Skills 7 and 8 are
3. Use IT effectively both as a means of communication and developed in the classroom. The period of study abroad fosters
as an aid to learning skills 2 and 6 in particular.
4. Manage time and work to deadlines All learners receive initial guidance on how to identify, locate and
5. Work independently use material available in libraries and elsewhere. Comprehensive
6. Be self-reliant and confident bibliographies are provided for each course at the outset, as are
7. Assess the relevance and importance of others’ ideas guidelines for the production of coursework essays and extended
8. Participate constructively in groups essays.
Skills 1-7 are assessed by coursework, above all by the extended
essay or essays. Skills 1, 2, 4 and 7 are assessed in written
The following reference points were used in designing the programme:
1. School Learning and Teaching Strategy
2. Staff research and teaching experience
Subject benchmarking information and QAA framework for higher education qualifications were not available at the time of
designing the programme. The QAA framework (2001) and subject benchmark statement in Language and Related Studies (2002)
were consulted in the preparation of this specification.
Students take the equivalent of four course units per year over three years, twelve in all. Year 1: Arabic 100, Introduction to
Arabic Culture, Literatures of the Near and Middle East, and Introduction to the History of the Near and Middle East. Year 2:
Arabic 200, Arabic Literature in Translation I and II, Introduction to Islam and one further approved unit. Year 3: Arabic 300
Arabic Cinema I and II, Independent Study Project in Arabic Studies, and one further approved unit. See further the department’s
undergraduate handbook and website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/studying/courseinfo.cfm?courseinfoid=63)
Regulation of Assessment:
Details of the regulation of assessment are made available to students at registration, through Undergraduate handbooks and other
Programme Requirements for 2-Subject Degrees:
PLEASE NOTE: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the Programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might be
reasonably expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the
learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course/unit module can be found in the departmental course handbook. The
accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed by the School and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.