Certificate in Arabic Language

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Arabic is a Semitic Language and is closely related to Aramaic and Hebrew. Literary Arabic is an official language of 27 countries and is spoken by well over 400 million native speakers in a wide region stretching across the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

Besides being the liturgical language of 1.6 billion Muslims, Arabic is also an official language of the Arab League, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the African Union and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Through religious, academic, scientific, philosophical and business terminologies, Arabic has left important influences on other languages of the Islamic world, where Arabic is not the main or official language. Moreover, due to the vicinity and trade connections between Europe and Islamic lands, there have been major Islamic contributions and cultural influences to both medieval Europe and the Renaissance period.

All of these make the learning of the Arabic language fascinating, and this programme is designed to develop your knowledge, confidence, and communication skills.

Click here to download the Certificate in Arabic Language Programme Handbook

Course Level

This course is approved and credit-rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). It is available on a full-time or part-time basis.

The Certificate is awarded at SCQF level 8

Course Duration

8 months (full-time) starting in September

Entry Requirements

Do I need prior knowledge of this subject?

Yes – students should have the competency of beginners level and should have the ability: to speak about themselves, their lives, their daily activates, and to paraphrase as necessary to make themselves understood, to read simple authentic texts on familiar topics, understand the general meaning, to write informal notes and texts on familiar topics connected to daily life and to comprehend and produce accurately the basic sentence structure of Arabic.

Full entry requirements can be found here

Course Information

This course is designed to prepare students who want to become familiar with certain aspects of Arabic culture, history and the radical changes that are currently happening. It will also develop the communication skills of those who desire to pursue further education in the academic fields of Middle Eastern Studies, Religious/Islamic Studies and International Relations or those who want to live and work in an Arab-speaking country and discover the people through their melodic and lyrical language.

By the end of the course, students will have a good command of the language at intermediate level used in everyday social conversations, current affairs and job-related situations. The course includes cultural and historical themes that provide students with an insight into the history of the Arabic speaking countries and surrounding region. 

Programme Aims

  • To develop your ability to communicate with native speakers in real-life situations on a variety of topics.
  • To enable you to learn and understand the shape, patterns, structures, sounds and conventions of modern standard spoken Arabic in a range of contexts.
  • To develop your ability to learn and appreciate different methods of expression in diverse styles.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to understand the people and culture of the Middle East by knowing the language.
  • To enable students to compose short descriptive and narrative text about topics covered by the programme using numerous grammatical structures and a range of Arabic expressions.


The course is comprised of 2 compulsory units.

Unit SCQF level Credits
Arabic as a Foreign Language 7 20
Arabic as a Foreign Language 8 20

Arabic as a Foreign Language 7

Aims to allow students to practice and develop oral communication skills; train them to listen to and understand spoken Arabic as a sympathetic participant in the native language within a range of contexts and a variety of styles; offer practice in reading and responding to different types of written language and enable students to produce written Arabic using some complex grammatical structures and a range of Arabic expressions at intermediate level.

Arabic as a Foreign Language 8

Seeks to provide students with the opportunity to converse fluently, accurately and in a participatory fashion in a variety of topics; train them to understand the patterns, structures and conventions of standard Modern Arabic at upper intermediate level; understand various kinds of authentic texts dealing with a variety of selected topics and to write short, simple narrative and descriptive paragraphs about the topics/themes covered.


Teaching will adopt a blended model of face-to-face and digital teaching methods.

There will be 96 hours of teaching/contact hours with the tutor per a term. Students will be required to attend 9.45 hours per week, for 10 weeks. Students are required to spend around 100 hours of self-study. Each unit contains different themes based on the level. Within each theme, students will learn a set of vocabulary and grammar topics. Students will develop their language skills through reading, listening, writing and speaking tasks related to the theme introduced. They will learn the language through a naturalistic and communicative approach.


Summative assessment: Four elements of assessment have been assigned for each unit- listening, speaking, reading and writing with grammar. Each component will be assessed individually at the end of the term.

Formative assessment: Two mid-term tests to monitor students progress and to identify strong and weak areas of learning and a presentation in Arabic to develop the students speaking and communicative skills in SCQF8 only. There will be a continuous assessment through writing assesments, homework, class participation and participation on the virtual learning environment (Moodle). 


Those who study Arabic can find careers in fields such as journalism, business and industry, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation, consulting, working for local councils or for international organisations. Graduates might also pursue further studies in translation and Middle Eastern studies. 

Student Life

As part of the Arabic courses, the College screens films in different Arabic dialects to expose students to different accents, in which they can compare to Modern Standard Arabic. Discussions about the film characters and storyline are held after the screening, to evaluate the students understanding of the film. The discussion covers all levels starts from basic information and ends with more advanced and detailed information.

The courses also includes speaking sessions, where students are encouraged to engage in group discussions with native Arabic speakers. The speakers are guests of the College and allow students the opportunity to practice their communication skills.

Students on the course will also occasionally enjoy the experience of tasting Arabic food and listening to live Arabic music.

Tuition Fees