Diploma 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.

Course Level

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

The Diploma in Arabic Language is awarded at SCQF level 10

Course Duration

8 months (full-time) starting in September

Entry Requirements

Do I need prior knowledge of this subject?

Yes – students would have completed level SCQF 8, or equivalent, in Arabic. This means students should have the ability: to read a range of styles in Arabic, from formal to informal and journalistic to expository, to understand texts of general interest, to carry out basic research and understand main ideas in non-technical writing, to use context and grammar to identify the form and guess the meaning of unfamiliar words, to write essays and opinion pieces on topics they have studied and to read, write and speak with increasing grammatical accuracy.

Full entry requirements are available here

Course Information

The Diploma in Arabic Language is intended for students who are eager to become familiar with certain aspects of Arab culture, society and history and/or pursue education in academic fields such as Arab/Middle Eastern History/Studies as well as Islamic Studies. The philosophy of this programme is to teach Arabic as a living language to a diverse body of students with a wide variety of academic and professional needs. Therefore, it aims to develop all four skills, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing. It is designed as a customised award according to the standards and guidelines set out by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Programme Aims

  • To provide students with the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing with fluency and confidence to engage with a variety of topics for different purposes, situations and audiences.
  • To develop your linguistic and analytical skills in order to understand the patterns, structures and conventions of modern standard spoken Arabic in a range of contexts and a variety of styles and including authentic texts.
  • To develop your linguistic and cognitive skills to become an independent Arabic speaker for professional and personal enrichment.
  • To train students to compose descriptive, discursive and narrative texts on a range of topics using varied grammatical structures and Arabic expressions.
  • To provide exposure to different topics throughout the programme to develop students insight into the nature of Arabic culture and society and improve their intercultural competence.


The programme is comprised of 2 compulsory units.

Unit SCQF level Credits
Arabic as a Foreign Language 9 20
Arabic as a Foreign Language 10 20

Arabic as a Foreign Language 9

Aims to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate the skills in speaking necessary to understand and communicate in Arabic and comprehend the  language confidently, effectively, precisely and appropriately; enable them to understand most of the details of spoken language of various kinds (lectures, conversations, radio and television broadcasts etc.) at the advanced level; train students to become critical readers of a range of authentic texts/articles (literary, journalistic etc.) dealing with a variety of topics; and provide them with the opportunity to compose descriptive, discursive and narrative essays about various topics using complex and diverse language.

Arabic as a Foreign Language 10

Aims to enable students to communicate effectively and appropriately in a variety of fields (business, literature, humanities, and politics), and allow them to listen to and understand reports and commentaries in those fields, presented in Arabic. Students will also get the opportunity to read and understand original Arabic materials on a range of topics, and practice different writing styles (e.g. formal letter, news reports, presentations).


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 topic. 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 study and a presentation in Arabic in SCQF 9 and in SCQF 10 to develop the students’ speaking and communicative skills. There will be a continuous assessment through writing assignments, 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 programmes, 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 programme 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 programme will also occasionally enjoy the experience of tasting Arabic food and listening to live Arabic music.

Tuition Fees