Arabic Studies

Arabic is the official language of over 20 countries with more than 375 million native speakers. These are largely concentrated in the Middle East, but there are minority groups of native speakers throughout the world. It is also an official language of the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the African Union.


What we teach

At Birmingham, you will learn the core elements of the Arabic language such as learning its 28-letter alphabet and transforming this into Arabic writing, the vocabulary of Modern Standard Arabic, and its simple ‘past and non-past’ grammar. By the end of our Level 1 Beginners Course, you should reach the Common European Framework equivalent of A1.1, enabling you to; introduce yourself, understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases, and interact in a simple way with Arabic speakers.

How we teach

The aim of the department is to put students at the centre of the learning process, with an engaging approach to small-group teaching.

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Arabic in the city of Birmingham

In addition to native speakers, many more millions know Arabic as a foreign language since, as the language of the Qu'ran, it is understood by Muslims throughout the world. Birmingham is home to the UK’s largest Muslim community outside of London, and one of its most culturally mixed cities overall. 

In recent years, a Qur’an manuscript held by the University of Birmingham has been placed among the oldest in the world thanks to modern scientific methods, making it an ideal location to learn the Arabic language. In addition, the University of Birmingham’s Guild of Students run an active Arab society and produce an on-campus magazine – The UoB Linguist Magazine – for all students interested in culture and languages. 

Studying Arabic can open many doors to people wanting careers in the Middle East and other Islamic countries. Birmingham is also home to the third largest airport in the UK, for fantastic access to destinations of your target language.