Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Modern Language and Cultures (Arabic)


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.


  • Intensive Arabic B + placement in Arab world (Intensive Arabic C)


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • to consolidate the students' knowledge of the grammar and syntax of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) acquired in Advanced Arabic A, B and C, with the aim of bringing their knowledge of the language to Advanced level;
  • to develop fluency in the reading of the texts on a wider range of subject matter in MSA and to further consolidate translation skills both into and from Arabic;
  • to develop further at an advanced level the student's ability in the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • to equip the student with the range of linguistic skills required to use the language in further postgraduate work or in employment.


  • The module continues the syllabus used in Intensive Arabic A and B, and in the placement abroad (Intensive Arabic C)
  • The main textbook used is 'Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-Arabiyya', Part 1, supplemented where necessary with other materials.
  • The module covers the second ten units of 'Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-Arabiyya', Part 3, supplemented by additional materials, including English-Arabic translation exercises, and media taped materials (e.g. news broadcasts).

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • by the end of the module, the student should have acquired a sound knowledge of most features of the grammar and syntax of MSA,
  • have developed his/her vocabulary to the point where he/she is able to cope without undue difficulty with extended texts in MSA on an increasing range of topics
Subject-specific Skills:
  • translate fairly complex pieces od prose texts into and out of Arabic;
  • write straightforward narratives and descriptions on a wider range of topics, and handle social and non-technical business correspondence in Arabic;
  • read and understand extended prose texts on a wide range of topics;
  • comprehend the main ideas and most details of connected discourse in MSA;
  • discuss topics of current and personal interest and handle most situations of daily life in MSA.
Key Skills:
  • The student will have:
  • enhanced presentational and interpersonal communication skills;
  • the ability to use language creatively for a wider range of purposes
  • an enhanced experience of language learning techniques, enabling students to further their study of Arabic on their own initiative.
  • enhanced techniques for using target-language source materials.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • language classes enable the basic structures of Arabic to be explained in an interactive environment;
  • Language exercises enable the student to develop fluency and confidence in the language;
  • regular class tests and homework ensure that progress can be carefully monitored throughout the year;
  • tutorials provide an opportunity for practicing oral and aural language skills and for the correction of errors;
  • end-of-module examinations provide a measure of the level achieved over the year as a whole.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 110 5 per week 1 hour 110
Oral Tutorials 44 2 per week 1 hour 44
Other (Language Lab) 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Preparation and Reading 424
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Classwork Component Weighting: 15%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
classwork 100%
Component: Interim Examination Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
2 hour examination 60%
oral examination 20%
aural (language lab) examination 20%
Component: Degree Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
3 hour examination 60%
oral examination 20%
aural (language lab) examination 20%

Formative Assessment:

Students will be given regular class tests and written homework exercises.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University