Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024


Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (Arabic)


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Arabic Language 1 (ARAB1012) OR an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: Arabic Language 2 (ARAB2002). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The purpose of the module is to introduce students to the reading of modern Arabic literary texts in the original language and to prepare them for more advanced and specialised study of Arabic literature in subsequent years.


  • The module will be taught in two sections, not necessarily in chronological order.
  • One section deals with the history of Arabic literature in the pre-modern age, that is until the end of the 19th century, and provides an overview of the various genres and representative works.
  • The other section focuses on the development of modern Arabic literature, both prose and poetry, from the beginning of the 20th century until the present day
  • The lectures provide a framework for the reading and study of selected texts

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will have acquired a knowledge of some of the main forms of modern Arabic literature, together with a basic understanding of the historical and literary context within which those forms have been developed.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will be able to read and understand extended literary texts such as short stories in reasonably straightforward modern Arabic, and will have begun the study of selected modern Arabic poems.
Key Skills:
  • Development of analytical abilities in a literary context.
  • Acquisition of bibliographical and word-processing skills through presentation of written work.
  • Presentational and inter-personal skills through participation in class discussion.

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

  • Lectures and classes enable the basic literary structures to be explained and discussed.
  • Extended reading (as homework) enables the student to develop fluency and confidence in reading literary texts.
  • Seminars provide an opportunity for texts to be clarified and mistakes in students' reading to be corrected.
  • Assessed essays provide a means for students' progress to be assessed and their analytical skills further developed.
  • End-of-year examinations provide a measure of achievement over the year.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Seminars 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
Student preparation and reading time associated with the contact hours listed above, formative and summative coursework, general background reading, revision for written examinations, etc 170
SLAT Totals 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100% Yes
Component: Summative Essay 1 Component Weighting: 15%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 1 1,000 words 100% Yes
Component: Summative Essay 2 Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 2 1,500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:


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