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Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures

What is Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures?

The degree in Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures gives students a unique opportunity to study the history, cultures and one language of the Middle East (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish) combined with a choice of a European language (French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Polish) and its history and culture. In this course students explore diverse perspectives on Middle Eastern and European societies through a study of history, literature and identity politics. The skills and in-depth knowledge acquired in this course prepare students to engage critically with, and contribute to, current discussions about the cultures, histories and religious affairs of the Middle East and their relationship with European societies as well as Europe’s millennia-long history of engagement with this region .

Ths skills and in-depth knowledge acquired in this course prepare students to engage critically with, and contribute to, current discussions about the cultures, histories and religious affairs of the Middle East and their relationship with European societies as well as Europe's millennia-long history of engagement with this region.

What will you study?

In your first year you will choose one European language and its corresponding area studies course. In addition, you will take a module focussed on a subject related to the study of Europe, e.g., Introduction to the History of Ideas and a module with a focus on the Middle East, e.g., Introduction to Jewish/Islamic Civilisation or Introduction to the Ancient Near East/Turkish Cultural History. There will also be a module that examines the relationship between the Middle East and Europe, e.g., Cultural Encounters between the Middle East and Europe. In your second year, you will continue to study your chosen European language and will start a Middle Eastern language of your choice. As in the first year, some of your modules will focus on Europe, others on the Middle East, and there will be a module that examines the historical and cultural encounters between Europe and the Middle East. The third year is spent abroad in a university in Europe or in the Middle East. Your final year offers you many different options and focuses on both languages (or only the European language if you choose), and continues to deepen your knowledge of European and Middle Eastern cultures and their engagement. Modules are assessed through a combination of project work, in-class tests, essays and end of year examinations.

Why study Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures?

The course in Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures at Trinity is a new degree that is unique in Irish and UK universities. This is the only course that gives you the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of both European and Middle Eastern culture and society and, crucially, their long, complex and sometimes fraught interaction. The degree course is offered by the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies, which is ranked in the top 50 language schools in the world. Its staff members have international reputations as researchers and a feature of the School’s approach is to offer research inspired teaching, ensuring you have access to the most up-to-date ideas in the study of the Middle East and Europe. The emphasis on small group teaching guarantees that your educational experience will be interactive and collaborative.

Study Abroad

The Departments in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies currently have links with the following European universities where students can spend their third year: for Spanish: University of Granada, University of Seville; for French: University of Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle, University of Geneva; for Italian: University of Naples; for German: University of Cologne, University of Hamburg, University of Vienna. Many of these universities also offer Middle Eastern languages and you may continue the study of your chosen Middle Eastern language while in Europe. You may also choose to spend the year at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (where you can continue your study of Hebrew or Arabic) or in a Turkish university. Other options will be available.

Special Entry Requirements

Applicants must present with at least one European language (other than English and Irish) in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent). If candidates are presenting one language (other than English or Irish), they must attain a grade of HB3 or higher.

Leaving Certificate

Advanced GCE (A-level)

If candidates are presenting two or more languages, they must attain at least the following grades:

  • Grade B in one language other than English or Irish OR
  • HC - In two of French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew Studies
  • Grade C In two languages other than English or Irish (as listed above) Students study one language from French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian and Spanish and, from second year, one language from Arabic, Hebrew and Turkish. Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and Turkish are available from beginner level
  • HC1 - If presenting French or German
  • HC2 - If presenting Spanish and taking Spanish as a non-beginner
  • HC3 - If presenting any other language

Career and Postgraduate Opportunities

Graduates of this course will be well placed to work in international relations and international development, with multinational corporations and with NGOs as well as in advocacy, diplomacy, journalism, academia, secondary school education, the Civil Service and the institutions of the European Union. Speaking a European language fluently and having a level of proficiency in a Middle Eastern language gives graduates a competitive advantage when it comes to recruitment in multinational companies, many of which have Ireland as their European base. Graduates of this course will also be well placed to take up further study in languages, history, cultural studies or—because of their language skills and their cultural understanding—international business and marketing as well as international relations.

Further Information

For further information on the language of your choice please go to the website of the relevant language department:

Arabic
French
German
Italian
Hebrew
Polish
Russian
Spanish
Turkish

If you have any further questions about the course, please contact the Course Director, Prof. Zuleika Rodgers (rodgersz@tcd.ie)

New degree starting September 2017