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MEELC (Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures) and Polish (TR040)

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 (Polish, Russian, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian) 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.

What will you study?
In your first year you will study Polish language and ‘Introduction to Central, East European and Russian Area Studies’. In addition, you will take a module focused 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 Polish and you will start a Middle Eastern language of your choice (Arabic, Hebrew or Turkish). 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. If you choose to go to Poland, you will study at the University of Warsaw.

Your final year offers you many different options and focuses on both languages (or only Polish 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.

Why study Polish?
Polish has a strong position as the sixth biggest mother tongue and the largest Slavic language in the EU by the number of native speakers. It can be a convenient gateway to the fascinating wider realm of Slavic languages, a community which geographically makes up a large part of Europe and Asia, and includes over 300 million speakers worldwide. Studying Polish opens up the possibility of exploring this rich cultural legacy, as well as learning other Slavic languages. Students enrolled on the course study Polish from scratch and do not need to have any prior knowledge of the language or culture. Special provisions are made for students with prior knowledge of Polish (heritage speakers, near-native speakers or those who have an entrance qualification in Polish). They study academic writing, advanced language structures and Polish-English translation.

For more detailed information on the programme, please contact the course coordinator: Dr Krzysztof Rowiński at