Arabic is the main language of more than 250 million people inhabiting a huge swathe of the land extending from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf. It is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Apart from opening the door to a fascinating and varied region, knowledge of Arabic provides access to the rich intellectual heritage of Islam. The School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures at the University of Edinburgh is recognised in the UK and internationally as a leading institution for research and study of Arabic, Islam, the Middle East, and other related subjects. This programme aims to develop your interest in, and knowledge and understanding of both Arabic and ancient Greek, together with the literature, culture and history of the classical and Islamic Mediterranean and Middle East. The inextricable links between the two languages and associated civilisations makes knowledge of both Arabic and ancient Greek, together with knowledge of the history, literature and culture of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, a highly desirable combination. This is not least because of the enormous importance of the classical Greek heritage for Islamic thought (and then to a considerable extent, via Arabic, in western thought after the 12th century CE).