Department of Arabic

About Department of Arabic

History of the Department

Arabic was one of the foundation programmes introduced by this University since its inception.  The Curriculum and other preliminary work on this were carried out by the then Dr. I. A. Ogunbiyi who was appointed Senior lecturer in 1975.  From the beginning of 1976 and 1977, the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies took off with the then Dr. I. A. B. Balogun as its foundation head.  During the 1977-78 session, both programmes of Arabic and Islamic Studies were joined by Christian Studies and Comparative Religions Studies to form a new Department of Religions.  In spite of the affinity of Arabic with Islamic Studies, the fact that Arabic  distinguishes itself as essentially of language and literature makes students, lecturers and visiting experts in the field and other observers to note the aberration in its location in the Department of Religions.  Senate in its wisdom approved the recommendation of the Faculty Board of Arts and the Business Committee of Senate to grant a separate department to the programme.  Council also upheld the approval of Senate on this matter and approved a takeoff grant of N500, 000.  The effective date of its attaining the status of a distinct Department was 1st of August, 2004.  The programme has produced graduates of Arabic and through it, many Master and Ph.D. holders have been trained.  One of the products of Arabic who is the first to have made a First Class is the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University and currently the Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Olarewaju Oloyede. The Department has since produced three other First Class Graduates.

There are particular characteristics, which distinguish Arabic from the other Arts disciplines because it is a language, which has been studied and developed by Nigerians for eight centuries before their study of other foreign languages.  Its subject matter continues to elicit the interest of millions of Nigerians who study it without depending on government support.  The legacy of skill, quality and accomplishment left behind by such prolific Nigerian writers in Arabic serve as a source material for historians and other cognate disciplines in the Arts and Social Sciences.  It also serves as a stimulus for students wishing to learn it as an academic discipline in the university as a continuum to what happens outside the Universities cumulatively and iteratively in addition to those who study it out of sheer interest in a foreign language.  It also provided diagnostic categories at different layers of language to enrich applied linguistics.  This reciprocal relationship of Arabic with other disciplines is bound to positively influence the students of the subject.  The language has influenced many Nigerian languages through convergence of lexical items through borrowing.


The philosophy of the Departments includes:

  1. Enabling the students to acquire spoken and written competence in the Arabic Language
  2. Acquainting students with the socio-cultural, commercial, political and diplomatic aspects of the life of the speakers of the language, with a view to promoting international understanding.
  3. Equipping students with the adequate training for jobs in the fields of teaching, research, translation and interpretation, administration, journalism and diplomatic services.

Aims and Objectives

  1. Students should be able to acquire important abilities required in the spoken and written Arabic. Students should be able to develop qualities of mind through a full awareness of the socio-cultural, commercial, political, diplomatic, economic as well as military aspects of the life of the speakers of Arabic which is the most widely spoken mother tongue in Africa in addition to its heartlands in the Middle East. 
  2. Students should be able to appreciate the contributions of Nigerian authors to Arabic scholarship, to show ability to understand the thoughts and language skills of those scholars in the context of the past and in juxtaposition with the present, which sheds light on the dynamics of change and the reality of continuity in spite of change.
  3. Students should be able to read and digest all texts critically and emphatically as they pay due attention to form and content, genre and style as well as perspective and purpose. They should be able to imbibe the personal attitudes of being critical and yet tolerant.  
  4. Students should be able to acquire basic critical skills such as: 

  • recognition of distinction between antithesis and synthesis on one hand and balancing on the other; that statements are not all of equal validity, that there are ways of testing them;  that what a word must mean in a context is more critical to knowledge than what it may mean. 
  • Students should be able to demonstrate their mastery of the language through a clear, coherent and appropriate choice of diction with a sense of economy of expression both in their oral and written work. Their exposure to grammar and rhetoric will inculcate in them qualities of systematic thought and to be good in logic. 

Such skills and abilities listed above will equip students with adequate training relevant to job opportunities such as teaching, research, translating, administration, journalism, military and diplomatic assignments and for self-employment as a consultant.

Title of the Degree(S)

B. A. Arabic

Admission Requirements

  1. - Years  (8 – Semester) Degree Programme
  2. Credit passes in five (5) subjects including Arabic at the Senior Secondary School Certificate of WAEC, NECO, NABTEB, NBAIS or their equivalent for a four year or eight Semester programme then they are required to obtain an acceptable score in the University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). 

  1. 3 Year (Six Semester) Degree Programme

Candidates with recognized diploma or NCE or their equivalents in Arabic language are eligible for admission into a three year or six semester degree course in Arabic. Candidates who do not possess a credit in the Arabic language may be admitted into a five (5) year degree programme, the first of which should be a one year preparatory course. 

At least two ‘A’ Level passes to include Arabic and any other Arts/Social Science Subject.
Passes in two teaching subjects, including Arabic in the NCE. 
Five ‘O’ Level/ Senior Arabic and Islamic Studies Certificate (SAISC) credit passes to include English Language, Arabic and three other Arts/Social Science Subjects. Arabic and any other two Arts/Social Subjects UNILORIN accepts relevant Diploma ofUnilorin & Bayero  University, Kano (this satisfies both A/L and O/L admission requirements by Direct Entry)
Candidates who did not offer Arabic at U.T.M.E. but meet U.T.M.E. entry requirements may be considered into 100 level.
  U.T.M.E.   UNILORIN may accept candidates with      no Arabic but who meets     other  entry requirements   e.g. Islamic Studies

Upcoming Events

December 13, 2021

Continuous Assessment

January 14, 2022

End of Rain Semester Lectures

January 17, 2022

Lecture Free Week for Revision

January 24, 2022

Commencement of Rain Semester Examination

February 11, 2022

End of Rain Semester Examinations