skip to content

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


ERASMUS students who come to Cambridge as participants in exchanges will be expected to attend courses in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies or to pursue research on topics agreed with their home universities under the guidance of members of the FAMES Faculty.

The following guide-lines will apply.

1. It is essential that students have English language skills that are good enough to undertake an intensive and challenging academic course that is taught and examined in English.

All students who are non-native speakers of English are required to sit an online English assessment as part of their application. Details of the assessment including passwords will be sent to the student’s Erasmus Coordinator who will make the necessary arrangements for the student to sit the assessment. Assessments are carried out under exam conditions and consist of three parts; reading, writing and listening, each lasting no longer than one hour. It may also be necessary for the student to sit an oral assessment which will be carried out over the telephone. All assessments must be completed by the relevant application deadline.

Students are exempt from taking the assessment if they already have one of the following qualifications:

  • GCSE in English Language/IGCSE English Language (as a first language) at grade C or above
  • IELTS: minimum overall grade of 7.5, usually with 7.5 in each element
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English: at grade A
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: at grade A or B TOEFL iBT: minimum overall score of 100

2. Undergraduates will be able to choose courses at the appropriate level provided that they are available in the year in question.

Incoming students will not be accepted unless they have first contacted the Head of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies (for Arabic, Persian, Hebrew) or the Head of the Department of East Asian Studies (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) and have agreed a programme of study. Erasmus students will normally be expected to fulfil the standard requirements of the chosen course of study, but any variations will be negotiated between the student and the individual Department or lecturer.

3. Masters level students will also normally be registered as undergraduates in Cambridge.

They will be expected to choose from the numerous Part II courses: these are ‘advanced level courses’ which are appropriate for Masters level students. Masters level students may, if they wish, choose to focus exclusively on a longer dissertation that will be examined by their home university. A dissertation of over 20,000 words together with attendance at relevant seminars and lectures in the Faculty will be deemed to constitute a full year’s work in Cambridge. The Faculty will normally provide an adviser for such students.

4. Teaching and Assessment of Taught Courses

Students may take language classes at beginners (Part IA ab initio), intermediary (Part IB) or advanced (Part II) levels as appropriate, but this will have to be agreed with the appropriate Head of Department before arrival. Please note that some language classes may be oversubscribed in October and priority has to be given to those students registered in Cambridge for the degree of BA.

Students do not have to sit exams or submit dissertations for examination, though they may do either or both if they wish and if their College agrees to make the necessary application.

Students should note that they must have a good relevant linguistic competence in order to take a course.

5. Masters-level students may also register their interest in the Faculty MPhils.

Please note that not all MPhil courses are available every year and that numbers for these courses are limited.

6. All Masters-level students and doctoral students will have the opportunity to participate in graduate research seminars and Departmental research seminars.

7. At the end of the academic year students who have taken courses will be provided with a certificate detailing the courses taken and the level achieved though Cambridge does not formally participate in the ECTS system.

For more information, including application deadlines, please see the University of Cambridge information for Erasmus Students