UK’s First Urdu Degree Offered by Manchester Metropolitan University

Home > UK’s First Urdu Degree Offered by Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) has made history by becoming the first university in the United Kingdom to offer a degree in Urdu. This groundbreaking program is set to start in the upcoming academic year and aims to promote the study and appreciation of Urdu language and culture. As the UK’s first Urdu degree, it opens new avenues for students interested in South Asian languages and enhances the cultural diversity of the academic landscape.

The Significance of Offering an Urdu Degree

Urdu is a rich and historical language spoken by millions worldwide, particularly in South Asia. By introducing an Urdu degree, MMU recognizes the importance of this language in global communication, literature, and cultural exchange. This initiative is part of the university’s commitment to providing inclusive and diverse educational opportunities that reflect the multicultural fabric of modern Britain.

Why Urdu?

  1. Cultural Relevance: Urdu is the national language of Pakistan and an official language in several Indian states. It is also widely spoken among South Asian communities in the UK, making it an essential language for cultural and social integration.
  2. Literary Heritage: Urdu boasts a rich literary tradition, with renowned poets and writers such as Mirza Ghalib, Allama Iqbal, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Studying Urdu provides access to a vast corpus of classical and contemporary literature.
  3. Global Communication: Urdu is one of the top 20 most spoken languages in the world, with over 100 million speakers. Knowledge of Urdu can enhance career opportunities in international relations, translation, journalism, and more.

Program Structure and Curriculum

The Urdu degree at MMU will encompass a comprehensive curriculum designed to develop proficiency in the language while providing a deep understanding of its cultural and historical contexts. Key components of the program include:

Language Proficiency

  • Beginner to Advanced Levels: The program will cater to students with varying levels of prior knowledge, from complete beginners to those with some background in Urdu.
  • Grammar and Vocabulary: Intensive courses focusing on the fundamentals of Urdu grammar, vocabulary, and syntax.
  • Speaking and Listening: Practical sessions aimed at improving conversational skills and auditory comprehension through immersive techniques.

Literature and Culture

  • Classical and Modern Literature: Students will explore the works of prominent Urdu poets and authors, studying their contributions to the literary world.
  • Cultural Studies: Courses on the cultural practices, traditions, and social dynamics of Urdu-speaking regions.
  • Film and Media: Analysis of Urdu-language films, dramas, and media to understand contemporary cultural expressions.

Career Development

  • Translation and Interpretation: Training in translation techniques and interpretation skills, preparing students for careers in these fields.
  • International Relations: Courses on the geopolitical significance of Urdu-speaking regions, enhancing students’ global awareness and career prospects in diplomacy and international organizations.
  • Business and Commerce: Understanding the role of Urdu in business and trade within South Asia and among the global diaspora.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students interested in the Urdu degree at MMU will need to meet the general admission criteria for undergraduate programs. This typically includes:

  • Educational Qualifications: A-levels or equivalent qualifications with a strong academic record.
  • Language Proficiency: For non-native English speakers, proof of English language proficiency through IELTS or TOEFL scores may be required.
  • Personal Statement: A written statement outlining the applicant’s interest in studying Urdu and their long-term career goals.

Application Process

  • Online Application: Students can apply through the MMU online application portal. Detailed instructions and deadlines are available on the university’s website.
  • Supporting Documents: Applicants must submit transcripts, language proficiency test scores, and personal statements.
  • Interview: Some applicants may be required to attend an interview as part of the selection process.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

To support students pursuing the Urdu degree, MMU offers a range of scholarships and financial aid options. These include:

  • Merit-Based Scholarships: Awards based on academic excellence and potential.
  • Need-Based Aid: Financial assistance for students from low-income backgrounds.
  • Specialized Scholarships: Funding opportunities specifically for students studying languages or South Asian studies.

Recent Statistics and Impact

  • Increasing Interest: According to recent data, there has been a growing interest in South Asian languages among UK students. The introduction of the Urdu degree at MMU estimates to attract a significant number of applicants.
  • Community Support: The local South Asian community has expressed strong support for the program, recognizing its potential to preserve and promote both Urdu language and culture in the UK.
  • Career Opportunities: Graduates of the Urdu program will be well-positioned for careers in education, translation, international business, and cultural organizations.


The launch of the UK’s first Urdu degree at Manchester Metropolitan University marks a significant milestone in the promotion of linguistic and cultural diversity in higher education. This innovative program not only provides students with the opportunity to learn a globally important language but also enriches the academic offerings at MMU. By fostering a deeper understanding of Urdu and its cultural heritage, the university is helping to build a more inclusive and culturally aware society.

For more information and to apply, visit the Manchester Metropolitan University website.

More Posts


Send Us A Message