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Persian Civilisation MSc

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MSc Persian Civilisation - 1 Year (Full-time)
MSc Persian Civilisation - 2 Years (Part-time)

Fees & costs information

Where available, individual programme fees are linked above. For details information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Contact information
Graduate School Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4114
Dr Nacim Pak-Shiraz (Programme Director)
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 8432
Address: Graduate School
School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
Room 1.13, 50 George Square
Central Campus

The MSc in Persian Civilisation is an interdisciplinary programme that builds on a number of fields of study, including classics, ancient history, Middle Eastern studies and Islamic studies.

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, ideally with a background in Islamic and/or Middle Eastern studies or in ancient history or Middle Eastern civilisations.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

How to apply

You must submit a reference with your application.

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Programme description

The taught MSc in Persian Civilisation is distinctive in its breadth and diversity, drawing on the University’s extensive expertise in Iranian historical and cultural studies from the period c800BCE to the present day. You will also learn from scholars with complementary interests in the Middle East and the Mediterranean from both our School and the University’s School of History, Classics & Archaeology.

The programme provides a wide-ranging academic teaching and learning experience, one unique in the field of Persian studies, particularly for those who wish to engage with both the pre-Islamic and Islamic cultures of Iran, and for those wishing to combine research projects at postgraduate level with specialist methodological, theoretical, literary, and historiographical training.

Programme structure

The programme will combine seminar work, oral presentations and essays, culminating in a dissertation. You will complete two compulsory courses, two research units and two option courses over two semesters, followed by an independently researched dissertation. You may also take additional language courses in introductory Persian, Turkish or Arabic.

Compulsory courses:

  • The History and Culture of Iran: From Ancient Persia to Contemporary Iran; Ruling Iran: Great Kings, Shahs and Imams.

Option courses may include:

  • The Achaemenid and Hellenistic Courts
  • Achaemenid Historiography from Cyrus to Alexander
  • Cinemas of the Middle East
  • Ideology and Political Practice in the Modern Middle East
  • Jihad: Theory and Practice
  • Mystics, Monarchs and Lovers: Reading Classical Persian Literature in Translation
  • Theatre of Monarchy: The Umayyad Empire: the Islamic World in its Late Antique Context
  • Iran From the Safavids to the Islamic Republic
  • Crowns and Concubines: Court Society
  • Ancient Superpowers: Rome and Persia
  • Modern Persian Literature and Modern Iran
  • From Shahs to Ayatollahs: The History of Modern Iran

Career opportunities

This unique programme will provide you with research and analytical skills within the disciplinary fields of Middle Eastern Studies and/or Classics and Ancient History, which can be extended into advanced study in any one or all of these disciplines. You will be equipped with skills that could be valuable in a range of careers, such as politics, the arts, or the cultural or heritage sectors.

The range of transferable skills you gain, such as communication, time management, team work, and project management, will prove highly valuable to potential employers in whatever field you choose to enter.

Further information

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