Postgraduate study

Persian Civilisation MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Persian Civilisation

This interdisciplinary programme builds on a number of fields of study, including ancient history, Middle Eastern studies and Islamic studies. It is distinctive in its breadth and diversity, drawing on the University’s extensive expertise in Iranian historical and cultural studies from the pre-Islamic Iran to the present day. You will also learn from scholars with complementary interests in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

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 combine research projects at postgraduate level with specialist methodological, theoretical, literary, and historiographical training.

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

Compulsory courses:

  • Critical Readings in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Research Skills and Methods in IMES
  • Research Methods and Problems in IMES

Option courses may include:

  • Cinema and Society in the Middle East
  • Ideology and Political Practice in the Modern Middle East
  • The Qur’an – Islam’s Holy Book
  • Mystical Islam
  • Muslims in Britain: Migration, Faith and Identity
  • Of Wine, Love and Loss: Reading Iran through Classical Persian Literature
  • Modern Persian Literature and 'Modern' Iran
  • The Syrian War and the Strategic Meltdown of the Middle East
  • Gender and Media in the Arab World

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScPersian Civilisation1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScPersian Civilisation2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

This unique programme will provide you with research and analytical skills within the disciplinary field of Middle Eastern Studies, which can be extended into advanced study in this discipline. 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.

A UK 2:1 honours 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

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScPersian Civilisation1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScPersian Civilisation2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Professor Andrew J. Newman
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4178
  • Contact: A.Newman@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 31 July 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Programme Director, Professor Andrew J. Newman
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4178
  • Contact: A.Newman@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH