Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA Persian and English Literature

UCAS code: T6Q3

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Persian and English Literature

With over 120 million native speakers, Persian is one of the major languages of Middle East and Central Asia. To study Persian is to enter into a rich and diverse culture that has produced major epic and Sufi poets, exquisite miniature painting, fine textiles and world-class cinema. Persian is also a gateway to modern Iran, a dynamic society at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Our programme is designed to give you a thorough grounding in both classical and modern Persian, enabling you to access a wide range of original material.

Studying English Literature will further develop your critical, analytic, linguistic and creative skills. Engaging with a broad range of texts and a variety of approaches to reading, you will acquire an understanding of the cultural contexts of writing in English from the late middle-ages to the present. By enhancing your unique literary faculties, our programme prepares you to contribute to a society in which an understanding of texts of all kinds is crucially important.

The School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures at the University of Edinburgh is recognised in the UK and internationally as a leading institution for the research-led study of Persian, together with Arabic, Islam, and the Middle East. We're proud to be the world's oldest centre for the study of English Literature and to be located in UNESCO's first World City of Literature, offering a rich array of unique resources which facilitate scholarship and learning.

Year 1

You will study basic Persian grammar, vocabulary and conversational skills. You will also take courses in modern Middle Eastern history.

In English Literature, you will take two 'Literary Studies' courses which will introduce you to the essential skills needed for the critical close reading of the core literary genres of poetry, drama and prose. You will read works of literature written in English from around the world, and encounter a range of ideas about the nature and purpose of literary study.

Year 2

You will continue with your Persian language study and take courses in the religion of Islam and Islamic and Middle Eastern cultures.

You will also be introduced to the study of English Literature in its cultural and historical contexts, focusing on a selection of major periods. These courses will explore the relationship between literary texts and the construction of national, international and imperial cultures.

Year 3

You may have the option of spending Year 3 in a Persian-speaking country, or at an approved institution elsewhere, improving your language skills and undertaking independent study. Options may include a semester on exchange at a Middle Eastern university.

If you are studying abroad, you'll undertake an English Literature long essay.

If international travel is not possible, you will be offered alternative ways of engaging with your subjects. This will allow you to meet your learning outcomes and prepare for your final year.

Year 4

You will continue to develop your translation and conversational skills in Persian, take a further option course in Persian, and will write your honours dissertation.

You will also take specialist courses in English Literature, enabling you to explore different periods, topics and approaches according to your area of interest.

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area, where we have excellent:

  • computing and audiovisual resources
  • support services
  • social spaces

You will also have access to over 23,000 Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies resources in our collections, including Islamic manuscripts.

Events and activities

With multiple student societies for literature and drama enthusiasts, our large English Literature community has lots to offer. We have:

  • reading and writers' groups
  • poetry slams
  • creative writing magazines
  • guest seminars
  • a Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme called LitPALS

We also have a fantastic Writer-in-Residence who organises talks and workshops by visiting writers, as well as our annual writing prizes.

English Literature in the city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city, and UNESCO's first World City of Literature. It is filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections. These include the National Library, Museum, and Galleries of Scotland. It offers many unique resources to enhance your learning experience.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, it may be possible to study abroad in a Persian-speaking country, or at an approved institution elsewhere.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Experienced lecturers and language instructors will teach a combination of:

  • seminars
  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • language classes

You will be expected to undertake substantial reading each week in preparation for classes in English Literature.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed using a combination of exams and coursework, including:

  • essays
  • presentations
  • close reading exercises
  • oral language examinations

You will also complete a dissertation in your final year.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2021/22)

Studying a language to degree level gives you a set of skills and life experiences highly prized by employers. The skills you develop by studying English Literature, including the ability to think critically and work independently and to deadline, are also essential in many careers.

This programme is an excellent primer for a range of careers in:

  • the media
  • industry
  • civil service
  • diplomatic service
  • non-governmental organisations

Increasing migration and changing global dynamics have created high demand for language graduates, both at home and abroad. This includes roles in:

  • translation
  • interpreting
  • education

Further study

There are opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level. Year 4 will help you to develop the research skills needed if you choose this path.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA-AABB by end of S5 or AAAA-AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 36 points with 665 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: English at B. National 5s: a language other than English at A.
  • A Levels: English Literature or combined English at B. GCSEs: a language other than English at A or 7.
  • IB: HL: English at 5. SL: a language other than English at 6.

Additional requirements

Native speakers

Please note that the Persian degrees involve beginners language study and are not suitable for native or near-native speakers.

Language requirement

For degrees that have a subject requirement of a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

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

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Persian and English Literature

Additional costs

If international travel restrictions allow, Year 3 will involve study abroad in a Persian-speaking country or at an approved institution elsewhere. You will be responsible for associated travel costs such as flights and visas.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding