Persian MA (joint degree) 2021 entry
Whilst St Andrews does not offer Persian as a single Honours degree, you can take Persian in combination with a wide variety of other subjects as part of a joint Honours degree. Persian is the second language of the Middle East and the Islamic world and is primarily known in Europe for its unique literary tradition and the cinematic achievements of the Iranian New Wave. Therefore, Persian offers a good opportunity for comparative analyses between different languages, literatures, cultures, national cinemas, histories, politics and economics.
At St Andrews, the focus is on Modern Persian, with emphasis on language, literature, drama, visual culture and cinema, but students are also given the opportunity to become familiar with classical literary and historical texts.
Students taking Persian with another language will have the opportunity to take an integrated year abroad between second and third year to a country in your other chosen language. Find out about more about integrated year abroad options.
Master of Arts (joint degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 June 2025
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
- Standard entry grades: AAAB
- Minimum entry grades: AABB
- Gateway entry grades: BBBB
- Standard entry grades: AAB
- Minimum entry grades: ABB
- Standard entry grades: 36 (HL 6,6,5)
- Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language, you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.How to apply
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
You do not need previous knowledge of Persian to apply. Modules are not designed for native speakers.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
The School of Modern Languages has a long-standing reputation for innovative research in an exceptionally broad variety of interests including world literature, linguistics, cinema, history, gender and identity studies.
Middle Eastern Studies at St Andrews (which includes Persian, Arabic and History programmes) was ranked third in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2021. The School of Modern Languages was ranked top in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2021.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2020 as 92.7% of St Andrews final-year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
In the most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework (REF), the School of Modern Languages was ranked first in Scotland on the quality of publications, with over 70% of research work rated as world-leading and internationally excellent.
Find out more about studying Persian at St Andrews.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours), you will take the required modules in Persian along with modules from your chosen joint subject.
Typically, you will take one Persian module per semester during your first two years, and two modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours).
Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.
Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their first year:
- Persian for Beginners 1: familiarises students with the spoken and written forms of Persian and enables them to begin to read basic authentic texts and to produce simple sentences to express themselves in written and spoken Persian.
- Persian for Beginners 2: continues the lessons from Persian 1 and provides an introduction to elementary translation and interpretation between Persian and English.
Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their second year:
- Intermediate Persian 1: consolidates students’ understanding of Persian grammar and vocabulary and allows students to read more sophisticated texts in Persian and to translate them to English.
- Intermediate Persian 2: applies language work across passages from contemporary and modern writing selected for their relevance to the understanding of contemporary issues, language and thought in Iranian culture.
If you take Persian in your third and fourth years, you will have four compulsory modules in the Persian language across two years. In addition to these four compulsory modules, you will choose from a variety of advanced options which incorporate literary, historical and cultural studies into language learning.
Modules at Honours level offered in previous years have included (but are not limited to):
- Introduction to Classical Persian Literature
- Key Texts in Modern Persian Literature
- Modern Iran through Cinema
- Modernity and Iranian Drama
- Songs of Love and Revolution.
In fourth year, students have the option of doing a dissertation module. This can be a short dissertation (5,000 words) or a long dissertation of (10,000 words) on an approved topic in Persian and Middle East studies. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.
Joint Honours degrees
You can take Persian as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.
Modern language degrees
You can also take Persian as part of a Modern Languages joint Honours degree with two modern languages and one additional subject.
“I picked up Persian in the first semester and it has turned out to be an exciting, engaging and thorough course. There is a fair amount of work to get you to a high standard relatively quickly, but the staff are very supportive and invested in their students.”
James (West Lothian, Scotland)