Persian is spoken throughout Iran and over large areas of Afghanistan. In the early modern period it was the lingua franca for the elite in the Indian subcontinent and is still taught in Muslim communities there.

The general intellectual and artistic contribution of Iran to Islamic culture is of crucial significance, and today Iran is one of the most important countries in the Middle East.

Students may choose to focus entirely on Persian, or may combine Persian with a subsidiary language. In addition to these courses, Persian may also be studied as an additional language as part of other degrees within the Faculty and wider University.

The Persian course includes a year in Iran (due to visa restrictions some students are unable to travel to Iran, in which case separate individual arrangements are made).

Persian with a subsidiary language

Students wishing to combine their study of Persian with another language may choose from the following subsidiary language options:

  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Avestan (Old Iranian)
  • Classics (Latin and/or Ancient Greek)
  • Hindi/Urdu 
  • Turkish.

It is also possible to study Persian with a modern European language. Students may also combine Persian with a modern European language.

BA in European and Middle Eastern Languages - Persian with a European language

European and Middle Eastern Languages is a four-year joint degree combining Persian with one of the following European languages: French

  • German
  • Modern Greek
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Czech (with Slovak).

You will spend around half your time studying Persian language and literature, and around half studying the other language and related literature.

In the first year, there is less literature in the European language to allow for intensive focus on the Middle Eastern language. You will normally spend your second academic year at an approved course of study in the Middle East. You are strongly advised to spend the adjacent summers where the European language of your choice is spoken.

Persian as a subsidiary language

Persian may be studied as a subsidiary language alongside Arabic, Classics (Latin and/or Ancient Greek) or Turkish.