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Iranian Studies (B.A.) (Two Subject Degree)

Iranian Studies deals with the history, languages, culture and religions of the Iranian-speaking region. This includes areas of today's Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan as far as India in the east and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Iraq and Syria in the west. In addition to language acquisition in Persian and Kurdish, the programme also deals with social, religious and cultural issues such as ideas of religion and history, gender roles in Iranian literature and media, and religious and ethnic minorities. An interdisciplinary approach provides the foundation of Iranian Studies.


Subject Name: Iranian Studies
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Regular duration of study: 6 semesters
Beginning of study: winter semester only
Language of the programme: German

Admission to the winter semester 2019/20:

  • 1st degree course semester: open admission (enrollment without prior application)
  • 2nd to 6th degree course semester: open admission (enrollment without prior application)
  • International applicants: open admission (application to International Student Office)


Description of the subject
Object/content/goals
Students acquire a sound active and passive knowledge of the Persian language and a basic knowledge of Kurdish. Moreover, they acquire an overview of Iranian cultural history from the pre-Islamic period up to the present and of the religions of Iranian-speaking peoples. The prorgramme also includes principles of analysing Iranian literatures and media, as well as knowledge of the history of Iranian literature and media. In addition to learning subject-specific terminology, the students are given an insight into the significant subject-related theories and methods. Through an individual choice of modules and internships, the students are enabled to specialise in preparation for specific careers or taking up a Master’s degree programme.

Research foci in Göttingen
Research in Göttingen is focused on Indo-Persian culture, manuscripts and documents as well as heterodox religious movements. Further research interests include the occult sciences, especially astrology. Literature, media and communication as well as aspects of identity-building processes in Iranian societies are also among the main fields of research represented in Göttingen.

Language requirements
Good reading skills in English are recommended. Depending on the student’s main focus of interest and combination of subjects, it is advisable to learn an additional language of the region, such as Arabic, Turkish, Hindi, Sanskrit, Hebrew, etc.

Structure of the degree programme
In the first two semesters, the focus is on learning the Persian language and acquiring an overview of Iranian cultural history and the religions of Iranian peoples. In addition, a seminar on regional studies is held.
The Persian language skills are consolidated in a language course in the third and fourth semesters. Before the Bachelor's thesis is written in the 6th semester, the students have the opportunity to gain insights into the analytical methodology of Iranian Studies, to complete a stay abroad or an internship, to learn a further language or to attend courses on specialist translation and Persian didactics; excursions also take place at irregular intervals. Depending on the specific specialisation, students can also choose between modules on religious and cultural traditions or on communication culture in the media and literatures of Iranian societies or acquire basic knowledge of another Iranian language or Iranian art and archaeology.

Combinations of subjects
The BA subject of Iranian Studies must be combined with a second subject. There is no regulation stipulating any specific combination of subjects. However, a combination with subjects relating to neighbouring regions and cultures is recommended, such as Arabic Studies/Islamic Studies, Turkish Studies, Indology, Ancient Oriental Studies, Egyptology, but also subjects such as political science, comparative religion, ethnology, sociology, general linguistics, economics or law.

Occupational fields
Depending on the orientation and combination of studies and relevant internships, occupations are possible in the areas of journalism, the publishing industry, development cooperation, diplomacy or business administration, and in cultural or intercultural fields, for example as a translator.