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

The subject of Iranian Studies covers a broad thematic spectrum about the Near and Middle East from antiquity to the present day. In addition to the acquisition of the Persian and Kurdish languages, students will pursue social, religious and cultural questions as part of this B.A. degree programme. These questions will include ideas regarding pre-Islamic religion and history, gender roles in Iranian literature and media as well as religious and ethnic minorities. An interdisciplinary bias forms the basis 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 2018/19:

  • 1st subject semester: open admission (enrolment without previous application)
  • 2nd to 6th subject semester: open admission (enrolment without previous application)
  • International applicants (non-EU): open admission (application to International Student Services)



Description of the subject
Object/content/goals
The 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. This course of studies also includes principles of analysing Iranian literatures and media, as well as knowledge of the history of Iranian literature and media. On the basis of this knowledge, students are to acquire a better understanding of and skills in dealing with 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 external modules and work internships or modules and internships to broaden their knowledge, the students are enabled to specialise in preparation for specific careers or taking up a Master?s degree programme.

Research foci in Göttingen
Research foci in Göttingen include questions relating to the religions of Iranian peoples during the pre-Islamic and Islamic periods, literature, media and communication in Persian and Kurdish, and aspects of identity-forming processes in Iranian societies.

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 main focus lies on learning the Persian language and acquiring an overview of Iranian cultural history and the religions of Iranian peoples. The knowledge of Persian can be expanded during the third and fourth semesters by studying Persian literature and media, together with the acquisition of a basic knowledge of Kurdish. Before writing the Bachelor?s thesis in the 6th semester, the students will have an opportunity to gain insights into the analysis methods of Iranian studies, to expand their knowledge of Persian or Kurdish further, or to acquire a basic knowledge of other languages or theories and methodology of other subjects from the available range of combination subjects. In the area of subject-specific knowledge expansion, the students can also choose between modules dealing with specific religious and cultural traditions, depending on the courses available, or modules covering communication culture in the media and literatures of Iranian societies, or acquire a basic knowledge of another Iranian language or of 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.