BA Persian (combined)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

At SOAS the study of Persian can be combined with an unparalleled range of disciplines and languages. All combined-honours degrees in Persian expose students to at least three years' intensive study of Persian language.

Since its foundation Persian and Iranian studies have been a mainstay of the academic profile of SOAS. As a major centre of Middle Eastern Studies in the UK, SOAS provides an ideal and unique environment for the study of not only the official languages of Iran but many disciplines that together provide the students with a comprehensive overview of the country and its neighbours.

The four-year two subject honours degree in Persian and Another Subject at SOAS offers the students the opportunity to achieve an advanced level of linguistic competence in Persian in combination with a selection of other disciplines or languages.

Furthermore, the introduction of the year abroad in Iran will enable the students to become fluent in the formal and learned as well as the modern Persian vernacular, while experiencing the culture and traditions of one of the most vibrant and significant countries of the middle east. The presence of expertise in Iranian studies related disciplines at almost every other academic department at SOAS, as well as an active Centre for Iranian Studies further enhances this programme.

May be combined with:

  • Arabic+, T621 BA/PA
  • Development Studies, LTY6 BA/PDVS
  • Economics, LTD6 BA/PEC
  • English
  • French+*,
  • History, TVQ1 BA/PH
  • History of Art/Archaeology, VT36 BA/HAAP
  • International Relations, LT2Q BA/IRP
  • Law, MTD6 BA/PLW
  • Linguistics, QTD6 BA/LGP
  • Music, TWQ3 BA/PMS
  • Politics, LTG6 BA/POLP
  • Religions
  • Social Anthropology, LTQ6 BA/SAP
  • Study of Religions, TVP6 BA/SRP
  • Turkish+, T661 BA/TUP
  • World Philosophies

+ Compulsory Year Abroad is split between 2 countries
* Taught at University College, London (Apply to UCL only)


As a graduate who specialised in Persian, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a study of language in combination with literature, development studies, economics, geography, history, history of art and archaeology, law, linguistics, music, politics, social anthropology or religion.

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources. Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of the region, or to make a comparative study with other areas. The study of Persian may be combined with a huge range of other disciplines.


BA Persian and Another Subject is a 4-year degree that gives students the opportunity to study the language of Iran and a wider Persian speaking world from ab initio to advanced levels in four years and to learn about the literary traditions of the Persianate sphere of influence, in parallel with learning either another language, such as Arabic or Turkish, or a discipline that will give them a broader context of, for example, the History of Art and Archaeology, Religions and Philosophies, History, Politics, Music, Law, Economics and Anthropology of the region.

The programme structure varies depending on whether Persian is combined with another language or discipline.

When combined with a discipline, students take an equal number of modules in both named subjects, i.e. Year 1 students begin with the module for the intensive study of the modern Persian language (known to native, Iranian speakers as Farsi), while taking two other modules in their second subject.

In Year 2 students will continue with the study of advanced Persian language and will take a literature module in addition to two modules in their other subject.

Year 3 will be spent in Iran under the Compulsory Year Abroad Programme, currently in partnership with Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, where students will continue to study Persian intensively, as well as taking advantage of the many comparative literature, and art history modules available to them.

In Year 4 students will consolidate their Persian proficiency by taking the Translation into and From Persian module and a further three modules from a list of options related to Persian or Iranian studies, or to their second subject.

Year 1

Core Module

  • Elementary Written Persian A
  • Elementary Written Persian B


Students select either the following module:

  • Literatures of the Near and Middle East


The following modules:

  • Language, Learning and Writing
  • Languages of the World


Other Subject

60 credits are taken in the second subject.

Year 2

Core Module

  • Intermediate Persian Language

Compulsory Module

  • Classical Persian Prose Texts


Choose module(s) from List B or List C below or other Department-wide Modules to the value of 15 credits.


Other Subject

60 credits are taken in the second subject.

Year 3

Language Year Abroad in Iran (Compulsory)

Students will spend their Year Abroad at Ferdowsi University in Mashhad.

Year 4

Core Module

  • Persian 3

and either

Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from the list of Persian literature modules below.


  • Independent Study Project in Persian Studies.


Choose 60 credits in the second subject.


Choose 30 credits in the second subject.


Choose 30 credits from the list of Open Options:

  • Language Open Option Modules
  • Non-Language Open Option Modules

List A: List of Persian-language modules

  • Elementary Written Persian A
  • Elementary Written Persian B
  • Intermediate Persian Language
  • Persian 3
  • Classical Persian Poetry
  • Modern Persian Poetry
  • Independent Study Project in Persian Studies

List B: Approved options in the NME department

Please note that some of these modules will be subject to prerequisites and availability. Always check with the programme convenor.

  • Introduction to Arabic Culture
  • Nation and Nationalism in Middle Eastern fiction (in Translation)
  • Introduction to Israeli Culture
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa 1
  • Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa 2
  • Middle Persian
  • Elementary Written Turkish A
  • Elementary Written Turkish B
  • Arabic 100 A
  • Arabic 100 B
  • Arabic 200
  • Arabic 300
  • Hebrew 1 A
  • Hebrew 1 B
  • Introduction to Research

List C: Other Persian and Middle East-related modules

These are taught by the Departments of History, Study of Religions, Art and Archaeology, Music, Law, Politics and International Studies, and Economics. Before selecting a module, student's must first check that the module is at the correct level. They must also ensure that they meet any pre-requisites.

  • H130 Introduction to the History of the Near and Middle East
  • H248 The Making of the Modern Middle East
  • H246 Cities of Paradise and Empire
  • H247 Medieval Iran: Nomads, Settlers and Dynasts
  • H434 The Mongols and the Islamic World (II)
  • R130 Islam: Religion and Rationality
  • R190 Introduction to Zoroastrianism
  • Mysticism in the Great Traditions
  • Developments in Muslim Religious Thought
  • Messianic Movements in Muslim History
  • R230 Religions of the Early Near and Middle East
  • R490 Zoroastrianism in the Ancient and Modern Worlds
  • Shi'a Islam: Religious Authority and Community Identity
  • Themes in the Art and Archaeology of the Near and Middle East
  • Islamic Art and Architecture of Medieval Iran and Central Asia (10th-13th centuries)
  • Mosque and Palace in the Muslim World
  • Islamic Law
  • Government and politics of the Middle East
  • International Relations of the Middle East

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

To apply for an undergraduate degree at SOAS (including students wishing to transfer from another university) you must apply through the UK's central universities application organization, UCAS. An application form and details of courses can be found on their website. UCAS charges an applicant's fee for handling the application.

You can apply to up to five choices of higher education institutions or course on the UCAS form. How you utilise the choice is up to you. In other words, you could apply to do the same subject, for example, economics, at five different universities, or five different courses at the same university, or any combination of subject and institution. Nor do you have to use up all five choices. Whatever you choose you should list your choices in the order they appear in the UCAS handbook.

Entry Requirements

Languages at SOAS are taught ab initio, and no prior knowledge is required. A foreign language at A-level or equivalent is preferred but not essential.

  • Subjects Preferred: A-level or equivalent in a foreign language is preferred.
  • A-Levels: AAB - ABB A-Level language preferred
    IB: 35 (6/6/5)
  • Interview Policy: Candidates with "non-standard" qualifications may be invited for an interview.

Alternative entry requirements

  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB
  • Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
  • Advanced Placement: 4 5 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
  • Euro Bacc: 80%
  • French Bacc: 14/20
  • German Abitur: 2.0
  • Italy DES: 80/100
  • Austria Mat: 2.0
  • Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
London , Singapore + 1 More Less