Iranian Studies (MLitt) 2016 entry
The MLitt in Iranian Studies offers students the opportunity to study the history, politics and international relations of Iran in a diverse and intellectually stimulating environment.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a subject-related area. Students do not need knowledge of the Persian language for admission.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
UK and EU: £6,800
- sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate
- letter of intent (optional).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
- Iranian Studies is the first taught postgraduate programme of its kind in the United Kingdom.
- Students benefit from the burgeoning resources of the University Library which has some 6,000 Persian books and 800 films.
- The programme is ideal for those who do not wish to pursue an academic path but do require expertise and knowledge to better pursue their chosen career, be it in journalism, government or the corporate sector.
The MLitt in Iranian Studies introduces students to major themes, concepts and questions including aspects of methodology and historiography, and questions of nationalism, religion and social structures, as well as an outline of Iran’s place in the region and the broader international community.
The taught programme includes a compulsory module introducing students to the study of Iran, with further module options in Iranian history, politics and language.
The modules are taught through seminars, lectures and fortnightly tutorials, with class sizes ranging from individual supervision up to 12 students. The modules are assessed through coursework or a combination of coursework and examination.
Students will spend the final three months of the course focusing on researching and writing the final assessment piece for the MLitt, a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue.
- Themes in Middle Eastern History and Politics: looks at a variety of theoretical and disciplinary approaches, including Orientalism, and explores questions of nationalism, statehood and identity.
- Directed Reading in Middle Eastern History (1 and 2): designed to encourage the development of skills of historical analysis through concentrated study of a topic chosen by the student in consultation with a supervisor.
Students take one of the following:
- Iran and the World since 1921: looks at the development of the modern Iranian state from its inception under Reza Khan in the 1920s to the present day.
- Mediaeval Iran: from the Sasanids to the Samanids: looks at the changing nature of Iran from the perspective of its politics, religion and culture in the period circa 200-1000.
If students choose to pursue a language option, they will take the following module track instead:
- Middle Eastern Historical Translation and two modules in Persian at the appropriate level (Persian for Beginners 1 and 2 or Intermediate Persian 1 and 2)
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry.
Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
Conferences and events
The School of History hosts the Middle East History and Iranian Seminar Programme. Seminars are held at 5:15pm in the Old Seminar Room, 71 South Street, St Andrews (unless otherwise noted).
The School of History is pleased to be able to offer a number of competitive scholarships which contribute to the fees and maintenance for postgraduate study.
- Language Bursaries: enables students to undertake intensive language courses abroad during the summer before their programme begins.
- School of History MLitt Awards: offers the cash equivalent of one year's home fees and cannot be held in conjunction with other awards offering full fees and maintenance.
After the MLitt
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Iranian Studies.
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere. PhD Applications are welcomed in a broad range of research topics relating to the history, politics and international relations of Iran.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% reduction in postgraduate tuition fees for students who have graduated during the last three years and are now starting a postgraduate programme.
Arts and Humanities Research Council studentships
The AHRC offers studentships at RCUK rates for PhD research in a range of subjects including history.
History postgraduates go on to pursue careers in a range of sectors including journalism, publishing, think tanks, government, law and teaching.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).