Springe direkt zu Inhalt

MA Iranian Studies: Iran in Antiquity and Late Antiquity

The Institute of Iranian Studies is delighted to offer its new Master of Arts (MA) program, “MA Iranian Studies”, which is conducted in English. The program has started in the autumn semester ("Winter Semester") 2019/2020

The aim of the MA Iranian Studies is to make the students familiar with various aspects of Iranian languages, cultures, history and religions from antiquity to the late antique era. In this respect, the Iranian cultural domain extends over a large part of Western Asia, far exceeding current political borders and includes the modern states of Iran, Afghanistan, the western regions of Pakistan, the “republics” of the old Soviet central Asia, and areas within the Caucuses. Other peripheral areas came under strong Iranian influence at other times. Median, Persian, and Parthian dynasties extended their empires westward into the ancient Near East, the eastern Mediterranean world, Egypt and northward into Azerbaijan and Armenia.


The teaching in MA Iranian Studies consists of three areas:

  1. Mandatory courses (60 credits)
  2. Elective courses (10 credits)
  3. Interdisciplinary courses (20 credits)

The core of the program consists of an intensive philological training in Old, Middle and Modern Iranian languages. The MA Iranian Studies offers Avestan and Middle Persian as part of the compulsory modules Old and Middle Iranian Philology. These can also be complemented with languages such as Old Persian, Sogdian, Parthian and Bactrian, which form part of the elective module Iran and Turan. Students who have not previously studied Persian will have the opportunity to study it as part of the programme. Those who know Persian can opt to study Kurdish in its different varieties or other modern Iranian languages (Modern Iranian Languages). We complement the language training with teaching of Iranian and Indo-Iranian linguistics in the elective module Introduction to Iranian Linguistics.

The compulsory module Iranian Religions in History examines the formation and development of Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, two religions that are commonly associated with the pre-Islamic Iran. Zoroastrianism is a research focus for many faculty members of the Institute of Iranian Studies.

Within the mandatory module Iranian History in its Sources, students explore aspects of Iranian history by engaging Iranian sources pertaining to an era or topic. This module offers students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Old and Middle Iranian languages by reading original material from the antique and late antique eras. Participants of the module will work with epigraphic and numismatic material as well as copies of manuscripts of ritual and religious texts.

Within the MA Iranian Studies, the students have the opportunity to obtain 20 credits from other departments. The Institute of Islamic Studies, for instance, provides an excellent opportunity to study Islam and its development in Iran more closely.

For more information: iranistik@geschkult.fu-berlin.de