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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ARA1021: Introduction to Persian History and Culture

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.


NQF Level 4
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module will run during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Michael Noble (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module introduces you to the great civilization and culture of Persia (including modern-day Iran, as well as historically speaking parts of Central Asia such as Afghanistan and Tajikistan, not to mention much of modern-day Anatolian Turkey and Iraq) from ancient until modern times. The module covers about 7000 years of Persian history, proceeding chronologically, beginning with pre-Islamic Persia around 5000 B.C.

The study of Iranian civilization and culture is the most neglected aspect of Islamic Studies today. This course remedies this shortcoming, introducing you to one of the world’s greatest empires, its classical Islamic civilization, its contemporary body-politic and its vibrant national culture.

This is primarily a discussion-seminar course, and the small-group format will require your intensive, active participation in and preparation for the class. Classes will be introduced by 45-60 minute powerpoint-illustrated lecture, followed by directed discussions based on pre-assigned questions drawn from the readings.

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