Modern Persian is the national language of countries including Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It is the second language of the Middle East and the Islamic world, making it highly valuable across this geopolitically and economically important region.

Persian studies at St Andrews emphasise:

  • modern language
  • literature
  • drama
  • visual culture and cinema
  • classical literary and historical texts.
Azadi Tower in Tehran by Hooperag [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]


Postgraduate taught

Postgraduate research

The School of Modern Languages offers PhD, MPhil, and MSt (Res) research programmes. Research interests in the School cover many aspects of language studies, including:

  • literature
  • linguistics
  • cinema
  • history
  • gender
  • identity studies. 

To apply, you should first identify and contact a potential supervisor you would like to work with in your intended research area. Find out how to contact a research supervisor.

“I picked up Persian in the first semester and it has turned out to be an exciting, engaging and thorough course. There is a fair amount of work to get you to a high standard relatively quickly, but the staff are very supportive and invested in their students.”

- West Lothian, Scotland


First in Scotland and second in the UK for languages and linguistics

Guardian University Guide 2023

83% of research activity rated 3* or 4*

Most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021)