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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

 

A degree in Middle Eastern Studies offers a huge array of choices, leading to a rich and varied time at Cambridge. However, the number of options available and the flexibility with which courses can be combined, can seem bewildering.

Here is a simple of explanation the different combinations that might go to make up your degree. 

  • In each case you will learn to read, write and understand Persian from scratch
  • If you are combining with another Middle Eastern language, you will also learn that language from scratch

For details about individual courses, please see the full listing or contact the Undergraduate Administrator:
Email address: ug_progadmin@ames.cam.ac.uk

Persian and a European Language

  • You will gain insight into two Indo-European languages and cultures
  • You will study Persian alongside a language offered by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages (MML)
  • You are expected to know your MML choice to at least A level standard
  • You will have the choice of a variety of courses relating to Middle Eastern culture and history, as well as certain courses offered by MML
  • You will spend your year abroad in Iran

Persian and Arabic

  • You will study the two languages of classical Islam and gain access to two of the world's greatest literary canons
  • Although Arabic and Persian are not closely related, you will only need to learn one new alphabet
  • You will learn to read, write and understand Persian, alongside courses in Standard Arabic for reading and writing and Egyptian Arabic for speaking
  • You will have the choice of a wide variety of courses relating to Persian and / or Arabic literature and culture, as well as broader Middle Eastern culture and history
  • These courses may be offered in the Faculty or may be borrowed from other Faculties 
  • You will divide your year abroad between Iran and an Arabic speaking country

Persian and Hebrew

  •  You will gain a comprehensive understanding of two important Middle Eastern languages, their literature and cultures, and a well rounded understanding of Iran and Israel
  • You will learn to read, write and understand Persian, alongside the courses relating to spoken and written modern and Biblical Hebrew
  • You will have the choice of a variety of courses relating to Persian and / or Hebrew literature and culture, as well as broader Middle Eastern culture and history
  • These courses may be offered in the Faculty or may be borrowed from other Faculties 
  • You will divide your year abroad between Iran and Israel

Full Persian

  • Although we encourage students to study Persian with another language, either offered by MML or another Middle Eastern language, it is possible to specialise in Persian only
  • You will specialise in Persian from your second year at Cambridge (Part IB of the Tripos) - in your first year, you will take Persian in one of the combinations described above
  • You will immerse yourself in Persian, specialising in Persian language and literature and the history and culture of the Middle East
  • You will learn to read, write and understand Persian from your first year on
  • You will have the choice of a variety of courses relating to Persian literature and culture, as well as broader Middle Eastern culture and history
  • Because you will have no other language options, from your second year onwards you will be able to pursue more courses relating to literature, culture and history
  • These courses may be offered in the Faculty or may be borrowed from other Faculties eg Archaeology, Divinity, History, Linguistics etc
  • You will spend your year abroad in Iran

Lecturers

Dr Ashraf teaches courses relating to the history and culture of Iran, the Middle East and the Persian-speaking world.


Dr Ghaffari teaches undergraduate Persian language


Professor Melville teaches courses on Middle Eastern History.


Dr van Ruymbeke teaches intermediate and advanced literary Persian to undergraduate students, bringing to bear her expertise in and love of one of the great canons of world literature


Dr Dudney teaches undergraduate courses relating to the history and culture of the Middle East