The degree program consists of 4 semesters. In addition to writing the M.A. thesis students have to complete a series of core modules as well as modules that can be chosen from different departments, which can be aligned with the individual interests of the students.
When completing the program, the students will reach a total of 120 ECTS, of which 60 ECTS go toward the core modules, 30 ECTS toward the free electives and the remaining 30 ECTS toward writing and defending the M.A. thesis.
Two foundation modules are to be completed. Each module is worth 5 ECTS and consists of a seminar and a lecture/tutorial. During the courses, the students will get an overview of the history of the Persian-speaking region, language and literary history as well as useful advice on writing academic term papers. The examination at the end of the semester will either be a 90-minute written exam or a 30-minute oral exam.
The module consists of a seminar and a lecture/tutorial. The goal is to maintain and advance the students’ Persian language skills through reading and translating different kinds of Persian texts, such as news articles, literary and non-fiction texts. Conversation and hearing exercises are also incorporated. The students are also expected to write their own texts on an advanced level. The examination at the end of the semester will be the creation of a portfolio (i.e. a small collection of translations) or the students’ own writings.
For the intensification module, students will work with historical sources and/or with texts of classical Persian literature. It consists of a seminar and a lecture/tutorial. During the courses, the students will read moderately difficult texts, i.e chronicles, instruction manuals for leaders from the Middle Ages (Fürstenspiegel) and classical poetry. The courses offer an overview of how to conduct research into historical sources as well as how to use academic tools. The examination at the end of the semester will be the creation of a portfolio (usually a small collection of translations from Persian into German).
For the building module, students will deal with topics, theories and methods of Iranian studies. It consists of a seminar and a colloquium. During the courses, relevant subject-specific questions will be discussed and students have the opportunity to practice applying theories and methods to specific topics. The examination for this module consists of a term paper and a 30-minute presentation. Lastly, the students will introduce their M.A. thesis topic at the Iranian studies colloquium.
The subject-specific module consists of two seminars and has the goal of more extensive discussions of relevant questions, methods and topics of Iranian studies. The goal is to acquire advanced knowledge of useful academic sources as well as to learn how to find basic and advanced literature for a specific topic. The examination for the module consists of a term paper and a 30-minute presentation.
For the practical module, the students can complete an internship or a study visit with a length of at least 4 weeks. For the internship and for the study visit, institutions and facilities are to be considered in which Iranian studies knowledge is applied. The examination consists of a detailed report of the internship or the study stay. It will not be graded.
Alternatively, the students can take courses from other departments within the Oriental Studies Institute. It would consist of a lecture/tutorial and a seminar/tutorial. For this alternative, the subject-specific modules of the other departments (Arabic studies, Islamic studies etc.) are to be considered.
Whether students choose to complete an internship/study visit or choose to take courses, 10 ECTS are to be earned for this module.
The free electives can be taken from departments within or outside of the Oriental Studies Institute. Students are expected to earn 30 ECTS in free electives.
After completing at least 60 ECTS, students can start working on their M.A. thesis, for which they have a time frame of six months to complete.