BA in Oriental StudiesBA Courses in Iranian Studies
Introduction to Iranian Studies (b)
The course enables students to critically assess the historical development of Iranian society, economics and culture within the context of the wider West Asian area and to appreciate the complexity of the history and cultural make up of Iran.                 
Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics (e)
The course is a general introduction to the comparative study of the Indo-European languages, involving a historical overview of the field of comparative linguistics, the methodology employed, and the systematic examination of the phonological and morphological system of Indo-European, as well as related issues such as the Proto-Indo-European homeland, elements of cultural and social organization, etc.
Linguistic Theory (c)
Background and scope of modern linguistics; behaviorist versus rationalist theories of language; universal and cognitive aspects of language structure; interplay of genetic and social factors in language formation; linguistic analysis.
Iranian-speaking Areas (b)
Iranian languages, subgroup of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. Iranian languages are spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and parts of Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, and scattered areas of the Caucasus Mountains.
History of Iranian Languages and Dialects  (e)
The course typically approaches the Iranian languages in historical terms because they fall readily into three distinct categories—Ancient, Middle, and Modern Iranian.
Theoretical Grammar of Persian (b)
The basic modern Persian grammar course enables students to learn the Persian alphabet, phonology, morphology, and basic syntax.
Introduction to Literary Studies (c)
This course offers an introduction to a selection of topics, themes, and concepts central to contemporary scholarly debates on literatures, such as: the figures of the literary author, narrator, and character; how literary texts interact with the histories and contexts of the larger world; how narratives and texts open and close, begin and end; the relevance of power, ideology, sexual difference, and colonialism. Those and other areas of interest are first introduced and explained, then made relevant and further elaborated in close interaction with a selection of literary texts.
Iranian Literature (b)
Selected texts from modern and classical Persian poetry and prose. Provides insights into more comprehensive and critical study of Persian literature.
History of Persian literature from Rudaki to Hafiz. Studies epic, lyric, and mystic traditions placed in historical settings. Covers the most important genres such as the Qasida, the Ghazal, the Ruba’i and the Masnavi.
Development of poetry and prose after Iran felt and absorbed the impact of Western cultures. Periods and genres. Works of such authors as Jamalzadeh, Hedayat, Dehkoda, Al-e Ahmad, Nima, Sepehri, and Forugh.
Basics of Comparative Religion (ce)
This course provides an introduction to the academic and comparative study of the world’s religious traditions. We will take a thematic approach to the beliefs, practices, institutions, and cultural expressions of a number of world religions through required readings, online discussions, exercises, and essays, and a religious site visit. Major course themes include sacred power, sacred story, ritual, sacred space and time, religious experience, religious ethics and morality, and the relationship between religion, politics, and social conflict across and between religious traditions. Students will gain an understanding of the nature of religion in an academic sense, as well as its meaning for believers and practitioners.
Introduction to Theory and History of Oriental Religions (c)
An introduction to the great religious traditions of the Orient, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, and some modern religious movements originating in the East. Emphasis will be on these religions as living cultural, political, and philosophical institutions and systems helping to shape our world. Each religion will be studied with regard to such issues as the human attempt to understand the cosmos and shape social life, together with the need for mutual understanding and toleration.
Yazidis and their Religion (b)
This course enables to study Yazidis as an ethno-religious group who are strictly endogamous. Their religion, Yazidism is linked to ancient Mesopotamian religions and combines aspects of Zoroastrianism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
Islamic Studies (Shiism in Iran) (b)
Islamic Studies: Developments in doctrines, legal school, rituals and political thought of Twelver Shi'ite Muslims during early and late medieval periods (centuries VII-XIII). The emergence of the earliest Shi'ite communities in Arabia, Yemen, Iraq and Iran stressing the relationship of the Shi'ite Imams and their religious scholars to the Sunnite Caliphates.
Political Islam   (c)
Taking a historical approach, the course will trace the key events that have led to current Political Islam (Islamism) concentrating on the ideology and practice of various movements and groups.  It will explore contemporary constructs of identity and political arrangements within Islamism and encourage critical analysis and independent thought in relation to the challenges Islam poses to existing theoretical paradigms.  Areas to be explored will include: the political construct of early Islam, the Sunni/Shia divide, key ideologues, and contemporary movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hizbullah.
History of Iran from Ancient Times to Modern Days (b)
This course will present an interdisciplinary overview of the long history of Iran, which is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia, the Bosphorus, and Egypt in the west to the borders of Ancient India and the Syr Darya in the east, and from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south.
Basics of Iranian Ethnography (b)
Ethnography is the basic field research method in anthropology. Most ethnography in Iran has been conducted in tribal and especially in nomadic communities, where the distinction between public and private is more subtle and community life is more open for the ethnographer’s participation.
Physical Anthropology of Iranian Peoples (b)
We will discuss the origins of the Iranian race, and we will try to shed light on some unknown corners of history. We want to extract the facts out of centuries and millennia and out of paleontological studies.
Introduction to Kurdish Studies (e)
Fundamental features of Kurdistan’s geography and administrative subdivisions and cultures and way of live in the Kurdish  populated areas, read and translate Kurdish fictional texts; translate and account for the contents in Kurdish news articles from newspapers; hold a conversation in Kurdish with Kurdish native language speakers about current events and social situations.
Culturology (ce)
The Culturology course of study focuses on the concepts and theories dealing with the essence of culture, the principles and rules describing how culture systems emerges, changes and functions. The course objectives are to gain in-depth knowledge of the notions, methods and results in the realm of the theory of culture achieved in philosophy, sociology, ethnography, social and cultural anthropology and semiotics; to deepen the knowledge about culture theories; to improve the students' skills to present complicated conceptions.
History of Oriental Art (c)
An introductory course in the history of oriental art can have a tremendous impact on students. Even if you have never had another art history course, this will serve as an introduction and guide to a world of visual and intellectual richness that is accessible to you when you give it an earnest effort. Art history is a discipline which demands equal parts of art and science, creativity and organization.        
Introduction to Logic (c)
In this course you will learn the difference between an argument and an explanation, the difference between deduction and induction, and the differences among truth, validity, and soundness in argumentation. You will learn some of the very effective methods of analysis and criticism.                                  
Introduction to Law (ce)
Introduction to Law introduces students to legal concepts, principles and procedures. The course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the structure of legal system including the role of the judicial, legislative, and executive branches; the philosophical underpinnings of law; the history of law; the role of attorneys, law enforcement and other legal professionals; categories of law; litigation principles; and alternative dispute resolution. The course involves substantial reading and writing. Students also participate in trial simulations, debates, and have opportunities to work with legal professionals.                          
Politology (ce)
A general introduction to the domestic politics of countries in the various regions of the world, with an emphasis on the concepts used to understand why political issues and processes differ across developed and developing nations. Students also learn how domestic politics are shaped by super-national institutions and by national integration into a global economy.                                               
Introduction to Economics (ce)
This course provides a non-technical introduction to the basic concepts in economics. Using a small number of fundamental economic concepts, this course provides a foundation for informed decision making regarding current economic debates.
Translation Theory and Practice (b)
Translation plays a major role in the exchange and circulation of practical information and culture production. This means that even if they do not enter the translation profession, in a society that is increasingly global, modern linguists are frequently called upon at some time to translate texts for formal or informal purposes in a variety of careers and voluntary capacity. This module will introduce you to a number of issues that need to be considered when undertaking translation between languages (interlingual translation).
Persian (b)
The aim of the course is to provide a thorough introduction to contemporary Persian. By the end of the course, students will have covered basic grammatical constructions and acquired an essential working vocabulary that allows them to communicate within a range of situations in which learners are likely to find themselves. The language is presented together with the cultural context in which it is used so that learners are able to appreciate such things as appropriateness and linguistic etiquette when interaction takes place in the target language.
Turkish (e)
The Turkish teaching programme at RAU has three main aims: to provide students with the necessary grammatical knowledge, vocabulary, and experience of the language to become competent in reading, writing and speaking modern Turkish, and also in reading various styles of Ottoman Turkish (15th to 20th centuries); to introduce them to the worlds of modern Turkish and Ottoman Turkish literature; and to familiarize them with the broad outlines of Ottoman and modern Turkish history, and with the processes of cultural change.
Arabic (ce)
This course aims to give you a thorough grounding in written and spoken Modern Standard Arabic,   to introduce you to selected texts in both classical and modern Arabic, to introduce you to the literature of that language, to develop in general your skills of description, interpretation, and analysis of literary, historical, religious, and cultural material.
Hindi (ce)
This course introduces Hindi to students with no prior knowledge of the language. Students will develop basic reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension skills in the Hindi language. Students will learn the Devanagri script and the Hindi sound system through relevant, culturally situated materials. Students will be introduced to basic grammar and everyday vocabulary in Hindi. Equal emphasis will be given to reading, writing, listening and speaking comprehension. Useful phrases and common vocabulary words will be taught to the students against the background cultural information.
Balochi (e)
Balochi is spoken by more than 10 million people in Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and other neighbouring countries. The language can be divided into three main dialect blocks: Western, Eastern, and Southern Balochi. Balochi has a rich oral literature, but written literature and a standard language are still at a rudimentary stage. The course aims at giving a good understanding of Balochi through studying grammar alongside texts. Oral and  written exercises are included as well as courses about the Balochi society, addressing issues related to literature, religion, politics, and culture. The various Balochi dialects are studied, as well as the emerging standard writing language and its literature.
Kurdish (e)
Kurdish is spoken by 20-25 million people in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Kurdish is one of two official languages in Iraq according to the Iranian constitution and is the official language in the Kurdistan Region.
The language can be divided into two main variants: Southern Kurdish (Sorani) and Northern Kurdish (Kurmanji). Kurdish literature began to develop during the 1500’s in the partially independent Kurdish Emirate under Ottoman or Persian rule. The course aims at giving a good understanding of Kurdish through studying grammar alongside texts.
Talishi (e)
Talishi, a northwestern Iranian language, is, literally, the language of Talesh, a Caspian area politically split between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaiijan. The term indicates a diverse dialectal spectrum, usually divided into three main clusters: Northern, Central and Southern. During the course lexical, phonological and grammatical factors of these dialects will be studied.
Ossetic (e)
During the course, you will gain knowledge of the central grammatical traits of Ossetic and its two main dialects: Iron and Digor. The course will include both synchronic and historical analysis; the possibility of external influence on Ossetic grammatical features will also be discussed. We will read several texts, in particular fragments of the Nart epics and contemporary spontaneous spoken narratives.
Ancient Greek (e)
Ancient Greek focuses on the understanding and appreciation of the Greek language, culture and civilisation during the classical period. Students will be required to have reached a higher level of attainment in translation of prescribed and unprescribed Greek, and in Greek Composition, Grammar and Comprehension.
Classical Armenian (e)
This course focuses on the basic structure and vocabulary of the Classical Armenian language of Grabar, which is one of the oldest Indo-European languages. Course work enables students to acquire the alphabet, phonology, and grammar to achieve basic reading skills in the Classical Armenian language. Reading assignments include a selection of original Armenian literature.
Old Persian (b)
Old Persian is primarily known as the language of the inscriptions of the great Achaemenid kings. The extant Old Persian texts all date from the 6th to the 4th century B.C.E. They are written in a cuneiform script, probably designed at the behest of king Darius for the purpose of recording his deeds. The Old Persian grammar is fairly simple. In the first few weeks the students will get acquainted with its main features (from a synchronic and a diachronic prospective) and with the Old Persian script. Already after a few lessons we shall start reading the Behistun inscription of king Darius. During the course we’ll be reading extensive portions of this inscription as well as some other inscriptions of the Persian kings.
Middle Persian and Parthian (b)
This course is an introduction to Middle Persian (or Pahlavi) ad Parthian. It is designed to provide students with a clear understanding of these Middle Iranian languages a way that enables them to translate simple texts and analyse their grammar. Students who complete the course successfully will be able to handle simple primary sources of the Zoroastrian and/or Manichaean religions in the original Middle Persian and Parthian, and to assess critically translations made by various scholars.      
English (ce)
Combining Oriental Studies with English Language and Linguistics enables you to engage with the cultural richness of Asia and understand the mechanics and nuances of language. While studying English, you explore the structure of language and its relationship with culture, society, and the mind. A broad choice of theoretical topics encompasses such areas as syntax, phonetics and phonology, morphology, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, semantics, pragmatics, literary stylistics and critical and cultural theory, while modules in language learning and teaching, creative and media writing, and language and media have a more vocational focus.    
French  (ce)
French is one of the most beautiful romance languages. Outside of France it is spoken as far afield as Canada, the Seychelles, Madagascar and Mali. It is one of the official languages of the United Nations, and an important language in the EU. Combining Oriental Studies with French enables you to engage with the cultural diversity of Asia alongside a deep understanding of one of Europe’s most romantic and influential countries.
German (ce)
German is one of Europe's most important languages for business and culture. Worldwide, it is the second-most widely used language on the internet (W3Techs 2014). It is also frequently used as a second language in Eastern Europe, serving as a means of communication across international boundaries. Fluency in the German language, combined with knowledge of political and cultural developments in the German-speaking world, opens up career opportunities in many areas of Europe. Combining Oriental Studies with German enables you to engage with the cultural diversity of Asia alongside a deep understanding of one of Europe’s culturally important and influential countries.
Russian (c)
With its magnificent literature, richly expressive language and fascinating history, Russia appeals to a wide variety of interests. The range and flexibility of the RAU course provides opportunities for rewarding study which might include, for example, Tolstoy’s and Dostoevsky’s novels, Pushkin’s poetry, or the latest writing from contemporary Russia; the history of the Russian language and its development up to the present day, etc.
b – basic course
c – common course
e – elective course
ce – common elective course