Religion in Modern Iran TRS4091

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the main contours of religion (Shi'a Islam) in modern Iran from 1875 to the contemporary age. A variety of primary texts and films will be examined to illustrate the various developments in the 125+ years of modern Iranian history.


1x2hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in TRS and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theology and Religious Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

TRS4009 Religion in Modern Iran




Essay (2,500 words) - 40%

Presentation of 10 minutes followed by discussion chaired by the student - 10%

Examination (90 minutes duration) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ gain an understanding of modern Iran;

■ deepen their understanding of  Shi'a Islam, which is so pertinent to Iran;

■ explore the role of "religion" in Iran and its relationship to politics and culture

■ analyse the insights shed on the meaning of "religion" arising from the Iranian context.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ discuss the themes of modern Iranian religious history;

■ critically analyse key themes in Shi'a Islam;

■ identify the predominant themes in key works and in contemporary Iranian films;

■ evaluate and analyse the term religion as applied to Iran;

■ apply these analytical skills to other traditions in the world.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.