SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Certificate and Diploma in Communicative Persian

Programme Code: UOFD0005

Start of programme: Tuesday 22 September 2015

This is a one-year programme with three syllabus units taught over three terms in one academic year.

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


The Diploma in Communicative Persian programme at SOAS Language Centre in London is designed to prepare students with no previous knowledge of Persian to live and work in a Persian-speaking environment. Complete beginners all apply directly for entry to Unit 1 in Term 1. Non-beginners should book a placement assessment to confirm they are at the right level for entry to Unit 2 in Term 2. A place in Term 2 can be reserved following satisfactory placement assessment. Because of minimum attendance and coursework requirements, there is no direct entry to Unit 3 in Term 3.

Students who successfully complete Unit 1 may progress to Unit 2. Students who successfully complete Units 1 and 2 are awarded the Certificate in Communicative Persian and may progress to Term 3. Students who successfully complete Units/Terms 2 and 3 are awarded the Diploma in Communicative Persian. 'Successful completion' means that the student has met the attendance requirements for the term, has submitted satisfactory course work and passed the end-of-unit oral and written exams.

A student awarded the Certificate will be able to communicate effectively in Persian in a limited range of situations and be able to read and write basic Persian with ease. S/he will have a good command of the language used in survival situations, social conversations, everyday transactions, discussions of current affairs and in various job-related contexts.

A student awarded the Diploma will be able to communicate effectively in Persian in a wide range of social and professional situations and be able to read and write Persian of considerable complexity, ranging across a wide variety of topics. S/he will have an assured command of the grammar and vocabulary of the language and be able to participate confidently in conversations that cover more sophisticated topics and/or involve mixed registers.

How do these awards compare with other standards?

Unit/TermAwardLanguage LevelCEFRCEFR Band


Progression to Degree

The Diploma qualification can exempt Diploma holders from the first year of some SOAS language degrees. Students taking the Diploma may apply, through the UCAS process, for entry to year 2 of the appropriate language BA. All aspects of the application will be considered on an individual basis, with a Merit (60%) grade on the Diploma being the expected level for admission.


The course, comprising 15 hours of class study per week, runs over four days a week, provisionally, Tuesday to Friday afternoons, In addition to classroom contact hours, small group or individual tutorials will be available by appointment. The programme is very demanding and students will be expected to spend around 20 hours of study outside class every week.

The programme is based on the communicative approach to teaching Persian and develops the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in a balanced way. Students will also learn to activate grammatical patterns and acquire a wide range of vocabulary which they can use to express their meanings accurately and appropriately. The programme is continually adapted to students’ learning needs and so the pattern of learning activities varies from session to session.

Other Academic Activities

Students will have the opportunity to attend relevant seminars and lectures in Persian or about Persian language and culture available in the School and those organised by the Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East and the London Middle East Institute at SOAS.


Students are assessed through a combination of termly written and oral examinations and continuous assessment. Students have to achieve 40% to pass. The overall term/unit grade will derive from continuous assessment (30%) and end-of-term/unit examination (70%). Continuous assessment will include marked homework and class tests, covering all 4 skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing), as well as usage and use of grammar and vocabulary in context. The end-of-unit and the end-of-programme (Unit 3) exams will assess all key components of the programme syllabus.


Core Unit Materials: 

Rezavandi, M. (1991) Let’s Learn Persian SOAS Language Centre Materials

Supplementary Materials: 

Parviz Brookshaw, D. and Shabani-Jadidi, P. (2010) The Routledge Introductory Persian Course Routledge: London
Parviz Brookshaw, D. and Shabani-Jadidi, P. (2012) The Routledge Intermediate Persian Course Routledge: London
Mace, J. (2002) Persian Grammar: for Reference and Revision Routledge: London


Term Dates for 2015 - 2016

Term 1: Tuesday 22 September - Friday 18 December 2015
Term 2: Tuesday 5 January - Friday 25 March 2016
Term 3: Tuesday 12 April - Friday 8 July 2016


Students who enrol on this programme may apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL) to cover the fees. For further information on this, please follow the link below:
Career Development Loans

Certificate, 2 Terms:
Home/EU Students: £7,140.00 *
The course can be paid in two termly instalments as follows:
• Term 1: £3,570.00
• Term 2: £3,570.00

Overseas Students: £8,450.00 *
(To qualify for a Tier 4 VISA, all overseas students must pay their course tuition fees in full upon accepting their offer.)

Diploma, 3 Terms:
Home/EU Students: £9,000 *
The course can be paid in three termly instalments as follows:
• Term 1: £3,570.00
• Term 2: £3,570.00
• Term 3: £1,860.00

Overseas Students:  £10,995.00 *
(To qualify for a Tier 4 VISA, all overseas students must pay their course tuition fees in full upon accepting their offer.)

* For Self-Funding students only, we offer a 5% discount to those who pay the full course fee at the start of the first term.

How to Apply

To apply for a Language Centre Certificate/Diploma programme you can download our application and payment forms or contact us for the forms. Please read the terms and conditions before filling in the forms. Completed application forms, accompanied by the course fee, made payable to SOAS, should be returned to SOAS Language Centre.

For Overseas applicants, you will need to apply for a student visa. To start this process, see our guidelines page.

Places fill up very quickly and, to be sure of a place on the course, you should enrol by August 15th, 2015