Summer School in Zoroastrian Studies

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This summer school, jointly arranged by the University of Bergen (Norway) and SOAS (UK), provides in-depth insight into selected relevant aspects of Zoroastrianism. Each year, the school focuses on a different main topic, which will be announced during spring. Topics can for example include different periods of and contexts for Zoroastrian history, bodies of primary or secondary sources, Zoroastrian hermeneutics, visions of the past and the future, gender, architecture, arts and material cultures, formations of identity, exchanges with and impacts on other religions, the history of the study of Zoroastrianism.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the participants shall have gained the following learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skill, and general competence


  • The student has gained knowledge on a selected aspect of Zoroastrianism.
  • The student has obtained knowledge on matters of theory and method related to the study of Zoroastrianism.


  • The student has the ability to present results of reading to the class.
  • The student has the ability to write a coherent analytical text on a given topic.
  • The student is able to use the standard techniques of academic writing.

General competence

  • The student is able to interact with students from other countries.
  • The student is able to actively participate in classroom discussions on unfamiliar topics.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

The Norwegian Institute in Rome
Required Previous Knowledge
60 ECTS at university level on any subject.
Good command in English.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
This course is open to students registered in BA-programs at any university worldwide.
There will be an admission process, based on at motivational letter and educational background.
Teaching and learning methods
Classroom activities comprise lectures, student presentations, and classroom discussions. In addition to classroom activities, students are required to do preparatory readings and to write a term paper.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Active participation on all days while teaching goes on in Rome is compulsory and will need to be approved by the convenors.
Forms of Assessment
  • Classroom presentation of an essay in English of 1,000 words on an assigned topic based on the reading list. The presentation should be written prior to attending the teaching sessions.
  • 2,000 word term paper in English on a different topic than the classroom presentation. The topic will have to be approved by the convenor.
  • The essay and the term paper are weighted equally (50/50) when the final grade is set.

    The exam assignment will be given in English.

    The exam can be submitted in English.

    Grading Scale
    A graded marking scale (A to F) is used. A is the top grade and F is failed.
    Assessment Semester
    Reading List
    The reading list will be published by July 1. Typically, the list will comprise primary and secondary sources and academic literature.
    Course Evaluation
    The summer school will be evaluated regularly.
    Examination Support Material
    Programme Committee
    The Programme Committee for the Study of Religions at University of Bergen in Coordination with SOAS.
    Course Coordinator
    The Programme Committee for the Study of Religions at University of Bergen in Coordination with SOAS.
    Course Administrator
    Department of archaeology, history, cultural studies and religion, University of Bergen.