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Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

MA Comparative Literature (Africa / Asia)

Duration: One calendar year (full-time). Two or three years (part-time, daytime only) We recommend that part-time students have between two-and-a-half and three days a week free to pursue their course of study.

Overview

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Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

The opportunity to move from the familiar Euro-American literary canons into the fresh but less well known worlds of African and Asian literature is what attracts most students to this popular MA.

At SOAS, students benefit from the unique expertise in this vast field possessed by the school’s faculty.

This expertise is available to students interested in studying these literatures through English - including both original English language literatures of Africa and Asia and literature written in African and Asian languages presented through English translations.

While exploring new horizons and breaking out of the Euro-centric space in which comparative literature has developed so far, the course covers the major theoretical contributions made by Western scholars.

In doing so, it constructs a unique multi-cultural domain for the study of literature and its location in culture and society.

A prior knowledge of an African or Asian language is not a requirement for admission to this degree.

Structure

All students are required to take the core course in their first year. Two other courses, one major, one minor, plus a dissertation of 10,000 words must also be completed.
Core Course
English Based Options
Language Based Options:

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Year abroad

 No

Teaching & Learning

The taught part of the course consists of core lectures introducing basic concepts, theory and methodology; and additional seminars that extend the core material into other areas. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.

A 10,000-word dissertation written over the summer offers students the opportunity to develop original research in an area of special interest. The course is formulated within two tracks:

Learning Resources
SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Destinations

A postgraduate degree in Comparative Literature (Africa/Asia) provides students with competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding.  Familiarity with the selected region will have been developed through a combination of the study of it's literature and exploration of contemporary literary theories. Some graduates leave SOAS to pursue careers directly related to their study area, while others have made use of the intellectual training for involvement in analysing and solving many of the problems that contemporary societies now face.  

Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers in the business, public and charity
sectors. They leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.  A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

This course has challenged me to question my preconceived notions of binaries and absolutes, allowing me to develop a more nuanced interpretation of different literary traditions

Sheena Yingling Kang