[skip to content]

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

MA in Cultural Studies

Duration: Full time - 1 year Part time - 2 or 3 years


Minimum Entry Requirements: Equivalent of a UK 2:1 degree

Start of programme: September intake only

The aim of the programme is to offer grounding in the theories on Cultural Studies which draws on Marxism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Post-Marxism, Feminism, and Post-Modernism and their use, application and adaption in the cross-cultural contexts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  It provides an examination of the main historical concepts in Western culture such as ideology, power, class, identity, race, nation, subjectivity, representation, and memory and how these are challenged by scholars working in non-Western cultures of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The aim is to explore the different and plural cultural histories and memories of these contexts to which Cultural Studies must adapt.

Theoretical paradigms covered will reflect on issues of class, ‘race’, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, representation and religion. The course will investigate central questions of epistemology and methodology in relation to the application of Cultural Studies theories in non-Western contexts. The programme is theory and practice based and therefore, it draws on case studies from a diversity of cultural practices, genres and contexts to elucidate complex theoretical concepts and challenge their limitations and/or validity in the context of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The programme aims to equip students with sufficient knowledge to understand and evaluate the way in which Cultural Studies theories and methods are used in cross-cultural contexts and hence develop analytic skills for undertaking their own research projects.


The Programme will consist of modules valued at 3 units and a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Full-time students will be allowed to enrol for four units during term one (part-time students two or three), if one of the units is a language acquisition unit. At the end of term one they will have to withdraw from one unit, leaving units to the value of three (pro rata for part-time students) and a dissertation.

Core Courses
Optional Courses

Choose modules to the value of two units from the Lists below. No more than 1 unit can be taken from Group B or C.

Group A (From the Faculty of Languages and Cultures)
Group A (From the Faculty of Arts and Humanities)
Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Centre for Media and Film Studies
Department of Music
Department of the Study of Religions
Department of History
Department of Art and Archaeology
Group B

One African or Asian PG Language unit or one Language-based MA Literature/Film/Media unit may be included as one of the options. See the relevant language department website for course lists.

Group C

One theory unit may be included as an option.

Programme Specification


Teaching & Learning


A postgraduate degree in Cultural Studies from SOAS provides its students with expertise in non-European cultures, in-depth regional knowledge, and strong research and critical analysis skills. As well as subject expertise, Postgraduate students are equipped with the transferable skills needed to continue in research as well as the skills needed to enable them to find professional careers in the private and public sectors. These include familiarity with methods of research; the ability to absorb and analyse large quantities of information; organisational skills. 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

I truly appreciate and highly recommend the critical thrust of the course, the outstanding instruction and guidance of the lecturers/tutors, and the multicultural make-up of the class."

Neslie Carol Tan