MA in Historical Research Methods
Duration: Full-time: 12 months; Part-time: 24 or 36 months
Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent); relevant background in the region of specialism
Start of programme: September intake onlyThe MA in Historical Research Methods is designed to train students in research skills to the level prescribed by the research training guidelines favoured by UK Research Councils. It is intended for students with a good first degree in history, or who possess a taught Masters degree in history. Most students would be expected to progress to a research degree in history at the end of the degree, but it is also possible to take it as a stand-alone programme.
Students must complete a programme in research training and submit a dissertation on an approved topic which is connected to the core course of this programme (Sources and Research Design in Historical Research). As part of this course candidates must also submit a number of research related assignments which, taken together with the dissertation, are equivalent to approximately 30,000 words.
Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.
Sources and Research Design in Historical Research (1.0 unit)
This course provides one-to-one training in research design and in the use of sources for a specific region under the guidance of the MA dissertation supervisor. It is assessed by 2 essays (10,000 words in total). The first is normally on source-based problems and the second on research design which is linked to the dissertation topic.
Structure of the Programme
This degree programme consists of four elements, including a 10,000-word dissertation:
- Sources and Research Design in Historical Research (Core course, 1.0 unit)
- Research Methods in History with reference to Asia and Africa (1.0 unit)
- Dissertation (1.0 unit)
- a minor course or courses (equivalent to 1.0 unit) chosen from the Minor Course Options list and/or a language course from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures.
Please note that not all the courses listed here will be available every year, and some new courses are likely to be added.
For any queries, please contact the convener of the History MA Programme, who will also be pleased to provide more detailed information on individual courses.
Minor Course Options
- Environmental History of Asia - 15PHIH023 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- The Making of the Contemporary World - 15PHIH035 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2015/2016
- African Missionaries - 15PSRH043 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Colonial Conquest and Social Change in Southern Africa - 15PHIH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Culture and Society of East Africa - 15PANC084 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of West Africa - 15PANC083 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Government and politics in Africa - 15PPOC205 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Historical Perspectives on Gender in Africa - 15PHIH029 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2015/2016
- International politics of Africa - 15PPOC009 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- State & society in Asia & Africa - 15PPOC008 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Slavery in West Africa in the 19th and 20th Centuries - 15PHIH028 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Social and Cultural Transformations in Southern Africa Since 1945 - 15PHIH003 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Warfare and the Military in African History - 15PHIC070 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Near and Middle East
- Culture and Society of the Near & Middle East - 15PANC097 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Encountering the Other: the Middle East during the Crusading Period - 15PHIH037 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Iran and the Persianate World since 1400 - 15PHIC072 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Israel, the Arab World and the Palestinians - 15PNMC038 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Modern Trends in Islam - 15PNMC228 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2015/2016
- Origins and Development of Islam in the Middle East: Problems and Perspectives - 15PHIC040 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Outsiders in Medieval Middle Eastern Societies: Minorities, Social Outcasts and Foreigners - 15PHIH006 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Reading Classical Arabic Historians: Themes and Trends in Islamic Historiography - 15PNMC378 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- The End of Empire in the Middle East & the Balkans - 15PHIC004 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia - 15PHIC071 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Contemporary Islamism in South Asia: Readings in Sayyid Abu al-A'la Mawdudi - 15PSRC170 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2015/2016
- Culture and Society of South Asia - 15PANC087 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Government and politics of modern South Asia - 15PPOC003 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- History and Doctrines of Indian Buddhism - 15PSRC059 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2015/2016
- Islam in South Asia - 15PHIC042 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2015/2016
- Literature & Colonialism in North India (Masters) - 15PSAH005 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Pakistan: History, Culture, Islam - 15PSAC288 (1 unit Unit) - Not Running 2015/16
- The Body and the Making of Colonial Difference in British India - 15PHIH033 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- The Indian Temple - 15PARC034 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Modern Bengal: the Evolution of Bengali Culture and Society from 1690 to the Present Day (MA) - 15PSAC289 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Japanese Modernity I - 15PHIH013 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Japanese Modernity II - 15PHIH014 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Knowledge and Power in Early Modern China - 15PHIH024 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Nationhood and Competing Identities in Modern China - 15PHIH022 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Culture and Society of China - 15PANC089 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- State and society in the Chinese political process - 15PPOC012 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of Japan - 15PANC086 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Topics in Modern Korean History - 15PEAC059 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Topics in the History of Traditional Korea - 15PEAC053 (1 Unit) - Full Year
South East Asia
- Asian Wars : World War II and the End of Empire, 1942-1960 - 15 PHI H038 (0.5 unit Unit)
- World War II, Cold War, and the "War On Terror": the United States and South East Asia - 15PHIC059 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2015/2016
- Jawi and the Malay Manuscript Tradition (Masters) - 15PSEH006 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Pre-Modern historical Texts of Java, Bali and the Malay World in English Translation (Masters) - 15PSEH007 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Histories of Ethnicity and Conflict in South East Asia 1 - Making States and Building Nations - 15PHIH011 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Histories of Ethnicity and Conflict in South East Asia 2 - Non-National Perspectives - 15PHIH012 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
Teaching & Learning
Teaching & Learning
Lectures and Seminars
Teaching is generally by informal lectures and seminar discussions. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.
In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS are able to participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.
The 10,000 word Dissertation on an approved topic linked with one of the taught courses.
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.
A postgraduate degree in Historical Research Methods from SOAS provides its students with an understanding of the world, giving them specialised historical knowledge and understanding of cultural sensibilities of a region. Postgraduate students are equipped with the expertise to continue in research as well as the skills needed to enable them to find professional careers in the private and public sectors.
Postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including familiarity with methods of research; the competence to manage large quantities of information; the ability to select and organise information and analytical 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.
How to apply
How to apply
- How to Apply
- Online Application
- Request a prospectus
- Got a question - use our enquiry form (opens a new window)
- Funding options
- English language requirements
- Tuition Fees
- Admissions Contacts
Application Deadline: 2015-03-20 17:00
Application Deadline: 2015-02-27 17:00
Application Deadline: 2015-03-20 17:00
Application Deadline: 2015-05-01 17:00
A Student's Perspective
For postgraduate students, the greatest attraction of SOAS is its research culture. There simply isn’t another institution with such a concentration of academic expertise on African and Asian history.