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Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

MA Palestine Studies


The MA Palestine Studies is a simultaneously disciplinary and interdisciplinary programme that provides students with an overview of the ways in which varying bodies of scholarship across and intra various disciplines engage and study Palestine, and examines how the study of Palestine cuts across and informs scholarly, theoretical, political and disciplinary approaches. It develops an understanding of the complexities of modern and contemporary Palestine through a study of relevant material, and of the dynamics of colonisation, displacement, insecurity and security. It attends to the place of culture in representing conflict and identity politics and as a means of mediation and resistance.

The flexible study programme and the interdisciplinary curriculum will enrich students’ knowledge of issues relating to the questions of conflict and political economy, development, cultural politics, social and economic relations, identity, and other major concerns of humanities and social sciences. Students will develop an understanding of Palestinian history, political structure, development, culture and society. And they will become familiar with different disciplinary approaches, models, and scholarship frameworks in the study of Palestine, and the ability to write critically on topics relevant to the study of Palestine.


Students take 4 units in total: the Core course (1 unit), the Dissertation (1 unit), one or two from the list of Palestine specific courses (1 unit to 2 units), or one from the list of Palestine-specific courses (1 unit) and another from relevant courses on the Middle East (1 unit).

Core Course

The core course is in two parts:

Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics 15PNMH006 (0.5 unit) Term 1
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society 15PNMH007 (0.5 unit) Term 2

Core Module
List A: Palestine-Specific Courses
List B: Courses Relating to the Middle East

Choose from the following courses:

Anthropology and Sociology Department
Development Studies Department
Centre for Gender Studies
Economics Department
History Department
School of Law
Politics and International Studies Department
Study of Religions
E. Dissertation

Programme Specification


Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

Each course has its own series of classes and seminars, and in addition students attend general lectures and seminars organised by the Centre for Palestine Studies. In most courses there is one two-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or a student presentation. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.

The dissertation is on an approved topic linked to one of the taught courses.

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.

A Student's Perspective

It’s a global experience and, thankfully, everyone is included, no matter what their colour, religion, or ‘class’.

Mysa Kafil-Hussain