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Department of Politics and International Studies

MSc Politics of Conflict, Rights & Justice

Duration: Full Time: 1 Year, Part Time: 2-3 Years

Overview

Minimum Entry Requirements: The qualification for entry is normally a first or upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Politics or International Relations, or a related social science discipline. Applicants without such a background may be considered for admission depending on their academic training and undergraduate performance.

Start of programme: September 2013

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?: The programme is designed for Masters students who are interested in the politics of human rights, humanitarianism and international and transitional justice especially in conflict and post-conflict states. It is also highly relevant to anyone working or intending to work in international NGOs, international organizations, think tanks and advocacy groups in the areas of rights, humanitarian assistance and transitional justice. It also looks more broadly at the future of global human rights in a world where, many claim, the influence of the West is declining and asks critical questions about the legitimacy and effectiveness of transitional justice mechanisms and humanitarian intervention.

Structure

Structure, duration and requirements for gaining an award

SOAS has standard requirements relating to the structure and duration of taught postgraduate programmes and for the award and classification of these programmes.
Details can be found at http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/degreeregulations/file60379.pdf

Programme structure 

Students take taught courses to the value of 3 full units + dissertation:
1. ALL half-units from A (compulsory)
2-3. Choose THREE half-units units from B.
4. Dissertation on some aspect of Conflict, Rights & Justice (compulsory).

A. Compulsory Courses:

The course ‘Conflict, Rights and Justice’ is the core course for the degree. Students must complete three compulsory courses, worth a total 67.5 points.

B. Choose THREE from the following:

You must choose three half-units, worth a total of 67.5 points, from the following list.

C: Dissertation

This would be focused on some aspect of Conflict, Rights & Justice.

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

Knowledge


Learning outcomes acquired in the following ways:

  1. Students are required to attend all classes (lectures and seminars), study extensively on their own and prepare assessed as well as non-assessed work regularly.
  2. Through core course lectures and seminars as well as through assessed work including group discussions.
  3. Through teaching in core and optional courses

Assessment: Through unseen examinations, assessed coursework essays and a dissertation.

Intellectual (thinking) skills


Learning outcomes as above acquired in the following ways:

  1. These are fostered in all courses offered in the program where the information students receive needs to be assessed critically and conflicting interpretations arising from the same information discussed.
  2. Students are encouraged not simply to summarise evidence and arguments but through application of critical questioning to develop their own assessments of the relative value of a range of arguments/sources of evidence.
  3. Through the structure and content of the core course in conflict, rights and justice and other program and optional courses.
  4. Students will prepare class presentations on topics selected from the core course and options reading lists.
  5. They also carry out individual, independent dissertation work, including refining a broad ‘topic’ into a narrower, manageable and more precise research question/hypothesis.

Assessment: Through unseen examinations, assessed coursework essays and a dissertation.

Subject-based practical skills


Learning outcomes as above acquired in the following ways:

  1. Through independent work for dissertations and preparation for class presentations.
  2. Through work on own, departmental dissertation guidance notes and meetings, meetings with supervisor.
  3. Through required regular readings for weekly seminar discussions.
  4. Through demonstration in lectures, through discussion in seminars, through questions in exams.

Assessment: Through unseen examinations, assessed coursework essays and a dissertation..

Transferable skills


Learning outcomes as above acquired in the following ways:

  1. Through seminar presentations, discussions, group work and essays.
  2. Through essays, project and dissertation
  3. Through group project work.
  4. Through classroom participation in seminars

Assessment: Through unseen examinations, assessed coursework essays and a dissertation.

A Student's Perspective

Before I came to SOAS, I knew that my grade would depend on either one or two large assignments and I was apprehensive about that—almost scared, however I am glad as I got to learn a lot about myself as a student. I became more independent academically and got to see what I can really accomplished without teachers “coddling” me along the way. Extremely refreshing!

Tamara Bah, American University, Washington