[skip to content]

Department of Politics and International Studies

MSc African Politics

Duration: One calendar year (full-time); Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Overview

Featured events

Phil Clark

Phil Clark

Convenor

Tom Young

Tom Young

Convenor

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 intake only

The Department of Politics and International Studies offers seven linked masters programmes in politics and the international politics of Asia and Africa. The MSc African Politics is a regional specialist MSc, aiming to provide students with a detailed specialist understanding of both domestic and international politics (and of the implications of one for the other) in Africa. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write substantial papers that often require significant independent work.

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

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.

Students take taught courses to the value of 3 full units + dissertation:

1. ONE unit from A (compulsory)
2-3. TWO units from B, C or D.
4. Dissertation on some aspect of African Politics (compulsory).

A. Compulsory Course:
B. Full-Unit Politics Courses:
C. Half-Unit Politics courses (maximum 1.0 unit total from this list):
D: Courses focused on Africa in a cognate discipline (maximum 1.0 unit total from this list):

Courses from this section may only be taken with permission of the programme convenor and relevant course convenor.

Language courses: students should chose the language they wish to take from the list below. They should then make contact with the relevant Course Convenor during welcome week who will assess which level of course would be appropriate, and will advise re. changing course enrolments if necessary.
E. Dissertation:

This would focus on some aspect of African Politics raised by the compulsory course 15PPOC205

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

Courses are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught courses (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.

Lectures

Most courses involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

Dissertation

A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.

Learning Resources

SOAS Library

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

The learning here really continues outside of the classroom. After tutorials, students would often ask me about how I felt as an American about different issues. We often went out to coffee or to grab a falafel afterwards. It gave me a great perspective on how the US is viewed and it allowed me to change minds about America

Michael Sinacore, Boston College