MSc African Politics
Duration: One calendar year (full-time); Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)
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 onlyThe 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.
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:
- Government and politics in Africa - 15PPOC205 (1 Unit) - Full Year
B. Full-Unit Politics Courses:
- State and development in Asia and Africa - 15PPOC017 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- State & society in Asia & Africa - 15PPOC008 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- International politics of Africa - 15PPOC009 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- African Political Thought - 15PPOH029 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Islamic/Democratic Political Thought - 15PPOC255 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2014/2015
C. Half-Unit Politics courses (maximum 1.0 unit total from this list):
- Violence, justice and the politics of memory - 15PPOH019 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Conflict, rights and justice - 15PPOH018 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- International migration and diaspora politics - 15PPOH012 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Power in world politics - 15PPOH017 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Security governance - 15PPOH015 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- International Political Economy - 15PPOH031 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Comparative International Political Thought - 15PPOH021 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East - 15PPOH020 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Geopolitics: Space and Power - Not Running 2014/15 - 15PPOH025 (0.5 Unit) - Not Running 2014/15
- Political Thought on the Just Rebellion - 15PPOH030 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Approaches to Comparative Political Thought - 15PPOH028 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- The Indian Ocean in World Politics - 15PPOH032 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Social Research - 15PPOH035 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
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.
- Economic development in Africa - 15PECC203 (1 Unit) - Full Year
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.
- Amharic 1 (postgraduate) - 15PAFC130 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Hausa 1 (postgraduate) - 15PAFC136 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Somali 1 (postgraduate) - 15PAFC132 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Swahili 1 (Postgraduate) - 15PAFC140 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Yoruba 1 (Postgraduate) - 15PAFC134 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Zulu 1 (postgraduate) - 15PAFC128 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2014/2015
This would focus on some aspect of African Politics raised by the compulsory course 15PPOC205
- Dissertation in Political Studies - 15PPOC999 (1 Unit) - Full Year
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.
Most courses involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.
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.
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.
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.
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: 2015-05-01 17:00
A Student's Perspective
Michael Sinacore, Boston College
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