SOAS University of London

Jake-Thurston

The MA in Advanced Chinese Studies is a programme unique in its comprehensive integration of Chinese-language materials with interdisciplinary studies of the history, society, and culture of China.

Student profile interview questions

What was it about this particular course that made you want to apply?

I immensely enjoyed my undergraduate and knew that my only ambition was to take the interests that I had developed in its course forward into postgraduate study. By design, undergraduate study tends to be broad rather than specific, aiming to equip students with as many 'tools' in an analytical framework as possible which will be refined through further study - in my case this was to combine bilingual skills with subject-based learning. The MA in Advanced Chinese Studies is a programme unique in its comprehensive integration of Chinese-language materials with interdisciplinary studies of the history, society, and culture of China. The syllabus can practically be tailor-made to the linguistic and disciplinary wants and needs of the student, and in being taught by the SOAS China Institute – the largest group of China experts in any research institute in the world outside of the target region – one can establish a consummate understanding of research methodologies and schools of thought in Sinophone scholarship.

What difference has the scholarship made?

Even the promise of the scholarship made all the difference. While I had worked alongside the course of my undergraduate degree, I simply wasn’t in a position where I felt comfortable considering postgraduate study. The scholarship not only took care of my fees, but also provided a living stipend. I still work, but with the support of the scholarship my study has always been the priority – as it should be. I cannot say that I would have been able to apply myself so completely had I not been awarded the scholarship.

What are your plans for after the MA?

I’m institutionalised now! Doctoral study and further has always been my ambition, and the capacity for broadness afforded by this postgraduate programme has, conversely, aided me in whittling down my research interests that I might now take it further. In tow with the close linguistic training, I feel well-prepared for doctoral study, and that my study here has brought me ever closer to realising my ambition of a career in Sinological academia.