SOAS University of London

African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section

MA African Studies and Intensive Swahili (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment

Overview

Overview and entry requirements

The MA African Studies and Intensive Swahili from SOAS provides students with competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, history, cinema, politics, economics or law.

Students on this postgraduate degree programme will develop their ability to engage with and explore relationships between indigenous African aesthetics and contemporary literary theories.

See African Languages, Cultures and Literatures department

Why study African Studies and Intensive Swahili at SOAS

  • SOAS ranks 1st in London in the Complete University Guide 2021 for Middle Eastern and African Studies, and 6th in UK
  • we are specialist in the studies of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia
  • gain in-depth understanding of one these key world regions, grounded in the study of one or more languages of the region
  • access SOAS’s comprehensive cross-regional expertise and gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of these regions in an increasingly globalised world
  • solid methodological and interdisciplinary foundation
  • students have an opportunity to develop a holistic and integrated approach to the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East through their languages and cultures

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

duration:
Two calendar year (full-time); Four years (part-time)

Convenors

Structure

Structure

Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 255 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 60-credit dissertation as outlined below. 

Year 1: students on the two-year Intensive Language programmes take 60 credits of intensive language instruction and 60 credits in the discipline. During the summer, they participate in a Summer School abroad.

Year 2: students take another 30 language credits as well as 60 credits in the discipline; they also complete their dissertation in the discipline. 

The Swahili component can be taken either at beginner or at intermediate level. 

Please note that:

  • a maximum of 60 credits can be taken in any one subject area
  • a minimum of three subject areas must be covered.

Please see 'Programme specification' below to download the PDF pathways specifications of the four-year part-time version of the programme.

Programme

Two Years Language Beginner
Year 1 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

Module(s) from the list below to the value of 60 credits.

Language Component
Module Code Credits Term
Swahili 1 A (PG) 15PAFH029 15 Term 1
Swahili 1 B (PG) 15PAFH030 15 Term 2
Plus
Module Code Credits Term
Language, Society and Communication (Masters) 15PLIH004 15 Term 1
Summer Abroad
Module Code Credits Term
Intermediate Swahili Summer Abroad 15PAFC149 45 Full Year
Year 2 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

Module(s) from the list below to the value of 60 credits.

Or

A module(s) from the list below to the value of 30 credits.

Plus

A module(s) from Postgraduate Open Options to the value of 30 credits.

Language Component
Module Code Credits Term
Swahili 3 (PG) 15PAFC142 30 Full Year
Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in African Studies 15PAFC990 60 Full Year
Two Years Language Intermediate
Year 1 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

Module(s) from the list below to the value of 60 credits.

Language Component
Module Code Credits Term
Intermediate Swahili 2A (PG) 15PAFC141 30 Full Year
Plus
Module Code Credits Term
Language, Society and Communication (Masters) 15PLIH004 15 Term 1
Summer Abroad
Module Code Credits Term
Upper Intermediate Swahili Summer Abroad 15PAFC150 60 Full Year
Year 2 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

Module(s) from the list below to the value of 60 credits.

Or

A module(s) from the list below to the value of 30 credits.

Plus

A module(s) from Postgraduate Open Options to the value of 30 credits.

Language Component
Module Code Credits Term
Translation Theory 15PLIH047 15 Term 1
Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in African Studies 15PAFC990 60 Full Year
List of Modules (subject to availability)
Anthropology (minor only)
Module Code Credits Term
Art
Module Code Credits Term
Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 15PARH048 15 Term 2
Economics
History
Module Code Credits Term
Race, Segregation, and Apartheid in Twentieth-century South Africa (PG) 15PHIH003 15 Term 1
Historical Perspectives on Gender in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PHIH029 15 Term 2
Language (minor only)
Module Code Credits Term
Yoruba 2 (PG) 15PAFC135 30 Full Year
Law
Module Code Credits Term
Islamic Law (MA/LLM) 15PLAC121 30 Full Year
Linguistics
Literature
Module Code Credits Term
African Philosophy (PG) 15PAFH008 15 Term 1
Media
Politics
Module Code Credits Term
The Politics of Africa 15PPOC257 30 Full Year
Religions & Philosophies
Module Code Credits Term

 

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

One-year Masters programmes consist of 180 credits. 120 credits are taught in modules of 30 credits (taught over 20 weeks) or 15 credits (taught over 10 weeks); the dissertation makes up the remaining 60 units. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

Contact hours

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework and revising for examinations. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary. 

More information is on the page for each module.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge
  • Students will acquire knowledge and critical awareness of current issues and/or insights into Africa from the perspective of at least two social sciences and/or humanities disciplines.
  • The student will have the opportunity of gaining knowledge or further knowledge of an African language.
  • The student will gain specialized and in - depth knowledge in one particular area of the study of Africa and from disciplinary perspective.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • Students will develop a critical and analytical approach to issues relating to Africa in the disciplinary areas chosen.
  • Students will develop skills of synthesizing materials from a variety of sources and presenting these in writing and orally in an academic context.
  • Students will have the opportunity of researching topics which have been little commented on in the secondary literature and thus develop research skills by working on primary sources.
Subject-based practical skills
  • Students will gain specific knowledge of aspects of African life, which will prepare them for working in Africa.
  • The specialist knowledge developed in the individual courses will allow students to add an academically grounded perspective to their particular subsequent work context.
  • If a student takes an African language they will have a strong practical skill, which will help them in any context where the language is used and which will also be of benefit if they need to learn another language in the future.
Transferable skills
  • Through managing their studies students will develop the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility.
  • In researching and writing coursework and the dissertation students will develop research and writing skills.
  • Students will develop the skills of independent learning required for continuing onto a research degree or for professional development.

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.

Employment

Employment

Graduates of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with skills in written and oral communication, analysis and problem solving.

Recent School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics graduates have been hired by:

  • Africa Matters
  • Amnesty International
  • Arab British Chamber of Commerce
  • BBC World Service
  • British High Commission
  • Council for British Research in the Levant
  • Department for International Development
  • Edelman
  • Embassy of Jordan
  • Ernst & Young
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Google
  • Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
  • Middle East Eye
  • Saïd Foundation
  • TalkAbout Speech Therapy
  • The Black Curriculum
  • The Telegraph
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
  • Wall Street Journal

Find out about our Careers Service.

A Student's Perspective

Being at SOAS is a privilege I have greatly appreciated academically as well as socially. It really is a gem that surfaces unheard voices and unseen faces

Nuren Sherali Parpia

Find out more