Start of programme: From 2017 this Programme will no longer be running in its current form, but will be integrated in the corresponding Area Studies programmes.
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time The MA African Studies (Literature Pathway) enables students to engage critically with varied aspects of oral and written literatures in Africa. The programme is unique in the way it encourages exploration of relationships between indigenous African aesthetics and contemporary literary theories. The module ‘Theories and Techniques of Comparative Literature’ provides theoretical and methodological skills while the programme’s other units focus on specific areas such as literatures in African languages and contemporary African literature in English.
Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. For students on a literature pathway, the dissertation must be on a subject in African Literature.
All modules are subject to availability.
Compulsory African Literature Modules
Students must take a minimum of 30 credits from the following list. You may take more.
Students can take 60 credits from the following list.
This is the structure for 2018/19 applicants
If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Department.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.
This is a Band 1 tuition fee.
Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year.
||Part-time 2 Years
||Part-time 3 Years
Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00
Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00
Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00
Application Deadline: 2018-06-05 00:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
A postgraduate degree in African Literature 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. Graduates of this programme will develop their ability to engage with and explore relationships between indigenous African aesthetics and contemporary literary theories.
Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers in the business, public and charity sectors. They leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse
range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.
Some graduates leave SOAS to pursue careers directly related to their study area, while others have made use of the intellectual training for involvement in analysing and solving many of the
problems that contemporary societies now face. The MA African Literature can lead to further study and research, however there is also a range of opportunities in fields such as:
- Archive work
- Arts Management
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
Mia Eskelund Pedersen
I had studied in an international school in India that focused a lot on extracurricular activities, and going to SOAS seemed like a natural continuation of my studies.