SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa

MA African Studies

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

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
£8,785
Overseas fees:
£18,075

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. This is a Band 1 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

The MA in African Studies provides an unrivalled programme of advanced modules on Africa; one of the world’s most fascinating and challenging regions. The opportunity for interdisciplinary study of the continent is a particular advantage of the degree. Our former students have chosen to study Africa at this level for a wide range of reasons. For some a deep interest in the history and culture or political economy of a particular region is sufficient motivation, but for many students the programme has, in addition, been followed with the intention of furthering their career opportunities. Some go on to work either in Africa or in fields related to Africa. The opportunity to combine study of particular African subjects with an African language is very useful, although some evidence of competence in learning a foreign language is usually required.

Convenors

Structure

Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. A maximum of 60 credits can be taken from one discipline and a minimum of three disciplines must be covered. For students opting to take two language acquisition modules, only one of these can be from an introductory level.

The discipline areas covered on the programme are: Anthropology, Art, Economics, History, Law, Literature, Media, Politics, Religious Studies, and Language.

When applying, applicants are asked to specify their preferred major and minor subjects, and asked to give alternative choices as practical considerations such as time tabling and availability of modules may limit freedom of choice.

All modules are subject to availability.

Module Options
Anthropology (minor only)
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANH068 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 15 Term 1
African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 15 Term 1
African and Asian Cultures in Britain 15PANH009 15 Term 2
Art
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Arts and Society in sub-Saharan Africa 15PARH052 15 Term 1
Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 15PARH048 15 Term 1
Economics
History
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Colonial Conquest and Social Change in Southern Africa 15PHIH002 15 Term 1
Social and Cultural Transformations in Southern Africa Since 1945 15PHIH003 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Slavery in West Africa in the 19th and 20th Centuries 15PHIH028 15 Term 2
Historical Perspectives on Gender in Africa 15PHIH029 15 Term 1
Language (minor only)
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Amharic 1 (PG) 15PAFC130 30 Full Year
Amharic 2 (PG) 15PAFC131 30 Full Year
Hausa 1 (PG) 15PAFC136 30 Full Year
Hausa 2 (PG) 15PAFC138 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Somali 1 (PG) 15PAFC132 30 Full Year
Somali 2 (PG) 15PAFC133 30 Full Year
Advanced Somali: Formal Usage (PG) 15PAFC148 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Swahili 1 (PG) 15PAFC140 30 Full Year
Intermediate Swahili 2A (PG) 15PAFC141 30 Full Year
Swahili 3 (PG) 15PAFC142 30 Full Year
Practical Translation Swahili into English 15PAFH014 15 Term 1
Directed Readings in an African Langauage 15PAFC147 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Yoruba 1 (PG) 15PAFC134 30 Full Year
Yoruba 2 (PG) 15PAFC135 30 Full Year
Zulu 1 (PG) 15PAFC128 30 Full Year
Zulu 2 (PG) 15PAFC129 30 Full Year
Zulu 3 (PG) 15PAFC137 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Law
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Islamic Law (Ma/Llm) 15PLAC121 30 Full Year
Linguistics
Module Code Credits Term Availability
The Structure of Bantu Languages (PG) 15PAFH011 15 Term 2
Literature
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Literatures in African languages 15PAFC124 30 Full Year
Travelling Africa: Writing the Cape to Cairo 15PAFC139 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Realism and Magical Realism in the Afrophone Novel (PG) 15PAFH012 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
African Philosophy (PG) 15PAFH008 15 Term 2
Afrophone Philosophies (PG) 15PAFH009 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Media
Module Code Credits Term Availability
The Story of African Film: Narrative Screen Media in Africa 15PAFH006 15 Term 1
Aspects of African film and video 2 15PAFH007 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Curating Africa: African Film and Video in the Age of Festivals 15PAFH010 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Photography and the Image in Africa 15PARH082 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Politics
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Government and politics in Africa 15PPOC205 30 Full Year
Religious Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Colonialism and Christian Missions in Africa: Readings from the Archives 15PSRH043 15 Term 2
Religions and Development 15PSRH049 15 Term 1

 

This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Faculty.

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

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.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

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 2017/18 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£8,785 £18,075 £4,393 £9,038 £2,928 £6,025
Scholarships
Allan and Nesta Ferguson Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

The Prospect Burma Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

Employment

A postgraduate degree in African studies 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, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law. 

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. 

Some MA African Studies 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. Among a variety of professions, career paths may include: Academia; Charity; Community; Government; NGOs; Media; Publishing and UN Agencies. 

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:
  • BBC News
  • British Embassy
  • Canon Collins Educational Trust for Southern Africa
  • Goal Nigeria
  • Government of Canada
  • Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • International Institute for Environment and Development
  • Kenyan Government
  • Mercy Corps
  • Migrant Resource Centre
  • Mo Ibrahim Foundation
  • The London MENA Film Festival
  • The University of Tokyo
  • The World Bank
  • Think Africa Press
  • U.S. Embassy
  • United Nations
  • University of Namibia
  • World Vision UK
  • Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts
Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include: 
  • Development Producer
  • Africa Editor
  • Copywriter
  • Director of Trade and Investment
  • Projects and Fundraising Manager
  • Head of Desk, Africa
  • Senior Investment Manager
  • Sports Writer
  • Knowledge Management Projects Coordinator
  • Project Director
  • Presidential Advisor
  • Commodity Manager
  • Publisher
  • Tutor
  • Creative Consultant
  • Lecturer in African Arts and Cultures
  • East Africa Analyst
  • Youth Volunteer Advisor
  • Southern Region Educational Manager
  • Head Specialists Giving + Insights

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

SOAS has a really good reputation and I learned as much from my peers as I did from my tutors.

Frances Moffett-Kouadio

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Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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  • Apply

    Postgraduate programme applications should be made through our online application system.

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