SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Dissertation in Postcolonial Studies

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  1. a deep understanding of Postcolonial Studies, its theories, methodologies and relevant literature in the context of Asian, Near and Middle East and/or African studies.
  2. The ability to frame research questions, analyse, evaluate and explain theoretical and methodological sources in this field.
  3. The skill to pursue independent research projects from primary and secondary sources, to gather relevant information, and to analyse, evaluate and articulate their arguments coherently and clearly.


This course will be taught over 15 week (June-September) in 3 one-hour sessions of supervision in total once the student has decided upon a topic.

Scope and syllabus

This course is a core element of the MA in Postcolonial Studies.  Following on from the core course on ‘Postcolonial Theory and Practice’ with reference to Africa, Asia, the Near and Middle East and from the additional region-specific courses taken on the programme, students will develop their regional knowledge with reference to theoretical and methodological frameworks taught in the core course. The topic of the dissertation is left to students to decide according to their interests and subject to the agreement of the Programme Convenor. Students are allocated a supervisor early in the 2nd term. On the basis of supervised research, the student is expected to write a 10,000 word dissertation which:

  1. meets acceptable standards of academic writing and presentation
  2. shows a critical understanding of the relevant literature
  3. develops a focused and clear argument, supported by the relevant use of theoretical material and evidence
  4. makes an original contribution to the area of research. The original component of the dissertation can be achieved in a number of ways, among them, the presentation of new data/evidence, (re)analysis of further development of existing analyses, and the critical re-evaluation or re-interpretation of existing theoretical material with reference to Asia, Africa, and/or the Near and Middle East.

Method of assessment

A dissertation of 10,000 words to be submitted on 15th September in the final year of study (100%).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules