SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Dissertation in Cultural Studies

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The research and writing of the MA dissertation is a crucial component of research-based Maters training. At the end of the course, students should have a solid knowledge of Cultural Studies theories and methodologies and its application to a particular area of Asian and/or African studies. They will have developed the skills of analysis and evaluation to pursue independent research using primary and secondary theoretical and methodological sources in this field. They will have learnt how to construct independently research project, collect and organise data, 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 component of the MA in Cultural Studies. Following on from the core course on Cultural Studies with reference to Africa and Asia, and from the additional region-specific courses taken on the programme, the students will extend their regional knowledge with reference to theoretical and methodological frameworks taught in the core course. The topic must be approved by both the convenor of the MA Cultural Studies programme and the supervisor of the dissertation. On the basis of supervised research, the student is expected to write 10,000 word dissertation which:

  • meets acceptable standards of academic writing and presentation
  • shows a critical understanding of the relevant literature
  • develops a focused and clear argument, supported by the relevant use of theoretical material and evidence
  • 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 revaluation or re-interpretation of existing theoretical material with reference to Asia and/or Africa.

Method of assessment

A dissertation of 10,000 words(100%).

Suggested reading

The reading list will based on the specific research topics of the student.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules