SOAS University of London

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Dissertation in Cultural Studies

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module, student should have:

  • The ability to apply their subject knowledge and methodology to a specific problem in their area of specialism;
  • The skills required to pursue independent research in an academic context;
  • The ability to present their work to different audiences in a clear professional form.


Total of 8 hours contact throughout the year consisting of up of 3 hours individual supervision and 5 hours of seminars.

Scope and syllabus

This module is a core component of the MA in Cultural Studies. Following on from the core module 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 module. 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 a 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

  • Dissertation Outline (10%): day 1 (Monday), week 7 of term 2, students present main supervisor with a 2,000-word outline consisting of title, introduction, detailed main body, conclusion and bibliography
  • Dissertation Final Submission (90%): 10,000 words, due September following final year of study (exact date determined by School).

Suggested reading

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


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules