SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

Dissertation in South Asian Area Studies

Module Code:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Full Year

The dissertation is a core component of all Masters programmes at SOAS. The supervised dissertation research requires the ability to work independently on an original piece of research, to demonstrate familiarity with the relevant literature and present the resulting dissertation in a clear and organised format.

The research and writing of the Masters dissertation is a crucial component of Research-based Masters training. 

The dissertation has a 10,000 word limit and counts for 25% of the overall degree. For details on presentation and submission dates, see the Postgraduate Taught Masters Handbook.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

  1. demonstrate enhanced research skills in their chosen major
  2. contribute to the understanding of the region through their independent research in their field of study
  3. display enhanced organisational skills through the completion of an independent assignment under supervision
  4. display enhanced analytical skills
  5. show enhanced writing skills


Total of 15 hours teaching throughout the year made up of 10 hours individual supervision and 5 hours of lectures.

Scope and syllabus

The students will attend five preparatory seminars over the course of the academic year, in which they will be familiarised with research methods and with what is expected of a postgraduate dissertation in Area Studies.

Method of assessment

One 10,000 dissertation to be submitted online in September (100%).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules