SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

MA Ancient Near Eastern Languages

Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2018/19 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

2018 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) plus knowledge of Akkadian. NB: Due to its part-time nature, this programme is currently not available to students requiring a Tier 4 visa
  • Interview Policy: Candidates will normally be interviewed

Featured events

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


Programme Code: Q9S1

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Part-time

The SOAS MA in Ancient Near Eastern Languages offers an intensive programme of text-reading and language-learning for those who already have a good knowledge of the Akkadian language - usually at least two years' experience - as well as those who are starting the language for the first time. The degree is intended to widen the student's experience in the vast legacy of written documentation in Akkadian and other languages from ancient Mesopotamia and Anatolia, or to provide an intensive introduction to these. The programme is tailor-made to serve as an intermediate level between SOAS's three-year BA in Ancient Near Eastern Studies (or an equivalent qualification) and postgraduate Assyriological research at the level of MPhil and PhD. It can, of course, be taken for its own sake.




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.

Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. Of the taught modules, 90 credits are from the approved list of options below and a further 30 credits may be selected from this list or from the open options list.

At SOAS (NB: modules run in alternating years).

Instead of one of these SOAS modules, students may, if qualified, take one of the following topics from MA programmes run by University College London: 

  • Hebrew and other North-West Semitic languages (MA in Hebrew and Jewish Studies)
  • Ancient history, currently Change and Continuity in the Ancient Near East (MA in Ancient History, 91AHG003)
  • Archaeology (MA in Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East)

Not all the modules listed are available every year. Entry to modules run by University College is subject to the approval of the academic department in question (the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, the Department of History, and the Institute of Archaeology).

Compulsory Dissertation

Students must take the Dissertation.

Approved list of options

Students must take 90 credits from the list below.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Mesopotamian Languages and Literature A: the third millennium 15PNMC021 30 Full Year
Mesopotamian Languages and Literature B: the second millenium BC 15PNMC022 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Mesopotamian Languages and Literature C: the first millenium bc 15PNMC023 30 Full Year
Introductory Akkadian (Masters) 15PNMC404 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Introductory Hittite (Masters) 15PNMC428 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Introductory Sumerian (Masters) 15PNMC429 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Optional Module

Students take a further 30 credits from the list above or from the open options list.


This is the structure for 2018/19 applicants

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

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

  • How to assess data and evidence critically from manuscripts and digital sources, solve problems of conflicting sources and conflicting interpretations, locate materials, use research sources (particularly research library catalogues) and other relevant traditional sources.
  • Subject specific skills (language): deeper understanding and wider experience of Akkadian language and other languages already acquired, as appropriate (e.g. Sumerian, Hittite); sound basic knowledge of languages studied for the first time, as appropriate (e.g. Sumerian, Hittite).
  • Subject specific skills (other): ability to utilize written documentation to reconstruct cultural background, e.g. interpreting literature as a product of its civilization, understanding monumental inscriptions as royal artefacts and analysing documentary texts as witnesses of social and economic history.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • Students should become precise and cautious in their assessment of evidence, and to understand through practice what documents can and cannot tell us.
    Students should question interpretations, however authoritative, and reassess evidence for themselves.
Subject-based practical skills
  • Communicating effectively in writing.
  • Retrieving, sifting and selecting information from a variety of sources.
  • Listening and discussing ideas introduced during classes and seminars.
  • Ability to plan and execute set tasks efficiently.
  • Practice research techniques in a variety of specialized research libraries and institute.
Transferrable skills
  • Writing good essays and dissertations.
    Structuring and communicating ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Understanding unconventional ideas.
  • Studying a variety of written and digital materials, in libraries and research institutes, of a kind they will not have used as undergraduates.
  • Presenting (non–assessed) material orally.

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 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
£9,225 £18,980 £4,613 £9,490 £3,075 £6,327
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

H.E. Dr Issa Ghanim Jassim Al-Kawari Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2018-06-05 00:00

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


Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
  • Got a question?

    If you still have questions about this programme or studying at SOAS get in touch.

    Ask a question

  • Apply

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

    Start your application