SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

MA History (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

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

Overview

Overview and entry requirements

MA History is designed for students with a keen interest in studying the remote as well as the more recent past of the countries, peoples, and cultures of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It is also ideal for students who seek to understand the historical conditions of the contemporary world from a global perspective.

While the course is open to students with backgrounds in a diverse range of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the ideal applicant would have an UG degree in History or a relevant area studies programme, some knowledge of foreign, in particular Asian or African languages, and preferably relevant background in the region of specialism.

See Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Why study MA History at SOAS

For History we are 11th in the UK (QS World University Rankings 2021) and 45th in the World (QS World University Rankings 2021). 

This is one of the few Master-level programmes in History focusing on the study of Asia, the Middle East and Africa in the UK. With its high concentration of expertise of these regions, SOAS can offer an unrivalled breadth of courses on their histories. Apart from the possibility of acquiring regional expertise, the programme also provides a sound training in the historical sciences more generally. 

A broad range of courses is available in every single year (see 'Structure' tab for more details), though you may want to contact the programme convenor to ask about the availability of particular courses in a particular year. Those who wish to further develop their linguistic skills may choose from a range of African and Asian language courses.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS have the opportunity to participate in the Regional History Seminars, as well as in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences, which regularly take place in different departments and centres across the School and at other colleges of the University of London.

If you wish to continue your studies on the research level you may want to consider the MA in Historical Research Methods. To help with funding, there is a limited number of relevant scholarship opportunities available (see under 'How To Apply').

The on-line module sign-up system guides students through the available modules. Please note that not all optional modules are available every year.

Explore 

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Email: ck17@soas.ac.uk

English language requirements: Those whose mother tongue is not English must take the English test run by the British Council (IELTS) and obtain a score acceptable to the School.

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

duration:
Full-time: 12 months; Part-time: 24 or 36 months

Fees 2021/22

UK fees:
£10,680
Overseas fees:
£21,980

Fees for 2021/22 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

Convenors

Structure

Structure

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 in this programme take four units of taught courses plus a 10,000 word dissertation with a detailed 2,500 word dissertation plan worth 10% of this mark. The proximity to the School of many archive depositories and records offices, including its own archival collection as well as the British Library, greatly enhances the potential for dissertation work.

Contact hours 

Students must take 180 credits in total, comprised of 120 taught credits and a 60-credit dissertation (10,000 words with a detailed 2,500-word dissertation plan worth 10% of the mark for this module).

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in History 15PHIC999 60 Full Year
Compulsory Module
Module Code Credits Term
Debating Pasts, Crafting Histories 15PHIC033 30 Full Year
Taught Component
AND

Choose a module(s) from List A below to the value of 30 credits

AND

Choose a module(s) from List A or List B below to the value of 30 credits

AND

Choose a module(s) from List A or List B or from the Postgraduate Open Options to the value of 30 credits

List of Modules (subject to availability)
List A
Module Code Credits Term
Independent Research Essay in History 1 15PHIH051 15 Term 1
Comparative/Global
Module Code Credits Term
Colonial curricula: empire and education at SOAS and beyond 15PHIH054 15 Term 1
Africa
Module Code Credits Term
Slavery in West Africa in the 19th and 20th Centuries 15PHIH028 15 Term 2
Historical Perspectives on Gender in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PHIH029 15 Term 2
Race, Segregation, and Apartheid in Twentieth-century South Africa (PG) 15PHIH003 15 Term 1
Near and Middle East
Module Code Credits Term
The Early Development of Islam: Emerging Identities and Contending Views 15PHIH039 15 Term 2
Empire, Law, and Citizenship in the Middle East and the Balkans 15PHIH049 15 Term 2
Empire and Reform in the Modern Middle East, 1789-1914 15PHIH031 15 Term 1
Nationalism and Revolution in the Modern Middle East, 1914-1979 15PHIH032 15 Term 2
The Afghanistan Wars, 1979 to the Present 15PHIH056 15 Term 1
Advanced Cuneiform Texts: The Earliest Literature 15PNMC021 30 Full Year
Advanced Cuneiform Texts: The Age of Empires 15PNMC023 30 Full Year
Sumerian Language 15PNMC024
Modern Trends in Islam 15PNMC228 30 Full Year
Reading Classical Arabic Historians: Themes and Trends in Islamic Historiography 15PNMH035 15 Term 2
South Asia
Module Code Credits Term
Community, Religion, and Conflict in South Asian History 15PHIH041 15 Term 1
East Asia
Module Code Credits Term
Gender and Empire in Early Modern China 15PHIH024 15 Term 2
Nationhood and Competing Identities in Modern China 15PHIH022 15 Term 1
The Making of Modern Korea 15PJKH032 15 Term 2
The Two Koreas since 1953 (PG) 15PJKH033 15 Term 2
South East Asia
List B
Module Code Credits Term
Sanskrit Language 1 A (PG) 15PSAH020 15 Term 1
Sanskrit Language 1 B (PG) 15PSAH021 15 Term 2
The Great Tradition of Taoism 15PSRH036 15 Term 2
The Indian Temple 15PARC034 30 Full Year
The Origins and Development of Yoga in Ancient India 15PSRC173 30 Full Year

 

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Teaching is generally by informal lectures and seminar discussions. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.

In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS are able to participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.

Dissertation

The 10,000-word Dissertation with a detailed 2,500 word dissertation plan worth 10% of this mark on an approved topic linked with one of the taught courses.

Learning resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees for 2021/22 entrants, per academic year (Band 1 tuition fee) 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years Part-time 4 Years
Intensive Language only
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
£10,680 £21,980 £5,340 £10,990 £3,560 £7,330 £5,340 £10,990

Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second and subsequent years of study will be higher.

Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

For full details of postgraduate tuition fees see our postgraduate tuition fees page.

Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2021-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-02-15 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Europe

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-04-30 00:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2021-03-08 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2021-06-04 00:00

V P Kanitkar Memorial Scholarships

V P Kanitkar Memorial Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-04-16 00:00

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

Employment

Employment 

A postgraduate degree from the History department at SOAS provides its students with an understanding of the world, giving them specialised historical knowledge and understanding of cultural sensibilities of a region. Postgraduate students are equipped with the expertise to continue in research as well as the skills needed to enable them to find professional careers in the private and public sectors. 

Postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including familiarity with methods of research; the competence to manage large quantities of information; the ability to select and organise information and analytical skills.

A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

Careers

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

  • Afghan Aid
  • Amnesty International
  • Church of England
  • Dar Al Hekma College
  • Department For Transport
  • Högskolan Dalarna
  • Home Office - UKBA
  • Hongik University, South Korea
  • MoD
  • Dutch National Council for Culture
  • Savannah Publications
  • The Jewish Chronicle
  • The Royal Institute of International Affairs
  • World Youth Service Society Japan

Roles

SOAS MA History graduates have gained positions including:

  • Community and Events Fundraiser
  • Senior Learning and Impact Advisor
  • International Director
  • Head of Africa Department
  • Senior Advocate
  • Teacher
  • Senior Information Management Officer
  • Civil Servant
  • Lecturer in History
  • Associate Professor
  • Consultant
  • Account Manager
  • Headmaster
  • Political Editor
  • Editor
  • Manager and Research Fellow
  • Counsellor

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

Studying history at SOAS has been an immersive experience unlike any other. The teaching has been passionate and engaging with a level of expertise hard to find elsewhere. It has encouraged us to constantly challenge the dominant narratives and developed our critical faculties. The student body is diverse and this adds to the discussions and perspectives in the classroom, enriching the learning environment.

Sehrish Javid

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