SOAS University of London

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

MA Cultural Studies (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
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Overview

Overview and entry requirements

The MA Cultural Studies programme aims to offer grounding in the theories on Cultural Studies which draws on Marxism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Post-Marxism, Feminism, and Post-Modernism and their use, application and adaption in the cross-cultural contexts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  It provides an examination of the main historical concepts in Western culture such as ideology, power, class, identity, race, nation, subjectivity, representation, and memory and how these are challenged by scholars working in non-Western cultures of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The aim is to explore the different and plural cultural histories and memories of these contexts to which Cultural Studies must adapt.

Theoretical paradigms covered will reflect on issues of class, ‘race’, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, representation and religion. The course will investigate central questions of epistemology and methodology in relation to the application of Cultural Studies theories in non-Western contexts. The programme is theory and practice based and therefore, it draws on case studies from a diversity of cultural practices, genres and contexts to elucidate complex theoretical concepts and challenge their limitations and/or validity in the context of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The MA Cultural Studies programme aims to equip students with sufficient knowledge to understand and evaluate the way in which Cultural Studies theories and methods are used in cross-cultural contexts and hence develop analytic skills for undertaking their own research projects.

See School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Why study Cultures at SOAS

  • SOAS is specialist in the studies of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia
  • we ranked 1st in London in the Complete University Guide 2021 for Middle Eastern and African Studies, and 6th in the UK
  • we also ranked 8th in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2021 for South Asian Studies
  • Modern Languages and Linguistics at SOAS has been ranked 10th in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
  • we've also been ranked 4th for research environment - with 100% of our research ranked as 'internationally excellent' and 85% as 'world-leading' - and 8th for research outputs in the REF 2021
  • access SOAS’s comprehensive cross-regional expertise and gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of these regions in an increasingly globalised world
  • solid methodological and interdisciplinary foundation
  • students have an opportunity to develop a holistic and integrated approach to the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East through their languages and cultures

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with a 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher in social science of humanities subject. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications.

    Please see our 'postgraduate entry requirements' page for Overseas and EU qualifications and equivalencies.

Featured events

duration:
Full time - 1 year Part time - 2 or 3 years

Fees 2022/23

Home students fees:
£11,980
Overseas students fees:
£23,400

Fees for 2022/23 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 on the Postgraduate tuition fees page

Convenors

Structure

Structure

Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. You may take a 30 credit language acquisition module at appropriate level as one of your modules.

Programme

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Cultural, Literary, and Postcolonial Studies 15PCSC999 60 Full Year
Compulsory Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Cultural Studies: Origins, Ideas and New Approaches 15PCSH003 15 Term 1
Cultural Studies: New Practices and Widerning Horizons 15PCSH006 15 Term 2

Students can take 60 credits from List A below AND 30 credits of postgrduate open options  OR 30 credits of an appropriate level language acquisition module

List A

Languages Cultures and Linguistics
Module Code Credits Term
Postcolonial Theory 15PCSH007 15 Term 1
Postcolonial Practices 15PCSH008 15 Term 2
Comparative Literature: Methodology and Critique 15PCSH004 15 Term 1
Comparative Literature: A New Era 15PCSH005 15 Term 2
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics 15PNMH006 15 Term 1
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society 15PNMH007 15 Term 2
Cultural Studies: Origins, Ideas and New Approaches 15PCSH003 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of Taiwan (PG) 15PCHH003 15 Term 1
English Literatures of South East Asia 15PSEH013 15 Term 1
Gender and Society in Contemporary Japan (PG) 15PJKH046 15
Intersecting Worlds: Race and Gender in the Contemporary Postcolonial Novel 15PAFH031 15 Term 1
Literatures of Resistance in South Asia (PG) 15PSAH038 15 Term 1
Modern Palestinian Literature (PG) 15PNMC379 15 Term 2
Politics and Aesthetics in Modern Arabic Literature 15PNMH025 15 Term 2
Social and Political Dimensions of Modern Arabic Literature (PG) 15PNMH032 15 Term 1
The Making of Modern Korea 15PJKH032 15 Term 1
Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia - A 15PSAH034 15 Term 1
Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia - B 15PSAH035 15 Term 2
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature and Film (PG) 15PJKH006 15 Term 1
Translating Cultures 1 15PJKH019 15 Term 2
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asia Literatures in Translation (Masters) 15PSEH009 15 Term 2
World Literature (PG) 15PCSH002 15 Term 2
Writing from the Margins: Minority and "Outsider" Texts in Modern Japanese Literature (PG) 15PJKH031 15 Term 2
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society 15PNMH007 15 Term 2
Media and Film
Module Code Credits Term
East Asian Cinema (PG) 15PCHH051 15 Term 1
Global Film Industries 15PARH098 15 Term 1
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 15 Term 2
New Taiwan Cinema and Beyond (PG) 15PCHH002 15 Term 1
Prejudice, Conspiracy and Misinformation: Understanding the Debate around '(Post)-Truth' 15PMSH038 15 Term 1
Topics in Global Media and Communication 15PMSH037 15 Term 2
Gender and Sexuality
Module Code Credits Term
Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNH007 15 Term 2
Queering Migrations and Diasporas 15PGNH002 15 Term 2
Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 15 Term 1
History and Societies
Module Code Credits Term
Colonial curricula: empire and education at SOAS and beyond 15PHIH054 15 Term 2
Community, Religion, and Conflict in South Asian History 15PHIH041 15 Term 2
750A Ethnographic Locations: Sub-Saharan Africa 15PANH063 15 Term 2
Iran: History, Culture, Politics 15PNMC405 30 Full Year
Language, Identity and Society in Africa (PG) 15PAFH033 15 Term 1
Race, Segregation, and Apartheid in Twentieth-century South Africa (PG) 15PHIH003 15 Term 1
Diaspora Studies
Module Code Credits Term
725 African and Asian Diasporas: Culture, Politics, Identities 15PANH085 15 Term 2
724 Migration, Borders and Space: Decolonial Approaches 15PANH086 15 Term 1
Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity 15PMSH004 15 Term 2
Religions and Philosophies
Module Code Credits Term
African Philosophy (PG) 15PAFH008 15 Term 1
Muslim Britain: Perspectives and Realities (15Cr) 15PSRH061 15 Term 1
Politics and International Studies
Module Code Credits Term
Political Theory, Race and Empire 15PPOH045 15 Term 1
Violence, Justice and the Politics of Memory 15PPOH019 15 Term 1
Art and Music
Module Code Credits Term
Key Themes in Hip Hop Studies 15PMUH032 15 Term 2
Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa 15PARH048 15 Term 1
Music in Development 15PMUC034 15 Term 2
Music in Global Perspective 15PMUH031 15 Term 2
Music, Exile and Diaspora: the Jews of Arab Lands 15PMUH011 15 Term 1
Music, Place and Politics in Cuba 15PMUH015 15 Term 1

 

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

One-year Masters programmes consist of 180 credits. 120 credits are taught in modules of 30 credits (taught over 20 weeks) or 15 credits (taught over 10 weeks); the dissertation makes up the remaining 60 units. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

Contact hours

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework and revising for examinations. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.

More information is on the page for each module.

Learning outcome

Knowledge
  • How to analyse and interpret cultural practices critically.
  • How to apply a variety of critical theories to Asian, African and Middle Eastern cultural productions including film, media, literature, art, etc.
  • How to explore a research topic and locate materials, use research sources (particularly research library catalogues and electronic databases) and other relevant traditional sources.
  • How to develop a critical approach to Asian, African and Middle Eastern cultures in which students question the tenets of Western-derived theories and their applicability to non-Western contexts, and through a variety of approaches gain an understanding of the social and political role and function of and role of culture in Asian, African and Middle Eastern societies.
  • The specificity of cultural paradigms of a region or regions of Asia/Africa and the Middle East.
  • A thorough grounding in the theories and methodologies of Cultural Studies
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • Students are introduced to a number of theoretical approaches to cultural productions such as literature, film and media.
  • Students are taught the importance of how theories raise questions about cultural products.
  • Having successfully completed the programme, students will be able to:
    • analyse cultural products in a systematic and creative way from a variety of perspectives
    • research the data necessary for making cultural analytical judgements
    • evaluate and apply independent research methods
    • demonstrate originality in dealing with cultural studies issues
    • successfully conduct an advanced independent research project
    • formulate and test interpretations
    • understand cultural studies practice and critically examine the social and political contexts of cultural production.
  • Students will become aware of and think through problems involved when applying a mainly ‘Western’ body of literary theory to Asian, African and Middle Eastern cultures.
Subject-based practical skills
  • Communicate effectively and analytically in writing on subjects related to cultural studies theories and their application in the contexts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East
  • Retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources.
  • Listen and discuss critically ideas introduced during seminars.
  • Practice research techniques in a variety of specialized research libraries and institutes.
  • Gain knowledge of Asian or African cultures
Subject-based practical skills
  • Communicate effectively and analytically in writing on subjects related to cultural studies theories and their application in the contexts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East
  • Retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources.
  • Listen and discuss critically ideas introduced during seminars.
  • Practice research techniques in a variety of specialized research libraries and institutes.
  • Gain knowledge of Asian or African cultures
Transferrable skills
  • Write good essays and dissertations.
  • Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Question the assumptions or theories and methodologies.
  • Study a variety of written and digital materials, in libraries and research institutes of a kind they will not have used as undergraduates.
  • Present assessed and non – assessed material orally.

SOAS Library

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 2022/23 entrants, per academic year (Band 1 tuition fee) 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
Home
Students
Overseas
Students
Home
Students
Overseas
Students
Home
Students
Overseas
Students
£11,980 £23,400 £5,990 £11,700 £3,955 £7,725

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: 2022-01-28 15:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 15:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Europe

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – The Americas

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2022-04-05 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

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

Employment

Employment

Graduates of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with skills in written and oral communication, analysis and problem solving.

Recent School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics graduates have been hired by:

  • Africa Matters
  • Amnesty International
  • Arab British Chamber of Commerce
  • BBC World Service
  • British High Commission
  • Council for British Research in the Levant
  • Department for International Development
  • Edelman
  • Embassy of Jordan
  • Ernst & Young
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Google
  • Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
  • Middle East Eye
  • Saïd Foundation
  • TalkAbout Speech Therapy
  • The Black Curriculum
  • The Telegraph
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
  • Wall Street Journal

Find out about our Careers Service.

A Student's Perspective

I truly appreciate and highly recommend the critical thrust of the course, the outstanding instruction and guidance of the lecturers/tutors, and the multicultural make-up of the class."

Neslie Carol Tan

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