SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

MA Turkish Studies (2018 entry)

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  • Teaching and Learning
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This programme enables students to engage critically with different aspects of Turkish culture and society. The degree offers comprehensive training in the field of Turkish studies. Drawing on SOAS's wide resources in the field, the programme allows students to combine courses to build a syllabus of study according to their interests. It serves as excellent preparation for research.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree in a social science or humanities subject or equivalent

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One calendar year (full-time); two or three years (part-time, daytime only)


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.


NB: In Area Studies degrees:

  • A maximum of 60 credits can be taken in any one discipline
  • A minimum of three disciplines must be covered
  • For students opting to take two language acquisition modules, only one of these can be at introductory level

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Turkish Studies 15PNMC993 60 Full Year
Taught Component
Core Module (Major)

Students must take 30 credits from the list below as their major. NB: If the chosen Major module is not from this list, students may not take a Minor module in the same subject as their Major.

Guided Option

Students must take 60 credits from the list of minors below

Open Option

Students must take 30 credits from the lists below or the open options list

List A1 (Major)
Module Code Credits Term
Selected Topics In 20th Century Turkish Literature 15PNMC374 30 credits
Classical Ottoman Texts (PG) 15PNMC385 15 Term 2
List A2 (Minor)
Module Code Credits Term
Art and Architecture of the Seljuks and Ottomans (12th -15th centuries) 15PARH070 15 Term 1
List A3 (Minor)
Module Code Credits Term
Turkish 1 A (PG) 15PNMH014 15 Term 1
Turkish 1B (PG) 15PNMH015 15 Term 2
Advanced Translation (Turkish) 15PNMC044 30 credits
Turkish 3 (PG) 15PNMC427 30 Full Year
Ottoman Turkish Language (PG) 15PNMC397 30 Full Year
List B (Minor)
Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Credits Term
750C Ethnographic Locations: Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15
Department of Development Studies
Module Code Credits Term
Problems of Development in the Middle East and North Africa 15PDSH019 15 Term 2
Centre for Gender Studies
Module Code Credits Term
Gender, Protest, and Revolution in the Middle East 15PGNH001 15 Term 1
Department of History
Module Code Credits Term
Empire, Law, and Citizenship in the Middle East and the Balkans 15PHIH049 15 Term 2
Outsiders in Medieval Middle Eastern Societies: Minorities, Social Outcasts and Foreigners 15PHIH006 0.5
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
Department of the Languages and Cultures of Near and Middle East
School of Law
Module Code Credits Term
Law and Society in The Middle East and North Africa 15PLAC130 30 Full Year
Department of Politics and International Studies
Module Code Credits Term
Comparative politics of the Middle East 15PPOC026 30 Full Year
Political Society in the Middle East 15PPOH008 15 Term 2
Political violence 15PPOH009 15 Term 2
Politics of resistance in the Middle East 15PPOH010 15 Term 1
State and Transformation in the Middle East 15PPOH011 15 Term 1
Islam and political ideologies 15PPOH007 15 Term 2
Violence, Justice and the Politics of Memory 15PPOH019 15 Term 1
Islam and Politics 15PPOH006 15 Term 2
State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH022 15 Term 1
Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH023 15 Term 2
State Violence: Theories of the Leviathan and Beyond 15PPOH034 15 Term 2
Department of the Study of Religions
List C (Minor)

Students may only take 30 credits from this list. Students may not take a module from this list if they are taking a module from List A3.

Module Code Credits Term
Elementary Hebrew (Postgraduate) 15PNMC392 1 unit - 45 cats
Hebrew 2 (PG) 15PNMC393 1 unit - 45 cats
Hebrew 4 (PG) 15PNMC394 30 Full Year
Persian 1 A (PG) 15PNMH016 15 Term 1
Persian 1 B (PG) 15PNMH017 15 Term 2


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

Contact Hours

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.

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 Outcomes

  • To assess data and evidence critically from printed, manuscript 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.
  • To obtain a solid knowledge of texts and contexts of Ottoman and modern Turkish literature.
To interpret literature as a product of historical and political development through a critical analysis of relevant texts.
  • To obtain a thorough grounding in the political and historical development of Turkey from the early 19th century to the contemporary period.
To evaluate Turkey’s connections with the Middle East and Central Asia.
To situate the study of Turkish history, politics, culture and literature within 
the wider context of the Middle East.
To begin or further the study of Ottoman and Turkish or any of the 
neighbouring languages with which they came into close contact.
In the intensive language pathway for Turkish: to acquire/develop skills in Turkish language up to the equivalent of CEF “independent” user. For any language, to develop language skills according to the entry level.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • Students should become precise and cautious in their assessment of evidence, and learn to understand through practice what documents can and cannot tell us.
Students should question interpretations, however authoritative, and reassess evidence for themselves.
Students should broaden their intellectual perspective on literature, culture, history, and politics and learn to assess and analyse Turkish developments from a non-eurocentric perspective as well as acquire sensitivity towards differing interpretations.
  • In the intensive language pathway: To demonstrate awareness of the conceptual and communicative underpinnings of Turkish or another language of the NME and through this interlinguistic and intercultural understanding.
Subject-based practical skills

The programme aims to help students with the following 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 institutes.
In the intensive language pathway: Communicate in written and spoken medium in contemporary Turkish, or any other language of the Near and Middle East.
Transferrable skills

The programme will encourage students to:

  • Write good essays and dissertations.
Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
Understand unconventional ideas. 

  • Study a variety of written and digital materials, in libraries and research 
institutes of a kind they will not have used as undergraduates.
Present (non–assessed) material orally.
Engage with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, understand the role of different frames of reference.


As a postgraduate student specialising in Turkish Studies, you will gain competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of the Middle East.

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in both business and the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

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

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