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
- Minimum upper second class honours degree in a social science or humanities subject or equivalent
- One calendar year (full-time); two or three years (part-time, daytime only)
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
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.
Students must take 60 credits from the list of minors below
Students must take 30 credits from the lists below or the open options list
List A1 (Major)
List A2 (Minor)
Department of History of Art and Archaeology
List A3 (Minor)
List B (Minor)
Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies
Department of Development Studies
Centre for Gender Studies
Department of History
Department of History of Art and Archaeology
School of Law
Department of Music
Department of Politics and International Studies
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.
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 & 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.
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.
There are ten weeks of teaching and a Reading Week in each of Term 1 and 2, and two weeks of revision teaching in Term 3, the rest of which is dedicated to exams. 15-credit modules are taught over ten weeks in either Term 1 or Term 2.
More information is on the page for each module.
Part-time students divide their workload of the required modules evenly between the number of years of part-time study, with the dissertation module taken in the last year of study. It is also best practice to take the Major module in the last year of study. However, different arrangements are possible with the approval of the convenor of the Major module.
- 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.
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.