Containing 60 percent of the world’s population, Asia is the setting for many of the most important political issues in the world today. These issues include the rise of China and India, economic dynamism of the Asian-Pacific area, regional integration (ASEAN, SAARC, Shanghai Cooperation Organization), security hotspots (Korean Peninsula, Taiwan Straits, India-Pakistan, the ‘global war on terror’), democratic transition and consolidation, the survival of non-democratic regimes, and identity conflicts of ethnicity, religion and language. To understand these and other political processes, this MSc programme draws upon the concepts and methods of the sub-disciplines of comparative politics (political sociology and political economy) and international relations. The evidence from Asia will also reveal the relevance and limitations of the concepts and methods derived from North American/European settings and suggest ways in which they may be modified. The expertise available in the Department enables students to concentrate on one of the sub-regions of Asia, (East Asia. South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia) should they choose to do so. Alternatively, they may follow a more comparative approach by selecting a mixture of units covering different sub-regions.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- The qualification for entry is normally a first or upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Politics or International Relations, or a related social science discipline. Applicants without such a background may be considered for admission depending on their academic training and undergraduate performance.
- 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.
Students take taught modules to the value of 4 full units + dissertation:
- 90 credits from List A (compulsory)
- 30 credits from List B or C or any open option with the approval of the programme convenor
- Dissertation on some aspect of Asian Politics (compulsory).
NB. A maximum of 30 credits may be selected from China-focused modules (15PPOC012, 15PPOC018 or 15PPOC252).
This would focus on some aspect of Asian Politics.
Students must take both modules in List A (to the value of 30 credits).
Choose a minimum of 60 credits from List B
Choose a maximum of 30 credits from List C OR any open option with approval of programme convenor.
List B (East Asia Pathway)
List B (South Asia Pathway)
NB: Students wishing to take 15PHIH013 must also take 15PHIH014
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
Modules are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.
The MSc programme consists of three taught modules (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.
Most modules involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.
At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.
A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.
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.