SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

MSc African Politics

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

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. This is a Band 3 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

2017 Entry requirements

  • 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.

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  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
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Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

The Department of Politics and International Studies offers seven linked masters programmes in politics and the international politics of Asia and Africa. The MSc African Politics is a regional specialist MSc, aiming to provide students with a detailed specialist understanding of both domestic and international politics (and of the implications of one for the other) in Africa. 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 substantial papers that often require significant independent work.



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 take taught courses to the value of 3 full units + dissertation:

1. ONE unit from A (compulsory)
2-3. TWO units from B, C or D.
4. Dissertation on some aspect of African Politics (compulsory).

A. Compulsory Course:
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Government and politics in Africa 15PPOC205 1 Unit Full Year
B. Full-Unit Politics Courses:
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Politics of Globalisation and Development in Asia and Africa 15PPOC017 1 Unit Full Year
State & society in Asia & Africa 15PPOC008 1 Unit Full Year
International politics of Africa 15PPOC009 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Islamic/Democratic Political Thought 15PPOC255 1 Unit Full Year
C. Half-Unit Politics courses (maximum 1.0 unit total from this list):
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Violence, justice and the politics of memory 15PPOH019 0.5 Unit Term 1
Conflict, rights and justice 15PPOH018 0.5 Unit Term 1
International migration and diaspora politics 15PPOH012 0.5 Unit Term 2
Security governance 15PPOH015 0.5 Unit Term 2
Comparative International Political Thought 15PPOH021 0.5 Unit Term 2
Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNH007 0.5 Unit Term 2
Political Thought on the Just Rebellion 15PPOH030 0.5 Unit Term 2
Approaches to Comparative Political Thought 15PPOH028 0.5 Unit Term 1
Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Social Research 15PPOH035 0.5 Unit Term 2
Foreign Policy Analysis 15PPOH013 0.5 Unit - Not Running 2016/17
D: Courses focused on Africa in a cognate discipline (maximum 1.0 unit total from this list):

Courses from this section may only be taken with permission of the programme convenor and relevant course convenor.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Economic development in Africa 15PECC203 1 Unit Full Year
Language courses: students should chose the language they wish to take from the list below. They should then make contact with the relevant Course Convenor during welcome week who will assess which level of course would be appropriate, and will advise re. changing course enrolments if necessary.
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Amharic 1 (PG) 15PAFC130 1 Unit Full Year
Hausa 1 (PG) 15PAFC136 1 Unit Full Year
Somali 1 (PG) 15PAFC132 1 Unit Full Year
Swahili 1 (PG) 15PAFC140 1 Unit Full Year
Yoruba 1 (PG) 15PAFC134 1 Unit Full Year
Zulu 1 (PG) 15PAFC128 1 Unit Full Year
E. Dissertation:

This would focus on some aspect of African Politics raised by the compulsory course 15PPOC205

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Dissertation in Political Studies 15PPOC999 1 Unit Full Year


Important information for 2017/18 applicants

For the 2017 academic year, SOAS has introduced a new academic framework for all of our postgraduate taught courses. The new model will mean that taught programmes are now made up of four units each worth 30 credits – our current structure is based on three units – plus dissertation. This approach is in line with PG programmes in most other universities.

In practice this means that there will be additional choice of modules for students taking PG taught programmes in 2017. The modules set out here represent the options available in the programme in 2016. In most cases, our 2017 programmes will contain these options plus additional modules – broadening the range of what is available on your programme.

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Courses are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught courses (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.


Most courses 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.

Learning Resources

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

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 3 tuition fee.

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
£10,995 £18,790 £5,498 £9,395 £3,665 £6,263
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

The Prospect Burma Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

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


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