SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

MSc Asian 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
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Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

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.



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 Asian Politics (compulsory).

Nb. Students on this programme may only take ONE China-focused unit: 15PPOC012, 15PPOC018 OR 15PPOC252 
A. ONE of the following Regional Politics Courses:
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Government and politics of modern South Asia 15PPOC003 1 Unit Full Year
Government and politics of modern South East Asia 15PPOC247 1 Unit Full Year
State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH022 0.5 Unit Term 2
Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH023 0.5 Unit Term 2
Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan 15PPOC253 1 Unit Full Year
State and society in the Chinese political process 15PPOC012 1 Unit Full Year
B. ONE or TWO of the following Regional Politics Courses:
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
China and international politics 15PPOC018 1 Unit Full Year
Taiwan's politics and cross-strait relations 15PPOC252 1 Unit Full Year
International politics of East Asia 15PPOC251 1 Unit Full Year
Japan Unravelled 15PPOH033 0.5 Unit Term 2
C. ONE of the following Disciplinary 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
Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNH007 0.5 Unit Term 2
Comparative International Political Thought 15PPOH021 0.5 Unit Term 2
Political Thought on the Just Rebellion 15PPOH030 0.5 Unit Term 2
Islamic/Democratic Political Thought 15PPOC255 1 Unit Full Year
Approaches to Comparative Political Thought 15PPOH028 0.5 Unit Term 1
Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Social Research 15PPOH035 0.5 Unit Term 2
D. ONE of the following Courses focussed on Asia in a Cognate Discipline:
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Modern Chinese Law and Institutions 15PLAC139 1 Unit Full Year
Colonialism and Nationalism in South Asia 15PHIH041 0.5 Unit Term 1
Culture and Conflict in the Himalaya 15PSAC291 1 Unit Full Year
Economic problems and policies in modern China 15PECC035 1 Unit Full Year
Economic problems of South Asia 15PECC003 1 Unit Full Year
Japanese Modernity I 15PHIH013 0.5 Unit Term 1
Japanese Modernity II 15PHIH014 0.5 Unit Term 2
(Students wishing to take 15PHIH013 must also take 15PHIH014)
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
Elementary Spoken Cantonese (PG) 15PCHC006 1 Unit Full Year
Elementary spoken Hokkien (Minnanyu, Taiwanese) (PG) 15PCHC007 1 Unit Full Year
Special Course in Chinese 1 (PG) 15PCHC008 1 Unit Full Year
Intensive Elementary Tibetan (PG) 15PCHC018 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Basic Japanese 1 (PG) 15PJKC008 1 Unit Full Year
Elementary Korean (PG) 15PJKC015 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Bengali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC303 1 Unit Full Year
Hindi Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC295 1 Unit Full Year
Nepali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC298 1 Unit Full Year
Urdu Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC300 1 Unit Full Year
Burmese Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC039 1 Unit Full Year
Indonesian Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC032 1 Unit Full Year
Khmer (Cambodian) Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC043 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Thai Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC040 1 Unit Full Year
Vietnamese Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC036 1 Unit Full Year
E. Dissertation:

This would focus on some aspect of Asian Politics.

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

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

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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