SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

MA Religion in Global Politics (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2021 2020

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  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
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Overview

The MA Religion in Global Politics is designed to appeal to policy-makers, analysts, journalists and researchers in either international, national or regional institutions and organisations engaged in policy formation, inter-religious dialogue and community development, social work, development, conflict resolution, peace building or diversity management. It will also provide a solid basis from which to pursue doctoral study. The programme is intended to enable professional development in the area of 'Religion and Politics' as well to provide pre-doctoral research training in social scientific analyses of 'Religion and Politics'.

Programme Description

Religion has become a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary global geopolitical landscape and as such demands a reassessment of once predominant understandings of processes of secularisation, as well as the meanings of, and tensions inherent within, secular assumptions and secularist positions. The so-called 'resurgence' of religion in the public sphere in recent decades is now a significant area of interdisciplinary scholarship eliciting a complex array of responses, ranging from vehement opposition to the very idea that religious concepts and commitments have a right to expression in political debates, to a reassessment of the origins and implications of divisions between the secular and the religious and their relationship to the nation state. The notion that there is no singular secularism, but rather a plurality of secularisms, and of ‘religion’ as an invention of European modernity and colonial interests are two of many emerging efforts to reconceptualise the meanings of religion and the secular and the entangled relationship between them.

The MA Religion in Global Politics offers an opportunity to examine these questions and issues at an advanced level by studying the complex relationships between religion and politics in the histories and contemporary political contexts (both national and international) of the regions of the Asia, Africa and the Middle East. A core objective is to challenge the Eurocentrism of current debates around secularism, secularisation, the nature of the public sphere within modernity, by indicating the plurality and contested nature of conceptions of both religion and the secular when considered in a global framework.

The programme is unique: it has a regional focus and disciplinary breadth rarely addressed in similar programmes in the subject area, draws on a wealth of multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives (Law, International Relations and Politics, History, Philosophy, Development, Anthropology, Migration and Diaspora Studies, and Gender Studies, amongst others) and has a rigorous theoretical basis built in, such that students will be familiarised with the current state-of-the-art debates regarding religion in the public sphere, secularisms, postsecularism, and political theology and their relevance to issues of democracy, war, violence, human rights, humanitarianism and development, multiculturalism, nationalism, sectarianism, religious extremism, and free speech amongst others. The range of course options available on the programme is unparalleled, ensuring that students will benefit from a truly interdisciplinary, intellectually rigorous, and regionally focused programme.

Programme Aims

The programme's inter-disciplinary focus aims to provide students with advanced training in the area of religion and politics through the study of a wide range of theoretical and regional perspectives. It will serve primarily as a platform for professional development and further (MPhil/PhD) graduate research. The programme offers students:

  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of significant approaches, methods, debates, and theories in the field of religion and politics, with particular reference to the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East;
  • Advanced skills in researching and writing about topics in and theorisations of religion and politics;
  • Advanced skills in the presentation or communication of knowledge and understanding of topics in religion and politics as they pertain to regional, international, and transnational contexts.

Entry Requirements

SOAS has general minimum entrance requirements for registration for a postgraduate taught degree. However, due consideration is given to the applicants’ individual profiles, and to the fact that great potential for the successful undertaking of the academic study of the field is not necessarily acknowledged or certified through the applicant’s academic qualifications. Interviews can be arranged for applicants who do not meet the minimum entrance requirements, and early contact with the programme convenor is advisable.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: October

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

duration:
Full time: 1 calendar year Part time: 2 or 3 calendar years. We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their course of study.

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU fees:
£10,170
Overseas fees:
£20,930

Fees for 2020/21 entrants. This is a Band 1 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

Convenors

Structure

Students are required to take taught modules to the equivalent of 120 credits, and to submit a dissertation of 10,000 words (60 credits) as outlined below.

Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis:

The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two 30 credits (or equivalent 15 credits) in the first year, and two 30 credits (or equivalent 15  credits) and the dissertation in the second year.

Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student can distribute the 120 credits evenly in each of the three years.  The dissertation can be written in year two or three, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the degree.  It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Religion in Global Politics 15PSRC987 60 Full Year
Taught Component
Core module
Module Code Credits Term
Religion in Global Politics: Theories and Themes 15PSRC174 30 Full Year
Optional modules

Students must select 60 credits from the list of modules below.

AND

Students must select another 30 credits either from the list of modules below or from the list of available PGT language modules in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures or the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics.

List of modules (subject to availability)
Module Code Credits Term
Aid and Development 15PDSH027 15 Term 2
African and Asian Cultures in Britain 15PANH009 15 Term 2
African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 15 Term 1
African Philosophy (PG) 15PAFH008 15 Term 2
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 15 Term 2
Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) 15PANH058 15 Term 1
Borders and Development 15PDSH023 15 Term 1
Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet 15PSRC172 30 Full Year
Chinese Buddhism in Pre-Modern Period 15PSRH053 15 Term 1
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 15 Term 1
Colonialism, Empire and International Law 15PLAH025 15 Term 2
Comparative International Political Thought 15PPOH021 15 Term 2
Conflict, rights and justice 15PPOH018 15 Term 2
Contemporary Themes in Media and Religion 15PMSH039 15 Term 2
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics 15PNMH006 15 Term 1
Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society 15PNMH007 15 Term 2
Culture and Difference in Political Theory 15PPOH051 15 Term 2
Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia 15PPOH052 15 Term 2
Death and Religion 15PSRC162 30 Full Year
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2
Elections, Social Movements and Gender in Taiwan 15PPOH054 15 Term 1
Empire and Reform in the Modern Middle East, 1789-1914 15PHIH031 15 Term 1
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1
Gender, Armed Conflict and International Law 15PGNH005 15 Term 1
Global Approaches to Peace 15PDSH074 15 Term 2
Historical Perspectives on Gender in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PHIH029 15 Term 2
Human Rights and Islamic Law 15PLAC150 30 Full Year
International Political Communication 15PMSH009 15 Term 2
Iran: History, Culture, Politics 15PNMC405 30 Full Year
Islam and politics 15PPOH006 15 Term 2
Islam and political ideologies 15PPOH007 15 Term 2
Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 15 Term 1
Islamic/Democratic Political Thought 15PPOH046 15 Term 1
Jerusalem: City in Conflict (PG) 15PNMH008 15 Term 1
Law and Society in Southeast Asia 15PLAH049 15 Term 2
Law and Society in South Asia 15PLAC129 30 Full Year
Law, Rights & Social Change 15PLAH064 15 Term 1
Law and Society in the Middle East and North Africa 15PLAC130 30
Law and Postcolonial Theory 15PLAH050 15 Term 2
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 15 Term 2
Migration and Policy 15PDSH029 15 Term 1
Modern Trends in Islam 15PNMC228 30 Full Year
Music, Exile and Diaspora: the Jews of Arab Lands 15PMUH011 15 Term 1
Muslim Britain: Perspectives and Realities 15PSRC158 30 Full Year
Nationhood and Competing Identities in Modern China 15PHIH022 15 Term 1
Nationalism and Revolution in the Modern Middle East, 1914-1979 15PHIH032 15 Term 2
Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development 15PDSH054 15 Term 2
Palestine, Resistance, and the Law 15PLAH082 15
Philosophy and Decolonisation (PG) 15PAFH009 15 Term 2
Prejudice, Conspiracy and Misinformation: Understanding Media in a Post-Truth Environment 15PMSH038 15 Term 1
Political Economy of Institutions 15PECC020 15 Term 2
Public Policy: Perspectives, Issues and Strategies 15PFMC094 15 Term 1
Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNH007 15 Term 2
Queering Migrations and Diasporas 15PGNH002 15 Term 2
Religion, Nationhood and Ethnicity in Judaism 15PSRH030 15 Term 2
Religions and Development 15PSRH049 15 Term 2
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 30 Full Year
Security 15PDSH020 15 Term 1
Sufism 15PNMC036 30 Full Year
The Early Development of Islam: Emerging Identities and Contending View 15PHIH039 15 Term 2
The Great Tradition of Taoism 15PSRH036 15 Term 2
The Politics of Global Security 15PPOH015 15 Term 2
The Holocaust in Theology, Literature and Art 15PSRH028 15 Term 2
The Afghanistan Wars, 1979 to the Present 15PHIH056 15 Term 2
The Indian Temple 15PARC034 30 Full Year
The Origins and Development of Yoga in Ancient India 15PSRC173 30 Full Year
The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia 15PSAC314 30 Full Year
The Religions of Ancient India 15PSRH054 15 Term 2
Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity 15PMSH004 15 Term 2
Understanding Communal Violence in India since 1947 15PSRH052 15 Term 1
White Supremacy and African Resistance in Colonial Southern Africa 15PHIH002 15 Term 1
Violence, justice and the politics of memory 15PPOH019 15 Term 1
War to Peace Transitions 15PDSH018 15 Term 2
Yoga and Meditation: Perspectives, Context and Methodologies 15PSRH046 15 Term 1
Zionism: Critical Perspectives (PG) 15PNMH011 15 Term 2
Zoroastrianism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 15PSRC052 30 Full Year

 

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

Students are required to follow taught modules to the equivalent of 120 credits and in addition to submit a dissertation of 10,000 words, worth 60 credits.  Modules are assessed through a variety of methods including short and long essays, examinations, oral presentations, and response papers. An overall percentage mark is awarded for each module, based on the marks awarded for individual assessment items within the courses. The MA may be awarded at Distinction, Merit or Pass level in accordance with the common regulations for MA/MSc at SOAS.

The MA Religion in Global Politics is designed both as a professional development qualification and as a platform preparing students for doctoral research.

Programme Learning Outcomes
Knowledge
  • Inter-and multidisciplinary specialist understanding of the relationship between religion/secularism and the public sphere;
  • Knowledge of the comparative and historical contexts of religion and secularism;
  • Theories and practices of criticism and analysis in relation to core topics in the field of religion and politics in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe;
  • Understanding of the disciplinary range of the field and the necessity of engagement with the topic of religion for the understanding of politics;
  • Familiarity with various frameworks and key concepts that enable the integration of a variety of perspectives around the problematic of the role of religion in the public sphere and of the interrelationship of state and religious structures, values, and commitments.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • Precision in assessment of evidence and argumentation;
  • Capacity to discuss theoretical and epistemological issues in an articulate, informed, and intellectual manner;
  • Precision and critical acumen in the assessment of scholarly arguments and interpretations;
  • The ability to assess evidence and arguments independently;
  • Effective presentation of complex theoretical arguments and their relationship to empirical data;
  • Theoretical and regional expertise in order to develop and apply self-reflexive approaches to dominant issues in the comparative study of religion and politics.
Subject-based practical skills
  • Academic and professional writing to the highest standards;
  • IT-based information retrieval, processing and data organisation;
  • Fieldwork and archival research techniques;
  • Research project design;
  • Presentational skills;
  • Independent study skills;
  • Reflexive learning.
Transferable skills
  • Problem solving and research skills;
  • Oral and written communication;
  • Critical and independent thought;
  • Synthesising of difficult and wide ranging empirical material;
  • Regional specialism;
  • Working to deadlines and to high standards of presentation and argumentation;
  • Ability to make assessments involving complex factors.

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 1 tuition fee.

Fees for 2020/21 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second & subsequent years of study will be higher. Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years Part-time 4 Years
Intensive Language only
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£10,170 £20,930 £5,085 £10,460 £3,390 £6,975 £5,085 £10,460

Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2020-01-31 15:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Ghana

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Japan

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Nigeria

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – South Korea

Application Deadline: 2020-05-31 00:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2020-02-20 15:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2020-06-05 15:00

V P Kanitkar Memorial Scholarships

V P Kanitkar Memorial Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2020-04-02 15:00

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

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