SOAS Regularly Taught Courses
Two half course unit, 5 hours per week distributed over three classes, for Year 1 students.
A language course in modern Burmese for beginners. The course aims to equip the student with a command of the script and sound system, and a useful range of vocabulary and grammatical structures. It provides practice in speaking and oral comprehension, with simple conversations and recorded listening material; and in reading and writing, using elementary texts in both the colloquial and the literary style, including personal correspondence.
The book and recorded materials used for this course are publicly available for download from the SOAS website: go to Burmese by Ear by John Okell.
One course unit, 4 hours per week, for Year 2 students.
A course designed to develop the language skills acquired in the first year, incorporating the study of a range of contemporary prose texts and recorded audio material. In addition students have regular practice in Burmese language conversation with a native speaker of Burmese.
Burmese language and texts
One course unit, 4 hours per week, for Year 3 students.
A course designed to develop language skills and at the same time enhance the student's understanding of Burmese culture and values through the study of a range of contemporary texts and recorded audio material. In addition students have regular practice in Burmese language conversation with a native speaker of Burmese.
A year of study in Burma:
Four course units, for Year 3 students in four-year degree programme South East Asian Studies (including a year abroad). The year abroad programme is tailored to suit the student and the situation in Burma at the time. See Justin Watkins for details.
This course unit, which entails 10 hours of contact with the supervisor, is for Year 3 students in London or Year 4 students after the year of study in Burma. Students write an extended essay of 10,000 words on an approved topic in the field of Burmese language or culture.
Applicants for any course from the above list must be able to satisfy the course convenor that they are qualified to take a course at that level and are capable of completing it successfully. Students for MA courses must have a good BA in Burmese or an equivalent qualification.
Each course lasts one academic year (Sep to June)
SOAS courses are measured in "course units". Undergraduate students are required take courses totalling four units a year; so any one-unit course is designed to occupy one quarter of a student's working hours over the year. MA students take three taught courses and write a dissertation within their year of study, and must ensure that they register for postgraduate versions of language classes.
Students taking BA or BSc degrees (3 or 4 years), and students for taught MA or MSc degrees (1 year), take Burmese in combination with other subjects (e.g. history, art, study of religions, etc). For possible subject combinations in degree programmes see the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Prospectuses, obtainable from The Registry at SOAS, or visit the SEA Section website.
The taught courses are also open to students conducting research for the degree of MPhil (2 years) or PhD (3 years) in another subject, and to occasional students (students not studying for a degree) subject to their tutor's approval.
Contact Justin Watkins for further details on any aspect of Burmese language study at SOAS.