SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute

MSc Contemporary India Studies

12 months (full-time); Two or three years (part-time)

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2018/19 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

2018 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Apply


Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Bullet Train JNU

The MSc Contemporary India Studies degree offers a critical, cutting edge study of present day India. The programme takes an interdisciplinary approach and provides analytical training.

Students have the opportunity to choose to study contemporary India topics, issues and challenges in the following subjects: anthropology, cinema, culture, development studies, history, law, literature, politics, study of religions and languages.

The MSc Contemporary India Studies programme:

  • introduces students to recent topics, methods and debates in the study of India
  • prepares students at an advanced level to pursue research interests
  • allows students to opt in for language training in Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Panjabi and Urdu

The MSc Contemporary India Studies is based in the South Asia Institute which has an active schedule of events and seminars throughout the year and attracts renowned speakers and scholars not only from India but also internationally.

Placements opportunity

The MSc Contemporary India Studies degree offers students the opportunity to take up a 2-4 week placement in India or with a London-based organisation during the course of their studies. This is an optional and self-funded opportunity. 

Opportunities for placements fall within three broad areas:  NGOs and development; business and economics; and media and journalism.  

The MSc Contemporary India Studies is designed to appeal to those interested in understanding current events and developments in India and who want to gain a deeper understanding for academic or commercial purposes such as business, industry, government departments or NGOs.



Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. Of the taught modules, students must take the core module Contemporary India: Issues, Methods and Approaches (30 credits) and a further 90 credits are chosen from a list of approved optional modules.

In addition, students write a 10,000-word dissertation on Contemporary India. The dissertation will include the option of undertaking a 2-4 week internship during the summer months either arranged by students to be approved by the course director or through the Careers Office who have a database of organisations offering internship positions in India as well as the UK in terms of diaspora activities.

Core Module
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Contemporary India: Issues, Methods and Approaches 15PAIC003 30 Full Year
Optional Modules
Anthropology and Sociology Department
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion 15PANH055 15 Term 1
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context 15PSAH001 15 Term 1
Indian Cinema: Key Issues 15PSAH002 15 Term 2
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Contemporary Punjab: Society and Culture across Borders 15PAIC001 30 Full Year
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 15 Term 2
Aid and Development 15PDSH027 15 Term 2
Borders and Development 15PDSH023 15 Term 1
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 15 Term 1
Development Practice 15PDSH013 15 Term 2
Environment, Governance and Development 15PDSH050 15 Term 2
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1
Global Commodity Chains, Production Networks and Informal Work 15PDSH024 15 Term 2
Global Health and Development 15PDSH051 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Issues in Forced Migration 15PDSH015 15 Term 2
Migration and Policy 15PDSH029 15 Term 1
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development 15PDSH054 15 Term 2
The Working Poor and Development 15PDSH030 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Understanding Economic Migration: Theories, Patterns and Policies 15PDSH032 15 Term 2
Water and Development:Conflict and Governance 15PDSH049 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Gender, law and the family in the history of modern South Asia 15PHIH030 15 Term 2
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Literature & Colonialism in North India (Masters) 15PSAH005 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Narratives of Mobility in Contemporary Hindi Literature (Masters) 15PSAH006 15 Term 2
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Government and politics of modern South Asia 15PPOC003 30 Full Year
The Indian Ocean in World Politics 15PPOH032 - Not Running 2018/19
Study of Religions
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Religions and Development 15PSRH049 15 Term 1
Bengali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC303 30 Full Year
Hindi Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC295 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Nepali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC298 30 Full Year
Punjabi Language 1 15PSAC320 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Urdu Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC300 30 Full Year


This is the structure for 2018/19 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Department.


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

  • Students will be expected to comprehend key themes and debates related to societies in contemporary India;
  • Students will be expected to acquire a good understanding of research methods  and strategies relevant to the study of contemporary India;
  • Students will acquire a firm understanding of interdisciplinary research and the range of possibilities to explore key themes methodologically.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • Students will develop critical analytical skills in assessing evidence presented and in the presentation of knowledge through a range of sources;
  • Students will learn how to scan, collect, and synthesise bodies of literature in order to represent knowledge production in an analytical way;
  • Students will acquire skills in critical analysis of arguments and findings of research in relation to how theory and methods are applied;
  • As part of the dissertation, students will learn how to conceptualise, design, plan, timetable, and consider the principles of fieldwork and research ethics.
Subject-based practical skills
  • Students will be expected to develop effective communication skills of social science analysis;
  • Students will develop interactive communication skills in discussing and presenting ideas introduced during seminars;
  • Students will gain skills in specific research techniques through practice-based learning and case studies;
  • Students will acquire skills in obtaining information from a range of sources including the media, digital sources, quantitative data sets, policy documents, and qualitative data.
  • For those students opting to undertake a 2-4 week internship, they will gain first-hand experience of organisations either working in India or in the diaspora and an opportunity to reflect further through the analytical skills acquired.
Transferrable skills
  • Students will acquire academic writing skills through planning, outlining and writing Master’s level essays and dissertations;
  • Students will learn to structure and communicate ideas in both oral and written forms;
  • Students will obtain skills of both independent learning as well as learning as part of a group;
  • Students will be exposed to new, often innovative, ideas and concepts which will broaden their abilities to engage with contemporary issues in a responsive manner;
  • Students will utilise and further develop various IT skills related to conducting research, including the production of small projects and the final large dissertation.

Learning Resources

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. The China and Inner Asia collection consists of approximately 200,000 volumes and 5,000 periodicals

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 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
£9,225 £18,980 £4,613 £9,490 £3,075 £6,327
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2018-06-05 00:00

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


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