The two-year MA Intensive South Asian Studies offers comprehensive language-based training across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
Students on the programme take 120 credits at SOAS during their first year, of which a language module at an appropriate level in Bengali, Hindi or Urdu and the module ‘The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia’ are core. In addition to the two core modules, students must choose modules to the value of 60 credits from the list of options advertised for the MA South Asian Area Studies. The disciplines available include Anthropology, Art and Archaeology, Cinema, Cultural and Regional Studies, Economics, History, Law, Literature, Music, Politics, and Study of Religions.
In their second year, students will undertake an extended period of study attached to a university or research institute in India or Pakistan (the location depending on their choice of language), where they will further develop their language proficiency (worth 90 credits) and conduct research for an extended dissertation(worth 90 credits). The second half of the second year will be taken up with the writing of the dissertation under close supervision back in London.
The programme is aimed at students pursuing careers in the academic world, business, government and the media that require a skill set which encompasses disciplinary rigour, comprehensive area knowledge and cultural and linguistic fluencies. No prior knowledge of a South Asian language is required but applicants should provide evidence of their language-learning ability. The language element of the training will be tailored to meet the needs of students with existing language skills.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- Two Years Full Time
- UK/EU fees:
- Overseas fees:
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
Students take The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia - 15PSAC314 and a language module in Bengali, Hindi, Nepali or Urdu in their first year, plus modules to the value of two full units (60 credits) from the list given below. These modules should be chosen in close consultation with the programme convenor.
Students spend the first half of their second year studying at one of our partner institutions in South Asia (15PAIC002 - Period of Postgraduate Study in South Asia - worth 90 credits), before returning to work on their 20,000-word dissertation (15PAIC999 Extended dissertation in South Asian Studies - worth 90 credits).
All modules are subject to availability
All students take the following module:
All students will take language modules in Hindi, Sanskrit or Urdu to the value of 30 credits from the list below
Options (subject to availability)
Anthropology (minor only)
Art and Archaeology
Language [one language option as minor only]
Study of Religions & Philosophies
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 & Learning
Lectures and Seminars
Most modules require students to attend two or three hours of classes each week. This time will be spent in lectures, seminars, tutorial discussions and student presentations: the exact mixture of activities varies somewhat from course to course. At Masters level there is a particular emphasis on students’ contributions and presentations, and students are also expected to read extensively and prepare for each class in advance.
Language modules typically involve more hours of contact time, especially at elementary level, and regular homework.
The assessment on most modules consists of two or three essay assignments and an unseen written examination, sat in April or May. However, some modules are assessed purely on the basis of coursework, including essays and reaction papers.
A 20,000-word dissertation will be written by each student on this programme after his/her return from South Asia, for submission in September of the second year. The dissertation will be on an approved topic linked with one of the taught courses.
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 South Asia collection consists of approximately 88,000 volumes in English and other European languages and about 70,000 volumes in South Asian languages.
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. Please note that fees go up each year. 2 year full-time programmes have 2 years of full-time fees - the fee in the second year will be higher than the fee for the first year (the full time fee below is for the first year only).
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section