SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

MA Languages and Cultures of South Asia

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 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

2017 Entry requirements

  • From the academic session of 2017/18, this programme will no longer be running in its current form. Instead, you will be able to study South Asian language and culture within an amended version of the MA South Asian Area Studies, which will allow you to choose two language options or two literature options as part of your degree.

Featured events

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


Start of programme: September intake only.

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

This degree provides a coherent combination of modules in South Asian languages and their associated literatures and cultures; it leads to an advanced level of understanding of one aspect of South Asian civilization, together with a broader appreciation of the linguistic and literary culture of the subcontinent. The ‘Directed Readings’ modules, available in several modern languages, have a flexible curriculum which allows them to accommodate the interests of individual students or groups of students. The MA will provide, inter alia, an appropriate training for students wishing to proceed to postgraduate research in South Asian studies; its focus on South Asian language, culture and literature distinguishes it from the interdisciplinary perspective of the MA in South Asian Area Studies on the one hand and the MA in Comparative Literature on the other.



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 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. A maximum of 60 credits can be taken from one discipline and a minimum of three disciplines must be covered. For students opting to take two language acquisition modules, only one of these can be from an introductory level.

Candidates who wish to take a language at other than introductory level will be assessed at the start of the term to determine the most appropriate level of study.

Choosing the Modules

Applicants are asked to specify their preferred major subject and to give an alternative, as not all modules are available every year and practical considerations such as timetabling may limit choices.

Once enrolled, students have two weeks to finalise their choice of subjects, during which time they may sample different subjects through attending lectures etc.

Majors or Minors
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Literatures of South Asia 15PSAC284 30 Full Year
Directed Readings in the Literature of a Modern South Asian Language 15PSAC016 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Sanskrit Literature 15PSAC003 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Sanskrit Texts from the Hindu Tradition 15PSAC014 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Culture and Conflict in the Himalaya 15PSAC291 30 Full Year
The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia 15PSAC314 30 Full Year
Buddhist Meditation in India and Tibet 15PSRC172 30 Full Year
The Origins and Development of Yoga in Ancient India 15PSRC173 30 Full Year
This course is available as a minor only
Majors together/ Minors individually

These courses can be considered as majors only if both half-unit courses are taken together. Separately they will be considered as minors.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context 15PSAH001 15 Term 1
Indian Cinema: Key Issues 15PSAH002 15 Term 2
Majors together/ Minors individually

These courses can be considered as majors only if both half-unit courses are taken together. Separately they will be considered as minors.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Literature & Colonialism in North India (Masters) 15PSAH005 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Narratives of Mobility in Contemporary Hindi Literature (Masters) 15PSAH006 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Minors only
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Bengali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC303 30 Full Year
Bengali Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC304 30 Full Year
Hindi Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC295 30 Full Year
Hindi Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC296 30 Full Year
Hindi Language 3 (PG) 15PSAC297 30 Full Year
Hindi Language 4 (PG) 15PSAC308 30 Full Year
Readings in Contemporary Hindi (PG) 15PSAC305 30 Full Year
Nepali Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC298 30 Full Year
Nepali Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC299 30 Full Year
Pali: Intermediate Level 15PSRC053 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Prakrit Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC309 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Sanskrit Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC294 30 Full Year
Sanskrit Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC306 30 Full Year
Punjabi Language 1 15PSAC320 30 Full Year
Urdu Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC300 30 Full Year
Urdu Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC301 30 Full Year
Urdu Literacy (PG) 15PSAC302 30 Full Year
Elementary Written Persian 15PNMC387 30 Full Year
Intermediate Persian Language 155900801 1 UnitFull Year
Advanced Persian Language 155900802 1 UnitFull Year


This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

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

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

  • How to assess data and evidence critically from printed and digital sources, solve problems of conflicting sources and interpretations, locate materials, use research sources (particularly research library catalogues) and other relevant traditional sources.
  • Subject specific skills, for instance familiarity with a South Asian language and the ability to read texts in that language, or advanced study of a South Asian literature in its original language.
  • Aspects of South Asian literary and cultural studies, ranging from the classical to the contemporary.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • Students should become precise and cautious in their assessment of evidence.
  • Students should question interpretations, however authoritative, and reassess evidence for themselves.
  • Apply language learning skills to new linguistic challenges, or to new oral or written texts.
Subject-based practical skills

The programme aims to help students with the following practical skills:

  • Communicate effectively in writing.
  • Retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources.
  • Present seminar papers.
  • Participate constructively in the discussion of ideas introduced during seminars.
  • Work to strict deadlines.
  • Use and apply foreign language skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Transferrable skills

The programme will encourage students to:

  • Write good essays and dissertations.
  • Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Understand unconventional ideas.
  • Study a variety of written and digital materials, in libraries and research institutes of a kind they will not have used as undergraduates.
  • Present (non-assessed) material orally.
  • Communicate in a foreign language.

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 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
£8,785 £18,075 £4,393 £9,038 £2,928 £6,025
Bishwa Bangla Scholarships at SOAS

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

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

The Prospect Burma Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

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


Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
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  • Apply

    Postgraduate programme applications should be made through our online application system.

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