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On this programme you’ll gain an advanced knowledge of many aspects of modern Ireland, together with the research skills you’d need to take your work further. Read more
On this programme you’ll gain an advanced knowledge of many aspects of modern Ireland, together with the research skills you’d need to take your work further.

The Diploma and MA programmes share four compulsory modules taught by experts in early Irish history, politics, Irish language, history, cultural geography, literature, drama and women’s history.

All modules are taught in small-group seminar format, with each requiring two pieces of assessed coursework. For an MA you’ll need to research and write a dissertation of 20,000 words (60 credits).

The programme’s available one year full-time, or part-time over two years.

Why Institute of Irish Studies?

An important and influential Institute.

The Institute has played a significant part in Ireland’s recent history. The Director, Professor Marianne Elliott OBE, FBA was a major player in the Northern Ireland peace process and the achievements of the Institute have been recognised in the award of a £5million Tony Blair Chair in Irish Studies.

Links with the Irish community.

Historically, the city of Liverpool has always had strong links with the north and south of Ireland. It has long been the hub of Irish migration and you will be in an ideal position to experience living in a multicultural society with a distinctive Irish component. There are excellent links between the Institute and the Liverpool Irish community providing a rich seam to be mined for research purposes as well as opportunities for students to get involved in voluntary work.

Friendly and supportive.

The Institute is based in a fine Regency house in Abercromby Square, on the main University campus where all staff foster a particularly friendly and supportive atmosphere for students.

Renowned speakers.

The high external esteem of the Institute is reflected in the calibre of public lecturers it regularly attracts. In recent years, speakers have included President Michael D. Higgins, President Mary McAleese, former Irish President Mary Robinson, Roddy Doyle, Seamus Heaney, John Hume, Peter Mandelson, US Senator George Mitchell, Paul Muldoon, Tom Paulin, Fintan O’Toole, Jonathan Powell, Dr John Reid, the late David Ervine, the late Dr Mo Mowlam, Peter Robinson and David Trimble. The Institute also hosts events for the Liverpool Irish Festival every October and these have included lectures by the authors Blake Morrison and Patrick McCabe, the filmmaker Peter Lennon and the Keeper of Antiquities of the National Museum of Ireland Dr Eamonn Kelly.

Career prospects

Our programmes aim not only to provide an in-depth understanding of Ireland but also to provide students with key transferable skills, such as presentation skills and opportunities for networking with businesses, voluntary organisations and leading members of the Irish Studies academic community. The MA programmes have dedicated skills modules designed to equip students with key employment skills for a range of sectors such as questionnaire design, interviewing techniques and textual and data analysis. Former postgraduates have gone on to further study as well as a wide range of successful careers in areas such as teaching (at both university and secondary level), journalism, research and museum work. As Ciaran O’Neill, who completed a PhD in 2010 and the current Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford, highlights: ‘I came to Liverpool in 2006 to begin a PhD part-time at the Institute of Irish Studies. While there I won external full-time funding from the National University of Ireland which enabled me to complete my doctorate in 2010 before taking up a post-doctoral position at Oxford two weeks later. The years I spent at the Institute were among the best in my life both professionally and personally. What I will remember most is a tight-knit community of warm and friendly staff who excel in their own disciplines, a hard-working and vibrant post-grad community and a lively and engaged student body. In short, the Institute is a fantastic place to study, to research and to grow and develop as an academic.’

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The MA in African Studies provides an unrivalled programme of advanced modules on Africa; one of the world’s most fascinating and challenging regions. Read more
The MA in African Studies provides an unrivalled programme of advanced modules on Africa; one of the world’s most fascinating and challenging regions. The opportunity for interdisciplinary study of the continent is a particular advantage of the degree. Students can choose from a range of about 30 modules in fourteen disciplines. Our former students have chosen to study Africa at this level for a wide range of reasons. For some a deep interest in the history and culture or political economy of a particular region is sufficient motivation, but for many students the programme has, in addition, been followed with the intention of furthering their career opportunities. Some go on to work either in Africa or in fields related to Africa. The opportunity to combine study of particular African subjects with an African language is very useful, although some evidence of competence in learning a foreign language is usually required.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/africa/programmes/maafstudies/

Structure

Students take three taught module units, one of which is considered a major, and complete a 10,000-word dissertation related to the major.

As the emphasis in the Regional Studies programmes is on interdisciplinary study, students are required to select their three module units from more than one subject. One module unit may be made up of two 0.5 unit modules. The subjects of the programme are: Anthropology, Art, Economics, History, Law, Literature, Media, Politics, Religious Studies, and Language.

The two minor module units can be taken in the same subject (but different to that of the major), or two different ones.

A language module can only be taken as a minor, and only one language module can be taken.

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

When applying, applicants are asked to specify their preferred major and minor subjects, and asked to give alternative choices as practical considerations such as time tabling and availability of modules may limit freedom of choice.

Once enrolled, students have two weeks to finalise their choice of subjects and have the opportunity of sampling a variety of subjects through attending lectures etc.

All modules are subject to availability.

MA African Studies- Programme Specifications 2012/13 (pdf; 31kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/africa/programmes/maafstudies/file80693.pdf

Teaching & Learning

Teaching is normally provided by lecture or seminar and students are required to attend such classes. Each student will be assigned a supervisor in connection with his or her dissertation.

- Lectures and Seminars
Most modules involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.

- Dissertation
The 10,000-word dissertation on an approved topic linked with one of the taught modules.

- 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.

Destinations

A postgraduate degree in African studies from SOAS provides students with competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law.

Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers in the business, public and charity sectors. They leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

Some MA African Studies graduates leave SOAS to pursue careers directly related to their study area, while others have made use of the intellectual training for involvement in analysing and solving many of the problems that contemporary societies now face. Among a variety of professions, career paths may include: Academia; Charity; Community; Government; NGOs; Media; Publishing and UN Agencies.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:
BBC News
British Embassy
Canon Collins Educational Trust for Southern Africa
Goal Nigeria
Government of Canada
Hogan Lovells International LLP
International Institute for Environment and Development
Kenyan Government
Mercy Corps
Migrant Resource Centre
Mo Ibrahim Foundation
The London MENA Film Festival
The University of Tokyo
The World Bank
Think Africa Press
U.S. Embassy
United Nations
University of Namibia
World Vision UK
Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:
Development Producer
Africa Editor
Copywriter
Director of Trade and Investment
Projects and Fundraising Manager
Head of Desk, Africa
Senior Investment Manager
Sports Writer
Knowledge Management Projects Coordinator
Project Director
Presidential Advisor
Commodity Manager
Publisher
Tutor
Creative Consultant
Lecturer in African Arts and Cultures
East Africa Analyst
Youth Volunteer Advisor
Southern Region Educational Manager
Head Specialists Giving + Insights

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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This distance learning programme, offered in partnership with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a Skye-based college of the University of the Highlands and Islands, presents a unique and innovative opportunity to engage with the culture of Scotland through its wealth of popular and creative arts, and to contribute to international debates concerning the role of tradition and heritage in the 21st century. Read more

Programme description

This distance learning programme, offered in partnership with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a Skye-based college of the University of the Highlands and Islands, presents a unique and innovative opportunity to engage with the culture of Scotland through its wealth of popular and creative arts, and to contribute to international debates concerning the role of tradition and heritage in the 21st century.

You will engage with a newly available range of digitised archival resources, including Tobar an Dualchais – Kist o Riches, a major online collection of audio recordings relating to all aspects of Scotland’s oral heritage. You will study the principles of folklore and ethnology and take courses that open your eyes and ears to song, storytelling, custom, tradition and heritage.

Online learning

All of your learning and engagement with tutors and fellow students will take place in a high quality virtual learning environment (VLE), designed and led by top scholars from both institutions.

You will become part of a virtual community of students, accessing a full range of teaching resources and participative sessions through the VLE.

Teaching and learning takes the form of video presentations, audio podcasts, guided reading and research, discussion board threads and participation in a virtual classroom setting in real time.

Programme structure

This programme has been designed to deal with both the theory and practice of the cultural traditions and heritage of Scotland, but is set in an international comparative context.

You will take a compulsory course in Resources and Research Methods, as well as two shorter thematic courses in semester 1 and two more in semester 2:

Resources and Research Methods (taken over two semesters)
Tobar an Dualchais / Kist o Riches: Analytical Case Study
The Traditional Arts in Scotland: History and Context
Tradition and Modernity
Understanding Heritage

Career opportunities

Successful completion of this programme will prepare you for a variety of career opportunities including in broadcasting and other media, heritage and conservation organisations, publishing, arts development, tourism, local or national government, research, management or education.

Having an enhanced knowledge of Scottish culture is relevant to employers both in a national context and overseas, given Scotland’s links to many countries around the world. The ability to undertake original research through cultural fieldwork as well as professional media editing, emphasised in several of the courses on this programme, is a key skill within many modern professions.

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Our MRes programme provide a personalised and focused introduction to postgraduate research allowing you to develop as an independent researcher with the support of an expert in Irish Studies. Read more
Our MRes programme provide a personalised and focused introduction to postgraduate research allowing you to develop as an independent researcher with the support of an expert in Irish Studies.

It provides a rigorous overview of the current state of scholarship in your selected field, guides you, through a programme of directed, individualised reading, to the selection of a feasible research project, and allows you to complete a substantial piece of research.

Key Facts

RAE 2008
The most recent exercise rated 40% of our research activity as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, with a further 35% classed as ‘internationally recognised’.

Facilities
Based in Abercromby Square, on the main University campus, the Institute has a pleasant student common room and it is close to the Sydney Jones Library and all other University services while being only about 10 minutes walk from the city centre.

Why Institute of Irish Studies ?
An important and influential Institute.
The Institute has played a significant part in Ireland’s recent history. The Director, Professor Marianne Elliott OBE, FBA was a major player in the Northern Ireland peace process and the achievements of the Institute have been recognised in the award of a £5million Tony Blair Chair in Irish Studies.

Links with the Irish community.
Historically, the city of Liverpool has always had strong links with the north and south of Ireland. It has long been the hub of Irish migration and you will be in an ideal position to experience living in a multicultural society with a distinctive Irish component. There are excellent links between the Institute and the Liverpool Irish community providing a rich seam to be mined for research purposes as well as opportunities for students to get involved in voluntary work.

Friendly and supportive.
The Institute is based in a fine Regency house in Abercromby Square, on the main University campus where all staff foster a particularly friendly and supportive atmosphere for students.

Renowned speakers.
The high external esteem of the Institute is reflected in the calibre of public lecturers it regularly attracts. In recent years, speakers have included President Michael D. Higgins, President Mary McAleese, former Irish President Mary Robinson, Roddy Doyle, Seamus Heaney, John Hume, Peter Mandelson, US Senator George Mitchell, Paul Muldoon, Tom Paulin, Fintan O’Toole, Jonathan Powell, Dr John Reid, the late David Ervine, the late Dr Mo Mowlam, Peter Robinson and David Trimble. The Institute also hosts events for the Liverpool Irish Festival every October and these have included lectures by the authors Blake Morrison and Patrick McCabe, the filmmaker Peter Lennon and the Keeper of Antiquities of the National Museum of Ireland Dr Eamonn Kelly.

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