The MA Palestine Studies is a simultaneously disciplinary and interdisciplinary programme that provides students with an overview of the ways in which varying bodies of scholarship across and intra various disciplines engage and study Palestine, and examines how the study of Palestine cuts across and informs scholarly, theoretical, political and disciplinary approaches. It develops an understanding of the complexities of modern and contemporary Palestine through a study of relevant material, and of the dynamics of colonisation, displacement, insecurity and security. It attends to the place of culture in representing conflict and identity politics and as a means of mediation and resistance.
The flexible study programme and the interdisciplinary curriculum will enrich students’ knowledge of issues relating to the questions of conflict and political economy, development, cultural politics, social and economic relations, identity, and other major concerns of humanities and social sciences. Students will develop an understanding of Palestinian history, political structure, development, culture and society. And they will become familiar with different disciplinary approaches, models, and scholarship frameworks in the study of Palestine, and the ability to write critically on topics relevant to the study of Palestine.
Each course has its own series of classes and seminars, and in addition students attend general lectures and seminars organised by the Centre for Palestine Studies. In most courses there is one two-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or a student presentation. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.
The dissertation is on an approved topic linked to 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.
Faculty of Languages and Cultures
Six of the academic departments are devoted to teaching and research in the languages, literatures and cultures of Africa, China and Inner Asia, Japan and Korea, the Near and Middle East, South Asia, and South East Asia, with the seventh teaching and conducting research in Linguistics. The Language Centre caters to the needs of non-degree students and governmental and non-governmental organisations. It maintains a huge portfolio of courses, including year-long diploma programmes, weekly evening classes in about 40 different African and Asian languages, and tailored intensive one-to-one courses. The Language Centre also offers courses in French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Their teaching is in three main areas: - language competence acquisition; - textual and cultural studies - both comparative and language-specific, and covering not only 'literature' in a strict sense but also visual media, performance, folklore, translation etc.; - language studies with linguistics at its core - including the prestigious Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.
While SOAS as a whole represents the most substantial concentration in the Western world of expertise dedicated to African, Middle Eastern and Asian studies, the Faculty of Languages and Cultures is heavily committed to teaching and research grounded in a knowledge of the principal languages and cultures of two thirds of humankind.
Department of the Languages and Cultures of Near and Middle East The Near and Middle East Department provides students with the opportunity to develop professional expertise in a region which stretches from North Africa to the borders of China and has produced some the world’s greatest civilisations. Our Arabic programmes are second to none, and we are one of very few universities to offer the comprehensive study of modern and classical Persian and Turkish language and literature at full degree level. We were the first UK department to offer both MA Palestine Studies and MA Israeli Studies concurrently. We host a very active Centre for Islamic Studies which organises conferences, publications and runs an international journal.