The programme is designed for students with a keen interest in studying the remote as well as the more recent past of the countries, peoples, and cultures of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It is also ideal for students who seek to understand the historical conditions of the contemporary world from a global perspective. While the course is open to students with backgrounds in a diverse range of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the ideal applicant would have an UG degree in History or a relevant area studies programme, some knowledge of foreign, in particular Asian or African languages, and preferably relevant background in the region of specialism.
This is one of the few Master-level programmes in History focusing on the study of Asia, the Middle East and Africa in the UK. With its high concentration of expertise of these regions, SOAS can offer an unrivalled breadth of courses on their histories. Apart from the possibility of acquiring regional expertise, the programme also provides a sound training in the historical sciences more generally. Students who wish to study manifestations of particular issues in a variety of regions may opt for the broader MA History. Others may prefer to focus on the study of a single region and choose one of the available regional pathways. These are
- MA History: Africa
- MA History: Near and Middle East
- MA History: South Asia
- MA History: South East Asia
- MA History: East Asia
Students in this programme take three units of taught courses plus a 10,000 word dissertation. The proximity to the School of many archive depositories and records offices, including its own archival collection as well as the British Library, greatly enhances the potential for dissertation work. A broad range of courses is available in every single year (see 'Structure' tab for more details), though you may want to contact the programme convenor to ask about the availability of particular courses in a particular year. Those who wish to further develop their linguistic skills may choose from a range of African and Asian language courses.
In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS have the opportunity to participate in the Regional History Seminars, as well as in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences, which regularly take place in different departments and centres across the School and at other colleges of the University of London.
If you wish to continue your studies on the research level you may want to consider the MA in Historical Research Methods. To help with funding, there is a limited number of relevant scholarship opportunities available (see under 'How To Apply').
Email: [email protected]
English language requirements: Those whose mother tongue is not English must take the English test run by the British Council (IELTS) and obtain a score acceptable to the School.
Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/history/programmes/mahistafas/
The programme consists of four units in total: three units of taught courses and a 10,000 word dissertation worth one unit. One of the taught courses will be recognised as the student’s Major course and normally the dissertation will be on a topic linked to that course. Apart from the History courses, approved courses from other departments, language courses, and in some cases intercollegiate courses are available as additional options
MA History Programme Specification (pdf; 337kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/history/programmes/mahistafas/file76286.pdf
Teaching & Learning
- Lectures and Seminars
Teaching is generally by informal lectures and seminar discussions. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take.
In addition to their studies on the MA programme, students at SOAS are able to participate in a wide range of research seminars, lectures and conferences that regularly take place in the School and in the University of London.
The 10,000-word Dissertation on an approved topic linked with one of the taught courses.
- 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.
A postgraduate degree from the History department at SOAS provides its students with an understanding of the world, giving them specialised historical knowledge and understanding of cultural sensibilities of a region. Postgraduate students are equipped with the expertise to continue in research as well as the skills needed to enable them to find professional careers in the private and public sectors.
Postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including familiarity with methods of research; the competence to manage large quantities of information; the ability to select and organise information and analytical skills. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.
Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:
Church of England
Dar Al Hekma College
Department For Transport
Home Office - UKBA
Hongik University, South Korea
Dutch National Council for Culture
The Jewish Chronicle
The Royal Institute of International Affairs
World Youth Service Society Japan
Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:
Community and Events Fundraiser
Senior Learning and Impact Advisor
Head of Africa Department
Senior Information Management Officer
Lecturer in History
Manager and Research Fellow
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/
Normally, an Upper Second Class Honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard obtained after a course of study extending over not less than three years in a university (or educational institution of university rank), in History, or a related discipline in the Humanities or Social Sciences.