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MSc Middle East Politics


Course Description

Politics and international relations in the Middle East display many of the characteristic features of the modern world. Contentious legacies of imperial map-making fuel frontier disputes and throw into question the legitimacy of the territorial nation state. Governments have been repeatedly challenged by populations tired of the old rationales for authoritarian rule and angered by its repressive effects. The politics of national identity, sometimes bound up with ideas of religious identity, have been given new urgency by class conflict, by military occupation and by the growth of the security state. Meanwhile, the long history of external intervention in the states of the region has heightened domestic and regional tensions.

The degree offers students an opportunity to study politics in the region through a number of disciplinary approaches, such as political sociology (class, gender, ethnicity and sect), comparative politics (state power, political economy of development, democratic openings and nationalism), and international politics (war, international political economy, regionalism and dependency). At the same time, it provides thematic courses that encourage students to look at political processes in the region from distinct perspectives, such as the study of political violence, the examination of the politics of resistance and the understanding of Islamic political ideologies and political movements.

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students are expected to read extensively, to make a number of presentations and to engage actively in seminar discussions. They are also expected to write substantial papers, guided by their course tutors, but requiring significant independent work.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/mscmepol/

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2012 (pdf; 129kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/mscmepol/file39939.pdf

Teaching & Learning

Courses are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught courses (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.

- Lectures

Most courses involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

- Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

- Dissertation

A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.

Learning Resources

- SOAS Library

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.

Employment

SOAS MSc Middle East Politics students leave SOAS not only with a knowledge and understanding of the complex political and cultural issues of international politics, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector.

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/

Visit the MSc Middle East Politics page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Judith Nubold

It is the unique SOAS community that makes studying here so special. From my first days at SOAS I felt that I had found a social, political and intellectual home. The friendliness of its staff and the open-mindedness of its students are extraordinary and make you feel part of the adventure immediately. You get to meet many interesting people from diverse backgrounds and I made friends here that I would not want to miss.

Before I applied to SOAS, I contacted the course convenor and admissions and they were very helpful and kind. With all the good things that I had heard from alumni about the school, my expectations were very high, but I have never felt disappointed. On the contrary, I feel a daily excitement about being a part of SOAS. When I finally arrived in London and discovered the campuses right in the heart of the city, it was all so lively and colourful – the Junior Common Room (JCR) is a perfect example of that. The Student Union is very active as well and each week there are numerous events in and around the school.

The studying during my year here was intense, challenging as well as stimulating. I learned a lot in and outside the classroom, from outstanding staff, but also my very committed fellow students. It was a great experience to meet people who shared my questions and concerns and added new ones. Activism is never very far at SOAS. As the saying goes “You learn for life“!

The MSc in Middle East Politics allowed me to take both Politics courses and a language option, all of which I enjoyed. The lecturers were fantastic! My favourite class was Politics of Resistance in the Middle East which was clearly helpful for understanding contemporary politics of the region.

Away from my studies, I got to explore London - as a resident and not just as a tourist. It is a great place to be! Being a student has allowed me to take advantage of great offers for theatre, concertsand public lectures.


(Scholarship)

The Ahmad Mustafa Abu-Hakima Bursary - Single Award

Candidate Criteria:
- Applicants must possess a good honours degree from a UK university or an equivalent institution recognised by SOAS.- In order to be eligible for this scholarship, you must have provided evidence in the statement of your admission application on how your full-time taught Masters programme involves the history of the modern Arab world. Applicants are strongly advised to identify relevant courses offered as majors or minors as part of their programme of choice. Failure to provide such evidence will disqualify the application.- Applicants must have an offer of admission to pursue a full-time masters programme at SOAS by the scholarship application deadline.- Applicants must meet the English language condition of their offer of admission to study at SOAS as soon as possible but no later than 1 June 2016. If your offer is conditional on English, please arrange your English test and ensure you meet the English requirements as soon as possible. - Open to UK/EU and Overseas applicantsCandidate Assessment
- Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by a Selection Panel consisting of three academic members. - The assessment of your application will be based on the information provided in your scholarship application and in your on-line application for admission. Selectors will be looking at the degree results and also at academic references, statement and other relevant information.Scholarship Application Deadline
- Scholarship applications must be received no later than 17:00 (UK local time) on 24 February 2016.- You must submit a complete online application to your programme as soon as possible and then submit an application for the scholarship. Applicants applying for scholarships must also submit an application for admission well in advance. Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. You should be prepared to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods.- Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£4,500

Eligibility

The bursary is for students undertaking full-time postgraduate degrees involving the study of the modern history of the Arab world

Application Procedure

You must apply for this scholarship via the on-line scholarship application form.

Further Information

http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/scholarships/the-ahmad-mustafa-abuhakima-bursary.html


(Scholarship)

Canon Collins Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

These scholarships are for Masters study in any subject field.
The application process normally opens in December and closes in February, for study commencing in September the following year. Please go to the Canon Collins website and click "Apply for A Scholarship" and then "Canon Collins Scholarship for Masters Study in the UK" for further information on how to apply.

Value of Scholarship(s)

See website

Eligibility

Country/Nationality: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information

http://www.canoncollins.org.uk/


(Scholarship)

SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Law and Social Sciences - 16 Awards

There are six SOAS Master's scholarships available in the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences. Each is valued at £16,765 each in total. Fees will be deducted from this amount and the remainder will be used toward maintenance. In addition to these six SOAS Master's scholarship, the Faculty will offer an extra 10 scholarships, each valued at approximately £1,500.Candidate Assessment:
- Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by an Advisory Panel consisting of at least three academic members of the Faculty. - The assessment of your application will be based on the information provided in your scholarship application and in your on-line admission application for admission. Selectors will be looking at the degree results and also at academic references, statement and other relevant information.Scholarship Application Deadline
- Scholarship applications must be received no later than 17:00 (UK local time) on 24 February 2016. - In order to be considered for this scholarship, you must ALSO submit a complete online application to the degree programme as soon as possible and then submit an application for the scholarship. Applicants applying for scholarships must also submit an application for admission well in advance. Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. - You should prepare to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£1,500/£16,765

Eligibility

- Applicants must possess or expect to be awarded a First Class Honours Degree or equivalent. Students with a non-UK degree to be adjudged in the top rank by their referees and transcript.
- This scholarship is open to UK/EU applicants only.
- Applicants must have an offer of admission to pursue one of the eligible full-time masters programmes at SOAS by the scholarship application deadline.
- The scholarship cannot be held along with any other major scholarship or studentship.

Application Procedure

You must apply for this scholarship via the on-line scholarship application form

Further Information

http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/scholarships/soas-bursary.html



Entry Requirements

The qualification for entry is normally a first or upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Politics or International Relations, or a related social science discipline. Applicants without such a background may be considered for admission depending on their academic training and undergraduate performance.

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