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MA Israeli Studies

Course Description

The MA Israeli Studies is an interdisciplinary degree which explores the history, culture, politics, language and music of Israel. The programme is based on a modular system, so the subjects covered can be as diverse as the political thought of Vladimir Jabotinsky, Christian Zionism, the poetry of Yehuda Amichai, the rise of Palestinian nationalism, the struggle of Soviet Jews for emigration, the writings of Mendele Moykher-Sforim, the music of the hasidim, Palestinian Islamism, the teachings of the Rambam and the Ramban.


Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/nme/programmes/maisrstud/


The programme consists of:

- Three taught courses - one major subject and two minor - which start in October and finish in April
- Two essays - to be completed by the end of the winter and spring terms respectively
- A three-hour examination in May or June
- A dissertation in the major subject to be completed by the following September

Course Options

Two Israeli Studies courses (one major and one minor) from:

Zionist Ideology
Israel, the Arab World and the Palestinians
Modern Israel through its Culture
A Historical Approach to Israeli Literature

AND either one further minor from the above lists or one from the following:

Religion, Nationhood and Ethnicity in Judaism, term 2, 0.5 unit (not available 2010-11)
The Holocaust in Theology, Literature and Art, term 2, 0.5 unit
Family, Work, and Leisure in Ancient Judaism, term 1, 0.5 unit
Judaism and Gender, term 2, 0.5 unit (not available 2010-11)
Elementary Hebrew
Intermediate Hebrew
Intensive Modern Hebrew
Advanced Hebrew
Arabic language courses (Masters)
(Language courses are offered at different levels of competence)
African and Asian Diasporas in the Contemporary World
Social and Political Dimensions of Modern Arabic Literature
End of Empire in the Middle East and the Balkans
Modern Palestinian Literature (PG)

MA Israeli Studies- Programme Specifications 2012/13 (pdf; 30kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/nme/programmes/maisrstud/file80799.pdf


As a student specialising in Israeli Studies, you will gain 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 and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of the Middle East.

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in both business and the public sector. These include 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.

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

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.

The Faculty is also home to the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS) (http://www.soas.ac.uk/cclps/).

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.

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

Visit the MA Israeli Studies page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

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)



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



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


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

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

The usual qualification for entry is a good first degree in a relevant field. However, the School is keen to offer the course to those with a real passion for the subject, who wish to develop a strong interest within an academic framework.

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Recipient: SOAS University of London
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