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MA Postcolonial Studies

Course Description

The MA Postcolonial Studies Programme offers a focus on the historical relationships of power, domination and practices of imperialism and colonialism in the modern period (late nineteenth-century to the present) through the study of literature and culture.

The core module will introduce a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to the literature, film and media of these areas. A range of literary, filmic and theoretical texts from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Near and Middle East will normally be included in the reading list. These will address representations of colonialism and decolonisation, neo-colonialism, nationalism in postcolonial societies and diasporic experiences, allowing us to explore the heterogeneous meanings, intersections and strategies of analysis that have emerged with reference to postcolonial studies.

Attention will be paid to colonial and postcolonial constructs such as: the Oriental, the Global, the Cosmopolitan, the Third World and the multicultural. The core module of the programme introduces and analyses interdisciplinary theories and ideological practices around a set of historical and current issues from various regions of Asia and Africa. The range of minors offers students more opportunities to explore interdisciplinarity and regional specificities.

Why this programme is special at SOAS

Postcolonial MA Programmes offered in London and other UK institutions are located within the field of English Studies or the Social Sciences. The Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS) is uniquely positioned to offer an inter-disciplinary Postcolonial Studies MA programme which gives students an opportunity to understand and negotiate the field of postcolonial studies with recourse to interdisciplinarity and to theoretical explications from the regions of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. SOAS offers a unique range of regional expertise available amongst the CCLPS’s faculty membership. The Programme also offers a timely intervention at a time when there is a national and international crisis in the understanding of multiculturalism, race relations and religious and national affiliations.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/cclps/degrees/mapostcolstud/

Programme Specification

MA Postcolonial Studies Programme Specifications 2012-13 (pdf; 39kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/cclps/degrees/mapostcolstud/file68679.pdf


MA Post Colonial Studies graduates gain competency in intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the subject wiill be developed through the study of literature, film and media of these areas. Graduates leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in 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. 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.

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 Postcolonial Studies page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Tetsuhiko Endo

Many people are still unfamiliar with Postcolonial Studies. When I'm asked to to explain my Masters I say that it is a refreshing mix of theoretical approaches to culture, literary studies, the best literature you have never heard of and all the history they were too afraid to teach you in school. The interdisciplinary nature of the program creates a profound synthesis of academic fields that is invigorating and challenging. I can't recommend this course enough for anyone who wants to understand the complexities of our contemporary world.

(Student Profile)

Amanda Marmot

A chance to study under a world-class group of academics, each of whose knowledge of South Asia encourages mixing subjects as diverse as history, politics, cinema and contemporary culture. The teaching focuses not just on lectures, but small discussion groups as well as ready access to individual support and guidance. All within a world-class university, and the library is excellent.


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



SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Languages and Cultures - 3 Awards

There are three SOAS Master's scholarships available in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures at SOAS. Each scholarship is valued at £16,765 in total. Fees will be deducted from this amount and the remainder will be used toward maintenance. Candidate Assessment:
- Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by an Advisory Panel consisting of at least three academic members of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures. - 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. - Late or incomplete applications will not be considered

Value of Scholarship(s)



- 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 this on-line scholarship application form.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent)

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