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MA in the Study of Contemporary Pakistan

Course Description

Do you want to enhance your understanding of the cultural, political and economic history of Pakistan? The MA in the Study of Contemporary Pakistan provides a comprehensive and critical approach to Pakistan: its complex and vibrant culture, politics, economics, law, religious history and current trends. SOAS hosts one of the biggest concentration of research and teaching staff who specialise on Pakistan related topics. You will have an opportunity to interact and work closely with them. The Programme of Study will introduce you to the latest research topics, methods and debates in the field. It will prepare you to critically assess the diverse complexities of one of the most reported on countries in the world.

Optional language training is available for those who aspire to a research degree.

The degree is enhanced by the activities of a Research Centre dedicated to the Study of Pakistan. The Centre is part of the wider South Asian research cluster at SOAS.

- Centre for the Study of Pakistan:
Students are encouraged to join in the activities of the vibrant centre (http://www.soas.ac.uk/csp/), which runs fortnightly seminars and workshops, and an Annual Lecture.

The Centre for Pakistan supports MUSA, recently launched, a postgraduate research forum for the study of Muslim South Asia.

- Internships:
Several summer internships are currently available to run alongside the MA degree. Please contact the convenors or the SOAS careers office for details.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/southasia/programmes/ma-in-the-study-of-contemporary-pakistan/


The programme will consist of three course units (1 core + 2 options) and a dissertation.

The core course (Imagining Pakistan) will introduce the main topics, approaches and possible lines of enquiry for a cultural history of Pakistan from 1947 to the present.

Students will choose two courses from a list of options that includes courses on modern Muslim thinkers and Contemporary Islamism in South Asia, Law and Society in South Asia, Urdu language, and Urdu literature in Pakistan.

Students will also write a 10,000 dissertation on the Study of Contemporary Pakistan, applying and developing the knowledge acquired in the core courses to an independent topic of research.

MA in the Study of Contemporary Pakistan - Programme Specifications 2013/14 (msword; 88kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/southasia/programmes/ma-in-the-study-of-contemporary-pakistan/file85899.doc


The MA prepares students for a wide range of career destinations. Graduates will benefit from interdisciplinary cultural and linguistic training that is widely sought after in the business and public sector. It is suited for those seeking employment as management consultants, policy advisers in Government and the Civil Service, Think Tanks, Charities, NGOs, as well as journalism and media related openings, more broadly in the culture industry, or for those who aspire to a Research degree.

- Standard Chartered - International Bank
- Bestway – Food Wholesaler
- Gallager Heath - Insurance Broker
- Citizen’s Foundation – Education Support in Pakistan Charity

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 in the Study of Contemporary Pakistan page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

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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

Minimum upper second class honours or equivalent.

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