A postgraduate degree in African studies at SOAS provides students with 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, history, cinema, politics, economics or law.
Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers in the business, public and charity sectors. They leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including 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.
Some MA African Studies graduates leave SOAS to pursue careers directly related to their study area, while others have made use of the intellectual training for involvement in analysing and solving many of the problems that contemporary societies now face. Among a variety of professions, career paths may include: Academia; Charity; Community; Government; NGOs; Media; Publishing and UN Agencies.
Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:
- BBC News
- British Embassy
- Canon Collins Educational Trust for Southern Africa
- Goal Nigeria
- Government of Canada
- Hogan Lovells International LLP
- International Institute for Environment and Development
- Kenyan Government
- Mercy Corps
- Migrant Resource Centre
- Mo Ibrahim Foundation
- The London MENA Film Festival
- The University of Tokyo
- The World Bank
- Think Africa Press
- U.S. Embassy
- United Nations
- University of Namibia
- World Vision UK
- Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts
- Students will acquire knowledge and critical awareness of current issues and/or insights into Africa from the perspective of at least two social sciences and/or humanities disciplines.
- The student will have the opportunity of gaining knowledge or further knowledge of an African language.
- The student will gain specialized and in - depth knowledge in one particular area of the study of Africa and from disciplinary perspective
Intellectual (thinking) Skills
- Students will develop a critical and analytical approach to issues relating to Africa in the disciplinary areas chosen.
- Students will develop skills of synthesizing materials from a variety of sources and presenting these in writing and orally in an academic context.
- Students will have the opportunity of researching topics which have been little commented on in the secondary literature and thus develop research skills by working on primary sources.
Subject -based Practical Skills
- Students will gain specific knowledge of aspects of African life, which will prepare them for working in Africa.
- The specialist knowledge developed in the individual courses will allow students to add an academically grounded perspective to their particular subsequent work context.
- If a student takes an African language they will have a strong practical skill, which will help them in any context where the language is used and which will also be of benefit if they need to learn another language in the future.
- Through managing their studies students will develop the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility.
- In researching and writing coursework and the dissertation students will develop research and writing skills.
- Students will develop the skills of independent learning required for continuing onto a research degree or for professional development.
NB: In Area Studies degrees:
1) a maximum of 60 credits can be taken in any one discipline.
2) a minimum of three disciplines must be covered.
3) for students opting to take two language acquisition modules, only one of these can be at introductory level
Students must complete a Dissertation (10,000 words) in African Studies
One-year Masters programmes consist of 180 credits. 120 credits are taught in modules of 30 credits (taught over 20 weeks) or 15 credits (taught over 10 weeks); the dissertation makes up the remaining 60 units. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework and revising for examinations. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.
With a student population of around 4,000 from over 100 countries, our relatively small size ensures that we offer a friendly and welcoming environment while at the same time being able to take advantage of all University of London facilities.
- International class
- International faculty
- International study tours
- Issuance of foreign diploma and certifications