Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time

Employment

A postgraduate degree in African Literature from 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, history, cinema, politics, economics or law. Graduates of this programme will develop their ability to engage with and explore relationships between indigenous African aesthetics and contemporary literary theories.

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. 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.

Some 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. The MA African Literature can lead to further study and research, however, there is also a range of opportunities in fields such as:

  • Education
  • Publishing
  • Archive work
  • Arts Management
  • Media

Structure

Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 255 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 60-credit dissertation as outlined below.

In their first year, students on the two-year Intensive Language programmes take 60 credits of intensive language instruction and 60 credits in the discipline. During the summer, they participate in a Summer School abroad. In the second year, they take another 30 language credits as well as 60 credits in the discipline; they also complete their dissertation in the discipline.

The Swahili component can be taken either at beginner or at an intermediate level.

Please note that on all Area Studies degrees, including African Studies:

  • a maximum of 60 credits can be taken in any one subject area.
  • a minimum of three subject areas must be covered.

Two Years Language Beginner

Year 1 (two years full time)

Discipline Component

Module(s) from the list below to the value of 60 credits.

  • Language Component
    • Swahili 1 A (PG)
    • Swahili 1 B (PG)

Plus

  • Language, Society and Communication (Masters)

Summer Abroad

  • Intermediate Swahili Summer Abroad

Year 2 (two years full time)

  • Discipline Component
    Module(s) from the list below to the value of 60 credits.

Or

  • A module(s) from the list below to the value of 30 credits.

Plus

  • A module(s) from Postgraduate Open Options to the value of 30 credits.

Language Component

  • Swahili 3 (PG)

Dissertation

  • Dissertation in African Studies

Two Years Language Intermediate

Year 1 (two years full time)

Discipline Component

Module(s) from the list below to the value of 60 credits.

  • Language Component
    • Intermediate Swahili 2A (PG)

Plus

  • Language, Society and Communication (Masters)

Year 2 (two years full time)

  • Discipline Component
    Module(s) from the list below to the value of 60 credits.

Or

  • A module(s) from the list below to the value of 30 credits.

Plus

  • A module(s) from Postgraduate Open Options to the value of 30 credits.

Language Component

  • Practical Translation Swahili into English
  • Translation Theory

Dissertation

  • Dissertation in African Studies


List of Modules (subject to availability)

  • Anthropology (minor only)
    • Culture and Society of West Africa
    • Culture and Society of East Africa
    • African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World
    • African and Asian Cultures in Britain
  • Art
    • Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa
  • Economics
  • History
    • Colonial Conquest and Social Change in Southern Africa
    • Social and Cultural Transformations in Southern Africa Since 1945
    • Slavery in West Africa in the 19th and 20th Centuries
    • Historical Perspectives on Gender in Africa
  • Language (minor only)
    • Amharic 2 (PG)
    • Hausa 2 (PG)
    • Somali 2 (PG)
    • Advanced Somali: Language (PG)
    • Advanced Somali: Literature (PG)
    • Directed Readings in an African Language
    • Yoruba 2 (PG)
    • Zulu 2 (PG)
    • Zulu 3 (PG)
  • Law
    • Islamic Law (MA/LLM)
  • Linguistics
    • The Structure of Bantu Languages (PG)
  • Literature
    • Advanced Somali: Literature (PG)
    • African Philosophy (PG)
    • Philosophy and Decolonisation (PG)
    • Literatures in African languages
    • Realism and Magical Realism in the African Novel (PG)
    • Travelling Africa: Writing the Cape to Cairo
  • Media
    • The Story of African Film: Narrative Screen Media in Africa
    • Curating Africa: African Film and Video in the Age of Festivals
    • Photography and the Image in Africa
  • Politics
    • Government and politics in Africa
  • Religious Studies
    • Colonialism and Christian Missions in Africa: Readings from the Archives
    • Religions and Development

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a first or good second class honours bachelors degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in a subject appropriate to that of the programme to be followed. As an approximate comparison, an equivalent BA from a US university would have a Grade Point Average of either 3.3 or 3.5 depending on the awarding university. If an applicant does not have a bachelors degree in an appropriate field s/he may be required to complete a qualifying year or a one-year diploma before entering the master's programme. Relevant work experience may also be taken into consideration. Individual courses may have specific entry requirements, so you are advised to consult the postgraduate prospectus for further information.

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)

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Last updated September 26, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
Duration
2 - 4 years
Full-time
Price
9,685 GBP
full-time fees per academic year: UK/EU £9,685; Overseas £19,930. Part-time 2 years fees per academic year: UK/EU £4,843; Overseas £9,965
Deadline
June 30, 2020
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
End Date
June 17, 2022
Application deadline
June 30, 2020

Sep 28, 2020

Location
Application deadline
June 30, 2020
End Date
June 17, 2022