MA Islamic Societies and Cultures

Duration: One calendar year (full-time), or two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Subjects Preferred: Applicants are not required to have previous academic experience of this subject, although a strong interest in Islamic societies and cultures is of course expected.

Start of programme: September intake only

This MA programme studies many aspects of the world of Islam, from its early development to its modern trends. Its primary objective is to approach the study of Islam through a variety of disciplines, cultural contexts and periods. The programme examines Islamic tradition, law and art, as well as the place of Islam in modern politics and alongside other religions. The degree may be considered as a preparation for research or as a way of completing a liberal education. Each module has its own series of classes and seminars, and in addition, students attend general lectures and seminars organised by the Middle East Centre. In most modules, there is one two-hour class each week. This may be an informal lecture followed by a discussion or a student presentation. At Masters level, there is particular emphasis on seminar work where students may be expected to make full-scale presentations for units they take. The dissertation is on an approved topic linked to one of the taught modules.


  1. Students must complete 120 credits of MA taught modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation (60 credits).
  2. Students must take 30 credits from List A as their major.
  3. The remaining 90 credits must be selected from Lists A, B or C.
  4. Only one language module from List C may be selected.
  5. Students wishing to take other SOAS modules relevant to the programme may do so with the written approval of the module convenor, the programme Convenor and the Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching.
  • Dissertation in Islamic Societies and Cultures 15PNMC995 (60 credits) Full Year

List A (Major Options)

  • Modern Trends in Islam 15PNMC228 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Islamic Law (MA/LLM) 15PLAC121 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Law and Society in The Middle East and North Africa 15PLAC130 (30 credits) Full Year
  • The Early Development of Islam: Emerging Identities and Contending View 15PHIH039 (15credits) Term 2
  • The Origin of Islam: Sources and Perspectives 15PHIH045 (15credits) Term 1

List B

The Middle East

  • Arabic Women's Writing: Theories and Practices 15PNMC411 (30 credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
  • Problems of Development in the Middle East and North Africa 15PDSH019 (15credits) Term 2
  • Human Rights and Islamic Law 15PLAC150 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Medieval Arabic Thought: the Philosophical and Theological Traditions 15PNMC388 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Economic development of the Middle East 15PECC341 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Art and Architecture of the Fatimids 15PARH035 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Gender in the Middle East 15PGNH001 (15credits) Term 1
  • Comparative politics of the Middle East 15PPOC026 (30 credits) Full Year


  • Imagining Pakistan (PG) 15PSAH013 (15credits) Term 2
  • Islam in South Asia 15PHIH044 (15credits) Term 1
  • State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH022 (15credits) Term 1


  • Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts 15PARH034 (15credits) Term 2
  • Muslim Britain: Perspectives and Realities 15PSRC158 (30 credits) Full Year

List C (Languages)

  • Persian for Readers of Arabic Script (PG) 15PNMC422 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Introduction to Standard Modern Arabic 15PNMC032 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Arabic 300 (Postgraduate) 15PNMC390
  • Arabic 2 (PG) 15PNMC382 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Advanced Standard Modern Arabic 15PNMC402 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Arabic 4 (PG) 15PNMC391 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Swahili 1 (PG) 15PAFC140 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Intermediate Swahili 2A (PG) 15PAFC141 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Swahili 3 (PG) 15PAFC142 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Urdu Language 1 (PG) 15PSAC300 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Urdu Language 2 (PG) 15PSAC301 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Indonesian Language 1 (PG) 15PSEC032 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Indonesian Language 2 (PG) 15PSEC033 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Indonesian Language 3 (PG) 15PSEC034 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Indonesian Language 4 (PG) 15PSEC035 (30 credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
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Last updated January 22, 2019
This course is Campus based
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1 - 3 years
9,225 GBP
Full-time UK/EU Fees: £9,225; Full-time Overseas Fees: £18,980 per academic year
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