Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time
The MA offers the students the opportunity to concentrate on the Qur'an, the Hadith and other Islamic texts, and so provides unique training in the translation of Islamic religious material. The degree is designed to benefit academics, teachers of Islam in other institutions, translators of Islamic material into English in research centres, government departments and da'wa centres. It provides excellent research training and is a useful qualification for those who wish to progress to higher postgraduate degrees.
As a postgraduate student specialising in Islamic Studies, you will gain 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 and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of the Middle East.
Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in both business and 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.
Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. From the taught modules, 60 credits are selected as a major from List A, a further 60 credits are selected as the minor from List A or List B or 30 credits from List A or List B and 30 credits of an approved open option.
- Dissertation in the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
Students take 30 credits from List A or an approved open option.
- Qur'an and Hadith Studies
- The Qur'an: Language, Style and Translation in English
- Islamic Legal Texts in Arabic
- Islamic Texts
- Early and Medieval Arabic Linguistic Thought: Scholarship and Literature
- Translation of Islamic Texts (a project)
- Early and Classical Qur'anic Exegesis: Literature and Thought
- Modern Trends in Islam
- Islamic Law (MA/LLM)
- Art and Architecture of the Fatimids
- Islam and the West: Artistic and Cultural Contacts
- Medieval Arabic Thought
- Christians and Muslims in Syriac Texts
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.
Upper second class honours BA (or equivalent) in Arabic. An upper second class honours BA / BSc degree in any other subject is an acceptable qualification providing it is accompanied by the required level of Arabic language: students should be able to read and understand original Classical Arabic texts, such as Qur'an, Hadith, Tafsir, Sirah, Fiqh.
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.
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.
About the School
SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.