Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time
This MSc programme seeks to explain state-society relations and development in Asia, Africa and (where appropriate) Latin America through the sub-disciplines of comparative political sociology and comparative/international political economy. Students will study the core concepts of these sub-disciplines such as state; civil society; social closure; class; bureaucracy; patrimonialism; hegemony; late-industrialisation; product cycle; developmental state; rent-seeking; good governance; and globalization.
They will also be exposed to the principal analytical perspectives of political science such as historical institutionalism, rational choice theory and Marxism. These intellectual foundations will enable students to gain a better understanding of the shaping factors behind phenomena such as: state collapse and criminalisation in Africa; cronyism in Southeast Asia and Latin America; religious fundamentalism in South Asia; economic take-off in East Asia; linguistic nationalism in Central Asia; the ‘third wave’ of democratisation; global financial instability; and the relationship between the Washington Institutions and the South.
Students will also come to understand the usefulness of cross-regional comparison by seeing how the study of one region can illuminate similar issues elsewhere, despite differing cultural contexts.
Students must take 180 credits comprised of 120 taught credits (including core and option modules) and a 60 credit dissertation.
- Dissertation in Political Studies
Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from list A below.
Choose modules to the value of 60 credits from list A, B, or C below.
Choose any option within Law & Social Sciences, with the module convenor's approval.
List of Modules (subject to availability)
- List A
- State & society in Asia & Africa
- Politics of Globalisation and Development
- List B: regional politics modules
- Government and politics in Africa
- Government and politics of modern South Asia
- Government and politics of modern South-East Asia
- State and society in the Chinese political process
- Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan
- State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus
- Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus
- Political society in the Middle East
- State and transformation in the Middle East
- Taiwan's politics and cross-strait relations
- Japan Unravelled
- The Indian Ocean in World Politics
- Asian Security
- List C: disciplinary politics modules
- Political Thought on the Just Rebellion
- Political violence
- Approaches to Comparative Political Thought
- Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Social Research
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.
The qualification for entry is normally a first or upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Politics or International Relations, or related social science discipline. Applicants without such a background may be considered for admission depending on their academic training and undergraduate performance.
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.