African Studies, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #401 ,
The MA in African Studies provides an unrivalled programme of advanced courses on Africa; one of the world’s most fascinating and challenging regions. The opportunity for interdisciplinary study of the continent is a particular advantage of the degree.


Students can choose from a range of about 30 courses in fourteen disciplines. Our former students have chosen to study Africa at this level for a wide range of reasons.

For some a deep interest in the history and culture or political economy of a particular region is sufficient motivation, but for many students the programme has, in addition, been followed with the intention of furthering their career opportunities. Some go on to work either in Africa or in fields related to Africa. The opportunity to combine study of particular African subjects with an African language is very useful, although some evidence of competence in learning a foreign language is usually required.

Recipients of the MA African Studies have entered various professions after leaving the Department. Some have been able to pursue careers directly related to their study area while others have made use of the general intellectual training provided by the advanced study of cultures for involvement in analysing and solving many of the problems contemporary societies now face. Among a variety of professions, career paths may include:

  • Academia
  • Charity
  • Community
  • Government
  • NGO's
  • Media
  • Publishing
  • UN Agencies

Programme Structure

Course Options
Anthropology (minor only)
  • Culture and Society of West Africa - 15PANC083 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Culture and Society of East Africa - 15PANC084 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World - 15PANH010 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • African and Asian Cultures in Britain - 15PANH009 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
  • Arts and Society in sub-Saharan Africa - 15PARH052 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2015/2016
  • Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa - 15PARH048 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
  • Economic development in Africa - 15PECC203 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Colonial Conquest and Social Change in Southern Africa - 15PHIH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Social and Cultural Transformations in Southern Africa Since 1945 - 15PHIH003 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
  • Warfare and the Military in African History - 15PHIC070 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Slavery in West Africa in the 19th and 20th Centuries - 15PHIH028 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
  • Historical Perspectives on Gender in Africa - 15PHIH029 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2015/2016
Language (minor only)
  • Amharic 1 (PG) - 15PAFC130 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Amharic 2 (PG) - 15PAFC131 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Hausa 1 (PG) - 15PAFC136 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Hausa 2 (PG) - 15PAFC138 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Somali 1 (PG) - 15PAFC132 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Somali 2 (PG) - 15PAFC133 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Swahili 1 (PG) - 15PAFC140 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Intermediate Swahili 2A (PG) - 15PAFC141 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Swahili 3 (PG) - 15PAFC142 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Practical translation from and into Swahili - 15PAFC029 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Yoruba 1 (PG) - 15PAFC134 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Yoruba 2 (PG) - 15PAFC135 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Zulu 1 (PG) - 15PAFC128 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Zulu 2 (PG) - 15PAFC129 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2015/2016
  • Zulu 3 (PG) - 15PAFC137 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2015/2016
  • Islamic law (MA/LLM) - 15PLAC121 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Linguistics
  • The Structure of Bantu Languages (PG) - 15PAFH011 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • Literatures in African languages - 15PAFC124 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Travelling Africa: Writing the Cape to Cairo - 15PAFC139 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Realism and Magical Realism in the Afrophone Novel (PG) - 15PAFC146 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • African Philosophy (PG) - 15PAFH008 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Afrophone Philosophies (PG) - 15PAFH009 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • The Story of African Film: Narrative Screen Media in Africa - 15PAFH006 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Aspects of African film and video 2 - 15PAFH007 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
  • Curating Africa: African Film and Video in the Age of Festivals - 15PAFH010 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • Photography and the Image in Africa - 15PARH082 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • Government and politics in Africa - 15PPOC205 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Religious Studies
  • Preaching, Prayer and Politics: Independent Christians in Southern Africa - 15PSRH042 (0.5 unit Unit)
  • African Missionaries - 15PSRH043 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • Religions and Development - 15PSRH049 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 12 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration part-time 36 months

      Two or three years

    • Part-time variant
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 7

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score: 105

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic 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 masters 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 requirements

In order to ensure that SOAS students have a sufficient standard of English to study effectively, we require overseas students to submit evidence, during the application process, of their current level of proficiency.

Score for Unconditional Entry

  • IELTS: Overall 7+ with at least 7 in all sub scores
  • TOEFL: iBT105+ with at least 25 in all sub scores
  • Pearson Test of English - Academic: Score of 75 or above with at least 70 in all sub scores

Student Visa

Students from United States of America need a visa in order to study in the United Kingdom.
Read more about visa information and requirements for this country.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 17215 International
  • GBP 7985 EU/EEA

Part-time 2 Years:

  • UK/EU fees: £3,993
  • Overseas fees: £8,608

Part-time 3 Years:

  • UK/EU fees: £2,662
  • Overseas fees: £5,738


Scholarships and Bursaries

There are some scholarships and bursaries available for postgraduate students. These are very competitive and early application is advised.

  • The Ahmad Mustafa Abu-Hakima Bursary (programme must include studying the history of the modern Arab world)
  • AKS Postgraduate Bursary (in Korean Studies)
  • Bernard Buckman Scholarship (MA Chinese Studies, for UK/EU fee paying students)
  • The Canon Collins Scholarships at SOAS. There are two scholarships available available in 2013-14 for study at SOAS. These scholarships are for Masters study in any subject field. Open a national of and resident in one of the following countries:
    Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe. The application process normally opens in December and closes in February, for study commencing in September the following year. Please go to the Canon Collins website and click "Apply for A Scholarship" and then "Canon Collins Scholarship for Masters Study in the UK" for further information on how to apply.
  • Commonwealth Shared Scholarship (for students from African Commonwealth countries)
  • D.G.Hall Scholarship (Taught Masters programmes at SOAS, for applicants holding a Burma/Myanmar passport)
  • Felix Scholarships (for Indian students)
  • Ferguson Scholarships (for African nationals from an African Country)
  • HSBC SOAS Scholarships (MA Sinology & MA Chinese Literature, for UK/EU fee paying students)
  • Kamran Djam Scholarships (MA Iranian Studies)
  • Professor Stuart Wilson Scholarship (MA South East Asian Studies)
  • Standard Chartered Scholarships (for a range of full-time Taught Masters programmes. The programmes relate to Asia, Africa, and the Middle East/NorthAfrica)
  • Tibawi Trust Awards (for Palestinian students currently enrolled in a programme at SOAS)
  • SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Arts & Humanities - (for any full-time taught masters programme in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities)
  • SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Language & Cultures (for the full-time MA Gender Studies, MA Postcolonial Studies, MA Linguistics, MA Applied Linguistics & Language Pedagogy, MA Language, Documentation and Description, MA Translation Theory and Practice (Asian and African Languages)
  • SOAS Master's Scholarships- Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (for any full-time master's programmes in the Department of Development Studies, Economics, Law, Politics & International Studies and Financial & Management Studies)
  • Tallow Chandlers and M. W Beer scholarship (MA) (MA Anthropology of Food, for UK/EU fee paying students)
  • William Ross Murray Scholarship (LLM, for students from a developing country)

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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