UK university puts Hindi, Bengali at heart of new MA course


London: Britain’s well-known School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) has announced the launch of a new Masters programme in South Asian studies, with a focus on languages such as Hindi and Bengali.

The two-year MA Intensive South Asian Studies being offered by the South Asia Institute at SOAS in London includes a comprehensive language-based training across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Students on the programme, which commences in September this year, will include four taught courses at SOAS during the first year, of which a course at an appropriate level in Bengali, Hindi, Nepali or Urdu and the course ‘The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia’ will be at the core.

“The programme is aimed at students pursuing careers in the academic world, business, government and the media that require a skill set which encompasses disciplinary rigour, comprehensive area knowledge and cultural and linguistic fluencies,” SOAS said in a statement.

“No prior knowledge of a South Asian language is required but applicants should provide evidence of their language-learning ability. The language element of the training will be tailored to meet the needs of students with existing language skills,” it adds.

In their second year, students will undertake an extended period of study attached to a university or research institute in India, Pakistan or Nepal (the location depending on their choice of language), where they will further develop their language proficiency and conduct research for an extended dissertation.

The second half of the second year will be taken up with the writing of the dissertation under close supervision back in London.

The course is open to UK and EU students and comes with the offer of one-year (20,000 pounds) and two-year (40,000 pounds) scholarships, covering fees at the Home/EU level plus a contribution to maintenance costs.


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