Research course

South East Asian Studies

Institution
SOAS University of London · SOAS University of London
Qualifications
PhDMPhil

Entry requirements

Normally a Masters degree in a relevant discipline.

Months of entry

September

Course content

The Department offers the widest coverage in Europe of research and teaching related to the languages and cultures of the principal countries of South East Asia. Its primary commitment is to the four languages Burmese, Indonesian/Malay, Thai and Vietnamese, and their literatures, cinemas and associated cultures. REF 2014 submissions by members of the Department included significant and paradigm-shifting monographs, edited collections, journal articles and book chapters in cinema and gender, literary criticism, cultural history and postcolonial studies. It is a flourishing and friendly Department with close links to recent alumni.

The research interests of the Department’s members include: classical Malay literature; modern literature in Malay, Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese; Islam in South East Asia; language pedagogy; phonetics; gender studies; oral literature and folklore; cinema in South East Asia; and translation. These interests are increasingly reflected in the kind of work that is undertaken by the Department’s current doctoral researchers.

A full research training programme is provided at Faculty level, in addition to the close attention each doctoral researcher receives from his or her supervisor. MPhil/PhD students admitted to the Department receive research training in the Faculty-wide first year research training seminar and are also encouraged to participate in discipline-specific training offered by the Faculty Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies(CCLPS) and research skills training coordinated via the Doctoral School.

The Department provides supervision for both full-time and part-time doctoral researchers undertaking supervised research in a wide range of South East Asian languages and literatures. Theses completed in recent years have included topics in traditional Lao literature, contemporary Thai fiction, the syntax of spoken Mon, the shadow play in Bali, Malay oral literature, schoolbooks in colonial Burma, pre-Angkor Cambodia and political literature in Vietnam.

Under the regulations of SOAS, University of London, all doctoral researchers register initially for an MPhil: they may transfer to PhD after completing one year, if they wish and subject to approval by the School, which requires evidence that the candidate’s work is achieving the standard required.

The minimum duration for full-time doctoral researchers is two years for the MPhil and three years for the PhD. Part-time doctoral researchers normally take twice as long to complete their studies. When their research is completed, candidates submit a thesis to the examiners, and then attend a viva voce examination.

Applicants for postgraduate degrees must have a good command of the language of their field of study, and should normally have a good first degree in the appropriate subject, but students with other qualifications and experience may also be eligible, and applications from mature students are particularly welcome. If necessary for the development of their chosen subject, doctoral researchers will be expected to have or acquire an adequate reading knowledge of Dutch and/or French. All potential applicants are strongly advised to consult the Department before they apply. More general queries should be directed to the Department Research Tutor or to the Doctoral School.

Department specialisms

Classical/modern Malay literature; Indonesian; Thai and Vietnamese; Islam in South East Asia; language pedagogy; phonetics; women's studies; oral literature and folklore; translation.

Information for international students

For details, including English language requirements, please see SOAS website

Fees and funding

For details of postgraduate fees, please see SOAS website

Qualification and course duration

PhD

part time
72 months
full time
36 months

MPhil

part time
36 months
full time
24 months

Further details of qualification

Candidates are normally registered for an MPhil and convert to a PhD after successful completion of the first year.

Course contact details

Name
Doctoral School
Email
dsadmissions@soas.ac.uk
Phone
020 7074 5117