Area Studies

The size, scale and diversity of Area Studies research and related activities (including informal talks by world leaders, workshops, seminars, conferences, fieldwork and student exchanges) provides students with a world-class environment at Oxford. Oxford has one of the largest concentrations of research activity and postgraduate training in ESRC-relevant Language-Based Area Studies (LBAS) in the UK. Oxford’s Area Studies department is consistently ranked amongst the top echelon and a recent ranking by QS University Rankings placed us first in the world.  

This pathway brings together Area Studies expertise in the Faculty of Oriental Studies and School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies (SIAS), together with various other academic departments. St Antony’s College is a world-renowned centre for research and teaching in global and regional issues and houses seven research centres focused on Africa, Asia, Europe, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and Eurasia as well as programmes on North America, Burma, Morocco, Poland, Sudan and Taiwan. Other colleges such as Wolfson (South Asia) and St Hilda’s (China) have important strengths in Area Studies.

 

A variety of training routes (1+3, 2+2 and 2+3) are offered through a range of specialist Master’s pathways and doctoral programmes.
The 2+2 and 2+3 LBAS pathways (the different lengths of study are determined primarily by whether the student needs to acquire a research language) start with one of the following MPhils:

  • MPhil Latin American Studies
  • MPhil Modern Chinese Studies
  • MPhil Japanese Studies
  • MPhil Modern South Asian Studies
  • MPhil Modern Middle Eastern Studies
  • MPhil Russian and East European Studies (REES)

The 1+3 pathways start with one of the following MScs, which do not include the immersive language training required on the MPhil courses:

  • MSc African Studies
  • MSc Latin American Studies
  • MSc Contemporary Chinese Studies
  • MSc Japanese Studies
  • MSc Modern South Asian Studies
  • MSc Russian and East European Studies (REES)

The +3 route is open to new applicants with prior graduate level research training that meets the ESRC 2015 Training Guidelines.

For their doctoral study, students can be based in SIAS or in a number of other disciplinary departments (see the pathways in Development Studies; Economics; Economic & Social History; Geography; International Relations; Politics; Social Anthropology; Social Policy; Social Science of the Internet; Sociology):

  • DPhil Area Studies

Further information about the courses listed above can be found here.

Teaching in SIAS is linked with academic faculty’s active research and engagement in the world. Each MSc/MPhil programme is sustained by a vibrant research culture and programme of seminars and workshops reporting the latest findings as well as student exchanges with other universities. 

Faculty spend much time each year carrying out fieldwork in the regions they study, and interviewing people from all sectors of the societies they study – from pollution victims in China, company CEOs in Japan, women Dalits in India, civil society activists in Latin America and drug enforcement officers in the Middle East, to second-hand goods traders in Africa and defence policy-makers in Russia. 

Area Studies graduates will be equipped with a range of valuable skills which will enable them to enter a variety of different careers – in the civil service and policy-making bodies in Britain, Europe and further afield, in non-governmental organisations concerned with development, in the charitable sector, in journalism, public and private sector research and consultancy, law and academia.

Pathway leader: Professor Matthew McCartney

Contact: matthew.mccartney@area.ox.ac.uk

University of Oxford

School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies (SIAS)
Faculty of Oriental Studies (FOS)
Structure of provision: 1+3, 2+2, 2+3, +3
Full-time

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