MA Taiwan Studies


Read more about this programme on the school's website

Programme Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time

The SOAS MA programme in Taiwan Studies is the first postgraduate degree focussing on contemporary Taiwan in the English speaking world. It provides an unrivalled programme of advanced interdisciplinary courses on Taiwan’s politics, society and culture, film, rights and law, and languages. SOAS is the world’s leading centre for the study of Taiwan. Each year its Centre of Taiwan Studies runs a very vibrant series of academic events, film screenings, concerts and conferences that are designed to create a unique environment for the study of Taiwan.

Why study Taiwan?

Taiwan occupies a critical geostrategic position in the Asia-Pacific Region and the development of its relationship with Mainland China, as well as the countries of North East and South East Asia is already an important shaping influence on economic and political developments throughout the region. Analysis of the development experience of contemporary Taiwan serves to highlight a unique, but a transferable model of economic growth, social transformation and political modernisation.


A postgraduate degree in Taiwan studies from SOAS equips students with essential skills such as competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law.

Postgraduate students gain linguistic and cultural expertise enabling them to continue in the field of research or to seek professional and management careers in business, public and charity sectors. They leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem-solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.


Students take 180 credits, 60 of which are a dissertation and a 120 from taught modules. Students should follow the programme structure set out below.


Students complete a dissertation on their chosen major.

Taught Component

Core Module

All students must take the following core module:

  • Taiwan's politics and cross-strait relations

Compulsory Modules

All students must take modules to the value of 30 Credits from List A (below)


All students will either take modules to the value of 30 Credits from List B (below) or will take

  • Elementary spoken Hokkien (Minnanyu, Taiwanese) (PG)

Guided Options

All students will take modules to the value of 30 credits from List B or open option if approved by programme convenor.

List of modules (subject to availability)

List A

  • Culture and Society of Taiwan
  • Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora (PG)

List B

  • Anthropology and Sociology
    • Culture and Society of China
    • Culture and Society of Japan
  • Economics
    • Economic Development in the Asia Pacific region
    • Economic development of the Asia Pacific region 2
  • History
    • Knowledge and Power in Early Modern China
  • Languages
    • Elementary spoken Hokkien (Minnanyu, Taiwanese) (PG)
    • Japanese 1 A (PG)
    • Japanese 1 B (PG)
    • Japanese 2 (PG)
    • Japanese 3 (PG)
    • Japanese 4 (PG)
    • Japanese 5 (PG)
    • Chinese 1 A (PG)
    • Chinese 1 B (PG)
    • Chinese 2 (PG)
    • Chinese 3 (PG)
    • Chinese 4 (PG)
    • Reading Classical and Literary Chinese (PG)
    • Chinese 5: Intermediate Business Chinese (PG)
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Media Studies
    • Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde
    • Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (PG)
  • Music
    • Pop and Politics in East Asia (Masters)
    • Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters)
  • Politics
    • International politics of East Asia
    • China and international politics
    • State and society in the Chinese political process
    • Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan
    • Connections and Intersections: Core Aspects of East Asian Studies

Important notice

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.

Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours (or equivalent).

English Language Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

International students

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.

Last updated Nov 2019

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.

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. Read Less
London , Singapore + 1 More Less