MPhil in Global and Area Studies

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MPhil in Global and Area Studies


The MPhil in Global and Area Studies draws on the multidisciplinary and area expertise of OSGA's seven regional centres, to deliver an innovative Comparative Area Studies programme, which addresses contemporary global challenges through developing innovative multidisciplinary approaches. 

The course is structured around six study components, facilitating an interdisciplinary approach to comparative study across two or more regions and a critical approach to area studies. 

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures and classes. You will be required to submit essays and make class presentations. Through a Research Methods element, you will receive relevant training in methodologies to enable you to carry out research and writing for your 30,000 word thesis. The thesis is expected to incorporate a global or comparative area studies approach and/or to address key cross-region global challenges from an area studies perspective. Option courses will vary from year to year.

In addition, lively programmes of seminars, workshops and conferences throughout OSGA will complement the MPhil and you are encouraged to make the most of these opportunities.

The six study components are:

  1. Theories and Approaches in Global and Area Studies;
  2. Comparative Area Studies;
  3. Research Methods for Social Sciences and Humanities;
  4. Area Studies immersion;
  5. Specialist Area Studies Options;
  6. Comparative Area Studies Research Thesis

In your first year you will study the following:

  • Core Course 1- Competing Approaches in Area Studies
  • One Comparative Area Studies Course from a list of options
  • Area Studies Qualitative Methods
  • One additional research methods course from a list of options
  • One Area Studies course from a list of options

You will also submit a Research Proposal in preparation for the thesis submission

In your second year, you will study:

  • Core Course 2 - Global Area Studies Seminar
  • Two Area or Comparative Area Studies courses from a list of options

During this year, you will undertake a period of Area Studies immersion. Immersion options include but are not necessarily limited to: a period of overseas or domestic fieldwork research for your thesis; or for the development of advanced language skills; auditing relevant substantive courses delivered at a partner university or approved alternative; an internship period at a relevant organisation.

You will also submit one 30,000 word thesis.

The MPhil in Global and Area Studies is assessed using a range of formative and summative assessments. Whilst many OSGA option courses are assessed through three hour written examinations, other elements of the course involve a range of different assessment modalities.