arguelles
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I am an offer holder for both the MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS and KCL's MA Politics and Economics of the Middle East.

I am aware that generally speaking KCL ranks (significantly) higher in the world tables, but SOAS is also credited to be the place when studying the Middle East.

I think this is the first year KCL will be running this master's degree, but I don't really know what to make out of that. Does it matter if the program, being new, is less known?

SOAS professors appear to be more popular (e.g. Gilbert Achcar, Rafeef Ziadah), but some of them don't really have an academic background (e.g., journalists, writers). Of course I think that's pretty cool, but bear in mind that my goal in the long run is to pursue a PhD, so perhaps I would benefit from a more "academical" training.

What do you guys think? Thank you!
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mikaelaa
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Hey!

I'm in the exact same situation. I'm an international student and leaning towards Kings because it has an incredible reputation in my country. I've heard some negative comments about SOAS, but nothing specific about either program. As someone who is completely new to the UK education system, I am a bit fearful that there are reputations I don't know about. For that reason, Kings feels like a safer bet. Both programs look incredible though so it's a hard decision. Let me know your thoughts/ if you've heard anything different (=
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Frankie66
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Hi!

I also have an offer for same programme at King's and I'm currently an undergrad here if you have any q's. This year I've had classes with both Michael Farquhar (he actually did his masters at soas and had only good things to say about it) and Ferdinand Eibl (course leaders and main people behind the programme as far as I understand) and they were both really good.

I was also considering applying to soas due to the reasons you mentioned (amazing for Middle East, ranks well in political science too), but ultimately decided not to until I heard back from my other unis (apps can get spenny lol)

I think the 'vibe' of the two schools is completely different, so maybe that would be sth worth considering if you're stuck.
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mikaelaa
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(Original post by Frankie66)
Hi!

I also have an offer for same programme at King's and I'm currently an undergrad here if you have any q's. This year I've had classes with both Michael Farquhar (he actually did his masters at soas and had only good things to say about it) and Ferdinand Eibl (course leaders and main people behind the programme as far as I understand) and they were both really good.

I was also considering applying to soas due to the reasons you mentioned (amazing for Middle East, ranks well in political science too), but ultimately decided not to until I heard back from my other unis (apps can get spenny lol)

I think the 'vibe' of the two schools is completely different, so maybe that would be sth worth considering if you're stuck.
Hey!

Thanks for your response! That's great to hear that you enjoyed both Michael Farquhar's and Ferdinand Eibl's classes. I read some of Ferdinand Eibl's publications before applying to the program and was definitely impressed.

I'm curious what you would characterize the different vibes at Kings vs SOAS. As an international student, that's something that's really hard for me to gauge, especially since due to Covid I won't be able to visit.

Thanks!
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arguelles
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(Original post by mikaelaa)
Hey!

I'm in the exact same situation. I'm an international student and leaning towards Kings because it has an incredible reputation in my country. I've heard some negative comments about SOAS, but nothing specific about either program. As someone who is completely new to the UK education system, I am a bit fearful that there are reputations I don't know about. For that reason, Kings feels like a safer bet. Both programs look incredible though so it's a hard decision. Let me know your thoughts/ if you've heard anything different (=
Hi Mikaela! Where are you from? I'm from Spain! I would love to chat with you about our shared dilemma. I've been trying to send you a direct message but I don't have enough points (?). If you want, please feel free to send me a message.

Anyhow, I too am leaning towards KCL (mainly because I like the courses more), but I'm not so sure about the reputation.

I think it really depends on what you're aiming for. I, for instance, did an internship in a refugee's assistance project: everyone there had heard of SOAS, and some even knew the name of certain professors (Achcar and Scott-Baumann)! KCL always rank higher in the universities tables which I'm guessing is good for a PhD, but I doubt this is common knowledge outside the academic world.

Besides, King's MA is pretty new and I doubt it has a strong reputation (either good or bad). Whatever the negative comments about SOAS you and I might have heard, I think this will affect other programs (e.g., the LLM), but everyone knows that, after all, SOAS is the School of *Oriental and African* Studies. Notice that some of our potential KCL professors did the MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies.

Please let me know your thoughts! Thank you
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