BA Social Anthropology and ...
Programme Code: See May Be Combined With Duration: 3 or 4 years - combined honours degree
2014 Entry Requirements
- A Levels: AAA
- IB: 38 (7/6/6)
- BTEC: DDD
- Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
- Scottish Highers: AAAAA
- Scottish Advanced Highers: AAA
- Irish LC: 360 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
- Advanced Placement: 4 5 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
- Euro Bacc: 85%
- French Bacc: 15/20
- German Abitur: 1.5
- Italy DES: 85/100
- Austria Mat: 1.5
- Polish Mat: Overall 80% including 3 extended level subjects
Minimum Entry Requirements: Mature students may be considered on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience. We do not require applicants to have particular disciplinary backgrounds.
Subjects Preferred: None
Start of programme: September
Social Anthropology is an academic discipline that in many respects straddles the social sciences and humanities. It both draws from and contributes to such disciplines as philosophy, linguistics and literature, as well as sociology and history.
The full title of the department of Anthropology and Sociology emphasises the range of our concern with Third World studies, from more remote communities to more recent urban development, avoiding any arbitrary distinction that may be implied by reference to either anthropology or sociology alone.
The BA Social Anthropology teaches the methods of social anthropological investigation, emphasising the detailed study of multiple, interwoven areas of social life, through long participation and linguistic familiarity. Students have a great deal of scope to tailor their programme of study according to their own interests.
3-year combined degrees:
African Studies, Bengali, Development Studies, Economics, Geography, Georgian, History, History of Art/Archaeology, Law, Linguistics, Music, Persian, Politics, Sinhalese, South Asian Studies, South East Asian Studies, Study of Religions, Tamil, Turkis
3- or 4- year combined degrees:
Burmese, Hindi, Indonesian, Nepali, Thai, Vietnamese
4-year combined degree:
Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Hausa, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Swahili.
Key Information Set Data
The information for BA, BSc, or LLB programmes refer to data taken from the single subject degrees offered at SOAS; however, due to the unique nature of our programmes many subjects have a separate set of data when they are studied alongside another discipline. In order to get a full picture of their chosen subject(s) applicants are advised to look at both sets of information where these occur.
May be combined with
- African Studies, (TL56 BA/SAAF)
- Arabic+, (LT66 BA/SAA)
- Burmese ++, (LT6H BA/SABU)
- Chinese+, (LT61 BA/SACH)
- Development Studies, (LL96 BA/SADVS)
- Economics, (LL16 BA/SAEC)
- Geography*, (LL76 BA/SAGE)
- Georgian, (LT69 BA/SAGN)
- Hebrew+ , (LQ64 BA/SAHE)
- History, (LV61 BA/SAH)
- History of Art/Archaeology (V350 BA/HAR)
- Indonesian++, (LTPH BA/SAI)
- International Relations (LL26S09 BA/IRSA)
- Japanese+, (LT62 BA/SAJ)
- Japanese Studies (TL26 BA/JSSA)
- Korean+, (LTPL BA/SAKO)
- Law, (LM61 BA/SALW)
- Linguistics, (LQ61 BA/LGSA)
- Middle Eastern Studies (TL66 BA/MESSA)
- Music,(LW63 BA/SAMS)
- Persian, (LTQ6 BA/SAP)
- Politics, (LL62 BA/SAPOL)
- South Asian Studies++ (3 years), (TL3Q BA/SASSA)
- South Asian Studies++ (4 years) +, (TLH6 BA/SASSA)
- South East Asian Studies, (TLHP BA/SASEA)
- Study of Religions, (LV66 BA/SRSA)
- Swahili+, (LTQ5 BA/SWSA)
- Thai++, (LTQJ BA/THSA)
- Tibetan++ , (LTPJ BA/SAT)
- Turkish+, (LTP6 BA/TUSA)
- Vietnamese++, (TLJ6 BA/VSA)
+ 4-year degree with (compulsory) one year abroad
++ 3 or 4-year degree with option of one year abroad
* Taught at King’s College London
Most two-subject degrees take three years, but degrees including Arabic, Chinese, Hausa, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Swahili, Turkish and some South East Asian languages are taken over four years, with the first and second years mainly devoted to language study.
Two-subject degree students must take a minimum of 5 units in Anthropology.
Students take core courses which are designed to build up a knowledge of the history of the discipline and relevant theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects. They can choose from a range of optional courses.
Year 1: Two subject degree students take 2 introductory units and 2 units from their other subjects.
Year 2: Combined degree students do 2 compulsory units and 2 units from their other subject. The courses in this year are more advanced theoretically and offer a wide choice of ethnographies.
- Theory in Anthropology(1 unit)
- One of the following ethnography courses (1 unit)
Ethnography of a selected region - China
Ethnography of a selected region - Japan
Ethnography of a selected region - South Asia
Ethnography of a selected region - South East Asia
Ethnography of a selected region - Near & Middle East
Ethnography of a selected region - East Africa
Ethnography of a selected region - West Africa
- 2 units from other subject
Year 3: The theoretical courses in this year are yet more advanced, and offer a wide range of themes. Contemporary Trends in the Study of Society is recommended for two subject students, but not compulsory. As an alternative, two-subject students may choose courses from the list of anthropology options, or take units from their other subject, subject to completing at least 5 units in anthropology overall.
- Contemporary Trends in the Study of Society (1.5 units)
- 0.5-2.5 units from other subject
- 0-2 units from the Year 3 optional units list below
Year 3 Option Units List
- Advanced Ethnographic Study - 151802022 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- African and Asian Cultures in the Diaspora - 151802052 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Anthropology and Film - 151802026 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Anthropology of travel and tourism A - 151802071 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Anthropology of travel and tourism B - 151802072 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Comparative Study of Islam: Anthropological Perspectives (A) - 151802067 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Comparative Study of Islam: Anthropological Perspectives (B) - 151802068 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2013/2014
- Independent Study Project in Social Anthropology - 151802039 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Principles of Social Investigation - 151802024 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- New Media and Society - 151802070 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2013/2014
- New Religious Movements in Africa, Asia and the Middle East - 151802073 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Psychoanalysis and Anthropology - 151802017 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- The Anthropology of African and Asian Communities in British Society - 151802035 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- The Anthropology of Gender - 151802031 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- The Anthropology of Space, Place and Architecture - 151802058 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2013/2014
- The Other in Horror and Science Fiction Films - 151802061 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2013/2014
Teaching & Learning
Year abroadStudents combining social anthropology with a language in a 4 year degree spend a year abroad
Teaching & LearningThe courses are taught by lectures and group discussions, the two often being taken by different teachers to provide a variety of angles on the subject. Students become active in class through their reading and essay-writing as well as their participation in discussion groups. Ethnographic studies of China, Japan, South East Asia, South Asia, the Near and Middle East, West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa are available.
Pre Entry Reading
- J La Fontaine, What is Social Anthropology, Edward Arnold, 1985
An introduction explaining the scope, methods and aims of social anthropology and clears up some popular misconceptions, as well as providing a practical guide to available courses and the kinds of jobs open to a qualified anthropologist.
- M Carrithers, Why humans have cultures: explaining anthropology and social diversity, OUP, 1992
- A Cheater, Social Anthropology: an alternative introduction, Routledge 1989, 2nd edition
- E R Leach, Social Anthropology, Fontana Masterguides (1976)
A personalised introduction, giving one anthropologist's view of his subject and leading the reader through theory; humanity and animality; kinship; debt; power relationships; marriage and alliances thus formed; cosmology
- I M Lewis, Social Anthropology in Perspective, Penguin 1976, 2nd edition
Clear introduction to modern social anthropology as a comparative study of the beliefs and customs of alien societies as well as those more familiar native communities. The underlying theme is the social setting and cultural expression of identity.
- D Pocock, Understanding Social Anthropology, Teach Yourself Series, Hodder and Stoughton, 1975
This book introduces anthropology by promoting an awareness of the assumed notions that each one of us has about social values, and encouraging a consciousness and questioning of such values through the use of anthropological approaches and data.
- J Hendry, An Introduction to Social Anthropology: other people's worlds, Macmillan 1999
A good general introduction with useful explanation of jargon and clarification of many of the subject's main themes.
Students who study Social Anthropology develop a wide range of transferable skills such as research, analysis, oral and written communication skills.
The communication skills of anthropologists transfer well to areas such as information and technology, the media and tourism. Other recent SOAS career choices have included commerce and banking, government service, the police and prison service, social services and health service administration. Opportunities for graduates with trained awareness of the socio-cultural norms of minority communities also arise in education, local government, libraries and museums.
Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of the Social Anthropology, or to make comparative study with other areas. Social Anthropology may be combined with a huge range of other disciplines. For more information on the extra skills you will gain from your second subject, please see the relevant departmental page.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
SOAS is a brilliant place to study social anthropology. The broad range of ethnic backgrounds means I can constantly be in touch with many of the issues and topics raised in my study.