Shape World Affairs
In order to change the world, you need to understand it. SOAS researchers and graduates influence government policy and the lives of individuals all over the globe. SOAS’ specialised programmes give you the skills to understand and engage with social and political complexity. Students are taught to critique conventional modes of thinking and challenge the status quo.
For example, you could:
understand the most important power shifts and conflicts of ideas in the world today
through BA Politics. With thorough training in political theory, political sociology, political economy, and international relations, you will learn to analyse real world political situations in order to understand contemporary geopolitics and political developments in specific countries.
prepare for a career in management and finance in or with South East Asia
with BA International Management and South East Asian Studies. The programme offers in-depth knowledge of business and management in Asia, built on a strong grounding in international management and finance. Students gain a knowledge of language and culture that will be a huge an asset in the world of commerce and international trade.
get to grips with contemporary issues in the developing world
through our distinctive BSc Development Economics programme. Engage with complex issues such as banking, foreign trade and investment and their impact on developing countries.
reach the heart of world affairs
through our BA International Relations degree. You will study global history and power relations, and exploring the ways in which economics, culture, identity and ideas play into world politics.
- Explore other courses at SOAS. Find out more about undergraduate degrees and the joint degree options available or order a Prospectus.
Meet the world at SOAS
Don’t just take our word for it. See what our students have to say about their unique and inspiring university experience:
- Ingrida Kerusauskaite, BA Development Studies and Politics
- Mirza Saad Anjum, BSc (Hons) Economics
- Asia Mohamud, BA Swahili and Development Studies
Engage with contemporary issues
SOAS researchers unrivalled expertise in the languages, cultures and histories of the civilisations of SOAS regions helps to interpret a complex world. Just one example is SOAS' work on championing the human rights of displaced people. The research of many scholars supports the rights of people displaced by famine and conflict, and through ethnicity, religion, gender or sexuality.
Research by Dr Laura Hammond and Dr Anna Lindley (Development Studies) has advanced a deeper understanding of the relationship between political violence and economic and food security factors in prompting displacement. Read the full article on Championing the human rights of displaced people.
A man, who has been displaced for 20 years, stands beside his house and a tent given to him recently by the Iranian Red Crescent. He lives in Hargeisa, Somaliland where thousands of displaced people like him live the most precarious of lives (the tent is remarkable both because it is a rare thing to receive help and also because it is not watertight and thus not all that useful). Photo credit: Laura Hammond.
SOAS has notable and influential alumni all over the world. Our graduates have gone on to lead countries, hold leading roles within organisations such as the UN and become prominent writers, academics and musicians.
Jamie Drummond, MSc Development Studies 1992, Executive Director of ONE, a campaign and advocacy organisation of 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.
Luke Smitham, MA Law 2012, co-founder of Banyan: SOAS Advocates, an organisation offering pro bono legal and policy research and writing to interested third parties. Banyan supported a group of eminent legal historians in drafting briefs to the US Supreme Court in the high profile case of Kiobel, which concerns alleged corporate human rights abuses. Their research was cited in oral argument before the Court. The organisation has also worked with the Revenue Watch Institute to support the implementation of the government of Guinea’s new mining code and The Aegis Trust where postgraduate students researched and drafted a report on Sudan and the ICC.