Shape World Affairs
A SOAS education gives you the skills to question conventional thinking and experience the world from multiple perspectives. Our unique approach has helped to produce influential graduates who have gone on to make a real difference, wherever they are in the world.
For example, you could:
- Reach the heart of world affairs
Through our BA International Relations and MA International Studies and Diplomacy degrees, studying global power relations, and exploring the ways in which economics, culture, identity and ideas play into world politics.
- Focus on the legal systems of the developing world
By studying for your LLB or LLM at one of only a handful of Law Schools globally which take this approach. Expertise in comparative law is complemented by specialists in international law, human rights, transnational commercial law, environmental law and socio-legal method.
- Get a global perspective on English language and literature
With our new BA English. Find out how the language has spread around the world, being shaped and adapted by different cultures, explore the reach of Shakespeare's plays and study English literatures from around the globe.
- Develop a deep understanding of Africa and Asia
With our BA History and MA History programmes, which approach historical subject matter, interpretation and methodology with different eyes, for example through economic history or the history of religion and culture.
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.