- BA Politics (single or combined)
- BA International Relations (single or combined)
- Eight taught MSc programmes, MRes programme, Research Degrees, and Summer Courses
- Outstanding disciplinary specialism in Politics and International Relations combined with regional expertise in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The Department’s academic staff are leading and highly-regarded scholars in their fields and most have knowledge of one or more languages of their regions of interest, in addition to their disciplinary specialism.
Staff members conduct cutting-edge research on the politics of the Global South, with expertise in nationalism, urban politics, political violence, security, migration and diaspora mobilization, Islamic political and intellectual history, transitional justice, politics of multiculturalism, international relations theory, gender, comparative political economy, human rights, and the study of ideologies.
Editorship of major book series
Facts and Figures
- Excellent staff/student ratio
- 500 students studying for various degrees (BA, Certificate, MSc and MPhil/PhD) in the Department
- National Student Survey 2013/14: 94% student satisfaction with the overall quality of teaching, 96% of Politics students agreed that lecturers are good at explaining things and 93% said their courses were ‘intellectually stimulating’
- Ranked 4th for the UK in the 2015 QS World University Rankings
- Ranked 35th in the World in the 2015 QS World University Rankings
- An outstanding and exciting research environment, with research clusters on Transitional Justice, Migration and Diaspora Politics, Comparative Political Thought, Violence and Memory, the Politics of Energy Security, and the Politics of Space
- A thriving research culture, with Seminar Series, Annual MPhil Graduate Conference, Cluster Workshops, and PhD Seminars
- In the 2014 REF, the Department ranked 9th for Research Impact and 18th for world-leading research
- Centre for Comparative Political Thought
- Centre for the International Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice (CCRJ)
- Centre of Taiwan Studies
- Centre on the Politics of Energy Security
Undergraduate Student Profile
I came to SOAS because I wanted to gain a detailed insight into the politics and political systems of the developing world, but I’ve got so much more than that
Joe Buckley, BA Politics
Read Joe's full profile
Our Head of Department says
Teaching and research in the Department is distinguished by a critical approach to the study of the politics of the Global South. SOAS Politics programmes are unique in their engagement with the developments and realities of African, Asian and Middle Eastern domestic and international politics, while also offering innovative and challenging perspectives for understanding these realities. Our courses provide students with solid grounding in the discipline of Politics and International Relations combined with research-led teaching on different aspects of politics in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
In the wide-range of courses taught on the Politics degrees, students pursue in-depth study of such timely and salient topics as the political economies of China, Japan, Korea, and India, the politics of the Arab Uprisings in Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia, and the politics of justice and reconciliation in Africa. One of the Department’s key strengths lies in fostering a supportive learning and teaching environment for its students.
Salwa Ismail, Professor of Politics with reference to the Middle East
Advocating local justice systems after conflict
Postgraduate Student Profile
SOAS is renowned worldwide for its academic excellence and friendly atmosphere, as well as its focus on Asia, Africa and Middle East. Given my passion for development in Africa and the regional focus of my studies, there was only one place that could offer me what I wanted – and that is SOAS.
Osman Diallo, MSc State, Society and Development
Read Osman's full profile
- First-hand perspectives on peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka
- SOAS alumna recognised in Queen's birthday honours for services to the understanding of China