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Department of Politics and International Studies

BA Politics and...

Duration: 3 or 4 years


2016 Entry Requirements

  • A Levels: AAA
  • IB: 37 (6/6/6)
  • 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: 80%

Subjects Preferred: No

Interview Policy: Candidates with "non-standard" qualifications usually invited

The Politics degree at SOAS is structured around four core subdisciplines, namely political theory, political sociology, political economy, and international relations. Students receive a thorough training in the theories and methods of these sub-disciplines, which are then applied to the analysis of real world political situations.

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By studying Politics at SOAS, students will gain detailed knowledge and a thorough understanding of some of the most important power shifts and conflicts of ideas unfolding in the world today. They will also learn to critically engage with and explore the relevance of social science concepts for understanding contemporary geopolitics, regional politics of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as the ability to undertake analyses and comparisons of political developments in specific countries.

Teaching in the Department of Politics and International Studies combines an introduction to the discipline of politics as a comparative exercise together with awareness that comparisons must always respect the individuality of each country and population. This awareness is complemented by the work carried out in other departments of SOAS. A Politics degree at SOAS therefore gives our students a better opportunity than most to understand global politics since our courses cover the politics of three quarters of the globe. BA Politics may be taken as a single subject or two-subject degree.  A sampling of the courses we offer include Government and Politics of Asia, of China, of the Middle East, and of Africa, International Politics, Islam and Democracy, Politics of Development, Globalization and Global Governance, and Politics of Culture.

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.

Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.


May be combined with

** Taught at King's College, London
*** Taught at Birkbeck College, London 

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data


This information describes the Politics component of a two-subject degree. Students taking Joint Honours with a language that involves three course units are required to take Introduction to Comparative Politics in their first year. These students are required to take Introduction to Political Theory OR Introduction to Political Analysis subsequently.

  • Students may take a minimum of FIVE courses in Politics to qualify for a joint degree.
  • Students may take no more than TWO course units as 'open options'.
Year One
Year Two
ONE of the following DISCIPLINARY units:
ONE of the following REGIONAL units:
Year Three
ONE to THREE units from the following:
The following units are available ONLY to FINAL year students, please see prerequisites
A course from the Year 2 DISCIPLINARY list
A course from the Year 2 REGIONAL list
Any course available to Year 3 students- an 'open option'
To take 153400057 you need to have taken 153400067 OR 153400014
To take 153400065 you must have taken a unit in Middle East OR South Asian Politics
To take 153400073, 153400070 or 153400068 you must have taken 153400014
To take 153400075 or 153400074 you must have taken 153400056 OR a Politics course from the list of regional courses
To take 153400053 you must have a mark of 2:1 or above in Year Two. Students CANNOT take BOTH an Independent Study Project and two Extended Essays.

Programme Specification


Teaching & Learning

Year abroad

If Politics is combined with a language in a 4-year degree course, students spend a study year abroad

Teaching & Learning

Classes are taught through lectures, tutorials and seminars. Assessment is by a combination of written examination and essays.

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

A Student's Perspective

SOAS is a unique University that combines both academic excellence and a vibrant, active and innovative student body.

Ingrida Kerusauskaite