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Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

BA South East Asian Studies

Programme Code: T302 BA/SEASt Duration: 3 years

Overview

2015 Entry Requirements

  • A Levels: AAB
  • A Level language preferred
  • IB: 35 (6/6/5)
  • BTEC: DDM
  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB
  • Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
  • Advanced Placement: 4 4 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
  • Euro Bacc: 80%
  • French Bacc: 14/20
  • German Abitur: 2.0
  • Italy DES: 80/100
  • Austria Mat: 2.0
  • Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

Minimum Entry Requirements: Languages at SOAS are taught ab initio, and no prior knowledge is required. A foreign language at A-level or equivalent is preferred but not essential.

Subjects Preferred: No

Interview Policy: Candidates with 'non-standard' qualifications are encouraged to apply, and will usually be invited for an interview

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full Time

BA South East Asian Studies is a three-year programme that strikes an exciting balance between the study of a South East Asian language (Burmese, Indonesian, Thai or Vietnamese) and the cultures of the region. Competence in a South East Asian language is developed as a tool for exploring the culture for which a spoken language is a vehicle. 

The syllabus introduces its subject through the broad media of language, culture, literature and cinema with options also to gain knowledge of South East Asian history, politics, economics, linguistics, religious studies, music, art and archaeology, anthropology and others. 

This degree is ideal for students who do not seek the intensive engagement with language demanded by the four-year degrees, but who desire a working knowledge of the language to enhance their engagement with the diversity of South East Asian culture.

Structure

Year 1
Core Courses
Compulsory Language Course

Choose a South East Asian Language at a suitable level.

Optional Course

Choose a unit from List B at an approved level.

Open Option

Choose a further unit from List B or an open option from another department at an approved level.

Year 2
Core Course

These literature courses run in alternate years.

Core Course

Choose a half-unit course from List A.

Optional Course

This can be either; a continuation of Year 1 SEA language OR one unit from List A or List B at an approved level.

Optional Course

Choose a unit from List A, List B or List C at an approved level.

Open Option

Choose a further unit from List B or an open option from another department at an approved level.

Year 3
Core Course
Compulsory Course

A unit from List A at an approved level.

Optional Course

This can be either; a continuation of Year 2 SEA language OR one unit from List A or List B at an approved level.

Open Option

A unit from List B or List C at an approved level OR an open option.

List of Approved Courses
List A
List B

Before selecting a course, student's must first check that the course is at the correct level. They must also ensure that they meet any pre-requisites.

List C

These, or another SEA language at an appropriate level

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Year abroad

No

Teaching & Learning

Course Information

Introductory and intermediate courses in a South East Asian language use a wide variety of learning experiences and techniques. Most other units are taught by formal lecture and with related tutorials. Assessment is by a combination of written examination and coursework.

Special Features

The School's teaching is backed up by the South East Asia collection within the SOAS library, one of the world's major collections of information in the field of South East Asian studies. The South East Asia collection now contains over 6500 books and pamphlets and 550 periodical titles as well as substantial collections of microfilms and manuscripts.

Pre Entry Reading

Suggestions for preliminary reading
  • Baker, C. and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009.  A history of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cornwel-Smith, P. 2005. Very Thai. Bangkok: River Books.
  • Hellwig, T. and Tagliacozzo, E. (eds). 2009. The Indonesia reader: history, culture, politics. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Jamieson, N. 1995. Understanding Vietnam. Berkely: University of California Press.
  • Mulder, N. 2000. Inside Thai society: religion, everyday life, change. Chiangmai: Silkworm Books.
  • Nguyen Van Huy and Kendall, L. (eds). 2003. Vietnam: journeys of body,
    mind, and spirit
    . Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Owen, N. (ed.). 2005. The emergence of modern Southeast Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii.
  • Ricklefs, M.C., Lockhart, B. Lau, A. Reyes, P. and Maitrii Aung-Thwin. 2010. A new history of South East Asia. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Robson, S.O. 2004. Welcome to Indonesian, a beginner's survey of the language. Boston: Tuttle.
  • Taylor, J.G. 2003. Indonesia: peoples and histories. New Haven:Yale University Press.
  • Taylor, K. 2013. A history of the Vietnamese. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Vickers, A. 2005. A history of modern Indonesia. New York:Cambridge University Press.

Destinations

As a graduate who specialised in the South East Asian region, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law. Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include: written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem-solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Atkins Heritage
Burmese Refugee Project
Dept for Environment, Food and Rural affairs
Evergreen Energy
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
JP Morgan
Karenni Student Development Programme
LCC Children's Services
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands
Pepperdine University
Semporna Islands Project
Suzhou Education Bureau
Medical Defence Union
Xoom Corporation
Climatechange.org
Child in Need Institute

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Senior Heritage Consultant
Project Manager
Policy Advisor
Consul
Lecturer
Country Director
Company Director
Diplomat
Professor of History
Writer
English Language Assistant
Learning and Development Officer
SVP Business Development
Consultant
International Marketing Executive
Support Worker

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

Not only does SOAS offer a first class education with top scholars in the field, it also offers a great professional and social network. Upon graduation, my professional career path was wide opened. The SOAS experience has taught me to be a specialist in different fields, not only politics, but also development, gender and migration, and good governance.

Dinita Setyawati