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Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

BA South East Asian Studies (including year abroad)

Duration: 4 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

Interview Policy: Candidates with "non-standard" qualifications may be invited for interview

Mode of Attendance: Full Time

South East Asian Studies (including year abroad) is a single-subject degree taught over four years with a compulsory year abroad at a university in the country of specialisation.  The degree involves the study of one South East Asian language (Burmese, Indonesian, Thai or Vietnamese), general course units on South East Asia taught within the department, and course units with a strong South East Asian focus taught in other departments in the school, allowing the student to gain a broad understanding of the region.  The structure of the four-year South East Asian studies degree is the same as the single subject three-year degree in South East Asian Studies, but with a year abroad in year 3 and more focused study on the country of specialization in year 4.  In year 4 students take a compulsory Independent Study Project (ISP) unit in South East Asian cultural studies.  

Structure

Core course: This means this unit must be passed before progression to the following year

Compulsory course:  This means this unit must be completed before progression to the following year

Year 1
Core Language Course

A SEA language at an appropriate level

Compulsory Courses
Optional Course

Choose courses to the value of one unit from List B

Open Option

Choose courses to the value of one unit from List B or an open option unit from another department.

Year 2
Core Language Course

SEA language at an appropriate level

Compulsory Course

These literature courses run in alternate years.

Optional Course

Choose a half-unit course from List A.

Optional Course

Choose courses to the value of one unit from List A or List B or List C

Open Option

Choose courses to the value of one unit from List A, List B, or List C or an open option course in another department.

Year 3: Year abroad

For more information please see the Teaching & Learning tab

Year 4
Core Course
Compulsory Course

Choose courses to the value of one unit from List D.

Optional Course

Choose courses to the value of one unit from List A or B or D.

Open Option

Choose courses to the value of one unit from List A, List B, or List C or an open option course in another department.

List A

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 B

Before selecting a course, student's must first check that the course is at the correct level. Pre-requisites may be required for these courses and must be taken as an open option. Please contact the relevant faculty office for information.

List C
List D

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Year abroad

Students will take a compulsory year abroad in South East Asia, spent in one or two countries in the region. This is not part of an exchange programme.

If they go to Thailand for a full year they will attend Thammasat University in Bangkok for two semesters, from June-February with an optional government placement for the remainder of their stay.  

Students going to Vietnam will attend the Faculty of Vietnamese Language and Culture at the Vietnam National University in Hanoi from September to May. 

Students who go to Indonesia spend a year studying at two of the best universities in Java - one semester at Universitas Gadjah Mada (Yogyakarta) and one semester at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan (Bandung). 

For students going to Burma (Myanmar) the exact programme of study during the Year Abroad is tailor-made to suit the student and situation in the country at the time. Study is either with private tutors in Yangon and/or Mandalay, or may include tuition at the Yangon University of Foreign Languages, or a combination of both. 

For all the above year abroad programmes students will take an re-entry test into year 4 of the degree in September.  Failure to pass the 4th year entry test will result in students being placed into the final year of the 3 year BA SEA Studies degree programme and the year abroad will NOT count towards this awarded degree.

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 student specialising in South East Asia, you will gain 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 and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of South East Asia.

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 in both business and 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.

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