SOAS University of London

Facts and figures

affiliated academics in thirteen humanities and social science departments, plus nearly a hundred research students.


The SSAI hosts research fellows from India and Pakistan who come to SOAS each year, sponsored by the Charles Wallace Trust

Two members of the Institute secured funding from the European Research Council for major research projects: James Mallinson for his Hatha Yoga project (‘Mapping Indian and Transnational Traditions of Physical Yoga through Philology and Ethnography’) and Francesca Orsini on world literature (‘Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies: a bottom-up approach to world literature’). With ongoing projects on ‘Roads and the Politics of Thought: ethnographic approaches to infrastructure development in South Asia’ and ‘Asia Beyond Boundaries’, this means that academic members of the Institute are now leading three major ERC-funded projects, and are involved in four.

The Institute delivers interdisciplinary research seminars; organises high profile lecture events; and facilitates symposiums and lecture on current affairs.


  • The two year MA Intensive South Asian Studies offers comprehensive language-based training across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Students on the programme take four taught courses at SOAS during their first year, of which a course at an appropriate level in Bengali, Hindi, Nepali or Urdu and the course ‘The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia’ are core.  In addition to the two core courses, students must choose courses to the value of 90 credits from the list of options advertised for the MA South Asian Area Studies. 
  • The MSc Contemporary India Studies degree offers a critical, cutting edge study of present day India. The programme takes an interdisciplinary approach and provides analytical training. Students have the opportunity to choose to study contemporary India topics, issues and challenges in the following subjects: anthropology, cinema, culture, development studies, history, law, literature, politics, study of religions and languages.
  • MA Global Diplomacy: South Asia (Online Learning) deepens your understanding of international affairs and contemporary diplomatic practice with a regional focus on South Asia & Afghanistan. This programme will give you a theoretically and historically informed understanding of the practice of international diplomacy, broadly conceived, and its applications in South Asia.


The Past Before Us: Heritage and History in South Asia
The Past Before Us: Heritage and History in South Asia

An international cross-disciplinary conference exploring the place of 'heritage' in South Asia's local and global futures. Architects, historians, geographers, anthropologists, musicians and literary theorists come together to discuss the construction, contestation and conservation of South Asia’s heritage in our rapidly changing world. 


Past cultures as the heritage of the present
Past cultures as the heritage of the present

The keynote lecture, ‘Past cultures as the heritage of the present’, will be delivered by the renowned Indian historian Professor Romila Thapar on the evening of Monday 5 September.

The SOAS South Asia Institute‘s blog hosts pieces by SOAS academic staff, students, visiting scholars, alumni and invited guests on events in South Asia as well as SOAS research on the region. It is a moderated site which is intended to provide information and a forum for debate on the on-going political, economic, social and cultural transformations in South Asia.

South Asia Notes