SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

BA South Asian Studies and… (4 years)

4 Years

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Undergraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 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.
  • Interview Policy: Applicants with non-standard qualifications may be invited for interview.
A Levels:
A Level language preferred
35 (6/6/5)

View alternative entry requirements


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

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply


Programme Code: See "Combinations"

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Our BA South Asian Studies and… (4 years) transforms your interest in South Asia into a serious degree, combining extensive knowledge in the area, solid linguistic skills, training in a discipline, and a host of much-valued transferrable skills. The career paths of our graduates include international development and aid agencies, print journalism and media, local, national and international government agencies, overseas companies, teaching, law, librarianship, arts administration.

As the economies of South Asia continue to expand, a knowledge of language and culture will be more and more of an asset in the world of commerce and international trade. Many of our graduates choose to pursue Masters’ programmes that either focus on particular aspects of South Asia, or are linked to professional qualifications in law, development, media, etc.

The four-year degree gives you the unique opportunity of spending the third year attending an intensive language programme in India, Nepal or Bangladesh and experiencing life and study in South Asia in what is a unique life experience.


Key Information Set Data

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


May be combined with:

* Combined with named language pathways only.
** Taught at King's College, London

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data


Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

SOAS is the only University in the UK where you can study South Asian languages (Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Sanskrit, Urdu) as part of your BA degree, and combine in-depth language learning with training in a discipline that will also include modules focusing on your area of choice. In Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Sanskrit and Urdu (‘pathway languages’) we offer language modules at beginner, intermediate and advanced level. We also offer modules that use the language skills you acquire to gain access to the present and past culture of South Asia through written and audio-visual texts. We offer a more limited range of language modules in Tamil, Sinhala, Gujarati and Punjabi, subject to a minimum number of students. You will also be able to choose from a range of exciting modules on the culture and society of South Asia, including unique modules in cinema, literature, art, music, religion, history, politics, law, economics and anthropology. We offer the widest range of culture modules on South Asia, both at introductory and specialist levels.

Language Pathways Available

Students take the equivalent of 4 module units each year, with at least five completed modules in the first subject and four in the second subject. The third Year Abroad counts as 4 units.

Key Information

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.

Year 1
Core Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
South Asian Culture 155900812 1 Unit Full Year
Core Language Module

Students choose a South Asian Language pathway (Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Sanskrit or Urdu). In Year 1 this is usually a level 1 module unless the student has prior language knowledge.

Other Subject

Students take 2 units in their other subject.

Year 2
Core Language Module

A continuation of the South Asian language pathway chosen in Year 1.

Compulsory Module

Students take one of the following modules depending on their chosen language pathway.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Readings in Contemporary Hindi 155901185 1 Unit Full Year
Society, Culture and Politics in Nepal 155901305 1 Unit Full Year
Selected Texts from the Sanskrit Epic 155900787 1 Unit Full Year
Imagining Pakistan: literature, nation, gender 155901391 1 Unit Full Year
Other Subject

Depending on the requirements of the other subject, students take 2 units in their other subject OR 1 unit in the other subject and a further module from List A or C.

Year 3

Students spend their 3rd Year abroad. See the Teaching & Learning tab for more details.

Year 4
Core Language Module

An advanced level of the South Asian language pathway chosen in Year 1.

Optional Module

Students can do an Independent Study Project (below) OR a further language module from List A at an intermediate or advanced level OR a module from List C (choice may be restricted depending on the chosen language pathway).

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Independent Study Project in South Asian Studies 155900955 1 Unit Full Year
Other Subject

Students take 2 units in their other subject.

List A South Asian Language Modules

The list below indicates the pathway along which students can progress as they do their South Asian language modules. Students may not take more than one language module at elementary level in any given year. Passing of the intermediate level module (or its equivalent) in Bengali OR Hindi OR Nepali OR Sanskrit OR Urdu is a pre-requisite for admission to the Year Abroad.

Elementary level
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Bengali Language 1 155900491 1 Unit Full Year
Hindi Language 1 155900501 1 Unit Full Year
Nepali Language I 155900535 1 Unit Full Year
Sanskrit Language 1 155901303 1 Unit Full Year
Urdu Language 1 155900512 1 Unit Full Year
Basic Pali 158000200 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Introduction to Prakrit 155901323 0.5 Unit Term 1
Elementary Written Persian 155901053 1 Unit Full Year
Intermediate level
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Bengali Language 2 155900492 1 Unit Full Year
Hindi Language 2 155901183 1 Unit Full Year
Nepali Language 2 155900609 1 Unit Full Year
Sanskrit Language 2 155901304 1 Unit Full Year
Urdu Language 2 155900513 1 Unit Full Year
Urdu Literacy 155901247 1 Unit Full Year
Intermediate Pali 158000124 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Readings in Prakrit 155901324 0.5 Unit Term 2
Advanced level
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Directed Readings in a South Asian Literature or Culture (Bengali) 155901298 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Hindi Language 3 155901269 1 Unit Full Year
Hindi Language 4 155901384 1 Unit Full Year
Literature & Colonialism in North India 155901295 0.5 Unit Term 1
Narratives of Mobility in Contemporary Hindi Literature 155901296 0.5 Unit Term 2
Directed Readings in a South Asian Literature or Culture (Hindi) 155901299 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Nepali Language 3 155901283 1 Unit Full Year
Directed Readings in South Asian Literature or Culture (Nepali) 155901300 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Sanskrit Texts on Yoga 155901408 1 Unit Full Year
Classical Sanskrit Court Literature I 155900860 1 Unit Full Year
Selected Texts from the Sanskrit Epic 155900787 1 Unit Full Year
Vedic Sanskrit 158000128 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Directed Readings in Sanskrit 155901302 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Directed Readings in a South Asian Literature or Culture (Urdu) 155901301 0.5 Unit Term 1
List B Introductory courses on aspects of South Asian history and culture
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Buddhism: Foundation 158000110 0.5 Unit Term 1
Hinduism: Foundation 158000118 0.5 Unit Term 2
Introduction to Jainism 158000053 1 Unit Full Year
H140 Introduction to the History of South Asia 154800231 1 Unit Full Year
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of South and Southeast Asia 154900156 0.5 Unit Term 1
List C Non-language-based South Asian and South Asian-related modules

Some modules require successful attendance of a relevant introductory module; students are advised to check the relevant module descriptions for prerequisites and consult the relevant module tutor before selecting units.

Centre for Film Studies
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 0.5 Unit Term 2
Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Cinema and Society in South Asia: History and Social Context 155906000 0.5 Unit Term 1
Cinema and Society in South Asia: Key Issues 155906001 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Modern Bengal: the Evolution of Bengali Culture & Society from 1690 to the Present 155901271 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Society, Culture and Politics in Nepal 155901305 1 Unit Full Year
South Asian Literature in English 155900927 1 Unit Full Year
Extended Essay in South Asian Studies 155901101 0.5 Unit Term 1
School of Law
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Law and Society in South Asia 155200032 1 Unit Full Year
Law, Multiculturalism and Rights 155200064 1 Unit
Department of Politics and International Studies
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Government and politics of South Asia 153400020 1 Unit Full Year
Department of History
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
H234 Culture and Identity in Modern South Asia 1800-2000 154800264 1 Unit Full Year
H235 Gandhi and Gandhiism 154800103 1 Unit Full Year
H437 Histories of Partition: India and Pakistan 1947 (II) 154800283 1 Unit Full Year
H434 Religion, State And Society In Mughal North India I 154800238 1.0 Unit - Not Running 2016/17
Department of Art and Archaeology
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Traditional Art and Modern South Asia 154900161 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Hindu Art in Medieval India 154900162 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Department of Music
Department of the Study of Religions
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Religious Philosophies of Ancient and Medieval India 158000123 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Textual Sources of Classical Hinduism 158000023 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Non-Violence in Jain Literature, Philosophy and Law 158000054 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Department of Economics
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Economic development of South Asia 153400011 1 Unit Full Year

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Year abroad

Year 3 is spent attending an intensive language module in India, Nepal or Bangladesh, with plenty of opportunities to volunteer for local NGOs (valuable work experience) and planning and collecting material for the Independent Study Project in year 4.

Fees and funding


As a student specialising in the languages and cultures of South 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 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.

Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of South Asia, or to make comparative study with other areas. South Asian Studies may be combined with a huge range of other disciplines. For more information on the extra skills you will gain from your second subject, please see the relevant departmental page. 

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

A Student's Perspective

I have had the chance to read the most up to date, often controversial and revealing perspectives on South Asia, presented by leading academics who will often actually be members of the South Asia Department Faculty itself. My choice to study at SOAS was the best decision I ever made; being a student here is an exciting and unique experience.

Mikaela Parrack


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