School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Overview

Our degree programmes cover the histories, systems of belief and thought in Africa, Asia and the Near and Middle East.  We are unique in the field for approaching from the perspective of Asia and Africa, rather than through a western-centric framework, and for exploring in depth the dynamic histories of these regions, as well as their traditions, systems of belief and thought.

We offer BA, MA, and PhD history and religion degrees, with interdisciplinary modules, which encourage collaboration with other disciplines at SOAS. You will study alongside renowned academics whose research is building a new way of looking at the world, and whose interests encompass culture, religion, gender, economics, law, philosophy, politics, technology, and warfare.

Our small group teaching means that our students enjoy greater time and attention than they may find in other degree programmes.  We will help you to develop the valuable critical thinking, research, and writing skills that will enable you to make a difference in the world in whatever career you choose. 

Meet the academics.

Our Head of School says...

This is a vibrant, highly motivated, and outward-looking Department which boasts unparalleled expertise on the histories, philosophies and religions of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Our academics are world-leading specialists on areas of the globe which comprise more than three-fifths of the world’s population. With our highly diversified expertise, our comprehensive resources, and our interdisciplinary approach we offer a unique learning and research environment for a truly inter-cultural approach to the histories, systems of belief and thought in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Facts and figures

3rd in UK

REF 2021 for research outputs (Religions and Philosophies)

7th in UK

REF 2021 (Religions and Philosophies)

Our research

Our History department has a rich research environment and is the only UK history department devoted to Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Our Religions and Philosophies programmes were in the Top 15 of REF 2021 for research impact

  • Research

    Changing awareness of internal slavery in Mali

    Research conducted by Dr Marie Rodet  has raised awareness of the history of internal slavery in Mali, transmitted previously lost history between elders and the younger generations, and exposed enduring discrimination against populations with ascribed status as descendants of former slaves.

    View this publication

    The Epic of Gilgamesh: Ancient poem as modern inspiration

    Transforming our knowledge and understanding of an ancient poem, bringing the story alive for countless readers among the general public, students and creative artists.

    View this publication
  • Events