SOAS University of London

African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section

BA Africa and Black Diaspora and... (2022 entry)

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


Overview and entry requirements

This BA programme centres Africa, the African Diaspora and Black studies. Through critical engagement, it provides strong intellectual grounding that will enable students to situate and engage with Africa in the global stage by acquiring substantive knowledge of historical and topical issues that are related to the continent. Students will also get the opportunity to engage with their own understanding of contemporary themes including migration, colonialism, economic change, climate change and popular culture.

The BA Africa and Black Diaspora and... (combined degree) will enable students to negotiate with some of the key tensions in the study of Africa and its multiple diasporas. This programme is distinguished through its interdisciplinary and trans-regional approach. It engages with the diasporic worlds and connections between regions of Africa, the Black Atlantic, Black Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean.

Students will be able to combine their study of disciplines including Politics, Social Anthropology, Languages and Cultures, Economics and International Relations with Africa and Black Diaspora. They will be able to do meaningful projects, explore the regions of their interest through the optional summer or year abroad programmes and graduate as skilled and accountable global change makers.  

Why study BA Africa and the Black Diaspora at SOAS

  • You will take a course that is unique in the UK higher education space, one that is African-centric in its approach
  • SOAS is ranked 1st in London in the Complete University Guide 2021 for Middle Eastern and African Studies, and 6th in the UK
  • Modern Languages and Linguistics at SOAS has been ranked 10th in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
  • We've also been ranked 4th for research environment - with 100% of our research ranked as 'internationally excellent' and 85% as 'world-leading' - and 8th for research outputs in the REF 2021
  • You will gain in-depth understanding of one of the world’s key regions, grounded in the study of one or more languages of the African continent
  • You will have an opportunity to develop a holistic and integrated approach to the study of Africa through its languages and cultures
  • You will gain specialist knowledge of the complexity of Africa and the Black Diaspora

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

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Fees 2022/23

Fees for 2022/23 entrants per academic year

UK fees:
Overseas fees:

Please note that fees go up each year. Further details see 'Fees and funding' (tab on this page) or the Registry's undergraduate tuition fees page.


May be combined with:

* Year aborad option



In each year students take modules to the total value of 120 credits following the structure below. Students have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of disciplinary and regional modules of interest.

Year 1

Comulsory Modules

Module Code Credits Term
H110 Introduction to the History of Africa 154800228 15 Term 1
Africa in the World 155906743 15 Term 2
Guided Option 

Students select 30 credits from list A or an African Language 

Year 2

Compulsory Module

Module Code Credits Term
351 Migration, Borders and Space: Decolonial Approaches 151802052 15 Term 1
Guided Option 

Students select 15 credits from list B plus an additional 30 credits from list B or an African language

Year 3

Guided Options

Students select 30 credits from list C and 30 credits from list D


Year 3 - Summer Abroad Option

During the summer between year 2 and the start of year 3, students on the 3 year programme can participate in a 'Summer Abroad' in one of our partner institutions, this is equivalent to 30 credits. Students then select a further 30 credits from List D to be taken on their return in year 3

For more details of the summer abroad partner institution please click the "Teaching & Learning" tab above.

Year 3 - Year Abroad (for students on a 4 year programme)

Students on a 4 year programme participate in a 'Year Abroad' in year 3 of their studies equivalent to 120 credits at one of our partner instututions. For more details please click the "Teaching & Learning" tab above.

Year 4 

Guided Options

For students on the 4 year programme returning from a year abroad. Select 30 credits from List C plus 30 credits from list D

List A

Year 1 - Guided Options

Module Code Credits Term
Decolonising Otherness 152900120 15 Term 2
The World in London 152900122 15 Term 1
The Art of Storytelling 155901379 15 Term 1

List B

Year 2 - Guided Options

Module Code Credits Term
Black Atlantic 153402007 15 Term 2
352 Anthropology of 'Race', Gender and Sexuality 151802088 15 Term 2
Economic development of Africa (UG) 153401016 15 Term 2
The State and Politics in Africa 153400064 15 Term 1
H280 Atlantic Slavery and its Legacies in West Africa 154800247 15 Term 2
Perspectives on African experience 155900933 15 Term 1

List C

Year 3/4 - Guided Options

Module Code Credits Term
Independent study project in African studies 155900763 30 Full Year

List D

Year 3/4 - Guided Options

Module Code Credits Term
Contemporary African literature 155900839 15 Term 2
African Philosophy 155901397 15 Term 1
H270 Culture and Society in African History, 1900 to the present 154800244 15 Term 1
Legal Systems of Asia and Africa 155200073 30 Full Year
H380 South African Apartheid: Origins, Experience and Aftermath 154800325 30 Full Year
Screen Cities 155901354 15 Term 1
Literatures of Love, Loss and Desire 155901277 15 Term 1
Beyond Regions: Cultures in the Diaspora 155906706 15 Term 2
Understanding Texts 152900123 15 Term 1
Music in Africa: Critical Listening - The Mande World 155800096 15 Term 2
Film Festivals and Film Curating 155902002 15 Term 1
Practical Translation Swahili to English 155906736 15 credits
Practical Translation from English to Swahili 155906735 15 Term 1
Language, Identity and Society in Africa 155900867 15 Term 1
Arts of the African Diaspora 154900203 15 Term 1
Amharic 1 A 155906036 15 Term 1
Amharic 1 B 155906037 15 Term 2
Swahili 1 A 155906044 15 Term 1
Swahili 1 B 155906045 15 Term 2
Swahili 2a Intermediate 155900986 30 Full Year
Swahili 3 155900635 30 Full Year
Zulu 1 A 155906042 15 Term 1
Zulu 1 B 155906043 15 Term 2
Somali 1 A 155906034 15 Term 1
Somali 1 B 155906035 15 Term 2

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Year abroad

Students on the 4 year programme will take the Language Year Abroad where students spend one term at each of our partner institutions.

The programme runs from September to May of the following year and involves 20 hours of instruction per week. The prime focus throughout is on enhancing the students’ language skills and imparting an advanced level of competence in Swahili language and culture.

Summer abroad 

Students on the 3 year programme have the option to spend the Swahili Summer Abroad at one of the institutions named above.

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Fees and funding


Find out more