This 4-year degree focuses on the languages and cultures of sub-Saharan Africa. It includes the study of an African language and a wide choice of modules in the related cultural fields of Literature, Art, Performance and Religion-Philosophy. The languages normally available are Amharic, Hausa, Somali, Swahili, Yorùbá and Zulu.
The range of expertise in SOAS, not only in the Africa Department, but also with regard to languages and literatures of other regions is unique in UK institutions. Along with proven excellence in other disciplines, such as religious studies, anthropology, art and archaeology, and history, this offers students an unparalleled range of options in choosing their second subject of study.
Students taking the two-subject degree take a combination of units from African Studies and from their other subject.
Programme Code: (see May Be Combined With)
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- No preliminary knowledge of the subject or an African language is required.
- Interview Policy: Applicants with non-standard qualifications may be invited for interview.
- A Levels:
- 35 (665 at HL)
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
- 4 years
- UK/EU fees:
- Overseas fees:
Fees for 2019/20 entrants. 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
Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.
May be combined with:
Key Information Set data
Click on a combined programme to load KIS data
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.
Students must take modules to the value of 120 credits each year. Over the three years spent on campus they must take at least 150 credits from one subject and at least 120 credits from the other subject. The subject with the largest number of module credits will be named first in the degree.
Students must pass at least 90 credits in order to proceed to the following year, including any core modules.
Students may take open option modules to the value of 30 credits per year in a joint degree as long as the required number of credits for each of the named subjects is passed at the end of the degree.
Students who fail Language I are not required to continue with Language II in the second year. Students attaining 40-50% in Language I may be exempted, if they wish, from Language II after consultation with their Programme Convenor.
If a student passes Language in Africa and 120 credits in one language, then the language may optionally be named in the degree title, e.g. African Studies (Swahili) and Development Studies. This option is available for Swahili, Hausa and Somali only. 30 credits may be an Independent Study Project in which the language is used to a large extent. Please discuss with your Programme Convenor at the end of year 1 or the beginning of year 2 of your degree.
Students will take both of the following two modules:
Please note that Culture in Africa will become a 15-credit module from 2020/21.
60 credits from second subject
Students will take the following module:
60 credits from second subject
Year 3 - Year Abroad
Students will study for one year at one of the partner institutions Kenyatta University, Nairobi or State University of Zanzibar. This will be 120 credits.
Students who don't wish to study abroad can do the BA African Studies and ... (3 Year) programme.
All students must take the following module:
Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from the list below
60 credits from second subject
List of Optional Modules
Before selecting a module, student's must first check that the course is at the correct level. They must also ensure that they meet any pre-requisites.
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
The third year will be spent studying in Kenyatta University, Nairobi or State Univeristy of Zanzibar.
Teaching & Learning
All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, taught in modules of 30 credits (taught over 20 weeks) or 15 credits (taught over 10 weeks). The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others.
In the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, undergraduate modules take various forms. Modules may be taught through 1 or 2 hours of lectures a week, and some may have an additional 1-2 hours of weekly seminars. Languages classes may be 4-5 hours per week in the first and second year, typically less at higher levels.
More information is on the page for each module.
Teaching is normally provided by lecture or seminar and students are required to attend such classes. Most modules involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.
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
Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.
Fees for 2019/20 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year.
|BA, BSc, LLB
|BA/BSc Language Year Abroad
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
As a student specialising in the continent of Africa, 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 Africa. 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 the African continent, or to make comparative study with other areas. African 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.
Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:
|Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln
Embassy of Sweden in Khartoum
German Development Cooperation (GIZ)
London Centre Social Impact
Marie Stopes International
Samsung Securities Co. Ltd
Save the Children
St John's Way Medical Centre
University of London
World Vision International
Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:
Monitoring & Evaluation Officer
Project Support Worker
|Diversity Communications Officer
Engagement skills training Coordinator
Teacher of English
Others have found work in:
- UN Agencies
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
Nuren Sherali Parpia
Being at SOAS is a privilege I have greatly appreciated academically as well as socially. It really is a gem that surfaces unheard voices and unseen faces