SOAS University of London

Africa Section, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

BA African Language and Culture (2018 entry)

Select year of entry: 2019 2018

duration:
4 years Students will spend a period abroad depending on which African language they have chosen

Fees 2019/20

UK/EU fees:
£9,250
Overseas fees:
£17,750


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

Entry requirements

  • No preliminary knowledge of the subject or the language is required, although we do look for ability to learn a language (e.g. language at A-level or equivalent). Applicants with non-standard qualifications may be invited for interview.
  • Subjects Preferred: No
  • Interview Policy: Candidates with 'non-standard' qualifications usually invited
A Levels:
AAB-ABB
IB:
35 (665 at HL)

View alternative entry requirements

BTEC: DDM

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

Overview

Programme Code: T508 BA/ALC

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

The Africa Section of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics houses the world’s largest concentration of scholars devoted to the study of African languages and cultures of sub-Saharan Africa. This collective expertise gives us an unparalleled capacity for teaching, learning and research.   The language offered at the degree level (BA African Language and Culture) is Swahili. Students of Swahili spend two terms of year three in Zanzibar and Kenya.

In the first year the programme's major component is the intensive study of Standard Swahili, and two wide ranging modules on Culture in Africa, and Language in Africa.

The second year continues the study of Intermediate Swahili, and, at the same time introduces the student to Swahili literature. Two additional modules are chosen from the list of approved optional modules. 

The third year of the programme is spent at an African university in Kenya or Tanzania, where students study Swahili in its context, and write an extended essay on a suitable topic of choice during that year.  In the final year study of language and literature is continued at the advanced level. In addition, the freedom to select two other appropriate modules from the list of options gives students the opportunity of specializing in a field of particular interest.

Language degrees are four-year degrees, but students pay reduced fees for the language year abroad.  More information on tuition fees.

 

Convenors

Key Information Set Data

Structure

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.

The major language available for this degree is Swahili, other languages may be taken as part of the degree (see List of Optional Modules). Students must take 120 credits each year according to the syllabus.

Students must pass at least 90 credits in order to proceed to the following year, including any core modules.

Year 1
Core Module (Year 1)

Choose the following 30 credit module

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Swahili 1 A 155906044 15 Term 1
Swahili 1 B 155906045 15 Term 2
Compulsory Modules (Year 1)

Choose the following 2 modules

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Language in Africa 155900867 30 Full Year
Culture in Africa 155900838 30 Full Year
AND
Open Options (Year 1)

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits

Year 2
Core Module (Year 2)

Choose the following module

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Swahili 2a Intermediate 155900986 30 Full Year
Compulsory Modules (Year 2)

Choose the following 2 modules

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Introduction to Swahili Literature 155902008 15 Term 2
Realism and Magical Realism in the African Novel 155902005 15 Term 1
AND

Choose ONE of the following 30 credit modules

Module Code Credits Term Availability
African language literatures (oral and written) 155900677 30 Full Year
Contemporary African literature 155900839 30 Full Year
AND
Guided Option

Choose modules to the value of '30 credits' from the 'List of Optional Modules' below

OR
Open Option

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits

Year 3 (Year abroad)

Students on this BA programme should spend their 3rd Year abroad. Please see the Teaching & Learning tab for more details.

Year 4
Compulsory Modules (Year 4)

Choose modules to the value of '30 credits' from the following

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Theory and practice of Swahili translation 155901259 30 Full Year
Advanced Swahili Literature 155902009 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Sci-fi and Afrofuturism in the African Novel 155902006 15 Term 2
AND
Guided Options

Choose modules to the value of '60 credits' from the 'List of Option Modules' below.

AND
Guided Option

Choose modules to the value of '30 credits' from the 'List of Optional Modules' below

OR
Open Option

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits

List of Optional Modules

Before selecting a module, student's must first check that the module is at the correct level. They must also ensure that they meet any pre-requisites. Normally students are not allowed to take a module outside of the years for which it is intended, although occasionally exceptions can be made in consultation with the Undergraduate tutor and/or the Associate Dean. Note that the list of options includes both culture modules and language modules. Students may take modules in another African language.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Amharic 1 A 155906036 15 Term 1
Amharic 1 B 155906037 15 Term 2
Amharic 2 155900378 30 Full Year
Hausa 1 A 155906040 15 Term 1
Hausa 1 B 155906041 15 Term 2
Hausa 2(a) intermediate 155900324 30 Full Year
Hausa 2(b) survey of hausa literature 155900818 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Hausa 3(a) advanced 155900327 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Hausa 3 (b) selected texts 155900603 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Somali 1 A 155906034 15 Term 1
Somali 1 B 155906035 15 Term 2
Somali 2 155900811 30 Full Year
Advanced Somali: Literature 155902010 15 Term 2
Swahili 1 A 155906044 15 Term 1
Swahili 1 B 155906045 15 Term 2
Swahili 2a Intermediate 155900986 30 Full Year
Introduction to Swahili Literature 155902008 15 Term 2
Swahili 3 155900635 30 Full Year
Theory and practice of Swahili translation 155901259 30 Full Year
Advanced Swahili Literature 155902009 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Yoruba 1 A 155906038 15 Term 1
Yoruba 1 B 155906039 15 Term 2
Yoruba 2 155900935 30 Full Year
Zulu 1 A 155906042 15 Term 1
Zulu 1 B 155906043 15 Term 2
Zulu 2 155900851 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
History of Slavery: Britain and Slavery 151230005 15 Term 1
R160 Introduction to the Religions of Africa 158000119 15 Term 1
African Philosophy 155901397 15 Term 1
Afrophone Philosophies 155901398 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Black Urban Studies 151230001 15 Term 1
Contemporary African literature 155900839 30 Full Year
Film Festivals and Film Curating 155902002 15 Term 1
Islamic Reform Movements in Modern Africa 158000190 15 Term 1
The structure of Bantu languages 155902004 15 Term 1
Religion in Africa 155901151 30 Full Year
South African Film and Visual Culture: Before and During Apartheid 155902001 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
South African Film and Visual Culture 1994-2014 155902003 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
African Art III: the Art and Architecture of North Eastern Africa 154900132 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Africans in the Americas: Identities and Representation 154900166 15 Term 2
R210 Religion, Power, and Society in Modern Africa 158000005 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Expected to run every other year
Extended essay in African studies (a) 155900762 15 Term 1
Extended essay in African studies (b) 155901188 15 Term 2
African Filmmaking: From the 1960s to the Present 155902007 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
The World of Cuban Music 155800058 15 Term 1
African language literatures (oral and written) 155900677 30 Full Year
Realism and Magical Realism in the African Novel 155902005 15 Term 1
Sci-fi and Afrofuturism in the African Novel 155902006 15 Term 2
Southern Spaces 152900102 15 Term 2
Fictions of History 155901013 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Independent study project in African studies 155900763 30 Full Year
Directed study of an African language 155900934 30 Full Year

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Year abroad

The third year of the BA Swahili and Another Subject or BA African Language and Culture is spent in Kenya and Tanzania at the following institutions where students are taught by experienced local lecturers and guest speakers, with oversight by SOAS Swahili Year Abroad Convenor. Students are also taken on local tours of places of cultural and historical interest at little or no additional cost. Year Abroad programmes run from September to May of the following year and involve 20 to 25 hours of instruction per week. While the syllabus differs somewhat from one institution to the other, the prime focus throughout is on enhancing the students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in Modern Standard Swahili, as well as knowledge of the local varieties of Swahili language, culture and society. 

Term 1: Zanzibar State University (Tanzania)

Term 2: Kenyatta University (Kenya)

Term 3: Students are free to spend Term 3 anywhere in east Africa but there will be no teaching during that term.  

During Term 3 students are expected to write an ISP (Independent Study Project) of 3500 words in Swahili, on a subject of their choice. The essay must be sent to SOAS Swahili Convenor by the last Friday of Term 3.

In order to be admitted to the final year of their degree students will need to have passed the assessments at the year abroad institution, and to have attained a pass grade on their ISP which will be marked by SOAS Swahili Year Abroad Convenor. Students will be encouraged to use feedback to revise and prepare the essay for possible publication.

Students who fail the year abroad examinations or fail to submit their ISPs are deemed to have failed the year abroad.

For general advice on tuition fees, travel arrangements, health and insurance issues see the SOAS Registry Guidelines on the Language Year Abroad.

The SOAS Arabic Section arranges year abroad meetings and briefing sessions where second year students are informed in detail about the year abroad locations and have the chance to meet and consult with returning students.

In determining the safety of year abroad locations SOAS is guided by the relevant Travel Advice published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. During their stay abroad it is recommended that students subscribe to the relevant FCO website .

In the final (4th) year study of language and literature is continued at the advanced level. In addition, the freedom to select two other appropriate units from the list of options gives students the opportunity of specializing in a field of particular interest.

Language degrees are four-year degrees, but students pay reduced fees for the language year abroad.

Teaching & Learning

Contact Hours

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

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

Employment

As a graduate who specialised in the continent of Africa, you will have gained 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.

Students from the Africa department have found work in a variety of professions including education, media and publishing.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Amnesty International
Barclays Global Investors
Basler Afrika Bibliographien
BBC Radio 4
Christian Aid
Dragon Tiger
Financial Times
Kensington and Chelsea College
Loughborough University
MDS Transportation Consultants
National Cohesion and Integration Commission
Norman Carr Safaris
Oxfam
Save the Children
The Africa Report
World Challenge

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Head of Corporate Governance
Publisher
Company Director
Programme Officer
Writer
Editor
Media and Communications Lecturer
Food and Beverage Manager
Journalist
Expedition Planning Manager
Volunteer Event Coordinator
Art worker

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

A Student's Perspective

The name says it all – it specialises in areas you wouldn’t normally be able to study elsewhere, and is truly an outstanding academic institution.

Nazmul Hudha

Apply

Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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