SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

BA Social Anthropology (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2021 2020

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

Overview

Overview and entry requirements 

The BA Social Anthropology degree explores what it is to be human in a complex and changing world.You will study the great variety of beliefs and practices that exist around the world, from remote communities to global cities. You will learn theoretical frameworks and question your own assumptions, helping you to think creatively about how to address global problems.

Bridging the humanities and social sciences, anthropology offers a unique approach grounded in real-world research allowing for a greater understanding in cultural differences, political dynamics, social conflict, and human creativity.

Studying at SOAS is unique as it draws from the regional expertise of our academics in Asian, African, and Middle Eastern languages and societies. If you are passionate about understanding human society and behaviour, and want to learn to think critically about the world around you, then this Anthropology course is for you.

Why study Social Anthropology at SOAS

  • SOAS is ranked 5th in the UK for Anthropology in the 2021 QS World University Rankings  and 16th in the world
  • draw on the exceptional regional expertise of our academics in Asian, African, and Middle Eastern languages and politics, many of whom have joined us with a practical working knowledge of their disciplines
  • join our thriving community of alumni and academics who have an impact on the world outside of academia
  • flexibly structure your programme using our optional modules and/or optional modules from other departments, including the opportunity to learn a regional language
  • we are specialists in the delivery of languages; your command of a second language at SOAS will set you apart from graduates of other universities

This programme has a first-rate graduate employability record, with graduates having moved on to work for a range of organisations such as Deloitte, The New York Times and the British Council.

Explore

Programme Code: L600 BA/SA

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • Mature students may be considered on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience. We do not require applicants to have particular disciplinary backgrounds.
  • 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

duration:
3 years, single honours degree

Fees 2021/22

Fees for 2021/22 entrants per academic year

UK fees:
£9,250
Overseas fees:
£19,560


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.

Convenors

Structure

Structure

Students take 120 credits per year composed of compulsory and optional modules.

All students are expected to complete all compulsory modules.

Students are entitled to select up to 30 credits of Open Option modules per year. These modules can be in anthropology or based in other departments within the School, either in another subject or a language option.

Programme

YEAR ONE
COMPULSORY MODULES

All students are expected to complete the following compulsory modules, totaling 90 credits.

Module Code Credits Term
Anthropology in and of the World: An Introduction 151801001 30 Full Year
SOAS Anthropology Now 151802040 30 Full Year
World Social Theory: Imagining Society from 500BCE to 1900 155901489 15 Term 1
Social Theory, Reform and Revolution in an Age of Extremes 155901490 15 Term 2
AND

OPEN OPTIONS

Choose related Language or Non-Language Open Option modules to a total of 30 credits

YEAR TWO
COMPULSORY MODULES

All students are expected to complete the following compulsory modules, totaling 45 credits.

Module Code Credits Term
Anthropology Through History 151802033 30 Full Year
Ethnography in Practice 151802086 15 Term 2

AND

GUIDED OPTIONS

Choose module(s) from Year 2 Option List below to a total of 45 credits

AND

OPEN OPTIONS

Choose a total of 30 further credits from the Year 2 Option List or any related Language or Non-Language Open Option modules

YEAR THREE
COMPULSORY MODULES

All students are expected to complete the following compulsory modules, totaling 45 credits.

Module Code Credits Term
Contemporary Trends in the Study of Society 151802041 45 Full Year

AND

GUIDED OPTIONS

Choose modules from Year 3 Option List below to a total of 45 credits

AND

OPEN OPTIONS

Choose a total of 30 further credits from the Year 3 Option List and/or any related Language or Non-Language Open Option modules

Option Modules (subject to availability)
Year 2 Option List
Module Code Credits Term
African and Asian Diasporas. Migration, Space, Identity (UG) 151802052 15 Term 1
Anthropology and Climate Change 151802087 15 Term 2
Anthropology of "Race", Gender and Desire 151802088 15 Term 2
Ethnography of China 151802079 15 Term 2
Ethnography of Japan 151802081 15 Term 1
Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 151802017 15 Term 1
Year 3 Option List
Module Code Credits Term
African and Asian Diasporas. Migration, Space, Identity (UG) 151802052 15 Term 1
Anthropology and Climate Change 151802087 15 Term 2
Anthropology of "Race", Gender and Desire 151802088 15 Term 2
Directed Readings in Anthropology A/B Term 1 (A): 155800099 | Term 2 (B): 155800100 15 credits
Ethnography of China 151802079 15 Term 2
Ethnography of Japan 151802081 15 Term 1
Independent Study Project in Social Anthropology 151802039 30 Full Year
Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 151802017 15 Term 1

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

Teaching & Learning

The academic staff in the Department of Anthropology are dynamic, experienced teachers who are widely recognised for their expertise and enjoy working directly with students. Renowned scholars from other institutions also come to share their knowledge. The SOAS Anthropology Department sponsors several lecture series that are open to students, including the weekly Departmental Research Seminar, the Food Studies Centre's Food Forum and the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies’ Seminar Series.

In addition to these formal settings for learning, our students also learn from one another. Hailing from around the globe, their diverse life experiences make our classes an exciting, rich environment for cultural and intellectual exchange. Students also benefit from campus-wide programmes, clubs, study groups, and performances.

The modules are taught by lectures and group discussions. Students become active in class through their reading and essay-writing as well as their participation in discussion groups. Whatever the topic, modules draw particularly on ethnographic studies of China, Japan, South East Asia, South Asia, the Near and Middle East, West Africa and East Africa, as well as their diasporas.

Independent Study Project (ISP)

The ISP can be taken by final-year students only. This is an opportunity for students to conduct original anthropological research on their own initiative, to engage in in-depth analysis of particular subjects and to undertake ethnographic fieldwork and/or library-based reseach. It is supported by a bi-weekly seminar on anthropological research and writing and is assessed by a single 10,000-word dissertation (including notes but excluding bibliography).

Pre-entry reading

  • Eriksen, Thomas H. 2015 Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology, Pluto Press.
  • Astuti, Rita, et al (eds.) 2007. Questions of Anthropology. Oxford: Berg.
  • Engelke, Matthew 2017. Think Like an Anthropologist. Pelican.
  • Abu-Lughod, Lila. 2015. Do Muslim Women Need Saving? Harvard University Press.
  • Fassin, Didier. 2013. Enforcing Order: An Ethnography of Urban Policing. Polity Press.
  • Kate Fox 2014. Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour. Stodder & Houghton.
  • Macclancy, J. 2002. Exotic No More: Anthropology on the Front Lines. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Das, V. 2006. Life and Words. Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary. University of California Press.

Fees and funding

Employment

Employment

A degree from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS will develop your understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised.

Skills gained

  • methods of social anthropological investigation
  • linguistic familiarity
  • the ability to think laterally and employ critical reasoning
  • analytical skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • the ability to formulate sound arguments
  • ability to interpret and explain complex information clearly
  • communication and presentation skills

Careers

Our alumni include everyone from dance therapists and film editors, to teachers, gender violence outreach workers, television and radio producers, international development workers, journalists, analysts, web developers, and more. Students with a SOAS degree in Anthropology are regularly employed by NGOs, charitable organisations, media companies, and voluntary sector organisations. 

Employers

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including a range of NGOs, charitable and voluntary sector organisations:

  • Deloitte
  • The New York Times
  • British Council
  • Social Mobility Foundation
  • IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development)
  • Action on Hearing Loss
  • Hackney Migrant Centre

Many of our graduates have their own successful start-ups.

Roles

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

  • Gender Violence Outreach Worker
  • Film Editor
  • Dance Therapist
  • Web Developer
  • Food Bank Organiser
  • Project Officer
  • Journalist
  • School and College Relations Officer
  • Junior Analyst
  • Radio Production Assistant

Find out more about Anthropology Graduate Destinations

A Student's Perspective

SOAS creates a unique atmosphere that I have never tasted before. I truly love the SOAS community, or what I termed anthropologically as ‘SOAS-ism’.

Hang Wang

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