Our 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 Anthropology at SOAS is for you.
See our Virtual Classroom and taster lectures.
Why study Social Anthropology at SOAS
- our Anthropology Department is ranked 5th in the UK and 13th in the world in the 2020 QS World University Rankings
- we 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
- you will be joining our thriving community of alumni and academics who have an impact on the world outside of academia
- you will be able to 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.
Programme Code: L600 BA/SA
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- 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:
- 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
- 3 years - single honours degree
- UK fees:
- Overseas fees:
Fees for 2021/22 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
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.
All students are expected to complete the following compulsory modules, totaling 90 credits.
Choose related Language or Non-Language Open Option modules to a total of 30 credits
All students are expected to complete the following compulsory modules, totaling 45 credits.
Choose module(s) from Year 2 Option List below to a total of 45 credits
Choose a total of 30 further credits from the Year 2 Option List or any related Language or Non-Language Open Option modules
All students are expected to complete the following compulsory modules, totaling 45 credits.
Choose modules from Year 3 Option List below to a total of 45 credits
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
Year 3 Option List
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.
The 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
Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.
Fees for 2021/22 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year.
|BA, BSc, LLB
|BA/BSc Language Year Abroad
Application Deadline: 2020-04-30 15:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
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 include:
- 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
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. Recent graduates have found jobs at Action on Hearing Loss, British Council, Deloitte, Hackney Migrant Centre, IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), The New York Times, and the Social Mobility Foundation. Many of our graduates have their own successful start-ups.
Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including a range of NGOs, charitable and voluntary sector organisations:
- The New York Times
- British Council
- Social Mobility Foundation
- IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development)
- Action on Hearing Loss
- Hackney Migrant Centre
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
- 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’.