SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

BA Social Anthropology (2020 entry)

Select year of entry: 2020 2019

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

Overview

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 6 in the UK and 16 in the world in the 2019 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

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 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

Convenors

Structure

Programme Overview

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

All students are expected to take the core and compulsory modules.

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

Programme Detail

YEAR ONE
CORE MODULES

All students are expected to take the following core modules, totalled at 60 credits.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Introduction to Social Anthropology 151801001 30 Full Year
AND
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Social Theory 151801003 30 Full Year
COMPULSORY MODULES

All students must take the compulsory module worth 30 credits.

AND
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Voice and Place 151802040 30 Full Year
AND
Open Option

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

YEAR TWO
CORE MODULES

All students are expected to take the following core modules:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Theory in Anthropology 151802033 30 Full Year
Ethnography in Practice 151802086 15 Term 1
AND
Compulsory Module

Choose from List of Ethnography of a Selected Region module(s) below to the value of 30 credits

AND
Guided Option

Choose from Option List Year 2 module(s) below to the value of 15 credits

AND

Choose from Option List Year 2 module(s) below to the value of 30 credits

OR
Open Option

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

YEAR THREE
Guided Option

All students are expected to take the following core module worth 45 credits.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Contemporary Trends in the Study of Society 151802041 45 Full Year
AND
Guided Option

Choose from Option List Year 3 module(s) below to the value of 45 credits

AND

Choose from Option List Year 3 module(s) below to the value of 30 credits

OR
Open Option

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

Ethnography of a Selected Region Modules
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Ethnography of China 151802079 15 Term 2
Ethnography of Japan 151802081 15 Term 1
Ethnography of South Asia 151802083 15 Term 2
Ethnography of South East Asia 151802084 15 Term 1
Ethnography of Near and Middle East 151802082 15 Term 2
Ethnography of East Africa 151802080 15 Term 1
Ethnography of West Africa 151802085 15 Term 2
Year 2 Option List
Module Code Credits Term Availability
African and Asian Cultures in the Diaspora 151802052 15 Term 1
Anthropology and Film 151802026 15 Term 1
Anthropology of Globalisation 151802077 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Anthropology of Human Rights 151802075 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
New Media and Society 151802070 15 Term 2
New Religious Movements in Africa, Asia and the Middle East 151802073 15 Term 1
Introduction to Legal Anthropology 151802076 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 151802017 15 Term 1
The Anthropology of African and Asian Communities in British Society 151802035 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
The Anthropology of Gender 151802031 15 Term 2
Year 3 Option List
Module Code Credits Term Availability
African and Asian Cultures in the Diaspora 151802052 15 Term 1
Anthropology and Film 151802026 15 Term 1
Anthropology of Globalisation 151802077 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Anthropology of Human Rights 151802075 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Ethnography of China 151802079 15 Term 2
Ethnography of Japan 151802081 15 Term 1
Ethnography of South Asia 151802083 15 Term 2
Ethnography of South East Asia 151802084 15 Term 1
Ethnography of Near and Middle East 151802082 15 Term 2
Ethnography of East Africa 151802080 15 Term 1
Ethnography of West Africa 151802085 15 Term 2
New Media and Society 151802070 15 Term 2
New Religious Movements in Africa, Asia and the Middle East 151802073 15 Term 1
Advanced Ethnographic Study 151802022 15 Full Year
Independent Study Project in Social Anthropology 151802039 30 Full Year
Introduction to Legal Anthropology 151802076 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 151802017 15 Term 1
The Anthropology of African and Asian Communities in British Society 151802035 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
The Anthropology of Gender 151802031 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

Teaching & Learning

Modules

In the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, most undergraduate modules have a one or two-hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week. Lectures and seminars are often taken by different teachers to provide a variety of angles on the subject.  The majority of the student’s time will be through their own independent study. Students become more active in class through their reading and essay-writing and should greatly enhance their participation in discussion groups.

The Independent Study Project (ISP)

These are taken by final-year students only, its aim is to provide an opportunity for students to conduct original historical research on their own initiative, to engage in in-depth analysis of particular subjects and to use a range of primary historical sources. It is assessed by a single 10,000-word dissertation (including notes but excluding bibliography).

Pre Entry Reading

Pre-Entry Reading:

  • Balzani, Marzia and Niko Besnier, An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology, Routledge, 2016
  • Delaney, Carol, An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology, Blackwell, 2004
  • Eriksen, Thomas H., Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology, Pluto Press, 2015
  • Herzfeld, Michael, Anthropology, Theoretical Practice in Culture and Society, Blackwell, 2001
  • Kuklick, Henrika, A New History of Anthropology, Blackwell, 2008
  • Kuper, Adam, Anthropology and Anthropologists, Routledge, 1996
  • Monaghan, John, and Peter Just, Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2000
  • Moore, Henrietta L. (ed.), Anthropological Theory Today, Polity Press, 1999.J La Fontaine, What is Social Anthropology
  • Edward Arnold, 1985 - An introduction explaining the scope, methods and aims of social anthropology and clears up some popular misconceptions, as well as providing a practical guide to available courses and the kinds of jobs open to a qualified anthropologist
  • M Carrithers, Why humans have cultures: explaining anthropology and social diversity, OUP, 1992
  • A Cheater, Social Anthropology: an alternative introduction, Routledge 1989, 2nd edition
  • E R Leach, Social Anthropology, Fontana Masterguides (1976) - A personalised introduction, giving one anthropologist's view of his subject and leading the reader through theory; humanity and animality; kinship; debt; power relationships; marriage and alliances thus formed; cosmology
  • I M Lewis, Social Anthropology in Perspective, Penguin 1976, 2nd edition - Clear introduction to modern social anthropology as a comparative study of the beliefs and customs of alien societies as well as those more familiar native communities. The underlying theme is the social setting and cultural expression of identity.
  • D Pocock, Understanding Social Anthropology, Teach Yourself Series, Hodder and Stoughton, 1975 - This book introduces anthropology by promoting an awareness of the assumed notions that each one of us has about social values, and encouraging a consciousness and questioning of such values through the use of anthropological approaches and data.
  • J Hendry, An Introduction to Social Anthropology: other people's worlds, Macmillan 1999 - A good general introduction with useful explanation of jargon and clarification of many of the subject's main themes.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

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. 

Programme Full-Time
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
BA, BSc, LLB £9,250 £17,750
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,385 £8,875
Scholarships
Undergraduate Research Awards

Application Deadline: 2019-04-30 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

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 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

Graduates go on to work in areas such as information and technology, government service, teaching or work in the media and tourism. Others are interested in specialising further through postgraduate studies.

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

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

Apply

Find out more

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