SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

BA Social Anthropology (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment

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

Convenors

Structure

Structure

The BA Social Anthropology is a three-year degree programme. In each year students need to take compulsory and optional modules to the total value of 120 credits following the structure below.

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.

YEAR 1
Compulsory Modules

Students will take the following compulsory modules (90 credits in total):

Module Code Credits Term
101A Anthropology in and of the World: An Introduction (A) 155901506 15 Term 1
102A SOAS Anthropology Now (A) 155901508 15 Term 1
201 World Social Theory: Imagining Society from 500BCE to 1900 155901489 15 Term 1
101B Anthropology in and of the World: An Introduction (B) 155901507 15 Term 2
102B SOAS Anthropology Now (B) 155901509 15 Term 2
202 Social Theory, Reform and Revolution in an Age of Extremes 155901490 15 Term 2

Open Options

Students are entitled to select up to 30 credits of Open Option modules per year.

YEAR 2

Credits must be taken in the following combination; 

Compulsory Modules

Students will take the following modules (45 credits in total):

Module Code Credits Term
211 Anthropology Through History 155901512 15 Term 1
212 Theory in Anthropology 155901513 15 Term 2
213 Ethnography in Practice 151802086 15 Term 2
Guided Options

Students will take 45 credits from list below:

Module Code Credits Term
301 Regional Perspectives in Anthropology (I) 155901515 15 Term 1
302 Regional Perspectives in Anthropology (II) 155901516 15 Term 2
351 Migration, Borders and Space: Decolonial Approaches 151802052 15 Term 1
352 Anthropology of 'Race', Gender and Sexuality 151802088 15 Term 2
353 Anthropology and Climate Change 151802087 15 Term 2

Students will take a maximum of 30 credits from Year 2 Open Options: Options Language Open Options | Non-language Open Options

YEAR 3

Credits must be taken in the following combination;

Compulsory Modules

Students will take the following modules (30 credits in total):

Module Code Credits Term
401A Concepts in Anthropology (A) 155901517 15 Term 1
401B Concepts in Anthropology (B) 155901518 15 Term 2
Guided Options

Students will take 60 credits from list below:

Module Code Credits Term
301 Regional Perspectives in Anthropology (I) 155901515 15 Term 1
302 Regional Perspectives in Anthropology (II) 155901516 15 Term 2
351 Migration, Borders and Space: Decolonial Approaches 151802052 15 Term 1
352 Anthropology of 'Race', Gender and Sexuality 151802088 15 Term 2
353 Anthropology and Climate Change 151802087 15 Term 2
451 Medical Anthropology: An Introduction 155901519 15 Term 2
453 Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 151802017 15 Term 1
490 Special Topics in Contemporary Anthropology 155901520 15 Term 2
498A/B Directed Readings in Anthropology (T1/T2) Term 1 (A): 155800099 | Term 2 (B): 155800100 15 credits
499 Independent Study Project in Anthropology 151802039 30 Full Year

Students will take a maximum of 30 credits from Year 3 Open Options: Options Language Open Options | Non-language Open Options

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).

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.

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.

Employment

Employment

Students from SOAS’ Department of Anthropology and Sociology develop an in-depth understanding of the world. Employers value our graduates’ cultural awareness and global perspective, as well as their skills in analysis, data interpretation and problem-solving.

Recent Department of Anthropology and Sociology graduates have been hired by:

  • Allen & Overy
  • BBC
  • British Council
  • Deloitte
  • Hackney Migrant Centre
  • IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development)
  • IOM- UN Migration
  • Media 52
  • New York Times
  • Social Mobility Foundation
  • The Week
  • UNICEF
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • World Bank Group

Find out about our Careers Service.

A Student's Perspective

I can say without a doubt that engaging with anthropological study at SOAS has a universal practical application that is becoming increasingly valuable in our interconnected world. I cannot recommend it enough.

Brendan Harvey

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