SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

H140 Introduction to the History of South Asia

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Full Year

Pathways: South Asia, Third World.

South Asia (comprising of present-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal) has a long, enthralling history. This course, beginning with the Harappan or Indus Valley civilization, and concluding with the recent, post-colonial past, traces the main stages in the historical evolution of the region, outlines the principal historical controversies, and considers the factors that have made the region historically distinctive.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The course is intended to provide undergraduates with a foundational guide to the history of South Asia from the Indus Valley civilization to the end of the twentieth centaury, and to introduce them to the main themes and historical debates relating to that history.

It is also intended – along with other 1st year history courses – to equip them with certain basic skills appropriate to history – including individual and group history work, project research, seminar presentation and evaluation, and essay writing.

Method of assessment

 Written Exam (worth 50%), assignment 1 of 2,000 words (worth 20%) and assignment 2 of 2.500 words (worth 30%)

Suggested reading

  • Bose, S&A. Jalal. Modern South Asia, New York, 2003.
  • Khilnani, S. The Idea of India, London, 2003.
  • Metcalf, B.D, & T.R. A Concise History of India, Cambridge 2003.
  • Thepar, R. Early India, London, 2002.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules