SOAS University of London

Foundation Years

The World from SOAS

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Term 1

This thematic module introduces students to key issues and debates in the contemporary world, such as inequality, diversity and pluralism, migration, human rights, global justice, environmental change and democracy. The module develops critical thinking by challenging students to re-assess their pre-existing views and encouraging them to think critically about areas of the world in which SOAS specialises. During the course of the module, students consider all of SOAS’s specialist regions and study the significance in different regions of the global themes and issues discussed.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of major global themes and debates
  2. Critically reflect on those themes and debates, displaying an awareness of different ideas and perspectives
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of each of SOAS’s specialist regions
  4. Produce short independent analyses in written and oral form

Scope and syllabus

Themes and issues of contemporary global significance, such as:

  • Globalisation
  • Inequality
  • Diversity and pluralism
  • Religion and secularism
  • Migration
  • Human rights
  • Global justice
  • Environmental change
  • Democracy and populism
  • Urbanisation
  • Nationalism
  • Colonialism
  • Peace and war
  • Revolutions

Method of assessment

  • Discussion paper (40%) – 1,000 words
  • Exam (50%)
  • Seminar participation (10%)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules