SOAS University of London

Foundation Years

Introduction to Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities

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

This module introduces students to the Social Science, Arts and Humanities disciplines taught in the School. Students develop an understanding of how each discipline approaches the study of major global issues such as migration, human rights, the environment and the nation-state. They consider how the disciplines relate to each other and gain an insight into the value of different disciplinary perspectives. Students are introduced to the key skills required for studying the different disciplines. The taster of each discipline that they receive helps inform their degree choice after the foundation year, while the module’s global focus provides a basis for later choices about regions and topics that students may wish to study in more detail. The different disciplines are organized into a series of broad thematic approaches focusing on History, Economics, Society, Politics and Culture.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of different Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities disciplines
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of how the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities approach the study of major global issues
  3. Employ a wide range of academic skills and techniques appropriate for UG study in the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
  4. Make an informed decision about the UG programme that they wish to go on to study

Scope and syllabus

  • What are the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities?
  • Disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity
  • Studying global themes and issues through the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
  • History 
  • Economics 
  • Society 
  • Politics
  • Culture: Language, Music, History of Art, Religion and Philosophy

Method of assessment

  • Report (20%) – 750 words
  • Short essay (30%) – 1,500 words
  • Exam (50%)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules