SOAS University of London

Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

BA East Asian Studies and... (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


Overview and entry requirements

The BA East Asian Studies combined degree programme blends the study of both East Asian languages and East Asia-related subjects in various disciplines. Compared to the existing single-subject BA East Asian Studies degree, there is less emphasis on language learning. Compared to the existing 2-degree BA Chinese/Japanese/Korean and… (combined) degree, there is more space to study East Asia-related courses in a range of disciplines. This programme also differs from the existing offerings in that there is no year abroad included.

Through the course of the three years, students take modules in modern East Asian languages at the appropriate level. They can start as complete beginners, or they can start from higher levels. Progression through a total of four levels is offered, whereas for those who exceed the highest level, language-based courses in literature and film, as well as a language-based dissertation, are available. The programme also offers courses in regional languages.

See Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Combine East Asian Studies with other subjects

The nature of the East Asian Studies combined honours degree enables you to develop a specialist niche for yourself by studying another subject such as Development Studies, Economics, History, History of Art, International Relations, Law, Linguistics, Music, Politics, Social Anthropology, World Philosophies.

Why study East Asian Studies combined degree at SOAS

  • SOAS is ranked 8th in the UK in the 2021 Complete University Guide for East Asian Studies and UK Top 10 in 2021 QS World Universities Rankings
  • SOAS is home to the largest concentration of East Asian specialists in Europe
  • study East Asia-related subjects without a strong emphasis on language, or work at an advanced language level within a more traditional framework, as it is offered at most other universities. 
  • flexibly structure your programme using our central options modules to take advantage of the expertise of our other departments

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


Entry requirements

  • Interview Policy: Candidates with non-standard qualifications may be invited for interview.
A Levels:
35 (665 at HL)

View alternative entry requirements


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

4 years


Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.


May be combined with:

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data



Students take a total of 120 credits each year.

  • Year 1: students normally take 30 credits of language and 30 credits of culture/history module. The remaining 60 credits are taken in the second subject.
  • Year 2: students take a further 15 credits of compulsory culture module.  The remaining 45 credits can be taken from the lists of culture/history/language modules. The remaining 60 credits are taken in the second subject.
  • Year 3: students take a further 15 credits of compulsory culture module. The remaining 45 credits can be taken from the lists of culture/history/language modules. The remaining 60 credits are taken in the second subject.


Year 1

Students will take 60 East Asian Studies credits

Option 1

Students can take a 60 credit module from the Language module list below.
NB Students may take the 60 credit language in year 1 only. This will enable them to transfer to the language programme and go on a year abroad.


Option 2

Students will take modules to the value of 30 credits form the Language module list below 


Module Code Credits Term
East Asian Civilizations 155901464 30 Full Year


Second Subject

Students will choose modules to the value of 60 credits from their second subject

Year 2

Students will take the compulsory module:

Module Code Credits Term
East Asian Imperialisms 155901481 15 Term 2

Students must take modules to the total value of 45 credits from List A / Language List below.


Second Subject

Students will choose modules to the value of 60 credits from their second subject

Year 3

Students must take modules to the total value of 45 from credits from List B and/or Language list below.


Module Code Credits Term
History and Memory in East Asian Cultures 155903015 15 Term 2


Second Subject

Students will choose modules to the value of 60 credits from their second subject

List A Guided option modules
Module Code Credits Term
Contemporary Chinese Society 155901478 15 Term 1
Contemporary Japanese Society 155901479 15 Term 1
Contemporary Korean Society 155901480 15 Term 1
List B Guided option modules
Module Code Credits Term
Japanese Cinema (UG) 155901476 15 Term 2
Chinese Cinema (UG) 155901474 15 Term 2
Korean Cinema (UG) 155901477 15 Term 1
Self, City and Sexuality in Modern Japanese Literature 1868 to present day 155901426 15 Term 1
Writing from the Margins: Minority and "Outsider" Texts in Modern Japanese Literature 155901427 15 Term 2
Murderers, Outlaws, and Magistrates in Traditional Chinese Literature 155901459 15 Term 2
Modern Chinese Literary Texts 155903013 15 Term 1
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature and Film 155901390 15 Term 1
Literature, Politics and National Identity in Modern China 155903017 15 Term 1
Modernity, Nation and Identity in Japanese History (1853-1945) 155900882 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Taiwan 155903020 15 Term 1
The Other Korea: North Korea since 1945 155901356 15 Term 2
Language Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Ch 100: Elementary Chinese 155901440 60 Full Year
Chinese 1 A 155906022 15 Term 1
Chinese 1 B 155906023 15 Term 2
Chinese 2 155900829 30 Full Year
Chinese 3 155901097 30 Full Year
Chinese 4 155901144 30 Full Year
Chinese 5 155901409 15 Term 1
Ch 200 Intermediate Chinese 155901467 30 Full Year
Ch 400: Advanced Chinese 155901468 15 Term 1
Ch 401: Chinese-English Translation 155901469 15 Term 2
Chinese for Business 155903010 15 Term 2
J100: Elementary Japanese 155901195 60 Full Year
Japanese 1 A 155906026 15 Term 1
Japanese 1 B 155906027 15 Term 2
Japanese 2 155900875 30 Full Year
Japanese 3 155901345 30 Full Year
Japanese 4 155901346 30 Full Year
J400: Advanced Japanese 155901470 15 Term 1
J401: Japanese-English Translation 155901471 15 Term 2
K100: Elementary Korean 155900842 60 Full Year
Korean 1 A 155906028 15 Term 1
Korean 1 B 155906029 15 Term 2
Korean 2 155901404 30 Full Year
Korean 3 155900843 30 Full Year
K200 Intermediate Korean 155901472 30 Full Year
K400: Advanced Korean 155901473 15 Term 1
K401: Korean-English Translation 155901414 15 Term 2
Tibetan (Modern) 1 A 155906024 15 Term 1
Tibetan (Modern) 1 B 155906025 15 Term 2

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

All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, in modules of 60, 30 or 15 credits. They are taught over 10 or 20 weeks. The programme structure shows which modules are taught over one term or the full year. It also shows which modules are compulsory and which are optional.

Contact hours

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others.

More information is on the page for each module.

Year abroad

The BA East Asian Studies and... (combined) degree programme does not have a year abroad.

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.



As a graduate who specialised in East Asia, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a study of language in combination with literature, development studies, economics, geography, history, history of art and archaeology, law, linguistics, music, politics, social anthropology or religion.

Skills gained

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include:

  • written and oral communication skills
  • attention to detail
  • analytical and problem-solving skills
  • ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.


Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including: 

  • Allen and Overy LLP
  • BBC
  • China-Eu School of Law
  • ChinaContact Consulting
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Dah Sing Financial Holdings Ltd
  • Embassy of Belgium
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • German Embassy Tokyo
  • Goldman Sachs International
  • Halo Associates (Asia) Ltd
  • Independent Power Corporation PLC
  • Oxford University Press
  • SiChuan WenJun Spirits Company
  • The International Herald Tribune
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • United Nations Population Fund
  • University of Cambridge
  • Washington State House of Representatives


The types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

  • Editor and Translator
  • Under Secretary
  • Director of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Solicitor
  • Medical Secretary
  • Press Attache
  • Regional Chief of Photography
  • Project Manager
  • Economic Counsellor
  • Lecturer
  • Professional Translator
  • Director of Research for China
  • Social Worker
  • Head, Asia Programme
  • Photographer
  • Professorial Research Associate
  • Senior Lecturer in Chinese Archaeology
  • Energy Consultant
  • Independent Columnist and Reporter
  • Art Curator

Find out more on our Careers Service website

A Student's Perspective

Being a city girl, I thought life in London wouldn’t be too much of a culture shock but it actually was! London is very different from cities like New York or Tokyo. It really is one of a kind.

Hannah Kang, Georgetown University

Find out more