From Shakespeare to Rushdie, and Anglo-Saxon to Afrofuturism, this unique programme engages critically with texts and writers from across the globe, creating a student experience that is fresh and exciting.
Why study BA English at SOAS?
- English at SOAS is the first degree of its kind in the UK.
- We adopt a global perspective, which means you will be introduced to a diverse range of authors and texts, not typically explored on more traditional BA English degrees.
- You will develop both your critical thinking and reading, which will transform your ability to engage with (and enjoy) literary texts.
- Many novelists, poets, journalists, theatre directors and performers have studied at SOAS: Jung Chang, Zeinab Badawi, Saira Shah, Freya Stark, MK Asante, Ishtiyaq Shukri, Willis Barnstone, among others. Honorary graduates and fellows also include award-winning writers J. M. Coetzee, Ben Okri, Wole Soyinka, Imtiaz Dharker, Meera Syal, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
- You will be able to choose from a broad range of optional modules – so you can tailor your degree to your own interests and aspirations.
- Based in Bloomsbury, London’s famous Knowledge Quarter, you will have easy access to some of the finest bookstores the capital has to offer - not to mention the British Library, a mere 10 minutes walk from our campus.
What will you study?
What will you study?
Here at SOAS, we are interested in the ways in which English - in all its variations - has long been in dialogue with its neighbours in the northern hemisphere and across the Global South. Our vision is an interrogative one - cutting edge, deeply committed to interdisciplinary research and teaching across the humanities, and engaged with metropolitan, cosmopolitan and island histories.
To that effect, you will be introduced to:
- an exciting cross-section of twentieth- and twenty-first-century reimaginings of Shakespeare's plays, from global popular cinema to prize-winning novels and experimental theatre.
- The compelling world of critical theory and the overlapping networks of ideas that have radicalised ways of reading, opening up literary studies to texts of all kinds
- The development of the English language novel, from its origins in fictional diaries, letters, and oral accounts, through the emergence of major genres such as the social problem novel and detective fiction, to contemporary graphic novels.
See the English ‘Introductory Reading List’ blog for suggested key readings across a range of modules on the degree.
SOAS is a place you come to grow: as a person, writer and thinker. The Fictions of History class was a particularly transformative experience for me. As a bilingual, bicultural and interdisciplinary student it allowed me to explore not only the world but also myself. Henk van Woerden, Caryl Phillips, Alexandra Fuller... these are all authors I have come to love and would not have discovered without SOAS. And the best bit? I have not stopped exploring since.
Kalle Oskari Mattila, BSc International Management (China), Class of 2013
Community Manager, Penguin Books UK
Nonfiction Creative Writing MFA, Columbia University in the City of New York
If you are interested in applying for BA English, please see Undergraduate admissions pages or contact the admission tutor for English, Dr Sarah Pett.
Programme Code: Q300 BA/ENG
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- Subjects Preferred: English Language or English Literature A level or IB equivalent is required
- 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
Please note that modules need a minimum number of students to run. Should the module not run, students will be notified of an alternative.
The programme consists of compulsory modules on key thematic concerns but with the flexibility to choose modules on either literature, language, linguistics, or a combination of them. Students will also be able to combine English with an Asian or African language and/or region and take courses on cinema, development, migration, diaspora, etc.
Students must take all compulsory modules in order to proceed to the next year
Optional Modules - Year 1
Take guided optional modules to the value of 60 credits from List A
Take 30 credits from List A and 30 credits from the Language Open Options List or Non-Language Open Option List.
Compulsory Modules - Year 2
Choose 30 credits from the Year 2 English modules below
Guided and Open Options
Choose up to 30 credits of guided options from Year 2 English modules and the remainder 30 credits from List B (Regional Literature) or List C (Arts and Film).
Choose 30 credits of guided options from Year 2 English modules or from List B (Regional Literature) or List C (Arts and Film) and the remainder 30 credits from the Language Open Options list or the Non-Language Open Options list.
Choose 30 credits from the Year 3 English modules below
Guided and Open Options
Choose 60 credits of guided options from Year 3 English modules or List B (Regional Literature) or List C (Arts and Film).
Choose 30 credits of guided options from Year 3 English modules or List B (Regional Literature) or List C (Arts and Film) and the remainder 30 credits from the Language Open Options list or the Non-Language Open Options list.
List of Optional Modules
N.B. Not all optional modules will be available every year
Year 2 & 3 - English Modules
List A - Introductory Modules
List B - Regional Literature Modules
List C - Arts and Film
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 & Learning
Why study English at SOAS?
Studying English at SOAS offers an exciting approach that brings new voices and a global discipline to our specialist institution. Building on existing strengths and expertise in literatures, languages and linguistics from around the world, English at SOAS also looks to its own location and literary heritage in the heart of Bloomsbury. From our position in the ‘North’ and particularly London, we are interested in the ways in which English - in all its variations as a field of literary study - has long been in dialogue with its neighbours in the northern hemisphere and across the Global South. Our vision is an interrogative one - cutting edge, deeply committed to interdisciplinary research and teaching across the humanities, and engaged with metropolitan, cosmopolitan and island histories. English at SOAS is truly international and the first degree of its kind in the UK.
- learn how Shakespeare's plays have influenced the world
- study literatures in English from around the globe
- analyse how English has been shaped and adapted by different cultures
You will also gain all the benefits you would expect from a high-quality English degree taught with a global dimension in a university at the forefront of international and multicultural studies.
All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, in modules of 30 or 15 credits. They are taught over 10 or 20 weeks. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
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. In the School of Arts, most undergraduate modules have a one- or two-hour lecture or seminar every week. Some, but not all, also have a 1-hour seminar or tutorial every week.
More information is on the page for each module.
A degree in English at SOAS provides you with excellent training for careers in media, journalism, publishing, creative writing, education, arts and cultural organisations, and the civil service. Graduates will also find employment in international charity, NGOs and social enterprise areas.