SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

BA Global Liberal Arts (2020 entry)

Select year of entry: 2021 2020

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Overview

The BA in Global Liberal Arts at SOAS is broad but rigorous, for highly-motivated students who wish to explore a range of subjects from arts and humanities to languages and social sciences. It provides a sophisticated understanding of the world as a whole, expert knowledge of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and the skills you need to succeed on and after your degree.

Each year you will take a module from four different tracks. Skills and methods modules teach critical thinking, project design, and research methods. The global track considers the world as a whole, while providing disciplinary training. The regional track focuses on particular parts of the world, which the fourth track complements, with the study of a language from one of these regions.

The degree is designed to give you the perspective, specialist knowledge, and skills you need to succeed in a broad range of professions. It will provide the adaptability and flexibility you need in our rapidly changing world.

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

A Levels:
AAB-ABB
IB:
35 (665 at HL)

View alternative entry requirements

BTEC: DDM

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

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU fees:
£9,250
Overseas fees:
£18,630


Fees for 2020/21 entrants. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Undergraduate Tuition Fees page

Convenors

Structure

General Structure

The programme is designed to ensure breadth and depth, allowing you to acquire expertise in a particular discipline and region, while encouraging you to place this in wider interdisciplinary and global contexts. It is also possible to explore a variety of disciplinary approaches and/or regional settings. All students will acquire the training in skills and methods they need to succeed in their chosen intellectual path.

Each year you will take a module in four different tracks:

  • the Skills and Methods track focuses on acquiring the core skills you need to succeed at university and beyond, progressing from modules on verbal and quantitative literacy in the first year, through project design and research methods in the second, to an independent research project in your final year.
  • the Global track comprises a series of modules that ask you to understand the world as a whole, providing you with a broad framework within which to place your own regions of interest. It is also possible from the second year to develop a particular disciplinary specialisation.
  • the Regional track comprises modules that focus on one of the five regions we study at SOAS - Africa, the Near and Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia - as well as modules focusing on particular countries. It is possible to focus on one region throughout your degree, or to study different regions in different years.
  • the Language track allows you to pursue the study of one of the many Asian or African languages we teach at SOAS to the intermediate level. It is possible after the first year to study linguistics or literature in translation instead of languages if preferred.

Within each track, modules are progressive and learning outcomes are cumulative, to ensure that you have the skills and knowledge you need before undertaking each module. In outline, therefore, each year will look as follows. (See the following section for further detail.)

  • Year 1: two modules on verbal and quantitative literacy; an introduction to global studies; an introductory regional module; and a language module.
  • Year 2: the project design & research methods module; an intermediate global module; an intermediate regional module; and a module of language, or of linguistics / literature in translation.
  • Year 3: the core dissertation module; an advanced global module; an advanced regional module; and a module of language, or of linguistics literature in translation.

Module Groupings

The degree draws on modules from throughout the School. The options can be found on the list of modules for the global, regional, and language tracks, which will be produced annually and is sub-divided into the lists specified above.

The programme draws on modules from throughout the School, but students should note that the availability of modules may change and that the choice of modules is subject to some restrictions. Please note the following in particular:

  • the lists of available modules are subject to change on an annual basis, due to ongoing curriculum revision by the departments concerned. Students will be advised which modules are available each year prior to registration.
  • some modules are subject to pre-requisites and other restrictions (eg approval by the module convenor). Students are advised to check individual module pages carefully, so that they can plan ahead.
  • the wide range of available modules means that there will be some timetable clashes between modules. Students are therefore advised to consider various module options at each stage of their degree.

The programme convenor and tutors will work carefully with each student to design their programme of study. At the beginning of the programme we will establish your intellectual goals and chart potential pathways. We will then consider your academic progress and future plans before making your module choices each spring.

General notes

  • The lists of optional modules below are compilations of all open options available at SOAS, as of April 2018, indicating how they fit into the programme structure of the BA Global Liberal Arts, so that students can see the full range of modules available prior to module sign-up. The list is subject to change on an annual basis, due to ongoing curriculum development by the departments concerned. 
  • Students must double-check the list of open option modules (language list | non-language list) as well as individual module pages for any pre-requisites and other restrictions on modules. Students are also strongly encouraged to contact the module convenor before signing up for an optional module to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the module and that it will meet their academic objectives.
  • Students should make sure that they are taking a full load each year (120 credits), and try to ensure that any one-term, 15-credit modules are evenly distributed between the two terms.
Module Code Credits Term
Year 1 - Students will take compulsory modules from each of the
FOUR Tracks:
SKILLS, GLOBAL, REGIONAL, LANGUAGE OR LITERATURE

Year 1

Skills Track Compulsory Module

All students take the following  module:

Module Code Credits Term
H101 Approaching History 154800292 30 Full Year
Global Track Compulsory Module 

All students take the following module
Module Code Credits Term
H102 World histories: the view from Africa and Asia 154800293 30 Full Year
Regional Track Compulsory module
Students will take 30 credits from the following modules
Module Code Credits Term
H110 Introduction to the History of Africa 154800228 15 Full Year
H120 The Confucian World 154800229 15 Full Year
H130 Introduction to the Early History of the Middle East 154800230 15 Full Year
H140 Introduction to the History of South Asia 154800231 15 Term 2
Introduction To Israeli Culture 155900947- 15
Introduction to Arabic Culture 155901205 15 Term 1
South Asian Culture 155900812 30 credits
East Asian Civilizations 155901464 30 Full Year
Language and Literature Track 
Students will take 30 credits from either language or literature modules
Literature Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Translation Theory 152900113 15 Term 1
Language, Society and Communication 152900083 15 Term 1
The novel and its others 152900108 30 Full Year
Language modules 

Please refer to LIST D BELOW

This list of Language modules will be available to students in Years 1 - 3

Year 2

SKILLS TRACK - Compulsory module

All students will take the following module

Module Code Credits Term
Philosophies of Interpretation and Understanding 158000135 30 Full Year

Global track (years 2 and 3)

Students will take 30 credits from the following modules

Anthropology

Module Code Credits Term
Anthropology and Climate Change 151802087 15 Term 2
African and Asian Diasporas. Migration, Space, Identity (UG) 151802052 15 Term 1
Economics

(Note that you must consult the convenor prior to signing up for the module on the level and type of prior economics knowledge required.)

Module Code Credits Term
Banking and Finance 153400100 30 Full Year
Econometrics 153400103 30 Full Year
International Economics 153400106 30 Full Year
Issues in Development Economics 153400124 30 Full Year
Macroeconomic Analysis 153400123 30 Full Year
Microeconomic Analysis 153400130 30 Full Year
Finance and Management

Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to accounting 151030001 15 Term 1
Principles and management of marketing 151030004 15 Term 1
Organisational Behaviour 151030025 15 Term 2
Managerial economics 151030009 15 Term 1
Gender Economics (UG) 153401001 15 Term 1
Principles of Management 151030026 30 Full Year
Quantitative and analytical techniques for managers 151030005 15 Term 2
Financial Accounting 1 151030002 15 Term 2
International marketing 1: the environment 151030010 15 Term 2
Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility 151030027 30 Full Year
Qualitative and case study research 151030011 15 Term 2
International business strategy 151030008 15 Term 1
International marketing 2: global markets 151030015 15 Term 2
International human resource management 151030018 15 Term 1
Management Accounting 2 151030007 15 Term 1
History
Module Code Credits Term
H211 Cities in History 154800301 15 Term 2
H213 Gender in History 154800303 15 Term 1
H214 Violence in History 154800304 15 Term 1
H215 Colonial curricula: empire and education at SOAS and beyond 154800309 15 Term 1
School of Arts
Module Code Credits Term
Urban Soundscapes 155800083 15 Term 2
Film Festivals and Film Curating 155902002 15 Term 2
Collecting and Collections 154900189 15 Term 2
Curating Global Arts 158100004 15 Term 1
Museums and Museology 154900178 15 Term 1
Arts, Culture and Commodification: Themes in the Global Creative and Cultural Industries 158100001 15 Term 2
Global Hip-Hop 155800084 15 Term 2
Decolonising Pop: K-Pop and Beyond 155800089 15 Term 2
The Music Business 155800053 15 Term 2
Key Concepts in Cultural Theory 158100002 15 Term 1
Law
Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Global Commodities Law 155200080 15 Term 2
Public International Law 155200083 15 Term 1
Politics
Module Code Credits Term
Decolonising World Politics 153402002 15 Term 2
Going Global: An Introduction to International Migration 153400088 15 Term 2
Politics of Nationalism 153400057 15 Term 1
Politics of development 153400042 15 Term 2
Politics of the World Economy 153400083 15 Term 2
Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
Module Code Credits Term
Black Urban Studies 151230001 15 Term 1
Decolonising Otherness 152900120 15 Term 2
Issues in gender and development 151010021 15 Term 1
Comparative Ethics 158000199 15 Term 1
Death and the Meaning of Life 158000172 30 Full Year
Metaphysics in Comparative Perspective 158000198 15 Term 2
R490 Zoroastrianism in the Ancient and Modern Worlds 158000029 30 Full Year
Development Studies
Module Code Credits Term
Issues in Borders and Development 151010028 15 Term 1
The Economics of the Environment 153400136 15 Term 2
Development from Below 151010022 30 Full Year
Corporate governance 151030017 15 Term 2
Financial strategy 151030012 15 Term 1

Regional Track (years 2 and 3)

Students will take 30 credits from the following modules
Module Code Credits Term
African Philosophy 155901397 15 Term 2
Ethnography of East Africa 151802080 15 Term 2
Perspectives on African experience 155900933 30 Term 1
Religions & Philosophies
Module Code Credits Term
H270 Culture and Society in African History, 1900 to the present 154800244 15 Term 1
Atlantic Africa: (P)Layers of Mediation in African Popular Music (UG) 155800095 15 Term 2
The World of Cuban Music 155800058 15 Term 1
International Relations of Africa 153400090 30 Full Year
The state and politics in Africa 153400064 15 Term 1
Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Global Liberal Arts 154800307 30 Full Year
Zionism: Critical Perspectives (UG) 155905006 15 Term 2
Development Studies
Module Code Credits Term
Ethnography of Near and Middle East 151802082 15 Term 1
H248 Nationalism and Revolution in the Modern Middle East, 1914-1979 154800227 15 Term 2
H295 - Southern Africa to 1910: colonial rule and social change 154800318 15 Term 1
H296 From Courtesans to Suffragettes: Women in Chinese History, 1600s-1910s 154800320 15 Term 2
H337 Histories of Partition: India and Pakistan 1947 (I) 154800282 30 Full Year
H343 Reform, Resistance and Revolution: the Ottoman Empire 1876-1909 (I) 154800197 30 Full Year
Islamic Art Theories and Aesthetics 154900205 15 Term 2
Ottoman Art and Architecture (14th-17th centuries) 154900185 15 Term 1
Finance and Management

Module Code Credits Term
International Relations of the Middle East 153400081 30 Full Year
Government and politics of the Middle East 153400060 30 Full Year
Islam in Britain 154800312 15 Term 2
R451 Jewish Identity from Ancient to Modern Times 158000168 15 Term 2
Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
Module Code Credits Term
Contemporary Issues in the Middle Eastern and North African Economies 151030019 15 Term 1
Finance in the Middle East and North Africa 151030022 15 Term 2
Finance and Management

Module Code Credits Term
Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa 1 155905000 15 Term 1
Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa 2 155905001 15 Term 2
Jerusalem: City in Conflict (UG) 155905003 15 Term 1
H236 State and Society in Mughal India 154800286 15 Term 2
Hindu Art in Medieval India 154900162 15 Term 1
Law and Society in South Asia 155200032 30 Full Year
Song, Voice, and Body in Indian Music 155800093 15 Term 2
Politics
Module Code Credits Term
Government and politics of South Asia 153400020 30 Full Year
International Relations of South Asia 153400082 15 Term 1
Ancient and Medieval Indian Philosophy 158000098 15 Term 2

Anthropology

Module Code Credits Term
Imagining Pakistan: Culture, Politics, Gender 155906003 15 Term 1
History and Memory in East Asian Cultures 155903015 15 Term 2
Year 2 or 3
Module Code Credits Term
Culture and Society of Taiwan 155903020 15 Term 1
Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
Module Code Credits Term
Japan and Korea
Module Code Credits Term
Cool Japan: Manga, Anime, Sushi 155901416 15 Term 2
Identity and social relations in Japanese 155901418 15 Term 1
Year 2 or 3
Module Code Credits Term
Development Studies
Module Code Credits Term
School of Arts
Module Code Credits Term
Visual Culture of Early-Modern Japan 154900120 30 Full Year
Government and politics of China 153400071 30 Full Year
Religions and Philosophies
Module Code Credits Term
Ancient and Medieval Indian Philosophy 158000098 15 Term 2
Japanese Buddhist Thought 154800315 15 Term 1
R471 Taoism: the Great Tradition 158000181 15 Term 2
Islamic Philosophy 155901338 15 Term 2
China and World Development 153401003 15 Term 2
Economic development in the Asia Pacific region 153400133 15 Term 1
Contemporary issues in the Chinese economy 151030014 15 Term 1
Contemporary Issues in the Japanese and Korean Economies 151030020 15 Term 1
Finance in China 151030013 15 Term 2
Finance in Japan and Korea 151030021 15 Term 2
The Other Korea: North Korea since 1945 155901356 15 Term 2
Japanese New Wave Cinema: Youth, Sex and Protest 155904001 15 Term 2
Anthropology and Film 151802026 15 Term 1
Music of the Jews of Arab Lands 155800074 15 Term 1
Cultural Studies of Mainland South East Asia 155907003 15 Term 1
Cultural Studies of Island South East Asia 155907002 15 Term 2
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 15 Term 2

List D. Language track

  • Students are encouraged to pursue language study throughout the programme. In most cases, students are advised to study a single language for all three years – more advanced modules than those listed below may be available. Students wishing to study more than one language should consult the programme convenor.
      
  • Some language modules have prerequisites, which can be found on the module's web page. Students are required to take a placement test before embarking on a language module at a level higher than beginner.  Some 'open option' only modules will only run if there are at least five students registered by the start of the academic year.
      
  • Students who find first-year language study difficult may want to switch to modules studying linguistics or literature in translation (list D2 or D3).  If they choose a module from list D3, they must restrict their regional options in years 2 and 3 to list C, above. Those students wishing to discontinue language study after the first year should first consult the programme convenor.
Module Code Credits Term
Swahili 1 B 155906045 15 Term 2
Swahili 2a Intermediate 155900986 30 Full Year
Yoruba 1 A 155906038 15 Term 1
Yoruba 1 B 155906039 15 Term 2
Zulu 1 A 155906042 15 Term 1
Zulu 1 B 155906043 15 Term 2
China and Inner Asia
Module Code Credits Term
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
Chinese for Business 155903010 15 Term 2
Japan and Korea
Module Code Credits Term
Japanese 1 A 155906026 15 Term 1
Japanese 1 B 155906027 15 Term 2
Japanese 2 155900875 30 Full Year
Korean 1 A 155906028 15 Term 1
Korean 1 B 155906029 15 Term 2
Korean 2 155901404 30 Full Year

Anthropology

Module Code Credits Term
Hindi Language 1 A 155906056 15 Term 1
Linguistics
Module Code Credits Term
Hindi Language 1 B 155906057 15 Term 2
Hindi Language 2 155901183 30 Full Year
Hindi Language 3 155901269 30 Full Year
Sanskrit Language 1 A 155906064 15 Term 1
Sanskrit Language 1 B 155906065 15 Term 2
Sanskrit Language 2 155901304 30 Full Year
Urdu Language 1 A 155906058 15 Term 1
Urdu Language 1 B 155906059 15 Term 2
South East Asia
Module Code Credits Term
Thai Language 2 155901367 30 Full Year
Thai Language 4 155901357 30 Full Year
Vietnamese Language 1 A 155906068 15 Term 1
Empire and the Postcolonial: Race Genders, Sexualities 152900104 15 Term 2
Contemporary African literature 155900839 15 Term 1
Realism and Magical Realism in the African Novel 155902005 15 Term 1
Sci-fi and Afrofuturism in the African Novel 155902006 15 Term 2
Japanese Traditional Drama 155901422 15 Term 1
South East Asia
Module Code Credits Term
Trajectories of Modernity in Korean Literature 155901390 15 Term 1
Writing South Asia 155900927 15 Term 1
English Literatures of South East Asia 155901410 15 Term 1
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asian Literatures in Translation 155901316 15 Term 2
Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 151802017 15 Term 1

Programme Specification

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

Teaching and Learning

The BA Global Liberal Arts is distinguished in that its core modules are taught seminar-style, in a two-hour bloc, to enable a focus on discussion and application of the skills and methods in question. There are also no written exams in these modules. They are assessed instead exclusively through coursework, which includes peer review and, in the second year, a group project.

The teaching methods in the other modules will vary, depending on the subject matter and level of the module, as well as the number of students in the class. Language modules are taught mostly in small tutorial groups. Most modules in the global and regional tracks will be taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials, usually one hour a week of each. Some modules are less strictly divided between lecture and tutorial and may be taught seminar-style. Students are advised to consult individual module pages for further detail.

Assessment in the global, regional, and language tracks can take a variety of forms, again depending on the module. Most modules use a balance of coursework and written exams. Language modules tend to make use of oral assessment. Some non-language modules can also require oral presentations and other non-written forms of assessment.

 Learning Resources.

The 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.

The School makes extensive use of Moodle, an online learning environment, which allows us to distribute electronic materials, facilitate discussions et al. The School also has language laboratory facilities for formal teaching and self-study.

Pre Entry Reading

Given the nature of the degree, it is not possible to suggest readings that will introduce the full range of subjects available during your three years. The following are only starting-points, therefore.

For introductions to the liberal arts:
  • Fareed Zakaria. In Defense of a Liberal Education. 2015.
  • Jennifer M. Shepard. The Harvard Sampler: Liberal Education for the Twenty-First Century. 2011.
For introductions to the world and its history:
  • Robert Marks. The Origins of the Modern World. 2015, 2006, 2002.
  • Manfred Steger. Globalization: A Very Short Introduction. 2013.
And for introductions to the different regions we study at SOAS:
  • April A. Gordon and Donald A. Gordon. Understanding Contemporary Africa. 2013 et al.
  • Roy Richard Grinker and Christopher B. Steiner. Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation. 2010 et al.
  • John Iliffe, Africans: The History of a Continent. 2007 et al.
  • William L. Cleveland. A History of the Modern Middle East. 2009 et al.
  • Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples. 2005 et al.
  • Albert Hourani, et al. The Modern Middle East: A Reader. 2004 et al.
  • Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal. Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy. 2011.
  • Barbara D. Metcalf and Thomas R. Metcalf, A Concise History of India. 2003
  • John Talbot. India and Pakistan. 2000
  • Craig Lockard. Southeast Asia in World History. 2009.
  • N. Owen. The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia. 2005.
  • M.C. Ricklefs et al. A New History of Southeast Asia. 2010.
  • Kent E. Calder and Ming Ye. The Making of Northeast Asia. 2010.
  • Warren Cohen. East Asia at the Centre. 2000.
  • Charles Holcombe, A History of East Asia. 2010.

 

Fees and funding

Employment

The programme is designed to give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in a broad range of professions, across the public and private sectors. Employers are increasingly asking for evidence of the adaptability and flexibility needed in the rapidly changing world of work, which the interdisciplinary nature of this programme will provide. Graduates will find a wide range of professions and opportunities open to them, including business, charities, the civil service, consultancy, the creative industries, education, finance, government, the heritage sector, journalism, law, PR and marketing, and publishing. The degree will also provide a strong foundation for those wishing to pursue further study at postgraduate level.

Graduates from the SOAS History Department have gone on to work for a wide range of organisations, including the following. Given that the BA Global Liberal Arts allows you to take modules from throughout the School, you may want to look at other department and programme pages to see the full range of opportunities available to SOAS graduates

Graduates from the SOAS History Department have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

  • Embassy of Qatar, Cultural Attache's Office
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • Social Action for Health
  • Abner Stein Literary Agency
  • Salusbury World Refugee Centre
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Bunkyo Gakuin University
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Cyprus
  • HSBC
  • Teenage Cancer Trust
  • UK Government Stabilisation Unit
  • Oriental and African Strategic Investment Services Limited
  • KPMG
  • Prisoners of Conscience
  • British Library
  • Amnesty International
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • University of Oxford
  • Freshfields
  • Natural History Museum
    Thai Government
  • Public Policy Exchange
  • Global Philanthropic
  • UNESCO
  • British Broadcasting Corporation

Graduates have assumed various roles, including:

  • Analyst
  • Barrister
  • Chief Risk Officer
  • Civil Servant
  • Consultant, IT Practice
  • Deployments Officer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Head of Operations
  • Lecturer
  • Playwright
  • Professional Researcher
  • Programme Developer for Community Learning
  • Project Manager
  • Regional Social Action Coordinator
  • Research And Development Executive
  • Risk Research Analyst
  • Senior Consultant
  • Teacher
  • UNESCO Intern

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

 

 

A Student's Perspective

Doing History at SOAS is incomparable because of its specialised courses. The lecturers are leading in their fields and their enthusiasm, positivity and passion is something I will never forget.

Ameera Layla

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