SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

BA History and ... (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

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Overview and entry requirements

The BA History Combined Honours Degree combines History with another discipline or language and takes 3 or 4 years depending on the subject involved.

From the Crusades to the contemporary Middle East; the Mughal Empire to Gandhi; slavery to Muslim societies in West Africa, History at SOAS offers its students a unique window on the world in order to develop your understanding of the fascinating histories relating to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Students will also engage in subject matters ranging from economics, religion and culture to frontiers, cities, and gender. The two-subject degree additionally allows you to create a specialist niche for yourself within a specific regional, cultural or disciplinary context.

See our School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Why study History Combined Honours at SOAS

  • for history we are 11th in the UK (QS World University Rankings 2021)
    45th in the World (QS World University Rankings 2021)
  • allows you to develop a specialist niche alongside your History degree by utilising the global expertise of one of our other departments
  • our unrivalled focus in the study of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East will help you shape a more critical understanding of history
  • develop an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the history of Africa and Asia
  • our academic staff are African and Asian history specialists
  • we are specialists in the delivery of languages. Your command of a language from SOAS will set you apart from graduates of other universities


Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • A Levels:
    Contextualised offer:

    Please see our 'undergraduate entry requirements' page for international, alternative and subject specific entry requirements.

Featured events

3 or 4 years

Fees 2021/22

Fees for 2021/22 entrants per academic year

UK fees:
Overseas fees:

Please note that fees go up each year. Further details see 'Fees and funding' (tab on this page) or the Registry's undergraduate tuition fees page.


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


May be combined with:

+ 4-year degree with (compulsory) one year abroad
++ 3 or 4-year degree with option of one year abroad

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data



Students take 120 credits per year composed of Core and Optional modules.

This Joint Honours programme enables students to design their own intellectual journey, whilst maintaining a strong grasp of the fundamentals of History. 

When selecting modules, some students choose to focus mainly on one region (Africa, Near and Middle East, South, Southeast or East Asia) or topic (e.g. Islam, violence and warfare, gender, modernity).

Others choose to range more broadly, exploring various topics and regions. Depending on the choice of the second subject, students will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of one particular region or to put more emphasis on the exploration of particular themes and problems, exploring them in a comparative context.

Year 1
Core Module
Module Code Credits Term
H101 Approaching History (15Cr) 155906742 15 Term 1
Compulsory Module
Module Code Credits Term
H103 Colonial Curricula: Empire and Education at SOAS and Beyond 155906741 15 Term 2
Guided Option

Choose from List H1 Regional Introduction module below to the value of 30 credits or H102 World Histories - Global Encounters and Connectivities

Second Subject

Choose modules from the second subject to the value of 60 credits


Choose modules from the second subject to the value of 30 credits


Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits

Year 2
Core Module
Module Code Credits Term
H201 Historical Research: Approaches and Methods 154800300 15 Term 1
Guided Option

Choose from List H2 Thematic Modules below to the value of 15 credits


Choose from List H2 Regional Module below to the value of 30 credits

Second Subject

Choose modules from the second subject to the value of 60 credits


Choose modules from the second subject to the value of 30 credits


Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits

Year 3
Compulsory Module

Choose modules from the H3 special subject module list below to the value of 30 credits.


Please select 30 credits from the following guided options:

Module Code Credits Term
H400 Special Subject Dissertation 154800311 30 Full Year
H500 Independent Study Project in History 154800150 30 Full Year

Choose from List H2 History Module below to the value of 30 credits

Second Subject

Choose a module(s) from the second subject to the value of 30 credits


Choose a module(s) from the second subject to the value of 30 credits


Choose from List H2 History Module below to the value of 30 credits


Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits

List of Modules (subject to availability)
H1 Regional Introductions Modules
Module Code Credits Term
H110 Introduction to the History of Africa 154800228 15 Term 1
H160 The Middle East in the Modern World 154800324 15 Term 2
H120 The Confucian World 154800229 15 Term 1
H130 Introduction to the Early History of the Middle East 154800230 15 Term 1
H140 Introduction to the History of South Asia 154800231 15 Term 2
H150 Introduction to the History of Modern East and Southeast Asia 154800323 15 Term 2
H2 Thematic Modules
Module Code Credits Term
H211 Cities in History 154800301 15 Term 2
H212 Frontiers in History 154800302 15 Term 2
H213 Gender in History 154800303 15 Term 1
H214 Violence in History 154800304 15 Term 1
H2 Regional Modules
Module Code Credits Term
H234 Colonialism and Culture in Modern South Asia 154800264 15 Term 1
H235 Nationalism and Identity in South Asia 154800321 15 Term 1
H236 State and Society in Mughal India 154800286 15 Term 2
H248 Nationalism and Revolution in the Modern Middle East, 1914-1979 154800227 15 Term 2
H249 Empire and Reform in the Modern Middle East, 1789-1914 154800322 15 Term 1
H270 Culture and Society in African History, 1900 to the present 154800244 15 Term 2
H278 Muslim Societies in Africa 154800284 15 Full Year
H280 Atlantic Slavery and its Legacies in West Africa 154800247 15 Term 1
H293 - Empire and Globalisation in the early modern Muslim world 154800313 15 Term 2
H294 - Race, Segregation, and Apartheid in Twentieth-century South Africa 154800317 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
H297 Mao's China, 1890s-1970s 154800281 15 Term 2
R430 Political Islam 154800310 30 Full Year
Module Code Credits Term
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
H380 South African Apartheid: Origins, Experience and Aftermath 154800325 30 Full Year
H382 Opium and Empires: Eastern Asia's Narcotic Trade and Culture in Global Context 154800294 30 Full Year

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

Recommended pre entry reading
  • JR McNeill and WH McNeill, The Human Web: A Bird’s Eye View of World History (2003)
  • John Darwin, After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires (2007)
  • CA Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914 (2004)
  • Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (1991)
  • John Iliffe, Africans: The History of a Continent (2007)
  • Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples (1991)
  • Barbara D and Thomas R Metcalf, A Concise History of India (2002)
  • MC Ricklefs et al., A New History of Southeast Asia (2010)
  • Charles Holcombe, A History of East Asia (2017)
  • J Black and DM MacRaild, Studying History (2007)

Contact hours

Modules are taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials, usually one hour a week of each. Sometimes, one follows the other in a two-hour bloc. Sometimes, the tutorial is at a different time or on a different day than the lecture.

Tutorials are sessions in which students are expected to present reports and take a lead in discussions.

Depending on the size of the class, some intermediate and advanced level modules are less strictly divided between a formal lecture and a tutorial discussion, and instead, the topic is briefly introduced by the lecturer, followed by a seminar discussion. Advanced level modules, which are usually taught in one two-hour bloc, often take this format.

Introductory modules

These are assessed through a combination of essays, oral presentations on selected readings or topics and a three-hour examination, taken in Term 3. Introductory modules are not open to second- and third-year history students.

Intermediate level modules

These provide specialised study in the history of particular regions, building on the introductory courses. With the exception of the Group Study Project (see below), they are assessed by: (a) two or three essays, and (b) a three-hour examination, taken in Term 3.

For intermediate modules the weighting of assessment between essays and examination varies, with coursework essays counting for between 25 per cent and 60 per cent of the total mark. For the specifics of each module see the individual module unit listings. Group Study Projects are assessed on the basis of three written reports (see below).

Advanced level modules

These aim to introduce students to the reading and use of original historical documents, so-called ‘primary sources’. The 300 level modules are taught modules, assessed in the same way as intermediate level modules, i.e., a varying combination of essays and a final examination. For each 300 level module there is an attached 400 level module, for which there are no additional classes and which involves the writing of a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic arising from the content of the 300 level module. There is no final examination for 400 level modules; assessment is on the basis of the dissertation alone.

The Independent Study Project (ISP)

These can be taken by final-year students only. Like the Special Subject dissertation, its aim is to provide an opportunity for students to conduct original historical research on their own initiative, to engage in in-depth analysis of particular subjects and to use a range of primary historical sources. It too involves no formal classes and is assessed by a single 10,000-word dissertation (including notes but excluding bibliography).

Learning resources

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.

Fees and funding



With specialised historical knowledge, an understanding of cultural sensibilities and skills in research and analysis, graduates from the Department of History are well respected by employers across private and public sectors.

Recent graduates from the Department of History have been hired by:

  • Al Jazeera
  • Amnesty International
  • Bank of England
  • BBC
  • Blackstock PR
  • Bonhams
  • British Council
  • British Library
  • Dataminr
  • Ernst and Young
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • HSBC
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • KPMG
  • Middle East Consultancy Services
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Cyprus
  • Natural History Museum
  • Publicis Media
  • United Nations Development Programme

Find out about the SOAS Careers Service

A Student's Perspective

It’s a global experience and, thankfully, everyone is included, no matter what their colour, religion, or ‘class’.

Mysa Kafil-Hussain


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