SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

BA History and ... (2019 entry)

  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


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.

Why study History Combined Honours at SOAS?

  • 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

Apply now via UCAS or visit our upcoming Open Day.

Find out more about how to apply.

Visit our History department page to find out more.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

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

3 or 4 years


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
Compulsory Module
Guided Option
Choose a module from List H1 Regional Introductions to the value of 30 credits 
Second Subject
Choose TWO modules from the second subject to the value of 60 credits
Choose modules from the second subject to the value of 30 credits AND choose a related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits
Language Open Option Modules
Non-Language Open Option Modules
Year 2
Compulsory Module
Module Code Credits Term
H201 Historical Research: Approaches and Methods 154800300 15 Term 1
Guided Option
Choose from the Thematic modules list to the value of 15 credits
Choose from List H2 Intermediate modules to the value of 30 credits
Second Subject
Choose TWO modules from the second subject to the value of 60 credits
Choose modules from the second subject to the value of 30 credits AND choose a related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits
Language Open Option Modules
Non-Language Open Option Modules

Year 3
Compulsory Module
Choose modules from the H3 special subject module list 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 Dissertation in History 154800150 30 Full Year
Choose from List H2 Intermediate modules below to the value of 30 credits
Choose from List H2 Intermediate module to the value of 30 credits
Second subject
Chose TWO Second subject modules to the value of 60 credits
Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits
Language Open Option Modules
Non-Language Open Option Modules
List of Modules (subject to availability)
H1 Regional Introductions
Module Code Credits Term
H110 Introduction to the History of Africa 154800228 15 Term 1
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
Thematic Modules
Module Code Credits Term
H211 Cities in History 154800301 15 Term 1
H212 Frontiers in History 154800302 15 Term 2
H213 Gender in History 154800303 15 Term 2
H214 Violence in History 154800304 15 Term 1
H2 Intermediate

Y2 and Y3

Module Code Credits Term
H234 Colonialism and Culture in Modern South Asia 154800264 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
H270 Culture and Society in African History, 1900 to the present 154800244 15 Term 1
H278 Muslim Societies in Africa 154800284 15 Term 2
H280 Atlantic Slavery and its Legacies in West Africa 154800247 15 Term 2
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 1
H297 Democracy in China 154800281 15 Term 2
H3 Special subject


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
H382 Opium and Empires: Eastern Asia's Narcotic Trade and Culture in Global Context 154800294 30 Full Year

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

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)


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.


An undergraduate degree in History from SOAS will give you specialist knowledge of the history and broad cultural sensibilities of a region.

Skills gained include:

  • expertise in historical subject matter, interpretation and methodology from different topical perspectives
  • an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the history of Africa, Asia and the Near and Middle East
  • competence to manage large quantities of information and the ability to select and organise information
  • research methodologies
  • choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge allowing you to develop a specialist niche for yourself

Find out more about History Graduate Destinations

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

  • Blackstock PR
  • Bonhams
  • British Council
  • Ernst and Young
  • HSBC
  • International Society for Water Solutions (ISWS)
  • Middle East Consultancy Services
  • Oxford Policy Management
  • Shed Productions Ltd (Independent UK television production company)

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

  • Account Executive
  • Business Development Manager
  • Conference Producer
  • Copywriter
  • Finance Researcher
  • Freelance TV Researcher
  • Public Relations and Policy Manager
  • Production Editor
  • Trainee Accountant

A Student's Perspective

Nothing can truly describe your own personal SOAS experience, but one thing I can say is that it will be something you will remember for a lifetime and learn from not only your classes, but through life experience while being here.

Farkhanda Mohiyuddin

Find out more