SOAS University of London

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

BA Languages and Cultures (Middle East, Africa, South and Southeast Asia) and ... (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

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BA Languages and Cultures at SOAS

Overview and entry requirements

Students on the BA Languages and Cultures (Middle East, Africa, South and Southeast Asia) combined degree will be introduced to the cultures and societies of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia, through the study of languages, film, literature and cultural studies. This joint degree can be combined with a number of disciplines at SOAS, including Linguistics, History, Anthropology, Development Studies, Music and Politics or International Relations.

In the first year, students are equipped with a broader understanding of these regions in order to gain a vital comparative perspective. 

Language is crucial to the understanding of culture and therefore all students will be required to choose from a range of languages in their first year of study. We encourage students to further develop their language skills as the degree progresses. Students will have the option to spend a year abroad to gain cultural and linguistic fluency in languages including Swahili, Turkish, Hebrew, Persian, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Indonesian and Vietnamese. 

Students will have the opportunity to explore particular regional interests through their language study, their selected optional modules and in their course work throughout the degree, culminating in the final year Study Project where, guided by lecturers, they will draw on skills gained over the course of the degree to produce their own original research.

Key critical thinking, project management and study skills are built into the programme to ensure that students graduate with a range of transferable skills ensuring they are prepared for a range of careers.

See School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Combine Languages and Cultures (Middle East, Africa, South and Southeast Asia) with other subjects

  • Other disciplines: Development Studies, Economics, History, History of Art, International Relations, Law, Linguistics, Music, Politics, Social Anthropology, World Philosophies.
  • Languages: Arabic, French

Why study Languages and Cultures (Middle East, Africa, South and Southeast Asia) Combined Honours at SOAS

  • SOAS is ranked 1st in London in the Complete University Guide 2021 for Middle Eastern and African Studies, and 6th in the UK
  • ranked 8th in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2021 for South Asian Studies
  • Modern Languages and Linguistics at SOAS has been ranked 10th in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
  • we've also been ranked 4th for research environment - with 100% of our research ranked as 'internationally excellent' and 85% as 'world-leading' - and 8th for research outputs in the REF 2021
  • we are specialists in the studies of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia
  • gain an in-depth understanding of these key world regions and take the opportunity to study one or more of these regions’ languages of your choice
  • access SOAS’s comprehensive cross-regional expertise and gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of these regions in an increasingly globalised world
  • opportunity to develop a holistic and integrated approach to the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East through their languages and cultures, complemented by another subject.
  • students taking the two-subject degree take a combination of modules from BA Languages and Cultures, and also from their other subject, allowing for a programme tailored to their skills and interests

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

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Fees 2022/23

Fees for 2022/23 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:

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data



Year 1 - Guided Curriculum: Foundations

All students will take two 15 credit modules from the list of languages below PLUS one 15 credit module from the Year 1 Guided Options list and the following compulsory module:

Module Code Credits Term
The World in London 152900122 15 Term 1


Second Subject

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

Year 2 - Guided Curriculum: Momentum

Compulsory Module:

Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Research 152900121 15 Term 2

Students also take:

  • 30 credits from the language list below OR 30 credits from List A


  • 15 credits from the year 2 regional list


Second Subject

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

Year 3 - Optional Year Abroad

Students on the 4-year programme can participate in an optional year abroad at one of our overseas partner institutions. 

Year 3/4 - Guided Curriculum: Designing your own Pathway

Compulsory Module: 
Module Code Credits Term
Independent Study Project in Languages and Cultures of Africa, the Middle East, South and South East Asia 155906739 30 Full Year

Students also take: 

  • 15 credits from the year 3 regional list or a language 


  • 15 credits from the year 3 regional list OR a language OR an open option


Second Subject

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

Year 1 - Guided Options

Module Code Credits Term
Decolonising Otherness 152900120 15 Term 2
Languages of the World 152900118 15 Term 2

List A

Module Code Credits Term
Screen Cities 155901354 15 Term 1
Literatures of Love, Loss and Desire 155901277 15 Term 1
Understanding Texts 152900123 15 Term 1
Beyond Regions: Cultures in the Diaspora 155906706 15 Term 2
Cultural Approaches to Health, Climate Change and the Environment 155900947 15 Term 2

Year 2 - Regional List

Module Code Credits Term
Perspectives on African experience 155900933 15 Term 1
Cultural Studies of South and South East Asia 155907002 15 Term 1
Contemporary Middle East Fiction A: Identity and Belonging 155906727 15 Term 1
Introduction to Arabic Culture 155901205 15 Term 1

Year 3 Regional List

Module Code Credits Term
English Literatures of South East Asia 155901410 15 Term 1
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 15 Term 2
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asian Literatures in Translation 155901316 15 Term 2
Literatures of Resistance in South Asia (UG) 155906086 15 Term 1
Contemporary African literature 155900839 15 Term 2
Language, Identity and Society in Africa 155900867 15 Term 1
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
Modern Palestinian Literature (UG) 155906704 15 Term 2
Social and Political Dimensions of Modern Arabic Literature (UG) 155906705 15 Term 1

List of Languages

Please note that not all languages will be offered every year, or at all levels.

30 credit languages are split into two 15 credit modules (A and B)

Module Code Credits Term
Amharic 1 A 155906036 15 Term 1
Amharic 1 B 155906037 15 Term 2
Arabic 1 A (UG) 155906707 15 Term 1
Arabic 1 B (UG) 155906708 15 Term 2
Arabic 2 A (UG) 155906723 15 Term 1
Arabic 2 B (UG) 155906724 15 Term 2
Arabic 3 A (UG) 155906725 15 Term 1
Arabic 3 B (UG) 155906726 15 Term 2
Arabic 5 A (UG) 155906715 15 Term 1
Arabic 5 B (UG) 155906716 15 Term 2
Arabic 6 A (UG) 155906717 15 Term 1
Arabic 6 B (UG) 155906718 15 Term 2
Bengali Language 1 A 155906054 15 Term 1
Bengali Language 1 B 155906055 15 Term 2
Bengali Language 2 155900492 30 Full Year
Burmese Language 1 A 155906070 15 Term 1
Burmese Language 1 B 155906071 15 Term 2
Hebrew 1 A 155906052 15 Term 1
Hebrew 1 B 155906053 15 Term 2
Hebrew 2 A (UG) 155906734 15 Term 1
Hebrew 2 B (UG) 155906733 15 Term 2
Hindi Language 1 A 155906056 15 Term 1
Hindi Language 1 B 155906057 15 Term 2
Hindi Language 2 155901183 30 Full Year
Indonesian Language 1 A 155906066 15 Term 1
Indonesian Language 1 B 155906067 15 Term 2
Indonesian Language 2 155901022 30 Full Year
Ottoman Turkish Language A 155900549 15 credits
Persian 1 A 155906048 15 Term 1
Persian 1 B 155906049 15 Term 2
Persian 2 A (UG) 155906714 15 Term 1
Persian 2 B (UG) 155906713 15 Term 2
Sanskrit Language 1 A 155906064 15 Term 1
Sanskrit Language 1 B 155906065 15 Term 2
Sanskrit Language 2 A 155901487 15 Term 1
Sanskrit Language 2 B 155901488 15 Term 2
Somali 1 A 155906034 15 Term 1
Somali 1 B 155906035 15 Term 2
Swahili 1 A 155906044 15 Term 1
Swahili 1 B 155906045 15 Term 2
Swahili 2a Intermediate 155900986 30 Full Year
Turkish 1 A 155906046 15 Term 1
Turkish 1 B 155906047 15 Term 2
Turkish 2 A (UG) 155906710 15 Term 1
Turkish 2 B (UG) 155906709 15 Term 2
Urdu Language 1 A 155906058 15 Term 1
Urdu Language 1 B 155906059 15 Term 2
Urdu Language 2 155900513 30 Full Year
Vietnamese Language 1 A 155906068 15 Term 1
Vietnamese Language 1 B 155906069 15 Term 2
Vietnamese Language 2 155900705 30 Full Year
Zulu 1 A 155906042 15 Term 1
Zulu 1 B 155906043 15 Term 2
Directed Studies on an Asian or African Language A 155906032 15 Term 1
Directed Studies on an Asian or African Language B 155906033 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

Teaching is normally provided by lecture or seminar and students are required to attend such classes. Most modules involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, taught in modules of 30 credits (taught over 20 weeks) or 15 credits (taught over 10 weeks). The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which 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.

In the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, undergraduate modules take various forms. Modules may be taught through 1 or 2 hours of lectures a week, and some may have an additional 1-2 hours of weekly seminars. Languages classes may be 4-5 hours per week in the first and second year, typically less at higher levels.

More information is on the page for each module.

Year abroad

For students who choose to take a year abroad, the resulting improvement in all-round language skills will allow students to work at a more advanced range of linguistics competence in their final year work back at SOAS. The culturally immersive experience of the year abroad equips students with key skills which are invaluable for those wishing to go on to work in the region.

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.

Fees and funding



Graduates of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with skills in written and oral communication, analysis and problem solving.

Recent School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics graduates have been hired by:

  • Africa Matters
  • Amnesty International
  • Arab British Chamber of Commerce
  • BBC World Service
  • British High Commission
  • Council for British Research in the Levant
  • Department for International Development
  • Edelman
  • Embassy of Jordan
  • Ernst & Young
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Google
  • Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
  • Middle East Eye
  • Saïd Foundation
  • TalkAbout Speech Therapy
  • The Black Curriculum
  • The Telegraph
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
  • Wall Street Journal

Find out about our Careers Service.

A Student's Perspective

One of the things I enjoyed the most was the size of the classes, as they are smaller than in Norway, and also the interaction between the students, and especially the interaction between professors and students.

Karoline Tufte Lien, University of Oslo


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