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BA Languages and Cultures at SOAS
The BA Languages and Cultures degree introduces students to the cultures and societies of Africa, the Middle East, South and South East Asia through the study of languages, film, literature and cultural studies.
In the first year, students are equipped with a broader understanding of these regions in order to gain a vital comparative perspective. Students will have the opportunity to explore particular regional interests through their language study, 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.
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 or a summer abroad to gain cultural and linguistic fluency in languages including Swahili, Turkish, Hebrew, Persian, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Indonesian and Vietnamese.
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.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
Who is this programme for?:
This programme is designed for students who are interested in the languages and cultures of four of the key areas of SOAS specialisation: Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia.
The programme provides students with in-depth understanding of one these key world regions and is grounded in the study of one or more languages of the region. At the same time the programme gives students access to SOAS’s comprehensive cross-regional expertise and so provides them with an understanding of the interconnectedness of these regions in an increasingly globalised world.
The programme provides students with a solid methodological, interdisciplinary foundation and allows them to develop a holistic and integrated approach to the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East through their languages and cultures.
- 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
Year 1 Guided Curriculum: Foundations
All students will take two 15 credit modules from the list of languages below plus all of the following modules:
Year 2 Guided Curriculum: Momentum
All students will take two 15 credit modules from the list of languages or from List A below plus all of the following modules:
Year 3 Optional Year Abroad
Year Abroad for Students taking the 4-year programme
Final Year 3/4 Guided Curriculum: Designing your own Pathway
Students have the option to take either a 15 credit Arabic module level 5 or 6 from the Language List below or Directed Readings in Asia, Africa and the Middle East or a 15 credit module from List A or B
Students will take either a 30 credit Independent Study Project (ISP) or a 30 credit Translation Project.
Students will take modules to the value of 30 credits from List A or B and/or Open Options
Students will take one 15 credit module from either List B, open option or list of Languages
List of Languages
Please note the 30 credit languages will be split into two 15 credit modules (A and B)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
After graduating, Languages and Cultures graduates, with the regional specific expertise gained through this degree programme and enhanced by the year-abroad experience, are able to move between careers, using their language, communication and intercultural skills to adapt to different sectors and industries and become successful leaders, innovators and managers.
Languages and Cultures graduates are found throughout the creative industries and the cultural sectors, as well as in education, the media, policy making and service industries where they apply the skills and knowledge of their disciplines more directly.
Language graduates not only have advanced linguistic skills, but also a high degree of cultural awareness, communicative competence and an easy way of adopting different perspectives and thinking outside the box. The BA Languages and Cultures provides a rich context for the development of higher-level skills and lifelong learning that will allow the workforce of the future to cope, adapt and thrive.
These are qualities highly valued in any professional context, and by employers from across the spectrum, and having proficiency in more than one language qualifies you to work for a much larger selection of clients and employers. Internationally oriented companies, in particular, recognise the significant importance of language knowledge at recruitment stage and further into employment.
A Student's Perspective
Michele Serafini (Italy)
Let me put it like this: studying South Asia at SOAS is a greatly enriching experience.