SOAS University of London

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

BA Languages and Cultures (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment

Overview

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BA Languages and Cultures at SOAS

Overview and entry requirements

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.

See School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Why study Languages and Cultures at SOAS

  • SOAS is specialist in the studies of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia
  • 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
  • gain in-depth understanding of one these key world regions, grounded in the study of one or more languages of the region
  • access SOAS’s comprehensive cross-regional expertise and gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of these regions in an increasingly globalised world
  • solid methodological and interdisciplinary foundation
  • students have an opportunity to develop a holistic and integrated approach to the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East through their languages and cultures

Explore

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

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

Convenors

Structure

Structure

Year 1 - Guided Curriculum: Foundations

All students will take two 15 credit modules from the list of languages below plus all of the following compulsory modules:

Module Code Credits Term
The World in London 152900122 15 Term 1
Languages of the World 152900118 15 Term 2
Decolonising Otherness 152900120 15 Term 2
Language, Learning and Writing 152900117 15 Term 1
The Art of Storytelling 155901379 15 Term 1
Screen Cultures 155901317 15 Term 2

Year 2 - Guided Curriculum: Momentum

Compulsory Modules: 
Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Research 152900121 15 Term 2
Beyond Regions: Cultures in the Diaspora 155906706 15 Term 2
Understanding Texts 152900123 15 Term 1
Cultural Approaches to Health, Climate Change and the Environment 155900947 15 Term 2
Literatures of Love, Loss and Desire 155901277 15 Term 1
Screen Cities 155901354 15 Term 1

Year 3 - Optional Year Abroad

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

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

Compulsory Module: 

Module Code Credits Term
Arabic 5 A (UG) 155906715 15 Term 1
Arabic 6 A (UG) 155906717 15 Term 1
Core Module

Select of the modules below

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
Translation Project 152900125 30 Full Year

Year 3 Regional List

List A

Module Code Credits Term
H211 Cities in History 154800301 15 Term 1
Classical Persian Poetry 155901372 15 Term 1
Comparative Ethics 158000199 15 Term 2
Contemporary African literature 155900839 15 Term 2
Contemporary Middle East Fiction A: Identity and Belonging 155906727 15 Term 1
Contemporary Middle East Fiction B: Race, Gender and Resistance 155906728 15 Term 2
Cultural Approaches to Health, Climate Change and the Environment 155900947 15 Term 2
Cultural Studies of South and South East Asia 155907002 15 Term 1
H213 Gender in History 154800303 15 Term 2
From Palestine to Israel (UG) 155905009 15 Term 1
The History of the Palestine-Israel Conflict (II): from 1948 to Oslo 155905010 15 Term 2
Introduction to Arabic Literature A: Modern Trends 155906729 15 Term 2
Introduction to Arabic Literature B: The Classics 155906730 15 Term 2
Introduction to Yoga Studies 155906085 15 Term 2
Language, Identity and Society in Africa 155900867 15 Term 1
Language, Society and Communication 152900083 15 Term 1
Literatures of the Islamic Near and Middle East 155900991 15 Term 2
Perspectives on African experience 155900933 15 Term 1
H214 Violence in History 154800304 15 Term 1
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asian Literatures in Translation 155901316 15 Term 2
R490 Zoroastrianism in the Ancient and Modern Worlds 158000029 30 Full Year

Year 2 Regional List

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
Classical Ottoman Texts 155900744 15 Term 2
Contemporary African literature 155900839 15 Term 2
Culture Society and Politics in Classical Arabic Literature 155901373 15 Full Year
English Literatures of South East Asia 155901410 15 Term 1
Introduction to Translation Theory 152900113 15 Term 1
Jerusalem: City in Conflict (UG) 155905003 15 Term 1
Literatures of Resistance in South Asia (UG) 155906086 15 Term 1
Modern Palestinian Literature 155906704 15 credits
Practical Translation Swahili to English 155906736 15 credits
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 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
Amharic 2 155900378 30 Full Year
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
Burmese Language 2 155900997 30 Full Year
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
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 155901304 30 credits
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
Somali 2 155900811 30 Full Year
Swahili 1 A 155906044 15 Term 1
Swahili 1 B 155906045 15 Term 2
Swahili 2a Intermediate 155900986 30 Full Year
Thai Language 1 A 155906072 15 Term 1
Thai Language 1 B 155906073 15 Term 2
Thai Language 2 155901367 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
Yoruba 1 A 155906038 15 Term 1
Yoruba 1 B 155906039 15 Term 2
Yoruba 2 155900935 30 Full Year
Zulu 1 A 155906042 15 Term 1
Zulu 1 B 155906043 15 Term 2
Zulu 2 155900851 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

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.

Contact hours

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.

Year abroad

For those 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.

Employment

Employment

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

Found out about our Careers Service.

A Student's Perspective

Living and breathing SOAS ensures you not only see and understand the complexities of our global world, but that you actually feel it, realising that you and I are inextricably linked in every way. This organic awakening to holistically see infinitely complex global situations is something found nowhere else than SOAS.

Samuel Kustaa Lammi

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