SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

BA Music and...

3 or 4 year degrees

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Undergraduate Tuition Fees page

2018 Entry requirements

  • A level Music, or equivalent is required for the single-subject degree. A level Music is not required for the combined Music programme, but evidence of both academic ability and active involvement in musical performance or composition is essential.
  • Interview Policy: Candidates not normally interviewed but encouraged to attend Open Days or contact the Department with enquiries
A Levels:
including GCSE Music
31 (554 at HL)

View alternative entry requirements


Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction

Scottish Highers: BBBBB

Scottish Advanced Highers: BBB

Irish LC: 300 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above

Advanced Placement: 3 4 4 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0

Euro Bacc: 75%

French Bacc: 13/20

German Abitur: 2.5

Italy DES: 75/100

Austria Mat: 2.5

Polish Mat: Overall 70% including 3 extended level subjects

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply


Mode of Attendance: Full-time


This programme is a unique opportunity to study the musical traditions of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and their global diasporas. Students are taught the basic principles of ethnomusicology and survey a variety of Asian and African musics. In years 2 and 3 they are encouraged to focus on the music of specific regions and to consider cross-regional themes. Performance is a central component of the degree. Students have the opportunity to develop expertise in a great variety of musical performance traditions.

SOAS has the only Music department in the UK devoted to the study of world music. We have a very active musical life, including concert series, student ensembles and a successful summer school in which students can become involved. Students are taught in the heart of London, home to many vibrant and diverse communities and to a breath-taking array of world music concerts, workshops and festivals. Our students actively participate in this rich and varied musical scene.

Graduates possess not only musical and cultural expertise, but also a portfolio of widely transferable skills sought by employers in professional and creative industries. The programme leads into careers and vocational pathways including arts management, festival administration and curating, music journalism, teaching, performing and composing, album production, and management and consultancy within the music industry in Europe, Asia and Africa.

This two-subject degree allows more scope for studying language or other non-musical aspects of particular cultures than the single subject BMus Music. See the ‘Combinations’ tab for the list of subjects that can be taken. Some two-subject programmes are completed in three years while others take four years and include a year abroad. The single-subject degree allows greater concentration on music, including Western music and Performance.


Key Information Set Data

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


General Structure

First-year modules cover the basic principles of ethnomusicology and survey a variety of Asian and African musics. Students additionally receive aural training (e.g. in transcription) and follow lessons in one or more Asian or African performance traditions. The Department is linked with nearby King’s College, University of London. Qualified SOAS students may take 15 or 30 credits modules in Western music at King’s, and King’s students may take modules in ethnomusicology at SOAS, subject to approval from the appropriate tutors.

In Years 2 and 3, the student will usually focus on the music culture of a selected area or areas: Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Jewish music. They may also choose from the general and performance modules on offer. 

Degree Detail

Please note that a 15 credits module corresponds to a 0.5 unit (taught over one term) and a 30 credits module corresponds to a full unit (taught over both terms).

  • Students are required to take modules to the value of 360 credits over the duration of their degree, 120 credits per year. A 30 credits module is taught over both terms, while a 15 credits module is taught over one term only.  
  • Up to 60 credits (for a three-year degree) or 90 credits (for a four-year degree) may come from the list of "open option modules" (modules outside of this programme - e.g. language or non-music modules).  However, open option modules may not be taken in year 1.
  • At least 150 credits of Music modules must be taken in total.

Year 1:

Two-subject students take Sounds and Cultures , Music and Culture, Introduction to Music Analysis, and Performance 1a OR Performance 1b.

Year 2:

Two-subject students take the compulsory 15 credits module Ethnomusicology Themes & Variations. They must also take one module chosen from the "Area Modules" list. Remaining modules can be selected from any of the modules groups listed below, with up to 30 credits from an open option module, or music modules at Kings College.

Year 3:

Two-subject students take the compulsory 15 credits module Urban Soundscapes. They must also take at least a 15 credits module chosen from the "Area Modules" list. Remaining modules can be selected from any of the modules groups, with up to 30 credits from open option modules, or music modules at Kings College.

Modules Details

Year 1 Compulsory Modules
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Introduction to Music Analysis 155800070 15 Term 1
Music and Culture 155800060 15 Term 1
Performance 1a 155800061 15 Full Year
Performance 1b 155800062 15 Full Year
Sounds and Cultures 155800071 15 Term 1
Year 2 Compulsory Module
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Ethnomusicology: Themes and Variations 155800065 15 Term 1
Year 3 Compulsory Module
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Urban Soundscapes 155800083 15 Term 1
Area Modules
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Atlantic Africa: (P)Layers of Mediation in African Popular Music (UG) 155800079 30 Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
Classical singing in India: continuity and change 155800093 15 Term 2
Klezmer Music: Roots and Revival 155800074 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Music and Religion in South East Asia 155800080 15 Term 2
Music, Religion and Society in South Asia 155800086 15 Term 1
Music in Africa 155800022 30 Full Year
Music, Religion and Society in the Middle East and North Africa 155800092 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Musical Traditions of East Asia 155800078 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Pop and Politics in East Asia 155800077 15 Term 1
Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (UG) 155800081 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Raga: concept and practice (PG) 15PMUH020 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
The World of Cuban Music 155800058 15 Term 1
General Modules
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Arts, Culture and Commodification: Themes in the Global Creative and Cultural Industries 158100001 15 Term 1
Composition 155800082 15 Term 1
Critical Readings in Arts and Cultures 158100002 15 Term 1
Curating Global Arts 158100004 15 Term 1
Gender and Music 155800073 15 Term 2
Global Hip-Hop 155800084 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Introduction to Sound Recording 155800069 15 Full Year
Music, Shamanism and Healing 155800055 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Presenting World Music On Radio 155800076 15 Term 2
The Music Business 155800053 15 Term 2
Project Modules
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Extended Essay in Music 1 155800066 15 Term 1
Extended Essay in Music 2 155800067 15 Term 2
Independent Study Project in Music 155800026 30 Full Year
Performance Modules
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Performance 2 155800042 15 Full Year
Performance 3 155800045 30 Full Year


Teaching and Learning

Year abroad

If you are studying a language as part of your combined honours degree, you will usually study for 4 years, with year 3 spent abroad.

Teaching & Learning

The Department of Music has been highly rated for teaching and research in all recent assessment exercises, and is regularly ranked amongst the top Music departments in the UK in Good University Guides.

Music students have access to the large Main Library of the School which holds numerous books, journals and recordings relevant to the study of ethnomusicology and world music, as well as the nearby British Library Sound Archive and other London libraries and museums.

The SOAS Library holds copies of standard reference works on music, such as the current edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. The Grove dictionary and the RILM database can also be accessed on line from computer terminals in the Library or elsewhere on the SOAS network. Listening facilities are provided in the Library, and most CDs are available on short loan. Among special items in the Department’s collections are:

  • field recordings, films and slides
  • a large working collection of musical instruments from Asia and Africa
  • extensive staff collections relating to specific research interests

Contact Hours

All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, in modules of 30 or 15 credits. They are taught over 10 or 20 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 Arts, most undergraduate modules have a one- or two-hour lecture or seminar every week. Some, but not all, also have a 1-hour seminar or tutorial every week.

More information is on the page for each module.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Programme Full-Time
BA, BSc, LLB £9,250 £16,907
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,385 £8,454
Undergraduate Research Awards

Application Deadline: 2018-04-30 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


As a graduate who specialised in Music at SOAS, you will have gained competency in one or more world music performance traditions, intercultural awareness and understanding of global music and the world music industry. Familiarity with a specific region will have been developed through the study of its music. You will have the opportunity to develop practical vocational skills in sound recording and radio presenting. Graduates leave SOAS not only with musical and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and creative capacities, including interpersonal skills, communication skills, focus, teamwork, passion and dedication. Studying a combined honours degree gives students to blend a solid grounding in another discipline or subject area which enables them to place the knowledge they gain as part of their degree within a specific regional, cultural or disciplinary context.

Specific Graduate Destinations:

  • Nana Klimek (BA Music Studies) works at HeadNod Talent Agency in London.
  • Rick Wilson (BA Music Studies), among other activities, collaborates with former MMus student Sally Pomme Clayton, providing music for her story-telling performances.
  • Leni Koupis (BA Music Studies) is a fund-raiser and charity concert organiser for the Free Tibet Campaign.
  • Nami Morris (BA Music & Korean) works in the External Affairs Division of Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
  • Mira Sengupta (BA Music Studies) has composed music for three radio plays for LBC and has worked as a concert promoter.
  • Many other graduates proceed to postgraduate study at SOAS or elsewhere. Others return, enhanced, to previous careers: Nigel Gomme as a composer and arranger, Fiona West as a music producer, David Wright as a jazz saxophonist, etc.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

Madiina Daher


Find out more

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