SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

BA Middle Eastern Studies and ... (4 years) (2019 entry)

Select year of entry: 2019

  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


The BA Middle Eastern Studies and … is a three-year programme that offers students the opportunity to study the history and culture of the Middle East alongside with acquiring competence for one or more Middle Eastern languages. The two-subject degree allows students to combine the study of the region of the Middle East with a specific discipline. All disciplines at SOAS are taught with a regional focus on Asia and Africa, and students will be able to choose modules in their second subject that supplement their 2 interest in the Middle East as a region.

This programme is also available as a four-year pathway which includes a year abroad in a location specific to your chosen language. You can find the programme structure at the bottom of the page. Please contact the department for more information.

Key Information Set Data

The information for BA, BSc, or LLB programmes refer to data taken from the single subject degrees offered at SOAS; however, due to the unique nature of our programmes many subjects have a separate set of data when they are studied alongside another discipline.  In order to get a full picture of their chosen subject(s) applicants are advised to look at both sets of information where these occur.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • Interview Policy: Candidates with "non-standard" qualifications may be invited for interview
A Levels:
A Level language preferred
35 (6/6/5)

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

Four years

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


Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

The BA Middle Eastern Studies and another subject three-year degree allows for the study of the Middle East in a broad context, with the possibility of focusing on culture, history or literature. In the two-subject degree students take each year t60 credits in Middle Eastern Studies and 60 credits in their other subject. Students take one module in a Middle Eastern language in each year of their studies, either one language at progressive levels or more than one language at basic level.

In year 1 students take an overview module on Middle Eastern history and literature or an introductory module on Arabic or Israeli culture.

In year 2 the language study is supplemented by a module on the modern literatures of the Middle East or a module on the Muslim world.

In year 3 students take the compulsory language module and write a 10,000 word undergraduate dissertation (Independent Study Project) on an approved Middle Eastern topic of their choice.

For Students taking the four-year version (year abroad) version of this programme:

Over the course of this four-year programme, students must complete 480 credits. 120 of those will be taken in the Year Abroad. The remaining 360 credits taken at SOAS can be split evenly between both subjects (180/180), or be varied between the two subjects if the programme structure gives scope for this. Overall, students must have at least 240 credits in one subject (with a maximum of 330 credits being possible) and 150 credits in the other subject (with a maximum of 240 credits being possible) in order to be awarded a two-subject degree. The subject in which the higher amount of credits has been passed will be named first on the final degree awarded.

The programme structure is available at the bottom of the page (pdf)

Year 1
Core Module

Choose ONE of the following modules. This module will be considered core and must be passed in order to proceed to the following year of study.

Module Code Credits Term
Literatures of the Islamic Near and Middle East 155900991 15 Term 2
Introduction to Arabic Culture 155901205 15 Term 1
Introduction To Israeli Culture 155900947- 15


Guided Option

Choose from the List of Language Modules below to the value of 30 credits


Second Subject

Choose modules from the second subject to the value of 60 credits

Year 2
Core Module

Students will take the following module. This module will be considered core and must be passed in order to proceed to the following year of study.

Module Code Credits Term
Contemporary Middle East Fiction A: Identity and Belonging 155906727 15 Term 1


Choose from the List of Language Modules below to the value of 30 credits


Second Subject

Choose a module from the second subject to the value of 60 credits

Year 3 (Year Abroad)

Students will spend their third academic year abroad in an area relevant to their chosen language of study. Please contact the department for more information.

Year 4
Core Module

Choose both Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa 1 and 2

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
OR one of the ISP modules
Module Code Credits Term
Independent Study Project in Arabic Studies 155900733 30 Full Year

Choose from the List of Language Modules below to the value of 30 credits

Second Subject

Choose a module from the second subject to the value of 60 credits

Language Module Options
Module Code Credits Term
Hebrew 1 A 155906052 15 Term 1
Hebrew 1 B 155906053 15 Term 2
Hebrew 3 155906702 30 Full Year
Hebrew 4 155900714 30 Full Year
Persian 1 A 155906048 15 Term 1
Persian 3 155900802 30 Full Year
Persian Language 4 155906703 30 Full Year
Turkish 1 A 155906046 15 Term 1
Turkish 1 B 155906047 15 Term 2
Turkish 3 155900548 30 Full Year
Practical Translation Turkish to English 155900913 15 credits
List of Optional Modules

Before selecting a module, student's must first check that it is at the correct level. They must also ensure that they meet any pre-requisites.

Module Code Credits Term
H130 Introduction to the Early History of the Middle East 154800230 15 Term 2
R150 Introduction to Judaism 158000148 15 credits (0.5 unit)
Islam: Religion and Rationality 158000189 15 Term 2
Persian Poetry in Translation 155901277- 30
Middle Persian 158000183 30 Full Year
Ottoman Turkish Language A 155900549 15 credits
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of the Near and Middle East 154900101 15 Term 2
Islamic Law 155200037 30 Full Year
Shi'a Islam: Religious Authority and Community Identity 158000147 30 credits
H248 Nationalism and Revolution in the Modern Middle East, 1914-1979 154800227 15 Term 2
Developments in Muslim Religious Thought 158000188 15 credits (0.5 unit)
Messianic Movements in Muslim History 158000149 15 credits (0.5 unit)
R490 Zoroastrianism in the Ancient and Modern Worlds 158000029 30 Full Year
Government and politics of the Middle East 153400060 30 Full Year
Syriac for Beginners 158000034 1 unit (30 credits)
Classical Ottoman Texts 155900744 15 Term 2
Twentieth Century Turkish Literature 155901405 30 Full Year
Additional Optional Courses Only Available in Year 3
Module Code Credits Term
Independent Study Project in Arabic Studies 155900733 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

Year abroad

This programme is available as a four-year programme with a year abroad in year 3, rather than as a three-year programme based on campus. Please contact the department for more details.

Teaching & Learning

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.


As a student specialising in the languages and cultures of the Middle East, you will gain competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of the Middle East. Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers in both business and the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of the Middle East, or to make comparative study with other areas. Middle Eastern Studies may be combined with a huge range of other disciplines. For more information on the extra skills you will gain from your second subject, please see the relevant departmental page. 

Students graduating with this degree have opportunities to work in education, the Middle Eastern media, the BBC, in the press, the Civil Service and non-governmental organisations, and wherever a knowledge of Middle Eastern language and culture is a key skill.

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

A Student's Perspective

Academically studying at SOAS has been incredible.  At first I thought that getting to meet the big-name professors from my field would be the most enjoyable part of my experience but now I actually think it has been the other students.

Quinn Connors, Tufts University

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