Overview and entry requirements
The joint BA programme in Politics & International Relations offers students the ability to combine our two disciplinary streams throughout their training, giving them a broad base of knowledge from which to analyse politics within and amongst countries.
Students will choose from the options available to both joint degree programmes, and will take core modules in Political Analysis and International Relations in their first year.
At the end of the course, students will have developed a uniquely insightful and rounded approach to understanding political questions and current affairs across the world.
The degree structure offers deep engagement with regional and international politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as problem-driven engagements with war, development, international organisations, state power, social movements, the global economy and other aspects of political life.
Teaching on the degree programme is tailored towards improving students’ understanding of the subjects, writing and presentation abilities and developing their skills as independent and critical thinkers. Whilst more introductory courses often consist of larger lectures followed up by smaller group seminars, more advanced and specialised courses encourage more student responsibility and leadership over the material.
See Department of Politics and International Studies
Why Study Politics and International Relations at SOAS?
- ranked 5th in the UK for Politics (QS World University Rankings 2021)
- combined training in two disciplinary streams
- the opportunity to learn a language in years 2 and 3
- a non-Western, global perspective on the key issues of domestic and international politics
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- A Levels:
- 37 (6/6/6)
View alternative entry requirements
Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
Scottish Highers: AAAAA
Scottish Advanced Highers: AAA
Irish LC: 360 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
Advanced Placement: 4 5 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
Euro Bacc: 85%
French Bacc: 15/20
German Abitur: 1.5
Italy DES: 85/100
Austria Mat: 1.5
Polish Mat: 80%
- 3 years
The BA Politics and International Relations is a three-year degree programme. In each year, students need to take modules to the total value of 120 credits following the structure below. Students have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of disciplinary and regional modules offered within the Politics Department, as well as modules offered in other Departments at SOAS as part of their 'open options'.
Students will take the following core modules (60 credits total):
Students will take TWO of these two guided option modules (60 credits total):
Credits must be taken in the following combination;
- Introduction to Research Methods (153400156) (15 credits)
- A minimum of 15 credits from each of the following lists;
o Politics Disciplinary options
o International Relations Disciplinary options
o Politics Regional options
o International Relations Regional options
- Remaining credits to be taken from any of the four lists, including up to 30 credits from the approved Open Option lists (Language Open Options | Non-languages)
Politics Disciplinary Options
International Relations Disciplinary Options
Politics Regional Options
International Relations Regional Options
Credits must be taken in the following combination;
- A minimum of 30 credits from List A
- A minimum of 30 credits from List B
- Remaining credits can be taken from Lists A, B OR open options (maximum of 30 credits from the Open Options list Language Open Options | Non-language Open Options).
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
The programme provides methodological and skills training throughout and allows final year students to undertake an independent research project, such as a dissertation, supervised by an academic member of staff.
Most of our modules are taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Lectures (50 minutes) provide broad overviews of the topic. They are accompanied by tutorials (50 minutes) that give students the opportunity to discuss readings and key issues in small groups. In the final year, modules may also take the form of two-hour seminars allowing for deeper engagement with more specialised topics.
By the end of the programme students will have acquired a range of transferable skills. This includes the ability to collect and synthesise information, read and evaluate complex materials, assess the evidence for a range of different positions, construct arguments, exercise independence of judgement and communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
Students also benefit from the vibrant learning environment SOAS provides more broadly. The 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. Moreover, every year there is a lively events programme that attracts renowned speakers from around the world, allowing students to engage with cutting edge debates on contemporary politics.
SOAS Politics and International Relations students leave SOAS not only with a knowledge and understanding of the complex political and cultural issues of our time, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers.
Recent graduates from the Department of Politics and International Studies have been hired by:
- BBC World Service
- British Red Cross
- British Council
- Center for International Peace Operations
- Channel 4
- Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA)
- Department for International Development (DfID)
- Eversheds LLP
- Financial Times
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
- Global Policy Institute
- Go East Consulting
- Grassroot Diplomat
- Palestine Red Crescent Association
- Save the Children
- UNICEF Ethiopia
- United Nations
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A Student's Perspective
Natalie Chaney, Washington University in St. Louis
In my opinion, I think London is such an interesting city because of the unique composition of its population. It is the most internationally focused place I have ever lived. It is the meeting and merging point of people and cultures from around the world who are eager to share their experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives with you.