SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

BA Politics and International Relations (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


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

Entry requirements

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%

Featured events

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'.

Year 1

Compulsory Modules

Students will take the following compulsory modules (60 credits total):

Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to International Relations 153400085 30 Full Year
Introduction to Political Analysis 153400086 30 Full Year
Guided Options

Students will take TWO (60 credits total) from the following list of optional modules:

Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Political Theory 153400001 30 Full Year
Introduction to Comparative Politics 153400079 30 Full Year
Introduction to Global History 153400084 30 Full Year
Introduction to Political Economy 153400154 30 Full Year

Year 2

Credits must be taken in the following combination;

  • Introduction to Research Methods (153400156) (15 credits) 
  • At least 15 credits from Politics Disciplinary Options AND
  • At least 15 credits from International Relations Disciplinary Options AND
  • At least 15 credits from Politics Regional Options AND
  • At least 15 credits from International Relations Regional Options
Politics Disciplinary Options
Module Code Credits Term
Politics of Nationalism 153400057 15 Term 1
Concepts in Political Theory 153400147 15 Term 1
Performance and Politics 153400157 15 Term 2
Politics of Development 153400042 15 Term 2
Political Parties and Elections 153400158 15 Term 2
International Relations Disciplinary Options
Module Code Credits Term
Politics of the World Economy 153400083 15 Term 1
Religion and World Politics 153400162 15 Term 1
War and the International 153400167 15 Term 1
International Institutions and World Politics 153400068 15 Term 2
Postcolonial Theory 153400160 15 Term 2
Foreign Policy Analysis 158000212 15 Term 2
Politics Regional Options
Module Code Credits Term
Government and Politics of the Middle East 153400060 30 Full Year
Government and Politics of China 153400071 30 Full Year
The State and Politics in Africa 153400064 15 Term 1
Government and Politics of Mainland Southeast Asia 153400153 15 Term 1
African Political Thought 153402004 15 Term 1
Politics of South Asia Beyond India 158000214 15 Term 1
Government and Politics of Island Southeast Asia 153400152 15 Term 2
Democracy and Authoritarianism in India 158000215 15 Term 2
International Relations Regional Options
Module Code Credits Term
International Relations of the Middle East 153400081 30 Full Year
International Relations of Africa 153400090 30 Full Year
International Relations of East Asia 153400155 15 Term 2
International Relations of South Asia 153400082 15 Term 2
South Asian Political Thought 153400165 15 Term 2

Year 3

Credits must be taken in the following combination;

List A
Module Code Credits Term
Politics of Nationalism 153400057 15 Term 1
Elections, Gender and Social Movements in Taiwan 153400149 15 Term 1
Republicanism, Empire and Revolution 153400163 15 Term 1
Politics of Gender 153400074 15 Term 2
Conflict, Rights and Justice 153402006 15 Term 1
List B
Module Code Credits Term
Final Year Project in Politics 153400053 30 Full Year
Final Year Project in International Relations 153402005 30 Full Year
Globalisation and Global Governance 153400070 15 Term 2
Palestine/Israel and the International 153400087 15 Term 2
Critical Security Studies 153400148 15 Term 1
Decolonising World Politics 153402002 15 Term 1
Environment and Climate Crisis 153400150 15 Term 2
Taiwan's International and Cross-Strait Relations 153400166 15 Term 2

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

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.

Contact hours

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.

Learning resources

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
  • Bloomberg
  • 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

Find out about our Careers Service.

A Student's Perspective

I needed to be in London due to my rugby commitments, so I applied to a few different universities – SOAS, Birkbeck, and Westminster – I received offers from them all but SOAS was my first choice and I felt really positive about coming here.

Maro Itoje

Find out more