SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

BA International Relations (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

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Overview and entry requirements

BA International Relations taught by our expert research-active academics is an excellent grounding in the complex cultural issues of global politics. 

Exploring the political issues of Africa, Asia and the Middle East on a level no other university can, students learn about mainstream approaches to the study of world politics, as well as critiques.

You will develop a historicised appreciation for how, where and why Western-centric lenses of international relations were formed, how relevant they are to the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and what alternative approaches have emerged from these regions.

The programme is genuinely interdisciplinary in nature. It draws on approaches from political science, global history, political economy and sociology to give students an in-depth understanding of international relations and foreign policy across a variety of thematic areas and to develop expertise in regional politics

Our graduates work in a wide variety of fields, including politics, the civil service, the charity sector, media, business, consulting, law and activism. Many also go on to successfully pursue a postgraduate degree in the UK and around the world.

See Department of Politics and International Studies

Why study BA International Relations at SOAS

  • we’re ranked 5th in the UK for Politics (QS World University Rankings 2022)
  • as well as 3rd globally for academic reputation (QS World University Rankings 2022)
  • study key issues in world politics today, including questions of war, empire, environmental politics, gender, international institutions, and the global political economy.
  • learn the discipline of International Relations and how to question its boundaries and assumptions.
  • study International Relations from the perspectives beyond the Anglo-American canon, through a focus on the Middle East, Asia and Africa. 
  • students can choose to study a language in second and third years


Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

Featured events

3 Years

Fees 2022/23

Fees for 2022/23 entrants per academic year

UK fees:
Overseas fees:

Please note that fees go up each year. Further details see 'Fees and funding' (tab on this page) or the Registry's undergraduate tuition fees page.




The BA 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 below structure. 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 three compulsory modules (90 credits total):

Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to International Relations 153400085 30 Full Year
Introduction to Global History 153400084 30 Full Year
Introduction to Political Analysis 153400086 30 Full Year
Optional Modules

Students can take ONE of the following 30 credit guided options OR modules to the value of 30 credits from the Language Open Options list.

Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Political Theory 153400001 30 Full Year
Introduction to Comparative Politics 153400079 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) 
  • 30-45 credits from Year 2 Disciplinary options AND
  • 30-45 credits from Year 2 Regional options AND
  • Up to 30 credits from Second Year Options OR Languages Open Option list
Disciplinary Options
Module Code Credits Term
International Institutions and World Politics 153400068 15 Term 2
Politics of the World Economy 153400083 15 Term 1
Postcolonial Theory 153400160 15 Term 2
Religion and World Politics 153400162 15 Term 1
War and the International 153400167 15 Term 1
Regional Options
Module Code Credits Term
International Relations of the Middle East 153400081 30 Full Year
International Relations of South Asia 153400082 15 Term 2
International Relations of Africa 153400090 30 Full Year
International Relations of East Asia 153400155 15 Term 2
Second Year Options
Module Code Credits Term
Politics of Development 153400042 15 Term 2
Politics of Nationalism 153400057 15 Term 1
Concepts in Political Theory 153400147 15 Term 1
Black Atlantic 153402007 15 Term 2

Year 3

Credits must be taken in the following combination;

  • 45 credits from List A AND
  • At least of 45 credits from List B AND
  • Remaining credits can be taken from Open Options Language Open Options | Non-language Open Options.
List A
Module Code Credits Term
Globalisation and Global Governance 153400070 15 Term 2
Going Global: An Introduction to International Migration 153400088 15 Term 2
Critical Security Studies 153400148 15 Term 1
Environment and Climate Crisis 153400150 15 Term 2
Decolonising World Politics 153402002 15 Term 1
List B
Module Code Credits Term
Politics of Gender 153400074 15 Term 2
Politics of Culture 153400075 15 Term 2
International Relations of South Asia 153400082 15 Term 2
Palestine/Israel and the International 153400087 15 Term 2
Politics of the "Miracle" Economies 153400159 15 Term 1
Republicanism, Empire and Revolution 153400163 15 Term 1
Taiwan's International and Cross-Strait Relations 153400166 15 Term 2
Final Year Project in Politics and International Relations 153400169 30 Full Year
Conflict, Rights and Justice 153402006 15 Term 1
Foreign Policy Analysis 158000212 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

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.

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. 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

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.

Fees and funding



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

Located at the centre of Europe, SOAS offers a great course for students who want to study International Relations from a non-Eurocentric perspective. All the staff and students are passionate about what they are doing, the class is always full of energy and fun. If you want to learn about the world from a non-Western aspect, SOAS is definitely the best choice.

Yumeng Li


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