SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

BA Politics (2018 entry)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


The Politics degree at SOAS is structured around four core subdisciplines, namely political theory, political sociology, political economy, and international relations. Students receive a thorough training in the theories and methods of these sub-disciplines, which are then applied to the analysis of real world political situations.

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By studying Politics at SOAS, students will gain detailed knowledge and a thorough understanding of some of the most important power shifts and conflicts of ideas unfolding in the world today. They will also learn to critically engage with and explore the relevance of social science concepts for understanding contemporary geopolitics, regional politics of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as the ability to undertake analyses and comparisons of political developments in specific countries.

Teaching in the Department of Politics and International Studies combines an introduction to the discipline of politics as a comparative exercise together with awareness that comparisons must always respect the individuality of each country and population. This awareness is complemented by the work carried out in other departments of SOAS. A Politics degree at SOAS therefore gives our students a better opportunity than most to understand global politics since our courses cover the politics of three quarters of the globe. BA Politics may be taken as a single subject or two-subject degree.  A sampling of the modules we offer include Government and Politics of Asia, of China, of the Middle East, and of Africa, International Politics, Islam and Democracy, Politics of Development, Globalization and Global Governance, and Politics of Culture.

Programme Code: L202 BA/POL

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



Year 1

Compulsory Modules

Students will take the following 3 compulsory modules (90 credits total):

Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Political Analysis 153400086 30 Full Year
Introduction to Comparative Politics 153400079 30 Full Year
Introduction to Political Theory 153400001 30 Full Year
Optional Modules

Students will take ONE of the following modules OR modules to the value of 30 credits from the Language Open Options list.

Module Code Credits Term
Introduction to Global History 153400084 30 Full Year
Introduction to International Relations 153400085 30 Full Year

Year 2

Credits must be taken in the following combination;

  • Introduction to Research Methods (153400156) (15 credits) 
  • A minimum of 30 credits from Year 2 Disciplinary AND
  • A minimum of 30 credits from Year 2 Regional modules
  • Remaining credits to be taken from Second Year Options OR a maximum of 30 credits from the Open Option lists (Languages | Non-languages)

Year 3

Credits must be taken in the following combination;

  • A minimum of 45 credits from List A AND
  • A minimum of 15 credits from List B
  • Remaining credits can be taken from Lists A, B, C OR open options (maximum of 30 credits from the Open Options list Language Open Options | Non-language Open Options).
 Disciplinary Options
Module Code Credits Term
Political Theory 153400054 30
Politics of development 153400042 15 Term 2
Regional Options
Module Code Credits Term
Government and politics of China 153400071 30 Full Year
Government and politics of the Middle East 153400060 30 Full Year
The state and politics in Africa 153400064 15 Term 1
Second Year Options
Module Code Credits Term
Politics of the World Economy 153400083 15 Term 1
Religion and World Politics 153402000 1
International Relations of Africa 153400090 30 Full Year
International Relations of the Middle East 153400081 30 Full Year
International Relations of South Asia 153400082 15 Term 2
List A
Module Code Credits Term
Political Theory 153400054 30
Politics of development 153400042 15 Term 2
Politics of Culture 153400075 15 Term 2
Politics of Gender 153400074 15 Term 2
Issues in Turkish Politics 153400076 15 Term 1
Palestine/Israel and the International 153400087 15 Term 2
Islam and Democracy 153400065 30 Full Year
Politics of Nationalism 153400057 15 Term 1
Government and politics of China 153400071 30 Full Year
Government and politics of the Middle East 153400060 30 Full Year
The state and politics in Africa 153400064 15 Term 1
Conflict, Rights and Justice 153402006 15 Term 1
List B
Module Code Credits Term
Globalisation and Global Governance 153400070 15 Term 2
Identity in International Relations 153400073 15 Term 2
International Institutions and World Politics 153400068 15 Term 2
Going Global: An Introduction to International Migration 153400088 15 Term 2
African Political Thought 153402004 15 Term 1
Decolonising World Politics 153402002 15 Term 1
Key Debates on Neoliberalism 153402003 15 Term 2
Final Year Project in Politics 153400053 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

Teaching & Learning

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.

Classes are taught through lectures, tutorials and seminars. Assessment is by a combination of written examination and essays.

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. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.


SOAS BA Politics students leave SOAS not only with a knowledge and understanding of the complex political and cultural issues of global politics, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. 

Politics students follow many different careers in business, government, international organisations and NGOs, as well as further study.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

BBC - World Service
British Council
Center for International Peace Operations
Channel 4
Civil Rights, Human Rights and Peace Movement Meretz
Council for Assisting Refugee Academics
Eversheds LLP
Financial Times Limited
Global Policy Institute
Go East Consulting
Grassroot Diplomat
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Norwegian Broadcasting Corp
Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance - PICG
Public Affairs Council
Standard Chartered Bank
Sveriges Riksdag, Swedish Parliament
Think Security Africa
Uganda Conservation Foundation
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:
Asia-Pacific Desk Editor
Donor Development Officer
Senior Policy Adviser
Grant Programme Officer/Consultant
Communications Coordinator
Lawyer, International Arbitration and Litigation
Film Maker
Head of Strategy & Corporate Development
Media & Marketing Officer
Project Manager
Senior Clinical Researcher
Barrister at Law
Market Analyst
Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Senior Consultant
Commercial Advisor
Corporate Affairs Manager, Europe
Country Director
Project Coordinator
Communications strategist
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website

A Student's Perspective

Having now experienced SOAS life, I can say there really is no other place quite like it

Soumaya Tidjani

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