Overview and entry requirements
The BA in Politics seeks to give students an excellent grounding in the discipline of Politics with a particular focus on Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Students will be introduced to the core subjects of political theory, comparative politics, political economy, and international relations, which are then applied to the analysis of real world political situations. Through a mix of disciplinary and regional training, students will develop a critical understanding of contemporary geopolitics, transnational social movements, as well as political developments and governance structures in particular countries.
While anchored in the academic field of political science, the programme employs interdisciplinary perspectives on pressing issues of the modern world and offers a wide variety of thematic modules on the politics of culture, nationalism, race, gender, migration, institutions, environmental justice, conflict and war. This range of options helps students to gain a critical understanding of political dynamics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, while acquiring practical analytical and communications skills.
See Department of Politics and International Studies
Why study BA Politics at SOAS
- ranked 5th in the UK for Politics (QS World University Rankings 2021)
- understanding both mainstream and critical approaches to the study of politics
- deep knowledge of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East with the option of studying a language
- non-Western, global perspective on the key issues of domestic and international politics
Programme Code: L202 BA/POL
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 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'.
Students will take the following 3 core modules (90 credits total):
Students will take ONE of the following modules OR modules to the value of 30 credits from the Language Open Options list.
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)
Second Year Options
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).
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
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.
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
SOAS is more than a university and a place to get an education, it is a community and a big diverse family.