SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

BA South East Asian Studies

3 years

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Undergraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 Entry requirements

  • Subjects Preferred: No
  • Interview Policy: Candidates with non-standard qualifications may be invited for interview, though many applications are assessed on the basis of the UCAS forms alone.
A Levels:
While a foreign language at A-level will be useful we strongly encourage students with less traditional backgrounds to apply or to discuss their application with the department.
33 (5/5/5)

View alternative entry requirements


Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction

Scottish Highers: AABBB

Scottish Advanced Highers: ABB

Irish LC: 320 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above

Advanced Placement: 4 4 4 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0

Euro Bacc: 80%

French Bacc: 14/20

German Abitur: 2.0

Italy DES: 80/100

Austria Mat: 2.0

Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

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  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
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Programme Code: T302 BA/SEASt

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

BA South East Asian Studies is a three-year programme that strikes an exciting balance between the study of a South East Asian language (Burmese, Indonesian, Thai or Vietnamese) and the cultures of the region. Competence in a South East Asian language is developed as a tool for exploring the culture for which a spoken language is a vehicle. 

The syllabus introduces its subject through the broad media of language, culture, literature and cinema with options also to gain knowledge of South East Asian history, politics, economics, linguistics, religious studies, music, art and archaeology, anthropology and others. 

This degree is ideal for students who do not seek the intensive engagement with language demanded by the four-year degrees, but who desire a working knowledge of the language to enhance their engagement with the diversity of South East Asian culture.


Key Information Set Data


Year 1
Core Modules
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Introduction to South East Asia 155901320 0.5 Unit Term 1
South East Asia on Film 155901318 0.5 Unit Term 2
Compulsory Language Module

Choose a language at a suitable level from Burmese, Indonesian, Thai or Vietnamese. This would typically be level 1 of the chosen language.

Compulsory Module

Please take the module below OR choose a unit from List B

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
H150 Introduction to the History of South East Asia 154800232 1 Unit Full Year
Open Option

Choose a further unit from List B or an open option from another department at an approved level.

Year 2
Core Modules

You must take both of the following modules.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Cultural Studies of Island South East Asia 155907002 0.5 Unit Term 1
Cultural Studies of Mainland South East Asia 155907003 0.5 Unit Term 2
Compulsory Module

A language module which is a continuation of the Year 1 language or a unit from List A.

Compulsory Module

One unit from List A or a second approved language module.

Optional Module

Choose a unit from List A, List C or an open option at an approved level.

Year 3
Compulsory Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Independent Study Project in South East Asian Studies 155901243 1 Unit Full Year
Compulsory Module

A South East Asian language or modules to the value of one unit from List A.

Compulsory Module

A second approved language unit or modules to the value of one unit from List A or List C.

Optional Module

A unit from List A, List C or an open option.

List of Approved Modules
List A
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Orientalism on Screen 155901413 0.5 Unit Term 2
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 0.5 Unit Term 2
Vietnam on Screen 155907004 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Thailand on Screen (post '97) 155901317 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Indonesia on Screen 155901354 0.5 Unit Term 1
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asian Literatures in Translation 155901316 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
The City and the Countryside in South East Asian Literatures 155901326 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Jawi and the Manuscript Tradition 155901312 0.5 Unit Term 2
English Literatures of South East Asia 155901410 0.5 Unit Term 1
Under Western Eyes: European Writings on South East Asia 155907001 0.5 Unit Term 2
List A (Final Year only)
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Extended Essay in South East Asian Studies 155901307 0.5 Unit Term 1
List B
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
H150 Introduction to the History of South East Asia 154800232 1 Unit Full Year
Themes in the Art and Archaeology of South and Southeast Asia 154900156 0.5 Unit Term 1
Buddhism: Foundation 158000110 0.5 Unit Term 1
Hinduism: Foundation 158000118 0.5 Unit Term 2
Islam: Foundations 158000189 0.5 Unit Term 1
World Christianities Foundation 158000117 0.5 Unit Term 2
Introduction to Grammatical Structure 152900071 1 Unit Full Year
General Linguistics 152900069 1 Unit Full Year
List C

Year 2 and Final Year South East Asia related modules. Please check any pre-requisites.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (UG) 155800081 0.5 Unit Term 2
Music and Religion in South East Asia 155800080 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
H353 The Creation of Modern Burma 1852-C.1941 (I) 154800252 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Arts of the Buddha in Southeast Asia 154900148 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Southeast Asia in the Modern Imagination: Art, Visuality, Exchange 154900194 0.5 Unit Full Year
Undoing Asia: Artistic Perspectives from the 20th and 21th Centuries 154900191 0.5 Unit Term 2
Southeast Asian government and politics 153400022 1 Unit Full Year

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Year abroad


Teaching & Learning

Course Information

Introductory and intermediate courses in a South East Asian language use a wide variety of learning experiences and techniques. Most other units are taught by formal lecture and with related tutorials. Assessment is by a combination of written examination and coursework.

Special Features

The School's teaching is backed up by the South East Asia collection within the SOAS library, one of the world's major collections of information in the field of South East Asian studies. The South East Asia collection now contains over 6500 books and pamphlets and 550 periodical titles as well as substantial collections of microfilms and manuscripts.

Pre Entry Reading

Suggestions for preliminary reading
  • Baker, C. and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009.  A history of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cornwel-Smith, P. 2005. Very Thai. Bangkok: River Books.
  • Hellwig, T. and Tagliacozzo, E. (eds). 2009. The Indonesia reader: history, culture, politics. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Jamieson, N. 1995. Understanding Vietnam. Berkely: University of California Press.
  • Mulder, N. 2000. Inside Thai society: religion, everyday life, change. Chiangmai: Silkworm Books.
  • Nguyen Van Huy and Kendall, L. (eds). 2003. Vietnam: journeys of body,
    mind, and spirit
    . Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Owen, N. (ed.). 2005. The emergence of modern Southeast Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii.
  • Ricklefs, M.C., Lockhart, B. Lau, A. Reyes, P. and Maitrii Aung-Thwin. 2010. A new history of South East Asia. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Robson, S.O. 2004. Welcome to Indonesian, a beginner's survey of the language. Boston: Tuttle.
  • Taylor, J.G. 2003. Indonesia: peoples and histories. New Haven:Yale University Press.
  • Taylor, K. 2013. A history of the Vietnamese. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Vickers, A. 2005. A history of modern Indonesia. New York:Cambridge University Press.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

BA, BSc, LLB £9,250 £16,575
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,387.50 £8,288
Undergraduate Research Awards

Application Deadline: 2017-04-17 17:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


As a graduate who specialised in the South East Asian region, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a combination of the study of language, literature, history, cinema, politics, economics or law. Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, 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. These include: written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; analytical and problem-solving skills; and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources.

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

Atkins Heritage
Burmese Refugee Project
Dept for Environment, Food and Rural affairs
Evergreen Energy
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
JP Morgan
Karenni Student Development Programme
LCC Children's Services
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands
Pepperdine University
Semporna Islands Project
Suzhou Education Bureau
Medical Defence Union
Xoom Corporation
Child in Need Institute

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Senior Heritage Consultant
Project Manager
Policy Advisor
Country Director
Company Director
Professor of History
English Language Assistant
Learning and Development Officer
SVP Business Development
International Marketing Executive
Support Worker

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

One of the highlights of my course has been having the opportunity to study for one year at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. It was really daunting at first but there is no better way to learn a language than to totally immerse yourself in it and you learn all about the society and culture that you’re living in.

Nicholas Day


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