SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

BA South East Asian Studies and ...

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

  • Languages at SOAS are taught ab initio, and no prior knowledge is required. A foreign language at A-level or equivalent is preferred but not essential.
  • Subjects Preferred: No
  • Interview Policy: Candidates with 'non-standard' qualifications are encouraged to apply, and will usually be invited for an interview
A Levels:
A Level language preferred
35 (6/6/5)

View alternative entry requirements


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

Scottish Highers: AAABB

Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB

Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above

Advanced Placement: 4 4 5 (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

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply


Programme Code: See 'May be Combined with ..'

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

BA South East Asian Studies (Combined Honours) is a three-year programme that strikes an exciting balance between the study of a South East Asian language (Burmese, Indonesian, Khmer, Thai or Vietnamese), the cultures of the region and a second subject in another discipline. 

Competence in a South East Asian language is developed as a tool for exploring the culture for which a spoken language is a vehicle. 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

Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.


May be combined with:

* Taught at King's College, London

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS 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 Modules

A SEA language unit at an approved level (Burmese, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese). Typically level 1 of the language chosen.

Other Subject

Students should follow the syllabus of the second subject.

Year 2
Core Modules

You must take both modules below.

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

One unit of an SEA language OR modules to the value of one unit from List A.

Other Subject

Students should follow the syllabus of the second subject.

Year 3
Compulsory Modules

You must select the half unit module below and a further half unit from List A.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Extended Essay in South East Asian Studies 155901307 0.5 Unit Term 1
Optional Module

A unit of an SEA language, modules to the value of one unit from List A or List C or an open option.

Other Subject

Students should follow the syllabus of the second subject.

List of Approved Courses
List A
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Orientalism on Screen 155901413 0.5 Unit Term 2
Indonesia on Screen 155901354 0.5 Unit Term 1
Thailand on Screen (post '97) 155901317 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Vietnam on Screen 155907004 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 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
The City and the Countryside in South East Asian Literatures 155901326 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asian Literatures in Translation 155901316 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Jawi and the Manuscript Tradition 155901312 0.5 Unit Term 2
List C

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
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
H253 Islam in Southeast Asia, 1760s-1960s 154800212 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
H254 Indigenous Warfare & Society in Early Modern Southeast Asia, 1300-1830 154800240 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
H353 The Creation of Modern Burma 1852-C.1941 (I) 154800252 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Year abroad

There is no year abroad requirement on this programme.  If you are interested in taking a year abroad in South East Asia as part of your degree, then please look at the named language degrees and the BA South East Asian Studies (including 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.
  • Mulder, N. 2000. Inside Thai society: religion, everyday life, change. Chiangmai: Silkworm Books.
  • 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.
  • 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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