SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

BA Thai and...

duration:
3 or 4 years

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
£9,250
Overseas fees:
£16,575


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 usually invited
A Levels:
AAB - ABB
A Level language preferred
IB:
35 (6/6/5)

View alternative entry requirements

BTEC: DDM

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

Overview

Programme Code: See 'May be Combined With:'

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Thailand, formerly known as Siam until 1939, differs from other countries in South East Asia as a result of never having been formally colonized. Its semicolonial status makes it an interesting starting point for comparison with other nations in the region. In 1932 a coup brought an end to the absolute monarchy and established in its place the constitutional monarchy which still remains today. Ever since, the military have played a dominant role in the governing of the country and coups, plots and counter-coups have been a salient feature of the domestic political scene, the most recent occurring in September 2006.

After a turbulent decade in the 1970s, Thailand enjoyed a period of political stability and rapid economic growth, which came to a drastic halt in mid 1997. It has since made some economic growth, partly fuelled by a vibrant tourist industry, despite setbacks in confidence as as a result of the tsunami which devastated its south western coastline in December 2004. Thailand currently enjoys widespread publicity abroad as a result of its popular cuisine and a vibrant film industry that has, in the new millennium, made significant inroads into the international marketplace.

Thai is a member of the Tai family of languages which are dispersed over a wide area of Asia from northern Vietnam to northern India. It is the national language of Thailand and spoken by over 60 million people. Distinct dialects are spoken in the north, north-east and south of the country, but the language of the Central Region is regarded as the standard and is used both in schools and for official purposes throughout the country. The earliest surviving writings in Thai are stone inscriptions, dating back to the 13th century, which often record historical or religious events. By the end of the 18th century a refined court literature encompassing poetry and drama had begun to emerge, sometimes building upon indigenous traditions, sometimes adopting and adapting works of foreign origin. The introduction of printing, the emergence of a reading public as a result of the spread of education and contact with the west stimulated a demand for more reading material toward the end of the 19th century, and by the early 20th century prose fiction had begun to gain popular acceptance.

Today there is an enormous diversity of short stories and novels available.

Thai may be combined with another Asian language, or with a non-language discipline (Development Studies, Economics, Geography, History, History of Art/Archaeology, Law, Management, Music, Politics, Social Anthropology or Study of Religions). In addition, Thai may be combined with French; in this combination the European language portion of the degree is taught at University College London, to which initial applications should be directed. The general pattern is that the two-subject degrees are taken over four years, with the third year being spent on a programme of study in Thailand. However, students taking Thai and French spend their third year in France. There are also three-year versions of the degrees in Thai and a discipline which do not involve a year abroad. Students must take four course units per year, consulting closely with their tutors when choices arise, and achieving a balance between the two subjects of study.

Convenors

Key Information Set Data


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

Combinations

May be combined with:

** Taught at King's College, London
** Taught at University College London (UCL)

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data

Structure

Thai may be combined with another Asian language, or with a non-language discipline (Development Studies, Economics, Geography, History, History of Art/Archaeology, Law, Management, Music, Politics, Social Anthropology or Study of Religions). In addition, Thai may be combined with French; in this combination the European language portion of the degree is taught at University College London, to which initial applications should be directed. 

The general pattern is that the two-subject degrees are taken over four years, with the third year being spent on a programme of study in Thailand. However, students taking Thai and Japanese spend their second year in Japan, and students taking Thai and French spend their third year in France. There are also three-year versions of the degrees in Thai and a discipline, which do not involve a year abroad. Students must take four course units per year, consulting closely with their tutors when choices arise, and achieving a balance between the two subjects of study.

Year 1: 3 & 4 Year Degree
Core Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Thai Language 1 155901366 1 Unit Full Year
Compulsory Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Introduction to South East Asia 155901320 0.5 Unit Term 1
South East Asia on Film 155901318 0.5 Unit Term 2
Other Subject

Students take 2 units in the other subject.

Year 2: 3 & 4 Year Degree
Core Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Thai Language 2 155901367 1 Unit Full Year
Compulsory Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Cultural Studies of Mainland South East Asia 155907003 0.5 Unit Term 2
Compulsory Module

Choose a module from List A.

Other Subject

Students take 2 units in the other subject.

Year 3: 3 Year Degree
Core Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Thai Language 3 155901353 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Compulsory Module

Choose modules to the value of one unit from List A.

Other Subject

Students take 2 units in the other subject

Year 3: 4 Year Degree

Year abroad in Thailand.

Year 4: 4 Year Degree
Core Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Thai Language 4 155901357 1 Unit Full Year
Compulsory Module

Choose modules to the value of one unit from List A.

Other Subject

Students take 2 units in the other subject

List A

Before selecting a course, student's must first check that the course is at the correct level. They must also ensure that they meet any pre-requisites.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Thailand on Screen (post '97) 155901317 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Orientalism on Screen 155901413 0.5 Unit Term 2
Cultural Studies of Island South East Asia 155907002 0.5 Unit Term 1
Vietnam on Screen 155907004 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Indonesia on Screen 155901354 0.5 Unit Term 1
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 0.5 Unit Term 2
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
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
Jawi and the Manuscript Tradition 155901312 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

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Year abroad

The Thai Year Abroad is split between Rak Thai Language School and Thammasat University in Bangkok.

You are expected to take 3 consecutive language courses at Rak Thai Language School, which will typically last from the end of September to the end of December. You will then have a break of approximately three weeks prior to commencing tuition at Thammasat University, joining in their second term. Classes will run from mid-January to the beginning of June, and you will be given a list of available courses before you leave SOAS. Full participation in class, including 100% attendance and completion of class assignments (where possible) and examinations is expected.  Students are expected to sit the examinations for each course, although passing is not a prerequisite for re-entry to year 4 at SOAS.

Students must also complete and submit a 5,000 word ISP by 1 September 2016 on a topic agreed with the Year Abroad Programme Convenor at SOAS. The topic chosen should involve speaking to Thai informants and consulting Thai written materials. Past topics have included pronominal usage in Thai, selected works of a famous writer, Buddha amulets, the making of the Thai blockbuster, Suriyothai, and provincial goldsmiths. Students will take an entry examination in Thai in the registration week of term 1 of their fourth year.

You are expected to make your own accommodation arrangements. The university would be happy to assist with/provide this, but on past experience, students have preferred to find their own accommodation. Small, one-room apartments with air-conditioning located near to the University can be found for about 6-8,000 Baht per month (c. £100).

Teaching & Learning

Course Information 

Language teaching is mostly in small tutorial groups; tapes and language laboratory facilities are available for formal teaching and self-study. Non-language units are taught by lecture and seminar. Students are assessed by a combination of written examination (and oral for language units) and coursework, including essays and translations.

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

Further reading:

  • Baker, Chris and Pasuk Phongpaichit.  A History of Thailand. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009 (2nd ed.).
  • Cornwel-Smith, Philip. Very Thai. Bangkok, Thailand: River Books, 2005.
  • Mulder, Niels. Inside Thai Society: Religion, Everyday Life, Change. Chiangmai: Silkworm Books, 2000.

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. 

ProgrammeFull-Time
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
BA, BSc, LLB £9,250 £16,575
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,387.50 £8,288
Scholarships
Undergraduate Research Awards

Application Deadline: 2017-04-17 00:00

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

Employment

As a graduate who specialised in Thai, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a study of language in combination with literature, development studies, economics, geography, history, history of art and archaeology, law, linguistics, music, politics, social anthropology or religion.

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. Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of the region, or to make comparative study with other areas. The study of Thai may be combined with a huge range of other disciplines. For more information on the extra skills you will gain from your second subject, please see the relevant departmental page.

Former students in the Department of South East Asia have gone on to work in a variety of capacities in commerce, industry, teaching, the media, finance, the civil service, academe, the armed forces and other spheres. Some have chosen to work in South East Asia or have found work related to the region thus being able to make direct use of their linguistic and cultural expertise.

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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Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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    Undergraduate course applications should be made through UCAS.

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