SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

BA Vietnamese and...

3 years or 4 years (including year abroad). Students can also take Vietnamese throughout their degree and spend a year in Vietnam by taking the programme BA South East Asian Studies (including year abroad).

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

  • 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

Featured events

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


Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Vietnam claims an unbroken history of at least 4000 years, though an earlier part is recorded in myth, legend and archaeological evidence rather than in, and has maintained intact its own linguistic and cultural identity as a nation to the present day despite a millennium of Chinese rule, although there is no written record of the language prior to the 11th century AD. With the ending of Chinese rule in the early part of the 10th century AD, Vietnamese culture developed independently. While literary forms based on Chinese models survived, and continued to be much practised and admired, indigenous forms were added, making the literature of Vietnam one of the richest in the region. 

In the 17th century, Christian missionaries devised a romanised script which eventually displaced the older character-based writing completely. With the arrival of French colonial rule in the 19th century, the Vietnamese encountered Western civilisation for the 1st time; an encounter which added yet another dimension to Vietnamese civilisation and literature. The wars which ravaged Vietnam after 1940 produced an immense wealth of prose, poetry and song, as yet undiscovered by the outside world. 

The breadth of expertise in the field of Asian Studies is reflected in the score of 5 achieved by the department in the 2001 government assessment of research in all British universities. SOAS has the highest percentage of research-active academics in the field of Asian Studies of any British university. The range of research interests, expertise and resources in SOAS, not only in Vietnamese and South East Asian Studies, but also with regard to the languages and literatures of other regions, religious studies, anthropology, history, art and archaeology is unique in UK institutions and this gives you an unparalleled choice in choosing a second subject of study.


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
** Taught at University College London (UCL)

Students wishing to combine this subject with Management Studies should contact the Head of Department or Undergraduate Tutor for information.  See Department Staff page for contact details.

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data


The programme may be studied as a three or four year degree programme, with the option of a year abroad in Vietnam. You will study four 120 credits each year chosen from a wide range of available modules relating to various aspects of South East Asia, including a Vietnamese language module. The first year features an introductory Vietnamese language modules for complete beginners in the language taught at a deliberately intensive pace. The module aims to equip the student with a command of the script and sound system, and a useful range of vocabulary and grammatical structures. It provides practice in speaking and oral comprehension, with simple conversations and recorded listening material; and in reading and writing, using elementary texts in both the colloquial and the literary style, including personal correspondence. You will also take the modules Introduction to South East Asia and South East Asia on Film, which together provide a foundation in the past and present of South East Asian culture. The other two modules are taken in the other subject of your degree. In Year 2 you will take Vietnamese Language 2, an intermediate language course designed to develop the language skills acquired in the first year, incorporating the study of a range of contemporary prose texts and recorded audio material. You will also take at least a further half-module in South East Asian literature in translation, in addition to further modules in your other subject. If you choose to do so, you may spend the third year studying Vietnamese at a university in Vietnam. In the final year, you will continue your language studies with the advanced language module Vietnamese Language and Texts (or with the fourth-year module Vietnamese Literature if you spend the third year in Vietnam). You will complete an undergraduate dissertation (Independent Study Project) of 10,000 words on a topic of your choice related to Vietnam. The topic of this project is chosen by you in consultation with your teachers, and may be tailored as far as possible to suit your own interests. You also take one or two modules in your second subject or an open option module.
Year 1: 3 & 4 Year Degree
Core Module
Module Code Unit value Term Availability
Vietnamese Language 1 155900704 1 UnitFull Year
Compulsory Modules

Students must complete the following modules:

Module Code Unit value Term Availability
Introduction to South East Asia 155901320 0.5 UnitsTerm 1
South East Asia on Film 155901318 0.5 UnitsTerm 2
Other Subject

The remaining credits are taken in the other subject or as open options depending on the requirements of the other subject.

Year 2: 3 & 4 Year Degree
Core Module
Module Code Unit value Term Availability
Vietnamese Language 2 155900705 1 UnitFull Year
Compulsory Modules
Module Code Unit value Term Availability
Cultural Studies of Mainland South East Asia 155907003 0.5 UnitsTerm 1
Compulsory Module

Choose a 15 credit module from List A.

Other Subject

The remaining credits are taken in the other subject or as open options depending on the requirements of the other subject.

Year 3: 3 Year Degree
Core Module
Module Code Unit value Term Availability
Vietnamese Language and Texts 155901049 1 UnitFull Year
Compulsory Module

Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List A

Other Subject

The remaining credits are taken in the other subject or as open options depending on the requirements of the other subject.

Year 3: 4 Year Degree

Students spend their 3rd year abroad in Vietnam before returning to SOAS to sit examinations in the modules below.

Module Code Unit value Term Availability
Independent Study Project in South East Asian Studies (Year Abroad) 155901244 1 UnitFull Year
Year 4: 4 Year Degree
Core Module
Module Code Unit value Term Availability
Vietnamese Literature 155901113 1 UnitFull Year Not Running 2017/2018
Compulsory Modules

Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List A

Other Subject

The remaining credits are taken in the other subject or as open options depending on the requirements of the other subject.

List A
Module Code Unit value Term Availability
Vietnam on Screen 155907004 0.5 UnitsTerm 2
Thailand on Screen (post '97) 155901317 0.5 UnitsTerm 2
Orientalism on Screen 155901413 0.5 UnitsTerm 2
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 0.5 UnitsTerm 1
Indonesia on Screen 155901354 0.5 UnitsTerm 1 Not Running 2017/2018
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asian Literatures in Translation 155901316 0.5 UnitsTerm 1
The City and the Countryside in South East Asian Literatures 155901326 0.5 UnitsTerm 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Cultural Studies of Island South East Asia 155907002 0.5 UnitsTerm 2
English Literatures of South East Asia 155901410 0.5 UnitsTerm 1 Not Running 2017/2018
Under Western Eyes: European Writings on South East Asia 155907001 0.5 UnitsTerm 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Jawi and the Manuscript Tradition 155901312 0.5 UnitsTerm 2 Not Running 2017/2018
List A (Final Year only)
Module Code Unit value Term Availability
Extended Essay in South East Asian Studies 155901307 0.5 UnitsTerm 1

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Year abroad

Students on their Vietnamese Year Abroad have the option of spending their year at either Vietnam National University in Hanoi, or the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City.

Students are required to take the following classes:

  • Vietnamese Language 1
  • Vietnamese Language 2: Texts
  • Vietnamese History and Culture

In order to proceed to Year 3, students will be assessed by two written exams and one oral exam at SOAS in September. Students are also required to submit an Independent Study Project (ISP) to their teachers at SOAS, consisting of 10,000 words on a subject relating to Vietnamese language or culture and should involve speaking to Vietnamese informants and consulting Vietnamese written materials. The proposed topic and procedure for collecting data should be emailed to teachers by the end of November, and the completed ISP submitted before the exams in September.  

Students should budget to spend around £500 per month on accommodation and food.

Teaching & Learning

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

Pre Entry Reading

  • D. Healy Studies on Vietnamese language and literature in South East Asian languages and literatures, edited by E. Ulrich Kratz. London:Tauris, 1996
  • Nguyen Du The tale of Kieu (translated and annotated by Huynh Sanh Thong) Yale UP, 1983
  • N. Jamieson Understanding Vietnam Berkeley 1993
  • Huynh Sanh Thong The heritage of Vietnamese Poetry Yale UP, 1979

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. 

Programme Full-Time
BA, BSc, LLB £9,250 £16,575
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,350 £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 Vietnamese, 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 Vietnamese 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.

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

A Student's Perspective

I always maintained my early interest in South East Asia and hoped to return to SOAS one day, in order to complete my studies. The opportunity to do this occurred when I retired. I am now studying for an MA in South East Asian Studies.

Magda Biran Taylor


Find out more

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