SOAS is the only University in the UK where you can study South Asian languages (Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Sanskrit, Urdu) as part of your BA degree, and combine in-depth language learning with a broad range of modules related to the area. In all these languages (pathway languages) we offer language modules at beginner, intermediate and advanced level. We also offer modules that use the language skills you acquire to gain access to the present and past culture of South Asia through written and audio-visual texts. We occasionally offer Punjabi, subject to a minimum number of students. We also offer exciting modules on the culture and society of South Asia, including unique modules in cinema, literature, art, music, religion, history, politics, law, economics and anthropology. We offer the widest range of culture modules on South Asia, both at introductory and specialist levels.
Our BA South Asian Studies transforms your interest in South Asia into a serious degree, combining extensive knowledge in the area, solid linguistic skills, and a host of much-valued transferable skills. The career paths of our graduates include international development and aid agencies, print journalism and media, local, national and international government agencies, overseas companies, teaching, law, librarianship, arts administration.
As the economies of South Asia continue to expand, a knowledge of language and culture will be more and more of an asset in the world of commerce and international trade. Many of our graduates choose to pursue Masters’ programmes that either focus on particular aspects of South Asia, or are linked to professional qualifications in law, development, media, etc.
The four-year degree gives you the unique opportunity of spending the third year attending an intensive language programme in India, Nepal or Bangladesh and experiencing life and study in South Asia in what is a unique life experience.
Programme Code: T304
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time
- 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:
- AAB - ABB
- 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
- 4 Years
- UK/EU fees:
- Overseas fees:
Fees for 2019/20 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
Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.
Students must take 120 credits per year, 90 of which must be from the approved syllabus for their programme of study. Students can choose non-language modules from a range of approved South-Asia related modules from subject areas which include anthropology, art and archaeology, economics, film, geography, history, law, literature, music, politics and religion.
NB: not all modules are available every year - please check to see which modules are on offer.
Core modules must be passed in order to proceed to the following year of study.
Core Language Module (Year 1)
Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from list A at an appropriate level (Hindi/Sanskrit/Urdu language)
Compulsory Modules (Year 1)
Core Modules (Year 2)
Choose a language module(s) to the value of 30 credits from list A, which is a progression of the language studied in Year 1.
Compulsory Modules (Year 2)
Choose one of the following two modules:
Choose one of the following 15 credit compulsory modules
Choose an intermediate Sanskrit module to the value of '30 credits'
Optional Modules (Year 2)
Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from list A or list C
Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from list C or the list of undergraduate open options.
Students spend their 3rd Year abroad. See the Teaching & Learning tab for more details.
Compulsory Language Module (Year 4)
Choose an 'advanced level' module from 'List A' of the South Asian language pathway chosen in Year 1 to the value of '30 credits'.
Guided Option (Year 4)
Choose a further intermediate or advanced level language module to the value of 30 credits from 'List A' OR choose a module to the value of 30 credits from 'List C' (choice may be restricted depending on the chosen language pathway).
Guided Option/Open option (Year 4)
Choose a guided option module to the value of 30 credits from 'List C' OR choose an open option to the value of 30 credits
List A South Asian Language Modules
The list below indicates the pathway along which students can progress as they do their South Asian language modules. Students may not take more than one language module at elementary level in any given year. Passing of the intermediate level module (or its equivalent) in Bengali OR Hindi OR Nepali OR Sanskrit OR Urdu is a pre¬requisite for admission to the Year Abroad.
List B Introductory modules on aspects of South Asian history and culture
List C Non-language-based South Asian and South Asian-related modules
Some modules require successful attendance of a relevant introductory module; students are advised to check the relevant module descriptions for prerequisites and consult the relevant module tutor before selecting units.
Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
Final year only:
School of Law
Department of Politics and International Studies
Department of English
Department of History
Department of History of Art and Archaeology
Department of Music
Department of Religions and Philosophies
Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Department of Economics
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.
Year 3 is spent attending an intensive language module abroad, and gives you the unique opportunity of experiencing life and study in South Asia in what is a unique experience. Please see the relevant language webpages for more information.
There are also plenty of opportunities to volunteer for local NGOs (valuable work experience) and plan and collect material for the Independent Study Project in year 4.
Please note, the Year Abroad Urdu language programme is taught in Lucknow, India. Students will only be able to attend the Year Abroad if they are able to acquire a visa for India.
Teaching & Learning
All full-time undergraduate programmes consist of 120 credits per year, taught in modules of 30 credits (taught over 20 weeks) or 15 credits (taught over 10 weeks). The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study (see Approaches to teaching and learning at SOAS). It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others.
In the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, undergraduate modules take various forms. Modules may be taught through 1 or 2 hours of lectures a week, and some may have an additional 1-2 hours of weekly seminars. Languages classes may be 4-5 hours per week in the first and second year, typically less at higher levels.
More information is on the page for each module.
Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.
Fees for 2019/20 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year.
|BA, BSc, LLB
|BA/BSc Language Year Abroad
Application Deadline: 2019-04-30 00:00
Application Deadline: 2019-01-31 00:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
As a student specialising in South Asia, you will gain 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 and culture (which can include literature, film, music, art and religion) of various parts of South Asia.
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 in both business and 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.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
I have had the chance to read the most up to date, often controversial and revealing perspectives on South Asia, presented by leading academics who will often actually be members of the South Asia Department Faculty itself. My choice to study at SOAS was the best decision I ever made; being a student here is an exciting and unique experience.