Department of Politics and International Studies

BA Politics

Key information

Duration
3 years
Start of programme
September
Attendance mode
Full-time
Location
Russell Square, College Buildings
Fees

Home student fees: £9,250
Overseas student fees: £21,160

Please note that fees go up each year. 
See undergraduate fees for further details.

Course code
L202 BA/POL
Entry requirements

A Levels: AAB

Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Austria: Reifeprufungszeugnis / Maturazeugnis: four subjects at 1, 1, 2, 2 

A Level equivalent: AAB 
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Belgium: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs: 80% (8/10, 16/20) overall

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Belgium

 

Bulgaria: Diploma za Zavarsheno Sredno Obrazovanie: 5.5 and 5.0 in two State Maturity Exams

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Bulgaria

Canada: High School Diploma: 83% with 5 acceptable Grade 12 subjects (most territories). 
British Colombia: AAABB in Grade 12 subjects.

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Canada

 

China: Senior Secondary Graduation Certificate + Gaokao: 80% overall in Gaokao PLUS 85% overall in Senior Secondary School Graduation Certificate (year 11 and 12)

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from China

 

Croatia: Matura Certificate: 5 overall with 5 in 2 Higher level subjects

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Cyprus: Apolytirion with 2 A-Levels: Apolytirion 18/20 + A-level grades AB

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Czech Republic: Matura Certificate: 1, 1, 2, 2

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Denmark: Studentereksamen; Hojere Forberedelseseksamen; Hojere Handelseksamen; Hojere Teknisk Eksamen10 plus 10, 10, 7 in three Level A subjects 

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Denmark

 

Estonia: Gümnaasiumi lõputunnistus with the Riigieksamitunnistus4.5 with 85%, 85%, and 80% in 3 state exams 

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Finland: Ylioppilastukint / Studentexamen: four subjects at 6, 6, 6, 5

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

France: French Baccalaureat or Option Internationale du Baccalauréat (OIB): 14/20

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from France

 

Germany: Abitur: 1.6

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Germany

 

Greece: Apolytirion of Geniko Lykeio with Pan Hellenic exams: 18.5/20

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Greece

 

Hong Kong: Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education: 554 in two electives and one core module (all other subjects grade 3)

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Hong Kong

 

Hungary: Matura (Erettségi): 5 overall

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Iceland: Stúdentspróf: 8

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

India: Standard XII: 80% (CBSE, CISCE, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra & West Bengal boards), 85% (all other state boards)

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from India

 

Ireland: Irish Leaving Certificate: H1, H1, H2, H2, H3

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Israel: Bagrut: Overall grade of 8-10, 85% with 3 subjects at 5-unit level

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Israel

 

Italy: Diploma Consequito con L’Esame di Stato: 85% overall

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Italy

 

Latvia: Certificate of General Secondary Education: 88% in four State subject exams

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Lithuania: Brandos Atestatas: 9/10 and 90%, 90%, 85% in three State Exams

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Lithuania

 

Malta: Advanced Matriculation Certificate: AA (Advanced) + BBB (Intermediate)

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Netherlands: Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs: Overall 7.5 with 8, 8, 8, 7 in four subjects

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Norway: Vitnemål vidergaende opplaering: 4.7 overall

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Norway

 

Poland: New Polish Matura: 80% in three Advanced Level subjects

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Poland

 

Portugal: Diploma de Ensino Secundario: overall 18/20

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

Romania: Diploma de Bacalaureat: 9 overall

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Romania

 

Singapore: Polytechnic Diploma (Nanyang, Ngee Ann, Singapore, Temasek and Republic Polytechnic): GPA 3.5

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Singapore

 

Slovakia: Maturitná skúška / Maturita / Vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške: four subjects at 1, 1, 2, 2

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

 

South Africa: National Senior Certificate: 77766

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from South Africa

 

Spain: Curso de Orientación Universitaria / Título de Bachillerato: 8

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Spain

 

Sweden: Slutbetyg / Examensbevis från Gymnasieskolan: A in 1500 credits and no grades below D / 18.5 / mainly A overall (MVG/VG)

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Sweden

Switzerland: Federal Maturity Certificate: 4.7

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Switzerland

Tanzania: Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education: ACSE with AAB in 3 principle subjects

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Tanzania

Trinidad and Tobago: CAPE: Six CAPE units with grade 2 (+two double-unit courses = grade 2)

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Turkey: Lise Diplomasi: 80-85% (depending on high school)

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from Turkey

USA: High School Diploma plus ACT, SAT, or AP exams:

  • High School Diploma GPA 3.2 plus SAT 1300 or ACT 29 and 2 AP's at 5,4/ 3 AP's at 5,4,4
    or
  • High School Diploma GPA of 3.4 plus 2 AP's at 5,4 or 3 AP's at 5,4,4
    or
  • High School Diploma GPA of 3.5 plus SAT 1340 or ACT 30
    or
  • 2-year Associate degree GPA 3.2

A Level equivalent: AAB
Contextualised offer: ABB

Information for prospective students from the USA

See undergraduate entry requirements for international and alternative entry requirements.

Course overview

The BA Politics degree will give you an excellent grounding in the discipline of Politics with a particular focus on Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

You will be introduced to the core subjects of political theory, comparative politics, political economy, and international relations, which are then applied to the analysis of real world political situations. Through a mix of disciplinary and regional training, you will develop a critical understanding of contemporary geopolitics, transnational social movements, as well as political developments and governance structures in particular countries.

While anchored in the academic field of political science, this programme employs interdisciplinary perspectives on pressing issues of the modern world and offers a wide variety of thematic modules on the politics of culture, nationalism, race, gender, migration, institutions, environmental justice, conflict and war. This range of options helps students to gain a critical understanding of political dynamics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, while acquiring practical analytical and communications skills.

Why study BA Politics at SOAS?

  • ranked 5th in the UK for Politics (QS World University Rankings 2022)
  • as well as 3rd globally for academic reputation (QS World University Rankings 2022)
  • 5th in the UK (Guardian League Table 2023)
  • understanding both mainstream and critical approaches to the study of politics
  • deep knowledge of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East with the option of studying a language
  • non-Western, global perspective on the key issues of domestic and international politics

Structure

The BA Politics is a three-year degree programme.

In each year, students need to take modules to the total value of 120 credits following the below structure. Students have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of disciplinary and regional modules offered within the Politics Department, as well as modules offered in other Departments at SOAS as part of their 'open options'.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Students will take the following 3 compulsory modules (90 credits total):

Optional modules

Students will take one of the following modules or modules to the value of 30 credits from the language open options list.

Year 2

Credits must be taken in the following combination;

  • Introduction to Research Methods (153400156) (15 credits) 
  • 30-45 credits from Year 2 disciplinary options and
  • 30-45 credits from Year 2 regional options and
  • Up to 30 credits to be taken from second year options or languages open option lists
     

Year 3

Credits must be taken in the following combination;

  • 45 credits from list A and
  • At least 45 credits from list B and
  • Remaining credits can be taken from open options language open options, non-language open options.

Teaching and learning

Most of our modules are taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Lectures (50 minutes) provide broad overviews of the topic.

Contact hours

They are accompanied by tutorials (50 minutes) that give students the opportunity to discuss readings and key issues in small groups. In the final year, modules may also take the form of two-hour seminars allowing for deeper engagement with more specialised topics. The programme provides methodological and skills training throughout and allows final year students to undertake an independent research project, such as a dissertation, supervised by an academic member of staff.

By the end of the programme students will have acquired a range of transferable skills. This includes the ability to collect and synthesise information, read and evaluate complex materials, assess the evidence for a range of different positions, construct arguments, exercise independence of judgement and communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Learning resources

Students also benefit from the vibrant learning environment SOAS provides more broadly. The SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. Moreover, every year there is a lively events programme that attracts renowned speakers from around the world, allowing students to engage with cutting edge debates on contemporary politics.

Scholarships

Title Deadline date
Undergraduate Research Awards

Fees and funding

Fees for 2023/24 entrants per academic year

Programme Full-time
Home students Overseas students

BA, BSc, LLB

£9,250

£21,160
BA/BSc Language year abroad £1,385 £10,580

See undergraduate fees for further details.

Employment

SOAS Politics and International Relations students leave SOAS not only with a knowledge and understanding of the complex political and cultural issues of our time, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers.

Recent graduates have been hired by:

  • BBC World Service
  • Bloomberg
  • British Red Cross
  • British Council
  • Center for International Peace Operations
  • Channel 4
  • Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA)
  • Department for International Development (DfID)
  • Eversheds LLP
  • Financial Times
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
  • Global Policy Institute
  • Go East Consulting
  • Grassroot Diplomat
  • Palestine Red Crescent Association
  • Save the Children
  • UNICEF Ethiopia
  • United Nations

Find out about our Careers Service.