SOAS University of London

Academic Summer School at SOAS

Blockchain: Implications for Business, Finance, Government and Society (2019 entry)

Credit-bearing Summer School

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


Programme Description 

This course aims to provide participants with the theoretical knowledge and critical tools for understanding the impact of the Blockchain technology on various parts of the economy and the society.

Since the appearance of Bitcoin in 2008, the Blockchain was progressively enriched with further computational features which opened up a plethora of potential applications. The Blockchain and, more generally, distributed electronic ledgers have been employed in various ventures and experiments in such diverse areas as fintech, public registries, supply chains, and decentralised markets. Yet, the implications of these technologies on business, finance, government and society are still to be fully explored and comprehended.

Issues that will be discussed include the development of new business models, the disruption of existing strategies in sectors like banking and financial services, the advantages, limitations and risks of central bank-controlled digital currencies, and possible forms of distributed public services. The course will draw examples and case studies from the very early instances of application of the Blockchain.

There will be no formal teaching during the third week. During this time, students complete their final assignments and tutors will be available to provide advice and guidance. If you do not wish to remain in London and make use of SOAS facilities during this time, tutors will be available via e-mail or virtual drop-in sessions.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Understand the prospects for application of the Blockchain technology to various areas including cryptocurrencies and smart contracts
  • Explain the implications of the Blockchain on business, banking and financial services, central banking and government
  • Explain the current debate around the modelling of the Blockchain economy and the regulation and governance of the Blockchain
  • Critically appraise the economic and social impact of the Blockchain

15 SOAS credits

This is a level 5 course (equivalent to second year undergraduate) and is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits is equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system.

If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.


2,500 word essay (70%)

Group presentation (30%)

SOAS Students

Current SOAS students selecting this course as an open option module will not be charged the tuition-fee. For further informaiton and assistance, please contact


For more information, please fill out our enquiries form.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: 1 July - 19 July 2019

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Featured events

3 weeks

Tuition Fees 2019

Tuition fee:



Week 1: Blockchain: features and applications in business and finance

  • Distributed electronic ledgers and the Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrencies and tokens
  • Ethereum and smart contracts
  • Blockchain in business
  • Blockchain in banking and financial services

Week 2: Further Blockchain applications and open issues

  • Blockchain in central banking
  • Blockchain in government
  • Modelling the Blockchain economy
  • Regulation and governance of the Blockchain
  • The economic and social impact of the Blockchain

Week 3: Writing week before submission of final assignment

Important notice

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.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Teaching will consist of a mix of lectures, guest lectures, tutorials and activities such as field visits. In tutorials, students will be required to do presentations on assigned topics that relate to the application of the Blockchain technology.

The students will learn the implications of the Blockchain and, more generally, of distributed electronic ledgers on business, finance, government and society. They will develop the capacity to critically argue about the role and impact of these technologies, and to devise approaches to use and regulate them.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees


Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


20% discount for our partner institutions


Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House. For more details of how to book a room please visit the Dinwiddy House accommodation page.

Academic Summer School Ambassador Scholarship 2019

The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer three tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.

The scholarships will cover the tuition fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2019. 

Application Deadline: 2019-04-12 00:00

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


How to Apply

Click to apply

Entry Requirements

In order to join the Academic Summer School, students should meet the following entry requirements:

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • Participants must be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
  • Fluency in English language is recommended for non-credit courses, but essential for SOAS Accredited courses. Proficiency can be demonstrated through:
  • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores.
  • TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills. 
  • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
  • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university. 
  • If you are unsure whether you meet the above entry requirements, please contact us to discuss your application.

Enrolment of applicants who do not meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us about your application and we will be happy to help. 

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

Applications now accepted on a rolling basis for all courses

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