Southeast Asian

October 1, 2016
Countries of Southeast Asia

Key facts

  • SOAS is the only institution where Burmese, Indonesian and Vietnamese are taught in the UK, and one of only a handful in Europe.
  • SOAS is one of only two universities where Thai is taught in the UK.
  • SOAS is the only university in the UK with a department focusing solely on the study of the languages and cultures of South East Asia, complemented across the School by broad multidisciplinary expertise in the region.
  • SOAS joining the global elite for Modern Languages in the recent QS World University Rankings by Subject, where it has been ranked sixth in the UK and 32nd internationally.
  • 21st in the Guardian 2015 Guide (Languages and Linguistics combined)

Our strengths

  • the variety and flexibility of formats: 3 or 4-year BA South East Asian Studies or 3 or 4-year two-subject degree programmes in a named language and another subject which combines the study of South East Asian languages and cultures with the study of a humanities or social science discipline (BA Burmese and…; BA Indonesian and ….; BA Thai and ….; BA Vietnamese and ….);
  • multi-level entry to accommodate applicants with some prior knowledge of the relevant language;
  • the provision of language acquisition courses, as open options, to BA and MA students from other departments and faculties, as well as to intercollegiate students
  • NSS 2013 - 84% Teach 84% Overall
  • NSS - Asian Studies departments ranked 4th in UK
  • UG Applicant/Place Ratio 5:1
  • Number of Staff: 6 academic, 2 teaching and scholarship, 6 teaching and scholarship (fractional)

Our research draws heavily upon the resources of SOAS’ world-renowned Library and its extensive South Asia collection, as well as all the institutions, galleries and resources on our doorstep throughout London.

Staff research interests include, in a variety of South East Asian contexts:

  • Cultural studies
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Cinema and film
  • Traditional and modern literature
  • Language pedagogy
  • Linguistics, phonetics and sign languages contexts

Undergraduate student profile

I have enjoyed being on this programme because we have excellent staff who make it possible for students to pursue a broad range of interests in South East Asia.

SOAS is surely the only place in Europe, if not the world, where students can build their own personalised degrees from such a diverse range of fields. Graduates of the South East Asian Studies programme will benefit from both language proficiency and a scholarly understanding of the region.

Our Head of Department says

South East Asia is a diverse region with a fascinating mix of cultures, languages, religions and traditions. It is also a dynamic, fast developing region that is assuming an increasingly important strategic role in global affairs.

Nothing can match the intensity and depth of engagement with a different culture than that achieved through knowledge of a local language and in our department we are committed to delivering specialist language-based scholarship in combination with regional focus and disciplinary skills. We collaborate with several universities across South East Asia to offer our students an opportunity to spend a year of study abroad. The year abroad takes place during the third year of study and provides a unique opportunity for students to advance their linguistic skills, gain a deeper insight into different societies and cultures and apply their skills to independent study projects.

Southeast Asian Inspired Lobster Roll: The Aimless Cook
Southeast Asian Inspired Lobster Roll: The Aimless Cook
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Southeast Asian Tour 2011
Southeast Asian Tour 2011
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