BA Politics, Economy & Law


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

The SOAS Politics, Economy & Law BA (Hons) degree takes a transdisciplinary approach to the study of politics, law and economy. The programme of study is situated within global and non-western contexts, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, drawing on SOAS’ unique and internationally renowned approach to these fields. It will examine how each is constituted, gives life to specific social formations, and shapes the most pressing issues of our time.

The distinctive pedagogical approach of the core modules aims to equip students with the skills and capacities needed for future careers on the global stage, whether that in the public or private sectors.

Students will have the opportunity to study politics, economy and law in a way that incorporates critical insights emanating from the disciplines of history, gender, race and sexuality studies, sociology, philosophy and politics. Taking politics, economy and law as formations that are constructed and open to contestation, students will have the intellectual space to examine some of the most pressing questions and issues confronting people globally, including neo-liberalism, migration, the production of vulnerable populations, environmental issues and climate justice, amongst other topics.

The programme aims to equip students with the ability to understand the central place of law, politics and economy in contemporary modes of governance, democracy, globalisation, migration and displacement, state formation, citizenship, labour movements, and wide-ranging considerations of equality and justice.


Students take 120 credits composed of Core, Compulsory and Optional modules.

  • Core modules: These are mandatory and must be passed in the year they are taken before the student can progress to the next year.
  • Compulsory modules: These are mandatory but in the case of a failure, students may carry this into their next year provided that they retake and pass the failed element or exam.
  • Optional modules: These are designed to help students design their own intellectual journey while maintaining a strong grasp of the fundamentals.

Modules are taught in small groups to optimise individual engagement.

Year 1

Compulsory Modules

  • Law, Society and Politics
  • Critical Thinking, Writing, and Research
  • Introduction to economic analysis
  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Public Law

Year 2

Compulsory Module

  • Advanced Seminar in Politics, Economy and Law
  • Project Design


Guided Options

Choose modules from the List of Year 2 Optional Modules below to the value of 75 credits.

Year 3

Compulsory Modules

  • Independent Study Project on a Selected Legal topic


Guided Options

Choose modules from the List of Year 2 and/or Year 3 Optional Modules below to the value of 60 credits.


Choose module(s) from the list of Year 2 and/or Year 3 Optional Modules below to the value of 30 credits.


An approved University of London module to the value of 30 credits.

List of Modules (subject to availability)

List of Year 2 Optional Modules

  • Islamic Law
  • Law and Society in Africa
  • Law and Society in South Asia
  • Social Theory
  • Foundations of Human Rights Law
  • Public International Law
  • International Environmental Law
  • Introduction to Global Commodities Law
  • Political economy of finance, debt and development
  • Neoliberalism, Democracy and Development
  • Security (BA)
  • Government and politics of South Asia
  • Government and politics of China
  • Government and politics of the Middle East
  • The state and politics in Africa
  • African and Asian Cultures in the Diaspora
  • International Economics
  • Comparative Growth and Development
  • Issues in Development Economics
  • Introduction to global forced migration studies
  • Governance and development

List of Year 3 Optional Modules

  • International Law of the Sea
  • Issues in global commodity chains, production networks and informal work
  • Law, Terror and State Power
  • Issues in gender and development
  • Politics of Culture
  • Politics of Gender
  • Critical Issues in Israeli Politics and Society
  • Islam and Democracy
  • Key Debates on Neoliberalism
  • African Political Thought
  • Going Global: An Introduction to International Migration
  • Decolonising World Politics
  • Conflict, Rights and Justice
  • China and World Development
  • Principles of Marxist Political Economy
  • Issues in Borders and Development
  • Law, Multiculturalism and Rights
  • Political theory
  • Politics of development

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

To apply for an undergraduate degree at SOAS (including students wishing to transfer from another university) you must apply through the UK's central universities application organization, UCAS. An application form and details of courses can be found on their website. UCAS charges an applicant's fee for handling the application.

You can apply to up to five choices of higher education institutions or course on the UCAS form. How you utilise the choice is up to you. In other words, you could apply to do the same subject, for example, economics, at five different universities, or five different courses at the same university, or any combination of subject and institution. Nor do you have to use up all five choices. Whatever you choose you should list your choices in the order they appear in the UCAS handbook.

Entry Requirements

SOAS accepts students from a wide variety of backgrounds, as well as mature applicants and those with non-standard qualifications. Among these applicants, those with Access to Law qualifications and SOAS Intermediate Certificate Course students are preferred.

  • A-Levels: A*AA - AAB
    IB: 37 (6/6/6)
  • Interview Policy: Interview Policy: We also encourage applicants with non-standard qualifications (including Access to Higher Education Diploma and Foundation Courses) all of whom are required to take the LNAT. We also encourage students taking the SOAS Foundation Courses at IFCELS to apply. Students offering level 3 BTEC qualifications either on their own or in combination will be required to take the LNAT.

Alternative entry requirements

  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction (with LNAT)
  • Scottish Highers: AAAAA
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: AAA
  • Irish LC: 360 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: 85%
  • French Bacc: 15/20
  • German Abitur: 1.5
  • Italy DES: 85/100
  • Austria Mat: 1.5
  • Polish Mat: Overall 80% including 3 extended level subjects

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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