Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time


Philosophy has been a significant activity in most cultures for several thousand years. It seems to be a natural development of human societies to ask complex questions about the fundamental nature of reality, about what it is to be human, about what constitutes a good life, about the nature of beauty, justice, knowledge and truth, of how to confront and resolve ethical dilemmas.

A degree in philosophy from SOAS, with its focus on the philosophical traditions of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, offers you the opportunity to become conversant with the formal epistemological systems and traditions of argumentation, political and ethical systems of thought, and analysis from a wider range of societies and historical contexts than those of the traditional philosophy graduate. Not only do we have a range of unparalleled expertise in the philosophical traditions of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, many of the School’s lecturers are trained in and conversant with European philosophical traditions. The range of languages offered in the School ensures that you will encounter philosophical traditions in their vernacular contexts.

In addition to the ability to think critically and logically, acquired through the study of philosophy in general, the study of philosophies from Asia, Africa and the Middle East will enable you to take a broad, balanced, and comprehensive view, to listen attentively to and understand others’ viewpoints with empathy and deep cultural insight. With these skills in hand, you will develop the capacity to become effective mediators between and within diverse societies, in complex and demanding environments and situations. SOAS is uniquely placed to offer a philosophy programme that can equip students with the skills and training to meet this challenge.

The Combined Honours degree may be combined with:

  • African Studies
  • Arabic+
  • Chinese+
  • Development Studies
  • English
  • Economics
  • Hebrew+
  • History
  • History of Art and Archaeology
  • International Relations
  • Japanese+
  • Japanese Studies
  • Korean+
  • Law
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Music
  • Persian+ ( + Compulsory Year Abroad which is split between 2 countries)
  • Politics
  • Social Anthropology
  • South Asian Studies++ (3 years)
  • South Asian Studies++ (4 years)
  • South-East Asian Studies
  • Study of Religions
  • Turkish+

+ 4-year degree with (compulsory) one year abroad
++ 3 or 4-year degree with the option of one year abroad
* Taught at King's College, London

Who is this programme for?

This degree will suit high-performing students with a global outlook, an interest in diverse philosophical traditions and cultural parameters of non-Western societies, coupled with an aptitude in intellectual history and critical thought. Individuals with inter-cultural competency—the ability to exchange values and concepts, to value and communicate different modes of understanding in the marketplace of ideas—are in huge demand in the job market.

Employment

A degree in philosophy is highly regarded by employers of many kinds. They understand the skills acquired in the study of philosophy as important for management and leadership roles.

  • Philosophy teaches students how to analyse and communicate ideas in a clear, rational and comprehensive manner.
  • Students of philosophy learn solid argumentation skills and critical analysis: they learn how to learn, how to develop solid reasoning and assess the strengths and weakness of arguments, and how to communicate their ideas effectively and persuasively.
  • Students of philosophy develop skills of vision, creativity, and analytical power which are valuable in all contexts where precision, clarity and sophisticated abstract planning and analysis are required.

The BA World Philosophies degree will thus be of value to those students wishing to pursue careers that require the acute ability to negotiate with other cultures and communities at all levels, from international development, information technologies, management, finance and banking, the civil service, human rights and international law, diversity management and local government, journalism, as well as the diplomatic corps, and in transnational policy formation roles.

Prospective careers include:

  • International diplomacy
  • Education
  • Legal profession
  • Civil Service
  • Marketing
  • Journalism
  • Psychotherapy
  • Recruitment
  • Finance and Business consultancy/analysis
  • Banking
  • Information Technology
  • International development
  • Government and politics
  • Charitable/NGO sector
  • Arts management

Structure

The structure of the BA World Philosophies, taken as a single-subject honours degree, ensures that students gain a rigorous grounding in core philosophical themes, concepts, problems and approaches drawn from European, Anglophone, and non-European philosophical traditions with accompanying flexibility built in to enable regional or thematic specialism or language capability.

Modules to the equivalent of 120 credits must be taken in each year. Modules to the equivalent of 60 credits are compulsory per year, with students free to select a further 60 credits from a list of options in various traditions or themes in World Philosophies or to choose a language specialism.

The structure of the BA World Philosophies and… introduces students to core philosophical themes, concepts, problems and approaches drawn from European, Anglophone, and non-European philosophical traditions with accompanying flexibility built in to enable regional or thematic specialism or language capability. Taken as a joint honours degree, it enables students to combine the study of the core and compulsory components of World Philosophies with a number of other subject areas offered in the School.

Modules to the equivalent of 30 credits must be taken in each year. In year 1 and 2, modules to the equivalent of 30 credits are compulsory, with students choosing modules for the remaining credits from a list of defined options. In year 3, both modules are compulsory.

The first year of the programme provides an essential foundation in World Philosophies, and introduces core topics in Philosophy, with additional options available that enable focus on discrete traditions, a language, or thematic components.

The second year builds on the foundations established in the first year, enabling students to grapple with questions of interpretation, hermeneutics, phenomenology, and dialogue between and within philosophical traditions. Core components of philosophical methods and concepts are also taught and students are encouraged to develop a regional or thematic specialism, choosing from a wide range of options that address philosophical themes or offer training in specific philosophical traditions. Language training is also encouraged.

The third and final year is characterised by a focus on epistemology and critique, independent research, and the consolidation of a chosen regional or thematic specialism. All students undertake a supervised Independent Study Project which is intended to consolidate and extend a student’s philosophical tradition-based understanding and knowledge applied to prominent themes or debates in the field of World Philosophies.

Year 1

Core Module

  • Introduction to World Philosophies

Compulsory Module

You will take the three Compulsory Modules:

  • Introduction to Logic, Critical Reasoning and Argumentation
  • Metaphysics in Comparative Perspective
  • R101 Understanding Religion: Theories and Themes

And choose two Compulsory Modules (30 credits) from:

  • R110 Introduction to Buddhism
  • R120 Introduction to Hinduism
  • R130 Islam: Religion and Rationality

Year 1 (Combined Honours Degree)

Core Modules

  • Introduction to World Philosophies
  • Introduction to Logic, Critical Reasoning and Argumentation
  • Metaphysics in Comparative Perspective

Modules from your second subject

You can choose modules to the value of 60 credits from your second subject.

Year 2

Compulsory Module

Anglo-European Philosophies and Critical Dialogue: Hermeneutics and Beyond

Guided Options

You will choose modules to the value of 30 credits from the following:

  • Philosophies of Language

Or

From the list of Traditions modules below.

and

  • Comparative Ethics
  • Or

From the list of Traditions modules below.

Modules from your second subject

You can choose modules to the value of 60 credits from your second subject

Year 2 (Combined Honours Degree)

Core Module

All students are expected to take the following core module, worth 30 credits.

  • Theory in Anthropology

and

Compulsory Module

Choose from List of Ethnography of a Selected Region module(s) below to the value of 30 credits.

and

Second Subject

All students are expected to take module(s) at 60 credits from the second subject.

Year 3

Compulsory Modules

You will take the following two Compulsory Modules:

  • 'The Margins of Philosophy': Postcolonial, Gender, and Queer Epistemologies
  • Independent Study Project in World Philosophies

Guided Option

Choose modules to the value of 60 credits from List B: Traditions of Philosophy.

Year 3 (Combined Honours Degree)

Compulsory Modules

'The Margins of Philosophy': Postcolonial, Gender, and Queer Epistemologies.

Modules from your second subject

You can choose modules to the value of 60 credits from your second subject.

List B: Traditions of Philosophy

  • Buddhist Philosophy
  • R440 Jaina Philosophy
  • Modern Indian Philosophy
  • Ancient and Medieval Indian Philosophy
  • R472 Classical Chinese Thought
  • R471 Taoism: the Great Tradition
  • Japanese Buddhist Thought
  • R210 Religion, Power, and Society in Modern Africa
  • African Philosophy
  • Philosophy and Decolonisation
  • Modern Jewish Thought
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • R451 Jewish Identity from Ancient to Modern Times
  • The Holocaust and the Problem of Evil

List of Traditions Modules

  • Modern Indian Philosophy
  • Ancient and Medieval Indian Philosophy
  • Buddhist Philosophy
  • R440 Jaina Philosophy
  • R472 Classical Chinese Thought
  • R471 Taoism: the Great Tradition
  • Japanese Buddhist Thought
  • R210 Religion, Power, and Society in Modern Africa
  • African Philosophy
  • Philosophy and Decolonisation
  • Modern Jewish Thought
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • R451 Jewish Identity from Ancient to Modern Times
  • The Holocaust and the Problem of Evil

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

  • Subjects Preferred: Applicants should preferably have studied Philosophy at A-Level.
  • A-Levels: AAB-ABB
    IB: 35 (665 at HL)

Alternative entry requirements

  • BTEC: DDM
  • 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 5 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

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.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated October 14, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
Duration
3 years
Part-time
Full-time
Price
9,250 GBP
full-time fees per academic year: UK/EU £9,250; Overseas £17,750
Deadline
June 30, 2020
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
End Date
June 16, 2023
Application deadline
June 30, 2020

Sep 28, 2020

Location
Application deadline
June 30, 2020
End Date
June 16, 2023