SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia

BA Vietnamese and...

3 years or 4 years (including year abroad). Students can also take Vietnamese throughout their degree and spend a year in Vietnam by taking the programme BA South East Asian Studies (including year abroad).

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Undergraduate Tuition Fees page

2017 Entry requirements

  • Interview Policy: Candidates with non-standard qualifications may be invited for interview, though many applications are assessed on the basis of the UCAS forms alone.
A Levels:
While a foreign language at A-level will be useful we strongly encourage students with less traditional backgrounds to apply or to discuss their application with the department.
33 (5/5/5)

View alternative entry requirements


Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction

Scottish Highers: AABBB

Scottish Advanced Highers: ABB

Irish LC: 320 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above

Advanced Placement: 4 4 4 (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

Featured events

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


Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Vietnam claims an unbroken history of at least 4000 years, though an earlier part is recorded in myth, legend and archaeological evidence rather than in, and has maintained intact its own linguistic and cultural identity as a nation to the present day despite a millennium of Chinese rule, although there is no written record of the language prior to the 11th century AD. With the ending of Chinese rule in the early part of the 10th century AD, Vietnamese culture developed independently. While literary forms based on Chinese models survived, and continued to be much practised and admired, indigenous forms were added, making the literature of Vietnam one of the richest in the region. 

In the 17th century, Christian missionaries devised a romanised script which eventually displaced the older character-based writing completely. With the arrival of French colonial rule in the 19th century, the Vietnamese encountered Western civilisation for the 1st time; an encounter which added yet another dimension to Vietnamese civilisation and literature. The wars which ravaged Vietnam after 1940 produced an immense wealth of prose, poetry and song, as yet undiscovered by the outside world. 

The breadth of expertise in the field of Asian Studies is reflected in the score of 5 achieved by the department in the 2001 government assessment of research in all British universities. SOAS has the highest percentage of research-active academics in the field of Asian Studies of any British university. The range of research interests, expertise and resources in SOAS, not only in Vietnamese and South East Asian Studies, but also with regard to the languages and literatures of other regions, religious studies, anthropology, history, art and archaeology is unique in UK institutions and this gives you an unparalleled choice in choosing a second subject of study.


Key Information Set Data

Please see the Unistats data for the various combinations of this programme under the Combinations tab.


May be combined with:

* Taught at King's College, London
** Taught at University College London (UCL)

Students wishing to combine this subject with Management Studies should contact the Head of Department or Undergraduate Tutor for information.  See Department Staff page for contact details.

Key Information Set data

Click on a combined programme to load KIS data


The course may be studied as a three or four year degree programme, with the option of a year abroad in Vietnam. 4 units must be taken each year.
Year 1: 3 & 4 Year Degree
Core Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Vietnamese Language 1 155900704 1 Unit Full Year
Compulsory Courses
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Introduction to South East Asia 155901320 0.5 Unit Term 1
South East Asia on Film 155901318 0.5 Unit Term 2
Other Subject

The remaining units are taken in the other subject or as open options depending on the requirements of the other subject.

Year 2: 3 & 4 Year Degree
Core Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Vietnamese Language 2 155900705 1 Unit Full Year
Compulsory Modules
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Cultural Studies of Mainland South East Asia 155907003 0.5 Unit Term 2
Compulsory Module

Choose a half-unit module from List A.

Other Subject

The remaining units are taken in the other subject or as open options depending on the requirements of the other subject.

Year 3: 3 Year Degree
Core Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Vietnamese Language and Texts 155901049 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Compulsory Module

Choose modules to the value of one unit from List A

Other Subject

The remaining units are taken in the other subject or as open options depending on the requirements of the other subject.

Year 3: 4 Year Degree

Students spend their 3rd year abroad in Vietnam before returning to SOAS to sit examinations in the courses below.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Independent Study Project in South East Asian Studies (Year Abroad) 155901244 1 Unit Full Year
Year 4: 4 Year Degree
Core Module
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Vietnamese Literature 155901113 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
Compulsory Modules

Choose modules to the value of one unit from List A

Other Subject

The remaining units are taken in the other subject or as open options depending on the requirements of the other subject.

List A
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Vietnam on Screen 155907004 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Thailand on Screen (post '97) 155901317 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Orientalism on Screen 155901413 0.5 Unit Term 2
Queer Cinema in Asia 155907000 0.5 Unit Term 2
Indonesia on Screen 155901354 0.5 Unit Term 1
War, Revolution and Independence in South East Asian Literatures in Translation 155901316 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
The City and the Countryside in South East Asian Literatures 155901326 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Cultural Studies of Island South East Asia 155907002 0.5 Unit Term 1
English Literatures of South East Asia 155901410 0.5 Unit Term 1
Under Western Eyes: European Writings on South East Asia 155907001 0.5 Unit Term 2
Jawi and the Manuscript Tradition 155901312 0.5 Unit Term 2
List A (Final Year only)
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Extended Essay in South East Asian Studies 155901307 0.5 Unit Term 1

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Year abroad

Students on their Vietnamese Year Abroad have the option of spending their year at either Vietnam National University in Hanoi, or the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City.

Students are required to take the following classes:

  • Vietnamese Language 1
  • Vietnamese Language 2: Texts
  • Vietnamese History and Culture

In order to proceed to Year 3, students will be assessed by two written exams and one oral exam at SOAS in September. Students are also required to submit an Independent Study Project (ISP) to their teachers at SOAS, consisting of 10,000 words on a subject relating to Vietnamese language or culture and should involve speaking to Vietnamese informants and consulting Vietnamese written materials. The proposed topic and procedure for collecting data should be emailed to teachers by the end of November, and the completed ISP submitted before the exams in September.  

Students should budget to spend around £500 per month on accommodation and food.

Teaching & Learning

Language teaching is mostly in small tutorial groups; tapes and language laboratory facilities are available for formal teaching and self-study. Non-language units are taught by lecture and seminar. Students are assessed by a combination of written examination (and oral for language units) and coursework, including essays and translations.

Pre Entry Reading

  • D. Healy Studies on Vietnamese language and literature in South East Asian languages and literatures, edited by E. Ulrich Kratz. London:Tauris, 1996
  • Nguyen Du The tale of Kieu (translated and annotated by Huynh Sanh Thong) Yale UP, 1983
  • N. Jamieson Understanding Vietnam Berkeley 1993
  • Huynh Sanh Thong The heritage of Vietnamese Poetry Yale UP, 1979

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of undergraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Undergraduate Tuition Fees page.

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

BA, BSc, LLB £9,250 £16,575
BA/BSc Language Year Abroad £1,387.50 £8,288
Undergraduate Research Awards

Application Deadline: 2017-04-17 17:00

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


As a graduate who specialised in Vietnamese, you will have gained competency in language skills and intercultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity with the region will have been developed through a study of language in combination with literature, development studies, economics, geography, history, history of art and archaeology, law, linguistics, music, politics, social anthropology or religion.

Graduates leave SOAS not only with linguistic and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector. These include written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources. Choosing to study a joint degree programme will increase the breadth of your knowledge, and will develop additional skills with which to further your studies of the region, or to make comparative study with other areas. The study of Vietnamese may be combined with a huge range of other disciplines. For more information on the extra skills you will gain from your second subject, please see the relevant departmental page.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

I always maintained my early interest in South East Asia and hoped to return to SOAS one day, in order to complete my studies. The opportunity to do this occurred when I retired. I am now studying for an MA in South East Asian Studies.

Magda Biran Taylor


Find out more

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