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Department of Politics and

International Studies

Information for Undergraduates

BA Politics
BA Politics and
BA Politics and International
Relations
Certificate in Political Studies

2016/17

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the most important resource you will use during your time at SOAS.

You can access it via the link on the bottom left-hand side of the SOAS website, or
at http://ble.soas.ac.uk .

To log into BLE, please use the same details you use to access your email. If you
are having any trouble accessing BLE, please email ble@soas.ac.uk

Course information on BLE

All courses taught within the department have a specific BLE page where you will be
able to find information about staff, an overview of the course, weekly readings,
coursework submission dates and news pertaining to the course. Note that you will
NOT be able to access BLE courses unless you are correctly registered for the
course.

Open Options
Your programme of study may permit you to take one or more open option
courses taught by other departments at SOAS. You can access an up-to-date list of
open options on the SOAS website at
http://www.soas.ac.uk/languagecultures/reg/oo/.

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HELP, ADVICE AND SOURCES OF IMPORTANT INFORMATION

There are many different sources of help and advice available to students: it is very
important that you make use of the support systems if you need to do so. Small,
easily solved problems may grow rapidly into big, difficult ones if nothing is done
about them. Such difficulties are particularly common in the first year.

Student Department Officers


The Department has a specific Student Department Officer: an administrative
member of staff who should be the first port of call for administrative issues
pertaining to your studies. They will be able to answer queries relating to your
timetable, class arrangements, coursework assignments and examinations, among
other areas. The contact details for the Student Department Officer can be found
under the key contacts section at the back of this handbook.

Personal Advisors
All students within the Department are allocated a Personal Advisor: an academic
member of staff who should be the first port of call for academic and pastoral issues
affecting your studies. You will be informed who your Personal Advisor is at the start
of your studies at SOAS. If you need to check who your Personal Advisor is, please
feel free to contact your Department Officer, who will be able to supply this
information.

Timetable
Students should check the up-to-date undergraduate timetable by referring
to www.soas.ac.uk/timetable. If you find that your core courses clash you should
consult the Faculty Office (R201) for advice.

Term Dates
The SOAS term dates can be found on the SOAS website
at http://www.soas.ac.uk/about/keydates/

Student Representatives, Departmental Meeting and the Staff Student Forum

Each year student representatives are elected for the BSc, MSc and PhD
programmes. Representatives are invited to attend departmental meetings of the
academic staff and to raise matters of concern. The forum is the means by which
students representatives and staff can discuss issues relating to specific courses
and teaches, whereas the department meeting deals with more general issues.

There are separate staff-student forums for BSc, MSc and PhD representatives.
They meet at least once a term. The BSc staff-student forum is made up of student
representatives, Undergraduate Tutors and the Head of Department. You will be
given more information on the election of student representatives at the beginning of
the first term.

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Student Information Desk (SID)

The Student Information Desk (SID) aims to help students make the very best of
their time at SOAS by providing a high-quality information and enquiry service which
is accessible to all students.

SID is the first point of contact for advice and support for current students from
Registry, Fees and Scholarships, Exams, Graduation, Faculties and more.

If the question is more specialist, we will help you as much as we can before we put
you in direct contact with the person or team at SOAS who can help you with your
query.

To get started, sign in to SID with your SOAS student reference number and
password.

STUDYING ASIAN AND AFRICAN POLITICS AT SOAS

The BA Politics, BA Politics and, BA Politics and International Relations and


the Certificate in Political Studies degrees at SOAS are structured around four
core sub-disciplines, namely comparative political sociology, comparative political
economy, political theory, and international relations (although these sub-disciplines
are sometimes known by other names). The study of Politics at SOAS offers a
unique perspective that grounds the analytical tools and concepts of the discipline in
the historical and contemporary contexts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East as well
as in the global international trends that are formative of politics in these regions.

By studying Politics at SOAS, you will gain detailed knowledge and a thorough
understanding of some of the most important power shifts and conflicts of ideas
unfolding in the world today. You will also learn to critically engage with and explore
the relevance of social science concepts for understanding contemporary geopolitics,
regional politics of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as gain the ability to
undertake analyses and comparisons of political developments in specific countries.

Teaching in the Department of Politics and International Studies combines an


introduction to the discipline of politics as a comparative exercise together with
awareness that comparisons must always respect the historical specificity of different
political settings. This awareness is complemented by the work carried out in other
departments of SOAS. A Politics degree at SOAS therefore gives you a better
opportunity than most to understand global politics since our courses cover the
politics of three quarters of the globe. Examples of the courses we offer include
Government and Politics of Asia, of China, of the Middle East, and of Africa;
International Politics; Islam and Democracy; Politics of Development; Globalisation
and Global Governance; and Politics of Culture.

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BA DEGREE STRUCTURES

1) BA Politics
2) BA Politics and
3) BA Politics and International Relations
4) Certificate in Political Studies

These are described in the Structure Diagrams on pages 7-17 of this guide.

For information on the individual courses offered as part of these degrees, please
see page 14 of this guide. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) below can only be
taken if you have taken prerequisite courses in preceding years see page 23 for
further information. Further details and precise requirements are available in the
School's Undergraduate Prospectus, the Degree Regulations and Guide to the
scheme for the classification for Honours. Students may also consult their personal
tutors for further guidance.

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BA POLITICS

FIRST YEAR

FOUR units required: one each from A, B, C and D

A
153400086 Introduction to Political Analysis

AND

B
153400079 Introduction to Comparative Politics

AND

C
153400001 Introduction to Political Theory

AND

D
153400056 States, People and Power in Asia and Africa
153400084 Introduction to Global History
153400085 Introduction to International Relations

OR

Any other unit available in another Department of SOAS


(an 'open option')

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BA POLITICS

SECOND YEAR

FOUR units required: TWO from section A, ONE to TWO from section B and up to
ONE from section C

A
TWO of the following DISCIPLINARY units:

153400042 Politics of Development


153400054 Political Theory
153400067 Comparative Political Sociology of Asia and Africa

AND

B
ONE to TWO of the following REGIONAL units:

153400020 Government and Politics of South Asia


153400022 Southeast Asian Government and Politics
153400060 Government and Politics of the Middle East
153400064 The State and Politics in Africa
153400071 Government and Politics of China
153400072 Taiwan's Politics and International Relations

OR

C
Any other unit available in another Department of SOAS (an 'open option')

Or ONE of the following:

153400078 International Relations of East Asia


153400090 International Relations of Africa
153400077 War and the International
153400083 Politics of the World Economy
153402000 Religion and World Politics
153400081 International Relations of the Middle East
153400082 International Relations of South Asia
153400085 Introduction to International Relations
153400084 Introduction to Global History
153400056 States, People and Power in Asia and Africa

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BA POLITICS

THIRD YEAR

FOUR units required: ONE to THREE from section A and ONE to TWO from
section B
ONE to THREE of the following DISCIPLINARY or REGIONAL units:

153400042 Politics of Development


153400054 Political Theory
153400067 Comparative and Political Sociology of Asia and Africa
153400020 Government and Politics of South Asia
153400022 Southeast Asian Government and Politics
153400060 Government and Politics of the Middle East
153400064 The State and Politics in Africa
153400071 Government and Politics of China
153400072 Taiwans Political and Economic Development
153400057 Nationalism, Ethnicity and State in Asia and Africa (0.5 unit; Term 2)
153400065 Islam and Democracy*
153400074 Politics of Gender* (0.5 unit; Term 2)
153400075 Politics of Culture* (0.5 unit; Term 1)
153400076 Issues in Turkish Politics (0.5 unit) Not Running 2016/17
153400087 Critical Issues in Israeli Politics and Society (0.5 unit; Term 1)
153402001 Politics, Economy, Society: Japan (0.5 unit; Term 1)

AND

Up to TWO of the following remaining options

153400068 The International Organisation of World Politics (0.5 unit; Term 1)


153400070 Globalisation and Global Governance (0.5 unit; Term 2)
153400073 Identity in International Relations (0.5 unit; Term 1)
153400088 Going Global: An Introduction to International Migration (0.5 unit; Term 2)
153402000 Religion and World Politics
153402004 African Political Thought (0.5 unit; Term 1)

153400053 Independent Study Project*

OR

153400058 Extended Essay A (0.5 unit; Term 1)


153400061 Extended Essay B (0.5 unit; Term 2)

AND/OR

Any other unit available in anotherBA POLITICS


Department AND...(an open option)
of SOAS

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BA POLITICS AND

FIRST YEAR

TWO units required, ONE from section A and ONE from section B

A
153400079 Introduction to Comparative Politics

AND

B
153400001 Introduction to Political Theory

OR

153400086 Introduction to Political Analysis

Students taking Joint Honours with a language which requires the second
year to be spent overseas will normally be required to take three course units
in the language, plus Introduction to Comparative Politics, in their first year.

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BA POLITICS AND

SECOND YEAR

TWO units required, ONE from section A and ONE from section B

A
ONE of the following DISCIPLINARY units:

153400042 Politics of Development


153400054 Political Theory
153400067 Comparative Political Sociology of Asia and Africa

AND

B
ONE of the following REGIONAL units:

153400020 Government and Politics of South Asia


153400022 Southeast Asian Government and Politics
153400060 Government and Politics of the Middle East
153400064 The State and Politics in Africa
153400071 Government and Politics of China
153400072 Taiwan's Political and Economic Development
153400078 International Relations of East Asia

Students taking Joint Honours with a language which requires taking three
course units in the language in their first year will need to take either
Introduction to Political Theory OR Introduction to Political Analysis in their
second year.

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BA POLITICS AND

THIRD YEAR

Students can take up to FOUR units: ONE to THREE from section A and up to ONE
from section B

A
ONE to THREE units from the following:

A course from the Year 2 DISCIPLINARY list

A course from the Year 2 REGIONAL list

For Final Year Students only (see prerequisites):


153400053 Independent Study Project*
153400058 Extended Essay A* (0.5 unit) Term 1
153400061 Extended Essay B (0.5 unit) Term 2
153400057 Nationalism, Ethnicity and State in Asia and Africa* (0.5 unit; Term 2)
153400065 Islam and Democracy*
153400074 Politics of Gender* (0.5 unit; Term 2)
153400075 Politics of Culture* (0.5 unit; Term 1)
153400076 Issues in Turkish Politics (0.5 unit) Not Running 2015/16
153402000 Religion and World Politics
153402001 Politics, Economy, Society: Japan (0.5 unit; Term 1)

AND / OR

B
Any other unit available in BA International Relations Year 2 or 3, or another
Department of SOAS
(an 'open option')

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BA POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

FIRST YEAR

FOUR Units required, ONE from A, B, C and D

A
153400085 Introduction to International Relations

AND

B
153400086 Introduction to Political Analysis

AND

C
153400079 Introduction to Comparative Politics

AND

D
153400084 Introduction to Global History

OR

153400001 Introduction to Political Theory

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BA POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

SECOND YEAR

FOUR Units required, ONE from A, B, C and D

A
ONE of the following DISCIPLINARY units:

153400067 Comparative Political Sociology of Asia and Africa


153400054 Political Theory
153400042 Politics of Development

AND

B
ONE of the following REGIONAL units:

153400071 Government and Politics of China


153400020 Government and Politics of South Asia
153400060 Government and Politics of the Middle East
153400022 Southeast Asian Government and Politics
153400064 The State and Politics in Africa
153400072 Taiwan's Political and Economic Development

AND

C
ONE of the following DISCIPLINARY units:

153400077 War and the International


153400083 Politics of the World Economy
153402000 Religion and World Politics

AND

D
ONE of the following REGIONAL units:

153400078 International Relations of East Asia


153400090 International Relations of Africa
153400081 International Relations of the Middle East
153400082 International Relations of South Asia

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BA POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

THIRD YEAR

FOUR units required

A
At least ONE unit from the following:

153400057 Nationalism, Ethnicity and State in Asia and Africa


153400065 Islam and Democracy
153400075 Politics of Culture (0.5 unit; Term 1)
153400074 Politics of Gender (0.5 unit; Term 2)
153400076 Issues in Turkish Politics (0.5 unit) - Not Running 2016/2017
153400087 Critical Issues in Israeli Politics and Society (0.5 unit; Term 1)
153402001 Politics, Economy, Society: Japan (0.5 unit, Term 1)

153400053 Independent Study Project in Politics*

OR

153400058 Extended Essay A (0.5 unit; Term 1)


153400061 Extended Essay B (0.5 unit; Term 2)

AND

B
At least ONE unit from the following (please note these are 0.5 unit modules and
therefore at least two are required):

153400070 Globalisation and Global Governance (0.5 unit; Term 2)


153400073 Identity in International Relations (0.5 unit; Term 1)
153400068 International Organisation of World Politics (0.5 unit; Term 1)
153400088 Going Global: An Introduction to International Migration (0.5; Term 2)
153402002 Decolonising the World (0.5 unit; Term 2)
153402003 Key Debates on Neoliberalism (0.5 unit; Term 1)
153402004 African Political Thought (0.5 unit; Term 1)

153402005 Independent Study Project in International Relations*


(cannot be taken with either the Politics ISP or the Extended Essays)

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AND

C
Remaining units from the following:

A course from the Year 2 DISCIPLINARY lists

A course from the Year 2 REGIONAL lists

Any other unit available in another Department of SOAS


(an 'open option')

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CERTIFICATE IN POLITICAL STUDIES

4 Units required: Two from Section A, ONE from Section B, and ONE from Section C

A
BOTH of the following INTRODUCTORY Units:

153400001 Introduction to Political Theory


153400056 States, People and Power in Asia and Africa

AND

B
ONE of the following DISCIPLINARY units:

153400067 Comparative Political Sociology of Asia and Africa


153400054 Political Theory
153400042 Politics of Development

AND

C
ONE of the following REGIONAL units:

153400071 Government and Politics of China


153400060 Government and Politics of the Middle East
153400020 Government and Politics of South Asia
153400022 Southeast Asian Government and Politics
153400064 The State and Politics in Africa
153400072 Taiwan's Politics and International Relations

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UNDERGRADUATE COURSES
Courses in the Department are valued as one or half a course unit: those courses
which are full year count as one course unit, those courses which run for one term
only count as half course units. You can access a list of courses - including convenor
details, course descriptions, and scheduling information from the SOAS website,
at http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/ugcourses/.

Prerequisites
Some advanced final year courses can only be taken if you have done prerequisite
courses in preceding years. They are indicated in the structure diagrams above with
asterisks (*). See the table below for pre-requisite requirements:

In order to take You must have


An overall result of a 2:1 or higher in Year 2. You may
153400053 Independent
not take BOTH an Independent Study Project and two
Study Project
Extended Essays.
153400058 Ext. Essay A A taught course (or courses) relevant to the topic(s) of
and/or the essay(s). You may not take BOTH an Independent
153400061 Ext. Essay B Study Project and two Extended Essays.
EITHER
153400057 Nationalism,
153400067 Comparative Political Sociology
Ethnicity and State in
OR
Asia and Africa
153400077 War and the International
EITHER
153400060 Government and Politics of the Middle East
153400065 Islam and OR
Democracy 153400020 Government and Politics of South Asia
OR
153400022 Southeast Asian Government and Politics
153400068 The
International 153400085 Introduction to International Relations
Organisation of World AND EITHER
Politics 153400083 Politics of the World Economy
and/or OR
153400070 Globalisation 153400077 War and the International
and Global Governance
153400085 Introduction to International Relations
153400073 Identity in
AND
International Relations
153400077 War and the International
153400074 Politics of
EITHER
Gender
153400079 Introduction to Comparative Politics
and/or
OR
153400075 Politics of
153400056 States, People and Power in Asia and Africa
Culture

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STUDENT REGULATIONS
Definitive regulations governing the award of undergraduate degrees can be found
online at
http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/degreeregulations/.

Please pay particular attention to the following sections:

Class Attendance Requirements: In order to benefit fully from their courses,


students are expected to attend all relevant and/or required classes, which include,
as appropriate to the course, lectures, tutorials, seminars, language classes, and
practical sessions.

Coursework Submission: All coursework should be submitted online via the


submission points on the relevant course pages on the BLE (http://ble.soas.ac.uk/).
Once you have submitted your work, you will receive a receipt from Turnitin. If you
do not receive this within minutes of the submission, or you are experiencing
problems uploading your assignment, please email a copy to your Student Support
Officer (contact details at the back of this document).

Coursework Deadlines: All coursework must be submitted on Turnitin via BLE by


23:59 on the day of submission. Once the deadline has passed, coursework cannot
be withdrawn or resubmitted.

Ensure you allow sufficient time for your work to upload onto Turnitin. Any work
submitted after the 23:59 deadline will automatically receive a late submission
penalty.

The School Deadline for submission of coursework assignments is 16.00 on the


Friday immediately before the beginning of the May/June examination period of the
academic year in which the course is taken. Any coursework assignments submitted
after this date will not be marked. Individual courses set submission dates in
advance of this deadline, however; assignments submitted between the individual
assignment submission date and the School deadline will incur a penalty of two
marks every day that the assignment is submitted late. Individual assignment
submission dates can be found on the relevant course pages on the BLE
(http://ble.soas.ac.uk/).

Late Submission of Coursework


Extensions cannot be agreed to in advance from a tutor or lecturer. However, if your
assignment is late due to illness or another certifiable reason (i.e. bereavement), you
should complete a Reasons for Late Submission of Coursework Form and submit
this with accompanying evidence to the Faculty Office (Room R201). This will then
be considered by the Faculty and, if accepted, any marks deducted for late
submission will be returned.

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Coursework Word Limits: Coursework assignments which exceed the set word
limit will be penalised as described in this section. Individual assignment word limits
can be found on the relevant course pages on the BLE (http://ble.soas.ac.uk/).

Plagiarism: You should note that plagiarism i.e. the presentation of another
person's thoughts or words as though they were your own is an examination and/or
assessment offence, and is dealt with under the Schools Regulations for
proceedings in respect of assessment and examination offences.

MARKING CRITERIA
Please see below for the marking criteria (competence standards) for coursework
assignments. These criteria for all SOAS undergraduate programmes draw upon the
following minimum core criteria, which are applicable to the assessment of most or
all assignments:

understanding of the subject;


utilisation of proper academic [or other] style (e.g. citation of references, or
use of proper legal style for court reports, etc.);
relevance of material selected and of the arguments proposed;
planning and organisation;
logical coherence;
critical evaluation;
comprehensiveness of research;
evidence of synthesis;
innovation / creativity / originality.

The language used must be of a sufficient standard to permit assessment of the


above criteria.

These minimum core criteria form a part of the Schools core academic standards,
applied to all coursework and as such they would not usually be subject to any
modification, even as a reasonable adjustment to the needs of a specific disabled
person.

Coursework Marking Criteria


The guidelines below reflect the standards of work expected at undergraduate level:

80+ (First Class Honours)


A mark in the range 80+ will fulfil the following criteria which mark it as a work of
outstanding quality; various criteria may apply, either singly or in combination:
shows clear evidence of wide and relevant reading and an engagement with
the conceptual issues;
develops a sophisticated and intelligent argument;
shows a rigorous use and a confident understanding of relevant source
materials;
achieves an appropriate balance between factual detail and key theoretical
issues;
provides evidence of original thinking.

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70-79 (First Class Honours)
A mark in the range 70-79 will fulfil the following criteria:
engages closely with the question;
shows some evidence of wide and relevant reading and an engagement with
the conceptual issues;
shows some sophistication of argument;
shows an intelligent use and a good understanding of relevant source
materials.

60-69 (Upper Second Class: 2.I)


A mark in the range 60-69 will fulfil the following criteria:
offers critical insights and shows evidence of critical thinking;
shows a good understanding of the major factual and/or theoretical issues,
and addresses the relevant literature on the topic;
develops a focused and clear argument and articulates a sustained train of
logical thought;
gives a clear exposition of models/diagrams, with derivation, where
appropriate;
shows clear evidence of planning in the formulation of the written answer and
includes a judicious choice of sources and methodology.

50-59 (Lower Second Class: 2.II)


A mark in the range 50-59 will fulfil the following criteria:
shows some understanding of relevant major theoretical and/or factual issues;
shows evidence of planning in the formulation of the written answer, makes
selective use of appropriate sources, and demonstrates some knowledge of
the literature;
shows, at various points if not throughout the entire text, examples of a clear
train of thought or argument;
presents basic models / diagrams, where appropriate;
provides an appropriate conclusion to the textual argument(s).

40-49 (Third Class: III)


A mark in the range 40-49 will fulfil the following criteria:
shows some awareness and understanding of the factual and/or theoretical
issues, but demonstrates limited ability to develop these;
provides clear evidence of misunderstandings;
shows some, albeit limited, evidence of planning in the formulation of the
written answer, but also includes material or arguments which are irrelevant or
unrelated to the question;
fails to develop a clear or coherent response to the question, but shows
occasional knowledge or insight.

20-39 (Fail)
A Fail will be awarded in cases which:
fail to answer the question or develop an argument;
fail to demonstrate knowledge of the key issues or arguments;
contain clear conceptual or factual errors or misunderstandings;
are poorly organised and/or poorly written.

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0-19 (Fail)
A Fail will be awarded in cases which:
fail to answer the question even in part;
show no knowledge of the question or topic;
contain blatant conceptual or factual errors;
are very poorly organised and/or very poorly written.

Examination Marking Criteria


A similar (but not identical) set of marking criteria is used in the marking of written
examinations. This can be accessed on the SOAS website at
http://www.soas.ac.uk/lawsocialsciences/ug-marking-guidelines/.

DEPARTMENTAL UNDERGRADUATE HANDBOOK


You can access the Departments Undergraduate Handbook
here: http://ble.soas.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=6363. This includes further study
information and links to other sections of the SOAS website, including Registry (for
matters relating to registration, regulations, fees and scholarships), Student Services
(for information regarding welfare, counselling, disabilities, and mental health and
wellbeing), the Careers Service, and the Library.

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES
Courses in the Department are valued as one or half a course unit: those courses
which are full year count as one course unit, those courses which run for one term
only count as half course units. You can access a list of courses including
convenor details, course descriptions, and scheduling information from the SOAS
website, at: https://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/ugcourses/

ACADEMIC STAFF INFORMATION


You can find the Politics and International Studies staff details
here: https://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/staff/. This page includes staff research
interests, their biographies and the courses they teach.

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KEY CONTACTS

Post Name Contact details


Department Rafid Mahdi Room R201, Main Building
Student Officer Tel.: 020 7898 4401
(Undergraduate) Email: ugpolitics@soas.ac.uk
Rafid is available to support and guide students through any issues they may be
facing throughout their degree, Rafid works closely with the departments student
representatives and welfare departments across the School, to provide specialised
support to all students within the Politics department. Please contact Rafid for
information and guidance on class attendance, coursework deadlines and submission
as well as mitigating circumstances and timetable queries.
Welfare Tutor Carlo Bonura Room 205, Main Building
Tel.: 020 7898 4617
Email: cb84@soas.ac.uk
Programme Michael Room 4412, Main Building
Convenor Buehler Tel.: 020 7898 4724
Email: mb107@soas.ac.uk
Year 1 Tutor TBC
Year 2 Tutor TBC
Year 3 Tutor TBC
Head of Mark Laffey Room 225, Main Building
Department Tel.: 020 7898 4744
Email:ml23@soas.ac.uk

Associate Dean Hong Bo Room 543, Main Building


(Learning and Tel.: 020 7898 4528
Teaching), Faculty Email: hb22@soas.ac.uk
of Law and Social
Sciences
The Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) is the final authority on all regulations
and matters affecting students on taught programmes within the Law and Social
Sciences Faculty. Contact Hong Bo for queries pertaining to leave of absence,
suspension of regulations and course changes that fall outside of the prescribed
programme structures.
Student Advice and Alison Barty Lower ground floor, Senate House North Block
Wellbeing Office (Head) Tel.: 020 7074 5015
Email: studentadviceandwellbeing@soas.ac.uk
Student Advice and Wellbeing offer a wide range of specialist, professional advisory
services in the following areas: international student advice; welfare and financial
advice; support for students with disabilities; and student counselling.

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TIMETABLE
Fill out your weekly timetable here:
09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

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