Programme Description

This course aims to provide participants with theoretical knowledge and critical tools for understanding the impact of Blockchain technology on various parts of the economy and society.

Since the appearance of Bitcoin in 2008, the Blockchain was progressively enriched with further computational features which opened up a plethora of potential applications. The Blockchain and, more generally, distributed electronic ledgers have been employed in various ventures and experiments in such diverse areas as fintech, public registries, supply chains, and decentralised markets. Yet, the implications of these technologies on business, finance, government and society are still to be fully explored and comprehended.

Issues that will be discussed include the development of new business models, the disruption of existing strategies in sectors like banking and financial services, the advantages, limitations and risks of central bank-controlled digital currencies, and possible forms of distributed public services. The course will draw examples and case studies from the very early instances of application of the Blockchain.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Understand the prospects for the application of the Blockchain technology to various areas including cryptocurrencies and smart contracts.
  • Explain the implications of the Blockchain on business, banking and financial services, central banking and government.
  • Explain the current debate around the modelling of the Blockchain economy and the regulation and governance of the Blockchain.
  • Critically appraise the economic and social impact of the Blockchain.

SOAS Accredited

This course is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits are equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system.

If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however, please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.


  • 2500-word essay (70%)
  • Group presentation (30%)


Week 1: Blockchain: features and applications in business and finance

  • Distributed electronic ledgers and the Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrencies and tokens
  • Ethereum and smart contracts
  • Blockchain in business
  • Blockchain in banking and financial services

Week 2: Further Blockchain applications and open issues

  • Blockchain in central banking
  • Blockchain in government
  • Modelling the Blockchain economy
  • Regulation and governance of the Blockchain
  • The economic and social impact of the Blockchain

Week 3: Writing week before the submission of the final assignment

Teaching & Learning

Teaching will consist of a mix of lectures, guest lectures, tutorials and activities such as field visits. In tutorials, students will be required to do presentations on assigned topics that relate to the application of Blockchain technology.

The students will learn the implications of the Blockchain and, more generally, of distributed electronic ledgers on business, finance, government and society. They will develop the capacity to critically argue about the role and impact of these technologies and to devise approaches to use and regulate them.

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees


Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


  • 10% discount if you apply by 31 March 2019
  • 20% discount for our partner institutions


Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House.

Entry Requirements

In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age.
  • Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all subscores.
    • TOEFL Paper-based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with a minimum of 20 in all skills.
    • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64.
    • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B.
    • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
    • Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
    • Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject-based courses with English language support.

Enrolment of Summer School applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us in detail about your application.

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

31 May 2019

Program taught in:
  • English
SOAS Summer School

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Last updated April 29, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
3 weeks
1,750 GBP
£1,750 + £40 application fee. 10% discount if you apply by 31 March
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