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SOAS University of London

United Kingdom


Located in Bloomsbury, the academic heart of London, SOAS University of London is a remarkable institution with one of the most unique teaching faculties in the world. The school is a centre for the study of subjects concerning Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It was founded in 1916, and has since developed a reputation for excellence, and unrivalled expertise in the laws of African and Asian countries, commercial and environmental law, languages and human rights.

Location is one of SOAS's main assets. London offers one of the best student experiences in the world, and students at the university are ideally placed to make the most of everything the city has to offer. There is a vast array of amenities nearby, from cafes, restaurants and bars to art galleries, parks, and museums, all within a short walk of campus. London itself is a diverse and continually evolving city with a wealth of internship and employment opportunities across a wide range of job sectors.

SOAS is an exceptionally diverse university, with around 56 per cent of its students coming from outside of the UK, around five times the global average according to the QS World University Rankings 2018. The school focuses on small group teaching, with one of the best staff to student ratios in the UK, and is able to offer highly personalised mentorship and a lot of student contact time.

SOAS contains a vast repository of knowledge in both its archived resources and human capital, and the school acts as a consultant to government departments as well as multi-national corporations in London and internationally. SOAS graduates go on to pursue a range of careers which make a significant contribution to global society.

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What's new

What's new

SOAS is an international, forward-thinking institution with a one hundred year heritage of developing global connections.

The university was recently recognised for its work in building global relationships and was awarded the highest rating of five stars in the Global Engagement Index (GEI), a new tool which measures the level of international engagement in universities, covering a range of assessment criteria. SOAS scored five stars in the Geographical Distribution of International Students, as well as for the Proportion of International Academic Staff, demonstrating both the depth and breadth of the school's global community.

Five members of the SOAS community have recently been honoured in the Queen's 2020 Birthday Honours list. Professor David Khalili and Graham Wrigley were both knighted for work in cultural philanthropy and international relations respectively. Nizam Uddin and Dr Andre Singer were both awarded an OBE for services to Social Mobility and Anthropology respectively, and Kofi Adjepong-Boateng received a CBE for services to Philanthropy.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

SOAS upholds an outstanding reputation for the quality of its teaching and mentorship. Learning programmes are distinctive, and students are able to enrol on courses which feature unique combinations of languages, academic studies and regional modules.

There are more than 6,000 students at SOAS representing over 160 nationalities worldwide. A massive 71 per cent of students graduate with either a first or upper-second class honours.

The backbone of this success is the small class sizes which SOAS relies heavily on at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The staff to student ratio at the university is 11:1 which is one of the best in the world. Students are tutored by highly qualified and widely experienced academic staff who work at the cutting edge of their subjects. Many have worked and taught internationally, and their teaching is informed by the very latest knowledge and discourse.

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Department structure

Department structure

SOAS is made up of five schools that cover ten departments, as well as five centres. The schools at SOAS are:

  • School of Arts
  • School of History, Religions and Philosophies
  • School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
  • School of Finance and Management
  • School of Interdisciplinary Studies

With over 300 academic staff with distinct research interests and profiles, SOAS offers students a wide range of subject offerings and degrees. International students are able to study at both certificate, undergraduate and postgraduate level. Academic departments focus on particular areas of study that includes:

  • Anthropology and sociology
  • Economics
  • Politics and international studies
  • Law
  • Development studies
  • History
  • East Asian languages and cultures
  • Music

SOAS also offers students the opportunity to study at dedicated and specialised centres, namely:

  • Centre for Development, Environment and Policy
  • Centre for Global Media Communications
  • Centre for Gender Studies
  • Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD)

With an excellent research reputation and renowned high-quality teaching, with a 90 per cent satisfaction rating, students at SOAS are given the ideal environment in which to thrive academically and develop intellectually. SOAS offers over 350 undergraduate degree combinations, 115 postgraduate programmes, and an enviable student to staff ratio of 11:1.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Admission requirements generally vary on a course-by-course basis, and specific degree programme information may be found on the university website. Admissions staff at SOAS consider all submitted information when assessing a degree application, though the university maintains a set of general minimum entrance requirements for all undergraduate courses, which are as follows:

  • Three GCA A-Levels - the normal grade requirement ranges from AAA to BBB.
  • Five Scottish Highers - the usual grade requirements range from AAAAA to BBBBB.
  • International Baccalaureate - the typical for entry score ranges between 30-37.

These requirements are generalised, and offers are granted on a case-by-case basis. SOAS accepts a variety of international qualifications, including the European Baccalaureate, AP exams and many more. The university website publishes a list of entry requirements by country, and prospective students are advised to familiarise themselves with any key deadlines or additional requirements associated with the department or programme they are applying for.

International applicants must also demonstrate a degree of English language proficiency before starting their chosen course. This generally equates to a level of 6.5 on the IELTS standardised test, although there are a number of accepted assessment providers listed on the university website.

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Located in the cosmopolitan Bloomsbury Square, the SOAS campus is a bustling hub of activity, and new students will be amazed at the variety of amenities at their fingertips. Locally, students will find coffee shops, art galleries, bookstores, museums, gyms, live music venues and so much more.

The university has six halls of residence in locations between two and 45 minutes travel to campus, and all within close proximity to fast and reliable transport links. There are a huge range of accommodation options to suit all individual budgets and preferences. There are single, double and twin rooms available, as well as flat shares and family housing. All halls of residence accommodation have 24 hour security.

SOAS provides open access computer labs, a large refectory, specialist multimedia study spaces with on-site IT training available, and many indoor and outdoor social spaces. Students benefit from access to the SOAS Library for Asian, African and Middle Eastern Studies.

The SOAS Library is a world-famous institution, designed by architect Sir Denys Lasdun, and houses over 1.3 million books, journals and digital resources from across the world. It has recently undergone a GBP 12 million modernisation project, with new reception areas, study spaces, music practice rooms and even a gallery exhibition space.

SOAS has an active Students' Union, with a huge number of clubs and societies which are free to join. There is truly something for everyone, with options to get involved with everything from beekeeping and film making to circus, origami and yoga. There are many inclusive religious and cultural societies, as well as the university's own radio station and newspaper.

The university ensures that students have every opportunity to expand their horizons, and learn new skills beyond their course of study.

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Graduate outcomes

Graduate outcomes

Students at SOAS graduate from a world-leading university which nurtures a truly unique learning environment. The university promotes a culture of social and political discourse, and students will spend several years immersed in an environment which expands their worldview and brings much knowledge and perspective. These features make SOAS graduates desirable to professional employers, who recognise the standard of their education and their developed critical reasoning and research skills.

The university has a dedicated Career Service, offering personalised support and advice, including free personal careers assessments, a mentoring programme, as well as running workshops and events throughout the year. The university's online careers resource, CareerZONE provides access to over 2,500 articles, videos, and podcasts to support its student's careers aspirations.

SOAS's central London location means that students are in the immediate vicinity of one of the largest and most diverse economies in the world. There are almost unlimited opportunities for graduate employment, and a strong network of advisors and teaching staff who can provide guidance and contacts for future work.

Perhaps the most significant attribute of graduating with a SOAS degree is the breadth and diversity of the extended alumni community to which graduates become members. The SOAS alumni community is a truly global network of scholars and professionals, and graduates leave university as part of an academic and cultural community which offers options for international employment and social mobility.

A degree from SOAS is internationally respected, and the experience of studying in London gives its graduates the preparation and confidence to take on the leadership roles of tomorrow.

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International students

Average cost of living in United Kingdom

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501st  / 1250

THE World ranking

Join us at SOAS University of London
Join us at SOAS University of London
Join us at SOAS University of London
Join us at SOAS University of London
Join us at SOAS University of London
Join us at SOAS University of London
Join us at SOAS University of London
Join us at SOAS University of London
Join us at SOAS University of London
Join us at SOAS University of London
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Total average cost: £1309

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