SOAS University of London – A Perfect Guide

SOAS University of London is based in the heart of the capital at Russell Square and is known for its academic and research excellence. SOAS University of London UK was founded as the School of Oriental Studies in 1916. The name changed to its present avatar in 1938 and it shifted to the current site in 1941. The famous library with 1.5 million+ items was opened in 1973. It is still the main study centre for programmes relating to Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The institution has 5,200 and 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students respectively on campus while being one of the 5 National Research Libraries in the UK.

The SOAS University of London ranking is within the top-25 in the UK as ranked in World Reputation Rankings 2021, while being in the global top-60 in the World and 12th in the UK for Arts and Humanities as per the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by Subject in 2022. The University is ranked at number 33 in UK for 2022 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 list. It is also ranked at 391 in the QS World University Rankings list and 401-500 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings tally for 2022.


The University campus is situated at Russell Square in Bloomsbury, an area known for its proximity to major landmarks. The Paul Webley Wing of Senate House opened in 2016 and this has been a major upgrade to student experiences. The West End shops, nightlife joints and theatres are nearby along with Covent Garden and Oxford Street. All university sports and social activities are on campus or at the ULU (University of London), which is two minutes away.

SOAS is known for its spectacular research achievements over the years. It is the sole institution in the UK that specializes in studying the Near and Middle East along with Asia and Africa. It has 300+ researchers devoted towards various areas of study. Some of the research focus areas within various departments or schools include creative industries, media and screen studies, comparative political thought, financial and management studies, international studies and diplomacy and more. There are several on-site and external collaborative and research centres while the Research Office plays a crucial role in funding knowledge exchange, research activities and the SOAS Knowledge Exchange blueprint.


Applications are usually taken from 7th September onwards, with 26th January of the next year being the consideration deadline. Some admission applications begin from 3rd November with the deadline being 30th June.

The SOAS University of London admission process involves the following:

1. UG aspirants should apply via the UCAS portal.

2. PG aspirants should apply directly to the university by completing the online form.

The SOAS University of London admission requirements include the following:

1. UG- ISCE/CBSE 85% marks with five subjects at least. Those with A levels or their IB Diplomas will also be considered here.

2. Graduate Applicants- Those with second-class upper/bachelor’s degrees will get entry into SOAS master’s programs.

3. English language proficiency proof.

4. Those not meeting requirements may take foundation courses instead.

5. IELTS Academic- 6.5/PTE Academic- 65/TOEFL iBT- 100/IELCA Academic-35. It may vary depending upon the type of course.

The SOAS University of London acceptance rate is 9%. The university offers undergraduate, foundation and postgraduate courses along with several diploma and certificate courses.

Popular courses include Africa, China and Inner Asia, Film Studies, History, Anthropology and Sociology, Economics, Gender Studies, Financial and Management Studies, Linguistics, Chinese, Arabic, Global Development, Japanese, Law and more.

The number of credit hours required will depend on the course in question. Full-time UG students for instance, will need 120 credits per year in divisions of 15/30 credits over 10-20 weeks.

Here are the 2022-23 dates:

1. Term 1

Monday 26 September 2022- Friday 16 December 2022

2. Term 2

Monday 9 January 2023 – Friday 24 March 2023

3. Term 3

Monday 24 April 2023 – Friday 16 June 2023

Extra-curriculars, diversity

There are numerous international students studying at SOAS University of London, one of the most inclusive institutions in the country. Students can take part in several activities courtesy of the SOAS Student Union. There are numerous societies and clubs including the Bar Society Law Society and more. There are law clinics, competitions, networking events, workshops and more. Other societies cover radio, debates, international law, Model United Nations, and more.


SOAS Careers is the dedicated portal to help students in finding employment. Students get access to volunteering and internship opportunities. They also get help with finding placement opportunities and jobs after completing their courses. They get personalized career advice and guidance along with help with their cover letters, application forms and CVs. There are several career fairs, alumni workshops, skill development sessions, interview sessions, and information and resources for students. They also get access to the e-Mentoring platform called SOAS Connect.

Via CareersZONE, students get access to both full-time and part-time jobs along with internships and volunteering opportunities. Remote opportunities are also available while the Jobs and Work Experience segment offers more information on finding these jobs. Students are encouraged to get internships, applying via advertised positions on SOAS Careers. Volunteering opportunities are also available, courtesy of the institution’s vast networks and connections with leading employers and recruiters in several fields.

The list of famous alumni includes the following:

1. Paul Leroy Robeson, artist, actor and performer.

2. Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese diplomat, politician and author and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

3. Jemima Goldsmith/Khan- producer, Instinct Productions’ founder and screenwriter.

4. Mette-Marit, Norwegian Crown Princess.

5. Mustafa Bulent Ecevit, former Turkish Prime Minister, politician, writer and poet.

6. Romila Thapar, eminent historian and professor.

7. Fatima Bhutto, writer, columnist and member of the Bhutto family of Pakistan.

8. Varun Gandhi, politician and Member of Parliament.

Also Read:

1. Masters in Finance in the UK

2. MS Courses in the UK

3. Oxford University’s Rhodes Scholarship

4. Cambridge University Scholarships

5. Duke University in the UK


Here are the SOAS University of London fees for undergraduate courses in 2022-23:



BA, B. Sc, LLB

£20,350 (INR 20.35 lakh)
BA/B. Sc language year abroad

£10,175 (INR 10.17 lakh)

Study Abroad (full year)

£20,350 (INR 20.35 lakh)
Study Abroad (semester, autumn or spring)

£10,175 (INR 10.17 lakh)

Certificates and Graduate Diplomas

£20,350 (INR 20.35 lakh)

Here are the fees for postgraduate courses for 2022-23:


Overseas students


£23,400 (INR 23.40 lakh)

History, Religions & Philosophy

Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

East Asian Languages & Cultures





£23,800 (INR 23.80 lakh)



Finance & Management


£24,650 (INR 24.65 lakh)

International Studies & Diplomacy

As for living expenses in London, it is estimated that a student will need approximately £1,334 (INR 1.3 lakh) a month to meet accommodation costs, food, and other necessities.

Disclaimer! All course fees/salaries/expenses are indicative.

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