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You are here: Home > UK University List > SOAS, University of London

SOAS, University of London

London, England   |   Established: 1916   |   Famous for: African, Asian & Middle East Studies

Make a counselling appointment to discuss opportunities at SOAS, University of London.

School of Oriental and African Studies, London- University of London will be attending the 2014 UK University Fair in London. For more information about the fair, or to register, please visit the UK University Fair website.


The School of Oriental and African Studies is a constituent of the University of London specialising in the arts, humanities, languages, cultures, law and social sciences concerning Asia, Africa, the Near East and the Middle East. It was founded in 1916 and currently has over 5,000 students enrolled. It is notable for having not only a roughly equal number of undergraduates and postgraduates, but also one of the highest proportions of international students in the world, currently at 38%.

SOAS's founding mission was primarily to train British administrators for overseas postings across the empire. Now, it counts numerous heads of state, government ministers, Supreme Court judges and a Nobel Prize laureate amongst its alumni. Over 40% of courses allow a year abroad in one of SOAS’s numerous partner universities across Africa and Asia, and around 45% of undergraduates take lessons in a second language. The world-famous library is one of five National Research Libraries in the UK, with 1.5 million books, journals and study materials in 400 different languages.

Services for International Students

International students have free membership to the nearby International Students House, which provides a meeting place, events and activities for students of different cultural backgrounds. A welcome day takes place at the beginning of the Autumn term, and support continues from your arrival. The Student’s Union has a dedicated International Officer to provide more personal support, outside that offered by Student Advice and Wellbeing. SOAS also offers pre-sessional EAP courses and in-sessional English language support.


Despite being a highly specialised institution compared to many other universities, SOAS ranks highly in general UK league tables. SOAS is currently ranked 24th by The Times, 22nd by The Guardian and 33rd by The Complete University Guide. In most subject areas submitted to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, over 60% of research was found to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Music came top, at 80%, followed by anthropology (70%) and Asian studies (65%), the latter being ranked top in the UK.


SOAS has two exclusive halls of residence, twenty minutes’ walk away from the main campus. Dinwiddy House is mainly designed for undergraduates and has 510 en suite rooms, while Paul Robeson House is exclusively for postgraduates and has 259 en suite rooms. SOAS students can also take up residence in University of London intercollegiate halls, where the school has about 170 rooms reserved. London is a large city with a myriad of private accommodation and halls of residence available. Homestays with families and local residents are also available.


The main campus (the Russell Square campus) is located in Bloomsbury, an area of central London developed by the Russell family in the 17th and 18th centuries into a fashionable residential area. It is known for its array of gardened squares and as such is one of the most picturesque areas of central London. It is famed for its literary connections, such as the Bloomsbury Group, and its numerous hospitals and academic institutions. The second Vernon Square campus is twenty minutes away in Islington.

Famous Alumni

  • Aung San Suu Kyi (Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Member of Burmese Parliament)
  • David Warren (British Ambassador to Japan)
  • Jung Chang (Writer and historian)
  • Bernard Lewis (Orientalist)
  • Paul Robeson (Musician, writer and civil rights activist)

How we can help

If you are interested in learning more, get in touch to arrange a free consultation session today. Alternatively, contact us via phone 020-7287-7040 or email

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