About the School of Oriental and African Studies - University of London (UK)
SOAS University of London is the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.
SOAS is a remarkable institution. Uniquely combining language scholarship, disciplinary expertise and regional focus, it has the largest concentration in Europe of academic staff concerned with Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
On the one hand, this means that SOAS scholars grapple with pressing issues - democracy, development, human rights, identity, legal systems, poverty, religion, social change - confronting two-thirds of humankind, while at the same time remaining guardians of specialised knowledge in languages and periods and regions not available anywhere else in the UK.
SOAS is synonymous with intellectual enquiry and achievement. As a global academic base and a crucial resource for London, SOAS is distinctively positioned to analyse, understand and explain some of the most challenging issues facing us in the world today.
SOAS's academic focus on the languages, cultures and societies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East makes it a truly indispensable interpreter in a complex world.
SOAS at a Glance...
90% Satisfied with teaching
SOAS is top for teaching in London with a score of 90% (3% above the sector average) (National student survey 2016). 88% of students at SOAS are satisfied overall – up from 87% last year, equalling the highest recorded at SOAS and 2% points above the sector average.
SOAS has more than 5,000 students from 133 countries on campus, and just over 50% per cent of them are from outside the UK. In addition, about 3,600 students around the world are taking one of our online and distance learning programmes.
There is a roughly equal split between undergraduates (55%) and postgraduates (45%).
24% of undergraduates are over 21 when they start their course.
More than 350 undergraduate degree combinations are available in social sciences, arts, humanities and languages, all with a distinctive regional focus and global relevance. And over 115 postgraduate programmes.
SOAS offers an unparalleled range of non-European languages, all of which may be studied without prior knowledge. The school was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2009 for the excellence, breadth and depth of its language teaching.
More than 40% of SOAS undergraduate degree programmes offer the opportunity to spend a year studying in another country.
SOAS has the largest concentration of specialist staff (300+ academics) concerned with the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East at any university in the world.
In the Research Assessment Exercise of 2008, more than 85% of our submissions were ranked at either the highest grade of 4* (world-leading quality), 3* (internationally excellent) or 2* (recognised internationally).
Small-group teaching remains an important feature of study at SOAS – the student-staff ratio (11.3:1) is one of the best in the UK.
Over 115 Postgraduate Programmes
SOAS has over 115 postgraduate programmes taught on campus and a wide range of degrees, certificates and diplomas taught by distance learning, in the social sciences, humanities and languages, with a distinctive regional focus and global relevance.
The SOAS Library – recently refurbished – has more than 1.5 million items and extensive electronic resources for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and attracts scholars from all around the world.