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About SOAS

About SOAS, University of London

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.

This makes SOAS synonymous with intellectual enquiry and achievement. It is a global academic base and a crucial resource for London. We live in a world of shrinking borders and of economic and technological simultaneity. Yet it is also a world in which difference and regionalism present themselves acutely. It is a world that SOAS is distinctively positioned to analyse, understand and explain.

Our academic focus on the languages, cultures and societies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East makes us an indispensable interpreter in a complex world.

SOAS, University of London at a glance:

89% Satisfied

SOAS is above the national average for student satisfaction at 89% (National student survey 2013).

133 Countries

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 our distance learning programmes.

Equal Split

There is a roughly equal split between undergraduates (55%) and postgraduates (45%).

Mature Students

24% of undergraduates are over 21 when they start their course.

350 Combinations

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.

Languages

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.

Opportunity

More than forty per cent of our undergraduate degree programmes offer the opportunity to spend a year studying in another country.

300 Academics

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.

National Leader

In the Research Assessment Exercise of 2008, more than 85 per cent of our submissions were ranked at either the highest grade of 4* (world-leading quality), 3* (internationally excellent) or 2* (recognised internationally).

11.3:1 Ratio

Small-group teaching remains an important feature of study at SOAS – our 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.

Resources

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.