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Academic Development Directorate

SOAS Bridging Course

Are you the first in your family to go to university? Or do you live in an area with low progression to higher education*? If so, we would like to invite you to attend the SOAS Bridging Course.

This free week-long course is designed to enable you to make a flying start to your studies and university life, and will be taking place on 7th - 11th September 2015

The course involves:

  • Academic lectures by SOAS staff
  • Writing a First Year Essay study skills workshops
  • Creative Thinking Skills session
  • Time Management workshop
  • Making the Most of university session

Further information

All the workshops and lectures will be delivered in an interactive & stimulating format. You will also have access to our computers, the library, and both campuses (Russell Square and Vernon Square) during the week to give you a chance to familiarise yourself with SOAS before you start your degree here. There will be plenty of people you can talk to about student services at SOAS and current students will be on hand to help you. The week then closes with a social event on Friday in the Student Union Bar!

SOAS Bridging Course... What is it like?

Your week will begin with a welcome from Professor Paul Webley, the Director & Principal of SOAS.

Throughout the week you will benefit from Study Skills sessions that will help you to master note-taking in lectures, reflect on your strengths as a learner, develop your creative thinking, and improve your essay writing skills. Student Services also run a session that offers advice on time and stress management.

A SOAS lecturer will deliver two lectures to the group, and this will form the basis of an essay you will write later on in the week. This is nothing to panic about; see it as good practice for the real deal! Having gone through the essay writing and submission process, each person is given feedback on their essay and pointers for improvement.

Every year, we also have an interactive music session...the instrument you learn about is a surprise and can be anything from the Kora to the Oud!

All week you will have access to Student Ambassadors who will be on hand to answer any questions you have, and provide general support when you want it. Here is what some previous Bridging Course attendees thought of the course:

"I enjoyed everything because it was great meeting new people. The folder we got was fantastic and so helpful! I will definitely be using all of the materials and experiences I have had at the Bridging Course in my years of study at SOAS."

"The creative thinking session was great because it showed that there is a creative side to me, which I did not realise before."

"I had a fantastic week as each day was always different... The African history lecture was amazing, really interesting."

"I am very excited about being a part of the SOAS community. The help and support I have been offered is brilliant. Thank you very much for this opportunity."

Eligibility criteria

We recognise that students who are the first generation in their family to go to university, or who grew up in areas where there is low progression to higher education, are less likely to have had access to the kind of informal networks of information, advice, and guidance that may support other students in the transition to life and study at university.

Therefore, to be eligible to attend the Bridging Course you must:

  • Be normally resident in the UK
  • Be progressing onto an undergraduate degree at SOAS

And also fulfil one or both of the following criteria:

  • Have attended a state school or college in the UK and be the first generation in your family to progress to higher education


  • Live in an area identified by HEFCE as a 'Low Participation Neighbourhood'*

Please note that if you are interested in support with the transition to university but do not fulfil the above criteria, a full programme of open access activities will be available to you during Welcome Week (22nd - 26th September)

How to reserve your place

All students who potentially fulfil the above criteria according to information supplied with their UCAS application will be contacted (in June) with further information and a Register of Interest form.

To reserve your place, please return the Register of Interest form as soon as possible, as places are limited and therefore offered on a first-come first-served basis.  Attendance on the course is not compulsory or part of your degree.

Please note that the Bridging Course is non-residential. If you wish to stay in student accommodation you will need to contact Sanctuary Students; please visit Summer accommodation for further information.

Enquiries should be directed to:

Sarah Tucker

*'Low participation neighbourhoods' are areas identified by the Higher Education Funding Council for England using data of the participation rate of young people in higher education by ward or region.  This information is supplied with UCAS applications.