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International Students

English Language Requirements

To ensure that SOAS students have a sufficient standard of academic English to study effectively, all non-native English speaking applicants are required to submit evidence of their current level of academic English. This relates also to the demands of the UK Border Agency for an authorised SELT.

Study Abroad, Erasmus and Exchange Students should see Study Abroad/Exchange English Language Requirements 

Unconditional Entry

SOAS can offer a place to a student with the scores outlined in the following table, but the student must attend a free in-sessional academic English course alongside their academic programme. The following table gives more information. For more details about the in-sessional courses please see the IFCELS in-sessional page.   

Public ExaminationsScore for entry to SOAS with compulsory FREE in-sessional English course
IELTSOverall 7+ with at least 6.5  in all sub scores
Pearson Test of English - AcademicScore of 70 - 74 with at least 65 in all sub scores
TOEFLInformation concerning the TOEFL test for entry with compulsory FREE in-sessional English course

Any IELTS scores submitted should refer to tests taken no more than 2 years prior to the start of the relevant academic programme.  

The tables below give the English tests that we recognise and the level that must be achieved in each one in order to meet our English language requirement fully, in which case no in-sessional academic English course need be taken. Further details are available on request from the International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies (IFCELS) department. You can contact them on ifcels@soas.ac.uk.

Public ExaminationsScore for Unconditional Entry
IELTSOverall 7+ with at least 7 in all sub scores
Pearson Test of English - AcademicScore of 75 or above with at least 70 in all sub scores
TOEFLInformation concerning the TOEFL test for unconditional entry
SOAS ExaminationsScore for Unconditional Entry
SOAS Foundation Courses Module in Intensive English for Academic Study60%
Examples of acceptable qualifications other than IELTS or Pearson testsScore for Unconditional Entry
Cambridge Proficiency in EnglishGrade A
European Baccalaureate (English)Pass 60%
International Baccalaureate (English)Pass (Grade 4 for English)
General Certificate of Secondary Education in EnglishGrade A

Validity of these qualifications will depend on how recently they were taken, and may be considered in conjunction with other relevant evidence.

Conditional Entry (pre-sessional English courses)

If an applicant does not achieve the level to meet the English language requirement fully, they may need to take a four or eight week pre-sessional English course in order to raise their level of academic English prior to registration.

Please look here to find out more about the dates and fees of the pre-sessional English courses. Alternatively you can contact the IFECLS centre directly by email: ifcels@soas.ac.uk or by telephone: +44 (0)20 7898 4800/1.

Details of any English language conditions or requirements will be contained in the offer letter.

Re-taking an English test

Applicants whose English language test score falls below our minimum requirements will need to submit an improved score. These applicants are recommended to contact IFCELS on ifcels@soas.ac.uk or by telephone on +44 (0)20 7898 4800/1 to seek guidance regarding further development of their academic English skills. Applicants who cannot improve their English sufficiently prior to the commencement of their academic programme will be advised to request deferral of their place and spend a year improving their English.