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Samuel Southgate

I found my courses always challenging and intellectually stimulating, the lecturers first-rate and unceasing in their willingness to give their time and assistance, a library with a wonderful collection covering my research area.

MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies

After a few years spent working as a journalist, I was slightly nervous about returning to full-time education to do a Masters in Middle Eastern studies. I made the decision because I wanted to increase my knowledge to enable me to move into work covering this region.

SOAS seemed the natural place to come, not only because of its fantastic location in the heart of London, but also because of its specialist focus and its diverse student body. What I found was an incredibly friendly and welcoming institution with an always exciting array of lectures, concerts and other events throughout the year; the campus has a real buzz about it. More importantly, I found my courses always challenging and intellectually stimulating, the lecturers first-rate and unceasing in their willingness to give their time and assistance, a library with a wonderful collection covering my research area, as well as the half-dozen or so other accessible university libraries in the area.

My skills in Arabic have also increased hugely through taking evening classes at the school’s language centre. Now at the end of my studies at SOAS, I have enjoyed the course so much that I have decided against returning immediately to journalism. Instead I am going to continue my research at PhD level at a university in the US.