Why is SOAS awarding its own degrees?
Why did SOAS apply for Degree Awarding Powers?
The power to award its own degree is integral to SOAS intention to be an autonomous, self-directed and sustainable institution is is part of our overall Vision and Strategy leading up to our centenary in 2016/17. A number of University of London Colleges, including LSE, UCL and King's College now award their own degrees.
SOAS made the decision to apply for Degree Awarding Powers in 2007 as a means of securing the long term future of the institution. Now that SOAS has Degree Awarding Powers it will be able to develop academic partnerships and collaborations with other higher education institutions and could offer joint degrees in the future.
The decision to grant SOAS Degree Awarding Powers recognises not only the quality of teaching at the School but also its ability to set and maintain academic standards.
How did SOAS get Degree Awarding Powers?
In common with a number of other college in the University of London, SOAS has been granted the power to award its own degrees by the UK's Privy Council (an interdepartmental office of government ministers appointed by the Queen).
Degree Awarding Powers are granted on the advice of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the Government body charged with monitoring standards in higher education in the UK. Following a rigorous assessment process, SOAS has been granted the power to award its own degrees, a decision which recognises not only the quality of our teaching but also our ability to set and maintain academic standards.
What will my SOAS, University of London degree look like?
Until now SOAS graduates have received University of London degrees. Certificates have carried the title: “University of London The School of Oriental and African Studies”.
The new certificates will carry the title “SOAS, University of London”. The certificate will have the School’s coat of arms.
Will there be new gowns?
Yes, a steering group of staff and students is currently finalising the design of new academic dress for SOAS, University of London graduates. These will be unique to SOAS within the traditions of UK higher education.
Will employers and other higher education institutions recognise my SOAS, University of London degree?
Yes, the SOAS, University of London degree will be recognised as the School has been granted this power by the Privy Council which is an interdepartmental office of government ministers appointed by Her Majesty the Queen.
What is the difference between a University of London degree and a SOAS, University of London degree?
There is no difference in the value of a University of London degree, and a SOAS, University of London degree. The new awards provide a more accurate reflection of the programme of study students have completed.
I already have a University of London degree but would like a SOAS, University of London degree, can I get a new degree certificate?
Once a degree has been awarded, it cannot be changed.
If I need a replacement certificate, will I get a University of London degree or a SOAS degree?
Replacement certificates will continue be duplicates of the originals. The University of London will continue to provide them for University of London Degrees
I have not yet been awarded my degree, can I choose to receive a University of London degree?
We believe students will welcome the introduction of SOAS, University of London degrees and they will be issued to all graduating students who enrolled from 2013 onwards.
If you enrolled before 2013, you can opt to receive the previous University of London degree by emailing DAPs@soas.ac.uk. You must do this using your SOAS email account.