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International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies

In-sessional Academic English Support 2014-15


To help non-native English-speaking students achieve their full academic potential we provide in-sessional academic English and study skills courses and one-to-one tutorials throughout the academic year.

If you  have been given an in-sessional requirement and would like to find out more about how these assessment are made, please see further details regarding assessments.

In-sessional Academic English Courses

The in-sessional courses consist of one 2-hour lesson a week during term time. They take the form of short 4 or 5-week courses either side of Reading Week, or longer 8 or 9-week courses running for the whole term. 

They usually have a skills focus which allows students to concentrate on the areas of English that are most in need of improvement. The courses are also designed around academic contexts to add relevance to the skills practice, e.g. lecture skills, seminar skills, essay writing skills, reading and note-taking skills.

Courses vary during the year to follow the changing requirements of students and include:

In-sessional academic English courses are free of charge and are open to all non-native English -speaking students registered at SOAS.

New Block 2 Insessional courses start the week of November 10th 2014 and the new application form can be found online from the end of October 2014.

In-sessional One-to-One Tutorials

The one-to-one tutorials usually take the form of focused 30-minute sessions which students prepare for in advance. Students can then book follow-up sessions with the tutor to check the progress of the student. The sessions can focus either on academic study problems or grammar and general language support.

General information regarding In-sessional Academic English support is available on the In-sessional Courses noticeboard in the foyer of the Faber Building, 23-24 Russell Square. 

Registering for In-sessional Academic English Support

Block 2 In-sessional courses start after Reading Week from the  week of 10th November 2014. Applicaitons will start towards the end of October when you should be contacted by the In-sessional Programme Tutor to indicate that you have an In-sessional requirement. If you know you have an In-sessional requirement or want to enrol on an In-sessional course you do not have to do anything until that time. You can of course work on improving your English skills in you own way and we recommend you take a look at the Academic English Skills Online Toolkit to be found on BLE.

 It is always possible to discuss any issues regarding In-sessional support with the In-sessional Programme Tutor (Acting), Mr Neil Robbie (nr2@soas.ac.uk) - Room F206 in the Faber Building (23-24 Russell Square). 

Students with an In-sessional Requirement

If you have an In-sessional requirement (this is stated on your offer letter) you will receive an e-mail after you have registered for your academic programme stating which In-sessional course is suitable for you, based on the evidence that you provided regarding your English language proficiency, e.g. an IELTS or TOEFL test score. You can then apply for this In-sessional course online. If you feel that the In-sessional support that you have been allocated is not appropriate for you, or if you have not been e-mailed when you think you should, please feel free to discuss this with the In-sessional Programme Tutor (Acting), Mr Neil Robbie (nr2@soas.ac.uk).

Students without an In-sessional Requirement

If you do not have an In-sessional requirement it is still possible to attend in-sessional classes voluntarily. However, you must apply for the course that you want to follow and receive notification that you have a place before you can enter onto the course. If you are offered a place, please note that full attendance is expected.

Before you apply online it is important to ensure that you have your academic timetable so that you know when you are available and make sure to factor in any walks to or from Vernon Square.


If you attended or are attending one of the Insessional courses or tutorials in block 1 please take some time to fill in this feedback form. Your responses are anonymous.

On-line help

In addition to classroom provision, if you want further help on Academic English please have a look at the Academic English Skills Online Toolkit on the 'Skills for Success' drop-down menu where you can get support for Academic English self-study.

Office Hours

If you would like to see Neil Robbie in F206 (2nd floor Faber building) to talk about your Insessional requirements, please pop in to his office or send an e-mail to book an appointment to nr2@soas.ac.uk.

Block 2 courses to start from week of 10th November 2014

Process for In-Sessional Enrolment Block 2 Courses
29th October

Block 2 application form goes live

30th October on

E-mail sent to notify students that they have a requirement and need to apply for a Block 2 In-Sessional Course

4th November

Deadline for applications

5th-13th November

Ongoing notification of place (or not) on Block 2 In-Sessional course

10th November

Block 2 In-Sessional courses start