Pre-Master's Programme (FDPS)
NEWS: FDPS students are now guaranteed offers on most Master's programmes at SOAS. See Study After FDPS for details
The SOAS pre-master's programme is a ten-month course providing academic and language preparation for international students who want to enter Master's degrees (taught and researched) at British universities in Social Science, Business and Management-related studies, Arts and Humanities.
The pre-master's programme was started in 1993 in order to provide international students with a thorough preparation for entering demanding Master's degrees at British universities or at universities, research institutes or business schools abroad where the language of instruction is English.
Winner of FDPS Achievement Prize 2012-2013
Studying MSc Development Studies at SOAS, University of London
“The FDPS helped open up a choice of Masters that I wouldn't have ordinarily been able to apply for. Not only did the programme help improve my confidence and help prepare me to study at the Masters level, but also allowed me to explore what Masters I wanted to pursue afterwards. I really enjoyed my time on the FDPS at SOAS.”
Winner of FDPS Progress Prize 2012-13
Studying MSc International Management (China) at SOAS, University of London
“SOAS to me , in one word, means 'opportunity' and for that I have to thank the inspiring and supportive teaching at IFCELS. They have given me the opportunity to fulfil my potential and there is simply nothing better than that. I am delighted to be going on to a SOAS master's, International Management for China.”
All high-ranking British universities recognise the SOAS Foundation Diploma for Postgraduate Studies (FDPS) as a value-adding academic and English-language programme for international students.
Click here to view the FDPS Brochure (pdf; 465kb)
FDPS students who progress to a Master's programme at SOAS will receive a 5% discount on their fees.
- to familiarise students with the academic culture of British university education
- to introduce students to further study in academic disciplines relevant to their chosen field of study
- to develop the speaking and writing skills in Academic English, critical thinking and independent study skills necessary for success on a programme in a British university
- to offer students a challenging and career-enhancing year of intensive study within the city and the University of London
Features of the Programme
Supervised Research Paper (The Independent Study Project)
A very valuable and popular feature of the pre-master's programme is the opportunity to carry out a research project of your choice, supervised by a suitable academic from the University of London.
The weekly cycle and structure of classes:
A distinctive feature of English language study in IFCELS is that language and subject study are integrated: language classes are specific to each subject and classroom activities are designed to help you develop vocabulary, oral and written skills appropriate to the subject.
Reading class (English teacher)
- academic reading
- vocabulary expansion
Lecture (Subject teacher)
- academic listening
- critical thinking
Lecture review (English teacher)
- concept analysis
- vocabulary expansion
- critical thinking
Seminar (Subject lecturer)
- presenting an argument
- critical questioning
- academic debate
Writing class (English Teacher)
- essay writing
- question analysis
- structuring an argument
Dates and Fees
DATES 2015 - 16
Introductory Course: 16 - 23 September 2015
Full academic year dates: 28 September 2015 - 24 June 2016
Autumn Term: 28 Sept - 11 December 2015 (Reading Week: 2 - 6 November)
Spring Term: 4 January - 18 March 2016 (Reading Week: 8 - 12 February)
Summer Term: 18 April - 24 June 2016 (no Reading Week)
FEES 2015 - 16
Application fee: normally £90 (non-refundable), but as part of our celebrations to mark 30 years of Foundation Programmes at SOAS, there will be no application fee for students applying before 30th April 2015. After that the fee will be £90.
Details of Accommodation Fees
Note: all fees must be paid in full before the start date of the programme
Please see here for full Terms and Conditions
Entrance Requirements and Application Procedure
You must have a Bachelor's degree from a recognised institution in your own country or elsewhere.
(If you have a three-year Diploma, you may in certain cases be considered for admission if you have substantial relevant work experience)
English Language Requirements
You will need a good intermediate level of English, equivalent to CEFR B2 or 5.5 in each sub-score in IELTS, to be able to join the programme. If you have not taken an approved English test or if your scores are below these, you will be asked to do English language tests including Reading, Writing and Listening. All applicants will be interviewed either face-to-face in London or in their own country, or by telephone. You can be offered a place on FDPS and we can issue a CAS for visa purposes on the basis of our secure English test covering all four skills so it is not necessary to take IELTS if you are planning to take our test. See here for details of test dates and venues.
Please note iBT TOEFL is no longer an approved test for visa purposes
The department offers preparatory English language programmes starting in September, January, April and during the summer. You may be given an offer for FDPS requiring you to attend a language programme.
Please fill out and print the
post it, together with the required supporting documents, to:
Head of Department
International Foundation Courses & English Language Studies (IFCELS)
SOAS (University of London)
23/24 Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
Number of hours
You will have between 16 and 18 hours a week of timetabled classes. In addition, you will be expected to spend at least 20 hours of your own time preparing topics for discussion, completing assignments and doing independent research and further reading.
Timetabled classes involve
- English classes (maximum 12 students)
- Seminars (maximum 10 students)
- 1-1 tutorials
You are expected to attend all your classes regularly. SOAS has a minimum attendance requirement of 80% and poor attendance will probably affect your performance in class and the reports your teachers write for you, which will ultimately affect the references the department provides in support of your applications for postgraduate study or research.
Academic Study Units
All students are required to study 2 compulsory courses:
- English for Academic Purposes, assessed by a 3-hour final written exam
- Research Methods, leading to an Independent Study Project, an 8000-word extended essay
You are also required to choose 2 academic courses from the list below:
A Student's Perspective
When I actually started my studies on the foundation course at SOAS, it confirmed in my mind that I had made a very good choice.