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International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies

Pre-sessional Courses


What is English for Academic Purposes?

Although many people develop good language skills at school, university or in their work, university study makes particular demands on students' language and study skills. Students need to be able to:

  • listen to lectures and take notes efficiently
  • participate fully in tutorial discussions
  • produce and present seminar papers based on reading and/or research
  • read and gather information from a wide variety of written sources
  • write relevant, well-argued and accurately presented essays and examination answers in an appropriately academic style
Our pre-sessional EAP courses aim:
  • to develop students' English language and study skills to the level required for them to be successful in their studies
  • to help students gain an understanding of the academic and cultural context of university study so that they will be able to participate in and benefit fully from their degree course

Students whose first language is not English often take time to adjust to the requirements of academic study at a UK university, and taking part in a pre-sessional EAP course can help in this process of adjustment, developing students' confidence in their own use of English and in their study skills so that they can embark on their degree programmes fully prepared.

Key Features
  • The courses are intended for students who are starting undergraduate or postgraduate degree programmes in late-September or October.
  • Courses run for 4 or 8 weeks during the June-September period and involve 18 hours of class time per week, Monday-Friday.
  • Most students taking these courses do so as a condition of their degree course offers.
  • Some students who are not required to take these courses do so in order to even better prepare themselves for their future studies.
  • Although the majority of students will go on to study at SOAS, students destined for other colleges of the University of London and other universities are welcome to attend too, if there are spaces available.

The pre-sessional courses cater for the needs of students going on to degrees, in which essay-writing is an important component, so bear in mind that:

  • Essays and a project are important parts of the coursework. Students will be expected to read extensively outside class and to take part actively in in-class discussion.
  • Students will receive regular 1:1 feedback on their work.

This is an intensive training course so you are required to fulfil a minimum attendance requirement of 80%. Please ensure you apply well in time if you require a visa to enable one to be issued.

Course Dates and Fees 2015

12-Week Pre-sessional Course: 29 June - 18 September
Tuition Fee:  £4,650
Accommodation Fee: £2,850

8-Week Pre-sessional Course A: 29 June - 21 August
8-week Pre-sessional Course B: 27 July - 18 September
Tuition Fee: £3,200 
Accommodation Fee: £1,900 

4-week Pre-sessional Course A: 27 July - 21 August  
4-week Pre-sessional Course B: 24 August - 18 September
Tuition Fee: £1,650 
Accommodation Fee: £950 

The 8 week courses consist of 144 hours of tuition and the 4 week courses consist of 72 hours of tuition. The 12 week course consists of 216 hours of tuition.

The content of course A and course B for both the 4-week and 8-week courses is the same. Course A is run from an earlier date for the convenience of students who require an earlier finishing date, for example those who also have a requirement to do a  pre-sessional course in their academic subject, such as Law or Finance courses.

Students will need to pay their fees online as soon as they have accepted the offer of a place on a pre-sessional course.

Entry Requirements for Pre-sessional Courses
IELTS7.0 overall with
6.0 in reading and writing and 5.0 in other sub-scores
6.5 overall with
6.5 in writing and 6.0 in other sub-scores.
6.0 overall with
6.0 in writing , 5.5 in reading and 5.0 in other sub-scores
6.0 overall with
5.5 in writing and other scores 5.0.
The sub-score total should be more than 23 and less than 25.5 with no higher than 6.5 overall nor higher than 6.5 in individual sub-scores
PTE Academic65-69
65 in writing and 60 in other communicative sub-scores.
60 in writing and 55 in other communicative sub-scores.
55 in writing and no communicative sub-score higher than 65.

Please note that non-EU/EEA students who require a student visa must provide an IELTS or Pearson Academic PTE score for acceptance on the Pre-sessional Courses. For information on the current status of iBT TOEFL, please see http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/international/englishrequirements/


SOAS Degree Applicants

If you have already received an offer from SOAS, this will advise you of whether you need a pre-sessional and which course to take. For more information see the pre-sessional FAQs

However, please do NOT apply for this pre-sessional course until you can say yes to ALL of the following:

  1. You have been sent an academic offer.
  2. You have sent in all the required academic qualifications to SOAS Admissions to satisfy the conditions of this offer.
  3. Your English certificates have been submitted for assessment. 
We cannot offer a pre-sessional place until all of these requirements are met, so please do not apply until then.

For those of you awaiting your academic certificates, this may mean you cannot apply until June or July, but as long as there is still time for you to get a visa if required, this will be fine.

When you are ready, please complete the Pre-sessional Course Online Application Form , or print off the application form and send it directly to:

Head of Department
International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies (IFCELS)
23/24 Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

PLEASE NOTE: You will not be offered a pre-sessional place until an offer from SOAS has been made and the academic conditions satisfied.
This is because:

  1. we cannot provide a visa letter until the academic offer is unconditional
  2. your offer is not certain until you have fulfilled the academic conditions
  3. pre-sessional fees are non refundable, so you need to be sure you need the place
Non-SOAS Degree Applicants

Please complete and submit the application form as above, together with details of your current English language level. If you have a conditional offer from another UK university, please check with them that they will accept this pre-sessional course in preparation for your degree.

Accommodation Information

Accommodation is available within easy walking distance of SOAS in Dinwiddy House. This is self-catering residence with single en-suite rooms and shared kitchens. The number of rooms available is limited so as soon as you have a pre-sessional offer, you need to accept and pay for the course immediately. Please note that accommodation cannot be reserved until the full accommodation fees have been paid.

All pre-sessional students will be accommodated in Dinwiddy House with the exception of the programme below (who will be accommodated in either Dinwiddy House or Paul Robeson House):

Programme: 4 Week Pre-sessional Course B   
Programme Dates: 24 August - 18 September    
Move-in Date and Time: Sunday 23 August (2 PM)                             
Departing Date: Saturday 19 September (10 AM)

For more information see the next page for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)