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Faculty of Languages and Cultures

Language Entitlement Programme - Free Language Classes

SOAS would like all its students to possess at least a basic working knowledge of one of the languages of Africa, Asia or the Middle East by the time they graduate.

Under the Language Entitlement Programme (LEP), current undergraduate students, regardless of department or degree registration, are entitled to register for one language-acquisition course for free. Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Swahili, Korean, Hindi, Persian and Turkish. Others are often also available. For a full list of languages taught at SOAS go to Learn a Language.

You do not need to have any prior qualification in or experience of language study to take a language course as part of the LEP. Employers have always welcomed graduates with language skills, so the LEP is a great way to enhance your CV without reducing the number of courses taken on your degree syllabus.

There are two providers of courses: the regional departments of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures and the Language Centre.

Courses in regional departments


LEP courses in regional departments are beginners’ level language-acquisition courses that run throughout the academic year, usually for 22 weeks. These courses are regular 1-unit L&C courses. If taken under the LEP they are not for credit but certificates of attendance can be provided. Enrolment takes place in Welcome Week at the beginning of the teaching year.

Courses in the Language Centre


Free LEP courses in the Language Centre run for ten weeks in Term 2. Enrolment in the SOAS Language Centre is open from Welcome Week till late November. The Language Centre course will not count towards your degree credits or classification but you may request a certificate of attendance.

Enrolment Procedure


For enrolment on a language course provided by a regional department, please go to the Language and Cultures student office (Room 351) during Welcome Week and ask to fill in an Expression of Interest form. Alternatively you can download it from this page. You will need to get the form signed by your personal tutor or programme convenor and the convenor of the language course you choose. The deadline for submission of completed forms is the Friday of Welcome Week.

To apply for a free Language Centre course in Term 2, please go to the Language and Cultures student office (Room 351) during Term 1 and ask to fill in an Expression of Interest form. The form is also available from the Language Centre (22 Russell Square) and downloadable from this page.  You will need to get it signed by your personal tutor or programme convenor and the convenor of the language course you choose. The deadline for submission of completed forms is the Friday of Week 9 at the latest. Do not bring your form to the Language Centre. Late applications cannot be considered.

Please note that:
  • We cannot guarantee that you will be able to get on to your chosen course because the demand for certain languages is very high. Availability of places on each course is limited, and places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis
  • You are entitled to take any post-beginner level course in the Language Centre at any time with a 25% discount
  • You may take more than one course in the Language Centre, paying for the additional course at the discounted (25% off) price
  • A £50 refundable deposit is required to book a place on a Language Centre course. This is returned when the student has satisfied the 80% attendance requirement.
    Please check out the Language Centre webpages for further information on its wide range of language courses.