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Information for Students

Support Services at SOAS

Index

The Bloomsbury Learning Environment (BLE)

The BLE is SOAS’s Virtual Learning Environment.  It is an online space, personal to you, which exists to support and extend your learning beyond the classroom.  Your lecturers will often put important material on the BLE such as reading lists, copies of lecture notes and presentations, or podcasts (audio) recordings of lectures.  Lecturers may also ask you to submit your coursework assignments via the BLE and to collaborate online with your fellow students outside the classroom (eg via a discussion board).

Simply go online to www.ble.ac.uk and enter your SOAS username and password to log in.

General information and downloadable help guides for students are available on the SOAS website and you can email us at ble@soas.ac.uk

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Faculty Support

Each faculty has a student support office where staff can help you with any questions you might have about your course and can put you in contact with key faculty members, such as course convenors and personal tutors.

These offices are all situated in the main building at Russell Square:

Details of courses and programmes can be found on the Academic section of the website.

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Registry

The Registry is located at the Vernon Square campus and is responsible for matters relating to registration, regulations, fees and scholarships.  The Postgraduate Research Admissions team are also located in the Registry at Vernon Square.  The Admissions teams for Undergraduates and Postgraduate Taught (Masters) programmes are located at Russell Square.

Registry staff can provide you with general advice and can also direct you to alternative sources of information where needed.

The office is open Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm (closed between 12pm and 2pm during vacations) for personal enquiries and staff are available to answer your queries by telephone (+44 (0)207 074 5105) Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Registry teams can be contacted by email as follows:

Full details of our services can be found on the Registry section of the website.

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Academic Development Directorate (ADD)

The ADD offers study support and academic skills development for all students throughout the year.  

Workshops take place regularly on topics such as reading skills, academic writing skills and time management.  In addition, one-to-one tutorials, given by specifically trained SOAS PhD students, are available on all aspects of essay and dissertation writing.  

Further information can be found on the ADD section of the website or by email to add@soas.ac.uk

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SOAS Library

The SOAS Library is a National Research Library for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  Based at the Russell Square campus, the library houses more than 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a network of electronic resources.  The library webpages include information about the collections, the library catalogue and useful external sites.

Self-guided audio tours of the Library are available for load from the Issue Desk on Level A of the Library or for download from Library Podcasts.  A limited number of guided tours will be available during Welcome Week.

Further information on our Library can be found on the Library section of the website or by email to libenquiry@soas.ac.uk

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IT Services

The Student IT Guide contains all the information you will need, including how to use your SOAS email account, the locations of computer labs throughout the School and how to connect to the campus-wide wireless network.

You can obtain a paper copy of this from the Computer Support Desk in Library Reception (Floor E), or download the guide from these pages.

Further information can be found on the Library and IT section of the website.  Any IT problems should be reported to helpdesk@soas.ac.uk

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Student Advice and Wellbeing

The Student Advice and Wellbeing department (based on the 3rd floor of the Vernon Square campus) offers confidential and practical information on matters such as immigration, financial, disability and personal issues.

Various events will be held during Welcome Week by the Student Advice and Wellbeing Team, including Student Advice and Wellbeing drop-in sessions at Russell Square.

Full details of the services offered can be found on the Student Advice and Wellbeing section of the website. The team can be contacted by email on studentservices@soas.ac.uk.

Within Student Advice and Wellbeing, there are specific teams to assist students at SOAS:

Counselling Service

The SOAS team of counsellors can assist you with managing your studies when this process is interrupted or affected by emotional, personal or psychological pressures.  Other common concerns include anxiety about progress on the course, loneliness, low self-confidence, relationship problems or adjusting to a new environment.

The Counselling section of the website provides full details of the service we can offer, including how to book an appointment and what to do if you need assistance when we are closed.  It also contains lots of self help information which is available at all hours. The team can be contacted by email on studentservices@soas.ac.uk.

Disability Advisers

These advisers offer confidential advice, information and assistance to students with disabilities and students with learning difficulties (such as dyslexia).  They will discuss any concerns you may have regarding disability-related barriers to study and liaise with teaching and support staff concerning your support needs or adjustments.

The Disability section of the website provides full details of the service we offer, links to external sites that might be of assistance, a list of events that they hold for students and a full list of useful SOAS contacts.  The team can be contacted by email on studentservices@soas.ac.uk.

International Student and Welfare Adviser

This service provides impartial and confidential advice on all aspects of student welfare.  Areas of expertise include:

  • Finance
  • Budgeting and hardship
  • Visas and immigration
  • Special needs
  • Accommodation
  • Childcare and welfare benefits

The Student Advice and Wellbeing section of the website provides full information on the service we can provide and the team can be contacted by email to studentservices@soas.ac.uk.

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Accommodation

There are various forms of accommodation available in London, including university halls of residence and flat-shares.  There are two housing services that you can contact for information and they will have links to a wide variety of accommodation:

Sanctuary Management Services

To apply for accommodation in halls of residence you should contact Sanctuary Management Services.  They manage the SOAS halls of residence and also allocate places to SOAS students in the University of London halls of residence.  They have their own website at www.smsstudent.co.uk.  Please be aware that Sanctuary Management Services will give priority to new students, so you may not be successful in obtaining accommodation with them.

University of London Housing Services

Private accommodation is managed by the University of London Housing Services.  They can provide lists of flats available for students, as well as lists of students looking for other students to share flats with.  Their information can be found at www.housing.london.ac.uk.

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English Language Support

IFCELS offers in-sessional language support to non-native speakers of English.  This department is located in the Faber Building at the Russell Square campus.

Full details are available on the IFCELS section of the website and the team can be contacted by email at ifcels@soas.ac.uk.

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Careers Service

The Careers library is located in room G12 on the ground floor of the main building at the Russell Square campus.  Staff are able to offer advice to students about all aspects of job hunting and career management and will even help with practice interviews.  

The Careers section of the website provides further information.   The team can be contacted by email on careers@soas.ac.uk.

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SOAS Alumni Relations

The Alumni Relations team is dedicated to providing SOAS alumni with a wide range of services, communications, and support which will enable you to maintain a personal and professional ink with the School and fellow alumni long after you graduate.  There is a current global network of over 40,000 former SOAS students in more than 150 countries.

All students are welcome to join SOAS Alumni and can register on the Alumni site (www.soasalumni.org) – come and join us!

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