SOAS University of London


Undergraduate Application Procedures FAQs

  • How can I find out the entry requirements for my chosen programme?

    Please visit the SOAS webpage at undergraduate entry requirements and click on your chosen programme for detail of A level, International Baccalaureate and other commonly accepted entry requirements. You can also find these details under the individual programme information pages. On these pages you will also be able to find a link giving equivalencies for a range of commonly encountered qualifications. 
    If you would like information on the acceptability of qualifications not detailed on these pages, please email   

  • I want to apply for a joint degree programme. What will the entry requirements be?

    For joint programmes, the entry requirement is set at the level of the subject with the higher requirement.

  • I want to apply for a joint degree programme. How do I select the programme with the right major or minor subjects for me? Does the order of the two subjects as advertised in UCAS listings or the SOAS prospectus have meaning?

    No. The order of the subjects does not imply that one subject is a major and the other a minor. The emphasis of the degree specialisation is determined by the courses the student selects during their years of study.

  • How will I know when my application has been received?

    UCAS will send you a welcome letter confirming the institutions and programmes for which you have applied giving your Personal ID, application scheme code and username for Track. A copy of your application is also sent to SOAS and we will send an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

  • How long will it take to receive a decision on my application?

    We aim to process applications as quickly as possible but if you submit your application by the 15th January deadline you can expect to receive a reply within 5 – 8 weeks.

    Applicants who apply after the 15th January deadline will have their applications considered as no programmes are closed but may have to wait longer for a decision.

  • How will I know when a decision has been made on my application?

    As soon as an initial decision is made on your application, UCAS will send you an email to say that a decision has been made on your application and will advise you to check UCAS Track.  If your application has been successful you will be able to view your offer letter and any conditions on Track.

  • Once my initial offer is made will I receive an offer letter from SOAS?

    Due to the large number of applications that we receive we do not issue formal acceptance letters as candidates can obtain details of their offers from UCAS track. You will also receive a written summary of each of your offers from UCAS when decisions have been made by all of the universities to which you have applied.

  • If I'm not offered a place, can you tell me why?

    We will endeavour to give some feedback to unsuccessful applicants, if a request is made by email to Please note that it may take some time to provide a response to such requests, particularly during busy periods. Any appeal or request for reconsideration after presenting new information will be at the School’s discretion and will also be dependent on whether places remain on your chosen programme.

  • How do I work out whether I will have to pay tuition fees at the UK/EU or Overseas rates?

    Full details on how your fee status is determined can be found on the UKCISA website:

    If you think that your fee status has been assessed incorrectly by SOAS you can complete a UG Fee questionnaire (msword; 20kb)   and email the completed form to:  On receipt of this completed form we will then review the decision on your fee status and you will be informed of the outcome.

  • What chance do I have of being accepted to SOAS if my achieved grades or predictions are below the entry requirements for my chosen programme?

    It can sometimes be possible to accept applicants whose grades or predictions narrowly fall below the published entry requirements. In such cases we will assess applications as a whole, taking into consideration each applicant's individual circumstances and overall academic achievements.

    If your predicted grades are below the standard requirements of your chosen programme, but we are able to offer you a place, a conditional offer will normally be made for the actual standard requirement and you will need to decide whether you think you can get close to those grades. 

    For information on what happens where applicants do not meet the conditions of their offer, please see the FAQ section “Once an offer has been made".

  • I am a mature student who has been out of education for a number of years. Can I provide a non-academic reference?

    Yes. We realise that for some applicants who have been out of education for a period of time, obtaining an academic reference can be problematic. If at all possible please endeavour to provide an academic reference and if you have left education recently, we would expect to see one. If it is not possible, please arrange for someone in a position of authority to provide a reference who is able to comment on your personal qualities and abilities. This person must not be a friend or family member.
    If you require any more clarification please email

  • Will my application be considered more leniently if I am a mature applicant who does not have the appropriate entry qualifications?

    Admissions Tutors can apply discretion to applications from mature students who do not exactly meet the requirements of a programme. Applicants will still be required to demonstrate an appropriate level of academic competence to be considered and will normally need to present some form of relevant practical experience (e.g. work experience) to compensate for being below the standard requirements.

    Mature applicants who have no relevant qualifications or whose grades are substantially below the standard requirements will normally not be accepted and are advised to consider raising the level of their qualifications before re-applying. A common route for such applicants is to take an Access to Higher Education Diploma.

  • Will I be invited to an interview before a decision is made on my application?

    Most programmes at SOAS do not routinely invite applicants to attend an interview. It is most likely to be mature applicants or those with non-standard qualifications who will be interviewed. Admissions Tutors for Language related programmes will also sometimes invite applicants to interview where they wish to get a better feel for an applicant’s background and language competence.

    There is no set period for interviews and individuals will receive invitations as they are required in good time for mutually convenient arrangements to be made.

  • Are the level of my qualifications the only factor which influence whether I will be successful in my application to SOAS?

    No. While they are a crucial part of deciding whether we can make you an offer, your whole application is taken into consideration. As well as having an appropriate level of academic qualifications, you are required to demonstrate in your personal statement an interest and focus on the subject(s) at SOAS for which you are applying.