SOAS University of London

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Studying the languages and cultures of Africa at SOAS

Facts and figures

rank in London in the Complete University Guide 2021 for Middle Eastern and African Studies, and 6th in UK


  • SOAS is the only university in the UK where you can learn a major sub-Saharan language (eg Swahili), combined with more general (African) culture/language studies as part of a BA degree
  • NSS 2016 - 94% Teaching 94% Overall Satisfaction 88% Learning Resources
  • NSS 2016 – Ranked 1st in the UK
  • 31st in the Guardian 2016 Guide (Languages and Linguistics combined)
  • SOAS joining the global elite for Modern Languages in the recent QS World University Rankings by Subject, where it has been ranked sixth in the UK and 32nd internationally


  • Home to the Journal of African Cultural Studies

Alumni and student stories

  • "To be here is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I can develop my academic skills and grow personally. My studies have been exciting and rewarding."

    Previously I just dreamed about SOAS. I had some lectures on Africa while studying Social Anthropology in Hungary, and I discovered that my professor had studied at SOAS. This made me work hard to join SOAS.

  • "SOAS provides students with plenty of flexibility to explore their talents and discover new ones"

    Being at SOAS is a privilege I have greatly appreciated academically as well as socially. It really is a gem that surfaces unheard voices and unseen faces

  • "There are numerous academic resources if you need support and even more social events. It seems every country in the world is represented in the UK, so it is a true global experience!"

    The exposure to different perspectives was more than I could have ever imagined in another developed, English speaking country. The progressive students and faculty at SOAS challenged assumptions I have developed from my experience.

  • "SOAS is a great school to have on your resumé. There is so much to see and experience in a multicultural city like London, you might not even want to leave. "

    One of the things I enjoyed the most was the size of the classes, as they are smaller than in Norway, and also the interaction between the students, and especially the interaction between professors and students.

  • "The Travelling Africa course took me on a journey across the African continent from Cape Town to Cairo, via Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and everywhere in between."

    The Travelling Africa course took me on a journey across the African continent from Cape Town to Cairo, via Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and everywhere in between.

  • "I knew as soon as I visited SOAS that it was the place for me."

    I’ve loved the central location of SOAS. Being able to stroll down to Soho for a coffee between lectures is amazing, and it makes you feel as though you are right in the middle of everything.

  • "My tutors approach their subjects from unconventional perspectives, always searching for the truth."

    Following my MA, I am looking forward to broadening my management consultancy work to Africa-related projects as well as speaking to empower young people in the areas of business and career.

Read more alumni and student stories

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