SOAS University of London

SOAS and COVID-19

Support and information for future students

We understand that you’ll be eager to know what the plans for September are with regard to teaching and learning and student experience.

Teaching plans for September 2021

From September, we aim to prioritise face-to-face teaching and academic activities on campus. Small group teaching - seminars, tutorials, smaller lectures and supervisions — will primarily take place in-person, on campus. Larger group teaching, such as lectures, will be delivered mainly online, through a mix of live and recorded content and activities that will allow students to work at their own pace.

We understand that some international students may not be able to join us in September due to ongoing travel restrictions or disruptions. For this reason, we will offer a remote (online) delivery option for students who cannot travel to London in Term 1 (September - December 2021). We expect that all students will be in London for on-campus teaching for Term 2 (January 2022). 

The situation was previously unclear as to whether students studying remotely would be eligible for a Student Visa. We have now received an update from UKVI: if you can't come to the UK in Term One (September - December 2021), you will be able to study remotely on a Student Visa. This is under the assumption that you will come to the UK in January, in order to continue your course in-person.

  • If you are planning on coming to London for the start of Term 1 in September, request your CAS now. 
  • If you are not sure whether you’ll be able to travel to London for the start of Term 1 in September, please do not request your CAS until you know your intended date of travel.

When making your travel plans, please keep in mind the latest rules and quarantine regulations when coming to the UK. See our Visa and Immigration page for detailed information about entry into the UK.

We hope that we will not have any further restrictions or national lockdowns due to Covid-19, however, we must be prepared if this does occur. In the case of any future lockdowns, all teaching will move online during any temporary lockdown period. And based on government restrictions, we will do our best to ensure that the Library and study spaces remain open with bookable slots. In the event of stricter social distancing measures, we may need to reduce the amount of on-campus teaching temporarily and introduce bookable slots for the Library and study spaces. 

What will student life look like?

There is no such thing as a typical SOAS student. Our diversity is our greatest strength. But if you want an idea of what to expect from September, take a look at our recent blog. The blog includes a general guide to what a typical week might look like, which includes 12 hours of teaching time, made up of lectures (online) and tutorials and seminars (on campus).

Facilities on campus

In-person student services and facilities will be open and accessible to students on campus. The Library and other study spaces will remain open, as they have been over the past year. These services will operate in line with government guidelines, which may include limiting the number of students who are able to use the facilities at one time, as well as social distancing and wearing of face masks.

Support for Undergraduate and Foundation applicants

We understand that these are difficult and concerning times for Undergraduate and Foundation applicants, especially with the cancellation of A Level exams in the summer.

You may be feeling anxious about what this new guidance means for your university application. Let us reassure you that we are committed to being as flexible as possible in our admissions processes.

Lower entry requirements

We have therefore decided to lower all entry requirements by one grade, to reflect the challenges and disruptions to education over the past year. We will accept teacher assessed grades for those students who are unable to take their exams in summer 2021.

What does ‘one grade lower’ look like?

If your offer lists requirements of AAA, we will accept your results of AAB; similarly, if the entry requirements on your offer state ABB, we will now accept BBB when you receive your final results. 

This support also applies to IB results: for example, if your programme requires IB 37 6/6/6/, we would now accept IB 35 6/6/5. If you have international qualifications, we will be applying this ‘one grade below’ policy to the international equivalencies of the A level entry requirements.

This ‘one grade lower’ policy also applies to students who have completed their qualifications before 2021, so if you already have your results, we will take into account the lower entry requirements when making your unconditional offer.

Our offers continue to be made at our standard entry requirements. During confirmation, once you have been awarded all your qualifications, your offer will be reviewed taking into consideration our flexible approach with the reduction of one grade. We are unable to make an assessment for you prior to that time.

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