SOAS University of London

Doctoral School

Doctoral School Frequently Asked Questions

  • What facilities does the Doctoral School have?

    The Doctoral School facilities in 53 Gordon Square include seventy work stations with PCs spread across three floors, and work stations with Wi-Fi for laptops on the lower ground floor. There are coffee stations on each floor, in addition to a small common room and kitchen in the basement. We also have two showers and 200 lockers. 

    In addition to the study spaces, there are three meeting rooms on the ground, lower ground and third floors. One holds six people and the other two hold ten people. The third floor room has AV equipment.

    Postgraduate research students also have sole access to the following study spaces across SOAS:

    • R301: 44 workstations, plus 6 for econometrics
    • Library carrels: 16 workstations
    • Helen Kanitkar library: 5 workstations
  • Who may use these facilities?

    The study spaces are reserved exclusively for postgraduate research students.

    The ground floor meeting room is to be particularly used for vivas throughout the year, but all the rooms may be used for any meetings, discussion groups, seminars or training, if these activities are dedicated to doctoral research for or with research students.

  • What are the opening hours?

    The building is open from 8am until 11:30pm.

    The Doctoral School Office is open on weekdays between 9am and 5pm.

  • Does the Doctoral School have wheelchair access?

    The Doctoral School does not occupy a single location; there are facilities open to doctoral students in a number of parts of SOAS. These include the Research students area (R301) in the Russell Square main building complex and 53 Gordon Square.

    Wheelchair access to the main building in Russell Square is broadly quite good (an access statement is available on request to the Diversity Advisor) as the entrance to the building is ramped and inside there are lifts to help with vertical access to the upper floors. However, the external door and internal doors are not currently automated and some can be quite heavy to open unassisted; this includes the door to R301.

    53 Gordon Square has listed building status; it was built during the Georgian era and therefore was not designed to modern standards. SOAS has worked with the Local Authority to maximise the wheelchair access, but both the listed building status and the original design of the building impose some limits which cannot be overcome (for example, it is not possible to enlarge the lift enough to accommodate a wheelchair). So wheelchair access is limited to the ground floor only where there is a meeting room, space for individual and group study for wheelchair users and an accessible toilet.

    The main entrance to 53 GS has steps and no ramp. There is a wheelchair accessible entrance (with a call button) to the side of the main entrance. This entrance  has a large, heavy door and this must be opened by the Security staff.   To access the building either press the call button or call 0207 898 4382, which is the Gordon Square reception, to arrange for the security officer in the building to open the door. Once inside the door, there is a platform lift to access the ground floor.

  • How do I book a room?

    The room numbers are GSLG10 (seats 4) and GSG03 (seats 12) and are available to view on the SOAS timetable. Please email at least 5 days in advance to book a room.



  • Is catering provided for 53 Gordon Square?

    Refreshments can be ordered through the Conference Office as for events in other SOAS buildings.

  • What are the SOAS research ethics guidelines?

    Students are likely to have to go through an ethical review before starting fieldwork. It is a checking and approval process at the Faculty (or possibly School) level, which is not dependent on training attendance. Always remember to discuss with your supervisor. You can find the upgrade form and research ethics checklist, and the research ethics review form here:

  • What are the SOAS travel insurance details for fieldwork?

    Please note that students going on fieldwork must read the Fieldwork Application Form and SOAS Travel Insurance information pack found on Moodle. Safety briefings will also be added here.

  • How can I put my PhD profile on the SOAS website and have it updated?

    Website profiles are created and updated on request via a web form.  Please use this form to provide new profile information and email a photo of yourself to - please ensure you include the name of the Centre/Department you are attached to in the subject line of your email. 

    To list your journal articles, book chapters, blogs, conference papers etc. on the SOAS website please add them to SOAS Research Online and your publications tab on your web profile will be automatically updated. Adding items to SOAS Research Online will help you to increase visibility of your research and track its usage.

  • Is there a style guide for my thesis?

    SOAS does not have a standard 'template' for formatting a thesis and candidates should discuss discipline-specific guidelines with their supervisor.

    Please read the regulations and guidance on the Examinations area of the website for full details including the Binding Notes.

    It may also be helpful to look at recent theses in the SOAS e-repository.