SOAS University of London

International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies

Welcome to IFCELS.

We offer a range of programmes for students from outside the UK including preparation for university degrees, language improvement, study abroad and short courses.

We are one of the leading centres for International Foundation and Pre-master’s study in the UK and bring 35 years' experience and expertise to our innovative programmes. These provide up-to-date, expert lectures in a broad range of subjects, integrated with subject-specific academic English language support.

The programmes are uniquely flexible and allow students to create their own pathway to a degree by combining options from the Social Sciences, Humanities and Business/ Economics-related courses. Modules available include: Business/Management/Finance, Economics, Quantitative Methods, Media, Law, Politics, International Relations, World History, Development Studies, World Art, Comparative Cultures, European Societies and World Literature.

We are part of one of the world’s most international universities, with over half of SOAS students coming from outside the UK.

We are based on the SOAS Campus in Central London. Our students are full members of the SOAS community. This means they have access to the all the facilities and activities available to degree students, including the world renowned SOAS Library and the 200+ clubs and societies run by the SOAS Student Union.

Read more about our programmes and apply:


  • ICC International Foundation Programme – academic development, English language and study skills preparation for high school students wishing to go on to an undergraduate degree at SOAS or other UK universities

  • FDPS Pre-master's Programme – academic development, English language, study and research skills  preparation for university students wanting to prepare for a Master’s programme at SOAS or other UK universities

  • ELAS (English Language and Academic Studies)  – a flexible modular programme with two entry points a year combining intensive academic English with academic subject study

  • Pre-Sessional Courses – study academic English intensively for 4, 8 or 12 weeks to prepare for a degree

  • Summer Programme – choose from a range of English language or subject courses and study for 3, 6 or 9 weeks

  • In-sessional English – free English language courses to support SOAS degree students

  • TEAP (Teaching English for Academic Purposes) – training course for English teachers who want to work in EAP or to upgrade their knowledge and skill


FDPS Progress Prize Winner Dian Tao with SOAS Pro-Director Professor Deborah Johnston
FDPS Progress Prize Winner Dian Tao with SOAS Pro-Director Professor Deborah Johnston
  • Attention ICC and FDPS students joining IFCELS in September 2020! We are running an online course this summer to help you prepare for your studies. Read about the Summer Pathway Preparation Course starting on 3 August and apply today. 

  • Deposits, Fees and Refunds: With the current uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in 60+ countries across the world, the tuition fee deposit for ICC, FDPS and ELAS and the full fee payment for the Pre-sessional and IFCELS Summer Programmes will be refundable in full or transferable in full to the next start date of the programme under either of the following circumstances:
    1. if we have to cancel any of the above mentioned programmes with a start date between April 2020 and September 2020 due to COVID-19
    2. if students are unable to attend any of the above mentioned programmes because flights are suspended from their home country to the UK or the UK Government bans nationals from their home country from entering the UK

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) - information for future students: The current coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on universities and educational programmes around the world. The next few months are likely to be unpredictable, so we have tried to provide clear information for our future students through our Coronavirus FAQs. This will be updated as the situation develops.

  • Late application fees: There will be no late application fees for ICC and FDPS applicants this year until 1 August.

  • New Scholarships for ICC Foundation Programme: We will be offering 4 scholarships of £3500 for ICC students who want to get involved in SOAS and make a difference. See ICC Ambassador Scholarships to find out more.

  • FDPS Pre-master’s Progression Scholarships: We are awarding 6 scholarships worth £2000 each to FDPS Pre-master’s students who intend to progress to Master’s study at SOAS in September 2021. Students who have accepted their offer by 30th June will be considered for the scholarship. See FDPS Scholarships to find out more.

  • The Early Bird Acceptance Discount Scheme: ICC and FDPS students who accept their offer within a calendar month of the offer date and by 30 June 2020 will save £500 on their tuition fees.

  • Duolingo test for FDPS Pre-master’s applicants: We are now accepting Duolingo test scores from applicants in countries where IELTS is suspended. See the How to Apply tab on the FDPS programme page for more details.

  • Accommodation bookings for 2020-21 are now open: Once you accept your offer for September, we will send you details of how to apply. See the Accommodation page for details of accommodation options for IFCELS students.

  • IFCELS Summer Programme Update: Due to current suspension of all on campus teaching and activities at SOAS, we have cancelled the IFCELS Summer Programme for 2020. We are very sorry that we won’t be a be able to welcome you to our beautiful campus this Summer, but please feel free to browse the information on the Summer Programme pages and start planning your studies for 2021. Information about next year’s Summer Programme will be posted from October onwards.

  • New for 2020! Application fast track with no interview or entrance test for ICC applicants who have 6.0 IELTS overall and 6.0 in writing. See the ICC Page to find out more.

  • Applications for ICC International Foundation and FDPS Pre-master’s starting September 2020 are now open. ELAS applications are open through to April 2021 start.

  • Congratulations to our 2018-19 Prize-winners who received their prizes from the SOAS Pro-director (Teaching and Learning), Professor Deborah Johnston at the Welcome Reception for new students on 14 October.

  • The new International Foundation Programme (ICC) Brochure (pdf; 1325kb)   is available now and features profiles of several of our 2018-19 students. If you would like one or more hard copies, email

  • Want to meet us in your country? See details of international visits by IFCELS staff members.




Telephone: +44 (0)20 7898 4800