SOAS University of London

International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies

Access to English Academic Studies (2022 entry)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Apply


This online programme is designed to offer international students 9 weeks of extensive academic English classes in preparation for further study within SOAS and its international partnerships. It is also suitable for students with an intermediate level of English who would like to develop their language and study skills for future academic study in an English-medium university environment. The Access to English Academic Studies can be used to progress to a number of programmes at SOAS:

8-week Pre-sessional Course (Pre-sessional English Courses)

ELAS (English Language and Academic Studies)

FDPS (FDPS Pre-Masters Foundation)

ICC (International Foundation Programme)

It offers students the chance to develop and strengthen their English language skills within a higher education setting, with a focus on speaking, writing, and study skills. Students receive regular feedback and there is the opportunity for further guided self-study for those students who wish to study beyond the basic course hours.

Completion of this programme with at least 55% overall and 50% in each of the four skills, and a minimum of 80% attendance will guarantee progression to the 8-week pre-sessional course at SOAS without the need to retake a SELT exam.


Mode of Attendance: Online Learning

Entry requirements

  • IELTS for UKVI: 5.5 overall with at least 5.0 in each subscore Pearson Academic UKVI: 55 overall with at least 50 in each subscore

Featured events

3rd May - 1st July 2022



Programme Description

Programme length: 7 weeks plus 2-week assessment period
Mode of attendance: Online Learning
Time required per week: 8 hours minimum
Minimum attendance required: 80%

A part time non-credit bearing course, consisting of live online classes and preparation tasks totalling eight hours per week. Live classes are taught in the morning UK time between 8 AM and 12 PM BST (British Summer Time).

The emphasis of the programme is on the development of English for Academic Purposes within a context that simulates the students’ higher education experience. This is achieved by integrating Academic English instruction with a series of academic subject lectures looking at belief, civil society, governance, and economics within the theme of ‘Changing World Views’.

The contents of these lectures is used as the base of the materials and assessments within the academic English side of the programme; and the academic subject lectures’ discussion, case study and reflection sessions and tasks give students the opportunity to activate the skills introduced during the academic English sessions.

A key feature of the programme is the individualised guidance given through written and live one-to-one tutorials. This is based on the completion of set short tasks and live session performance and not only provides feedback but also highlights areas for development.

During these tutorials an agreed action plan with supplementary self-study exercises will be created for those students who wish to study beyond the basic course hours. Please note the completion of the set tasks (around 30 minutes) as well as attending the tutorials (10-20 minutes) are in addition to the eight core hours given above.

Programme Assessment

Students are assessed through the completion of a series of five short tasks; a timed writing practice which is reviewed and then re-written; their performance throughout the academic subject sessions.

There will also be a two-week assessment period which includes:

Academic English listening assessment (a comprehension task) based on the fifth concluding academic subject lecture

Academic English speaking assessment (a collaborative poster presentation) based on one aspect of the lecture series theme

Academic English Writing assessment (a 500-800 word essay) based on the lecture series theme

If you require more information, please contact: 

SOAS reserves the right to alter programme content without notice.

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Course outline

Week Activity
1 & 2

Academic English: Introduction to academic English and grammatical review
Language development and listening skills based on the contents of lecture one.

Task 1 with feedback; individual tutorial resulting in an agreed action plan for guided self-study

Academic Subject lecture one: Introduction to the series of lectures and changes in economic growth.
Discussion, case study, and reflection


Academic English: Focus on reading skills, referencing & summarising
Language development and listening skills based on the contents of lecture two

Task 2 with feedback and reflection

Academic Subject lecture two: Changes in governance and politics
Discussion, case study, and reflection


Academic English: Focus on speaking skills through developing an argument
Language development and listening skills based on the contents of lecture three.

Task 3 with feedback and reflection; review of guided self-study action plan.

Academic Subject lecture three: Civil engagement Discussion, case study, and reflection


Academic English: Focus on writing skills through developing an essay
Language development and listening skills based on the contents of lecture four

Task 4 with feedback and reflection

6 & 7

Academic subject lecture four: The implications of the rift between science and religion.
Discussion, case study* and reflection

* Student generated (Task 5)

Bringing everything together and remedial academic English development
Further action plan with guided self-study tasks and an individual tutorial

8 & 9 Assessment Weeks

Fees and funding



All fees must be paid in full before the start date of the programme. For instructions on how to pay, see IFCELS Fees.

SOAS reserves the right to alter programme content and fees without notice.


How to Apply

Please complete the application form and attach:

  1. the photo ID page 
  2. your IELTS, PTE or other English language certificate.
  3. Minimum age requirement: 17 years old at the start of the programme

Application deadline:  26th April 2022

Apply now

If you are planning to progress to the 8-week pre-sessional course, please remember to submit an application form for it separately here.

SOAS reserves the right to alter Module programmes and fees without notice.