SOAS University of London

International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies

IFCELS Summer Courses FAQs

  • Who is the summer programme for?

    The IFCELS Summer Programme offers short online academic and English courses for international students who wish to improve their language and academic skills. The courses are suitable for students:

    • taking undergraduate degrees in their home countries,
    • considering future postgraduate study in a UK university,
    • who are professionals interested in a study break,
    • near the end of their secondary education and keen to experience university teaching.
  • What is special about these courses?

    There are two types of courses: subject courses in Humanities and Social Sciences with English support, and academic English courses. The first category combine subject study with integrated language support, and the second group focus on language skills development for academic purposes. All courses are taught in an interactive, communicative way.

  • Can I study on campus in London this year?

    No. Due to the continuing pandemic and the uncertainty with summer quarantine rules for short-term visitors, the summer programme is only online in 2021.

  • What courses are available?

    Subject courses include International Relations, Global Development Studies, Art of the World, Global Business, World Literature, Media, and Environment and Development. Academic English courses are offered at different levels from pre-intermediate to advanced. All options and dates are available on the Summer Programmes Dates, Courses and Fees page.

  • How long does each course last?

    Each course is full-time and runs for 3 weeks. Many students choose more than one course and study for 6 or 9 weeks. One option, Summer Pathway Preparation Course, is a 6-week course.

  • Can I apply for more than one course?

    Yes, you can apply for two or three courses, lasting 6 or 9 weeks in total. You also receive a discount when applying for more than one course. If you are not sure which course is the most suitable, please contact us by email:

  • How many hours do students study each day?

    The courses are full-time. There are two hours of live online teaching every morning, UK time. Students will need to complete a further 2-3 hours of guided study every day. In one week there are 12 hours of teaching plus minimum 10 hours of further study.

  • How much does it cost?

    Fees are available on the Summer Programme Dates, Courses and Fees page. With not needing to pay for flights, accommodation or visas this year, the overall cost of taking a summer course is much cheaper than normal!

  • What English level do I need?

    Most courses require at least an intermediate level of English, although students at pre-intermediate level can take English Language Skills. Please see individual course pages for more details.

  • Is there an academic requirement?

    No. Most courses are pitched at introductory undergraduate level but do not require prior knowledge of the subject.

  • What will studying online be like?

    Online study can be rewarding and fun. All SOAS teaching has been online since March 2020 so we are very experienced in planning classes. Students can expect to interact regularly with teachers and classmates, in whole class discussions, and in smaller groups. We use simple video-conferencing platforms (e.g. Zoom or Collaborate) and virtual learning environments with tools like forums. Listening to a recorded lecture can sometimes be easier with online study, as you can pause and rewind when needed.

    Students will also have access to SOAS Library resources, which include thousands of e-books and e-journals.

  • Are classes all the same nationality or mixed?

    We welcome students from all over the world and classes are mixed.

  • How do I apply?

    The easiest way is with the online application form. It is also possible to download IFCELS Summer Programme 2021 Application Form (pdf; 245kb)   or IFCELS Summer Programme 2021 Application Form (Word) (msword; 53kb) . When completed, these forms should be scanned and emailed to

  • What happens after I apply?

    After reviewing your application, you will receive an offer of a course place, including a pre-course information pack. To accept the offer, you will need to pay the tuition fees in full. You will then be sent confirmation of your place. Nearer the start of the course you be receive more details about the courses and orientation.

  • When is the deadline?

    There is no official deadline but students are encouraged to apply early to secure their place.

  • Will there be social events?

    Yes. We will organise online welcome and farewell parties, as well as other events during your course e.g. virtual campus tours.

  • Do I need a visa?

    Visas are not required this year because you do not have to enter the UK to study on this programme.

  • Will I receive a certificate?

    Yes, students are presented with a certificate of attendance at the end of the course. Some universities award credits for successful completion of our summer course and we can provide a transcript when required.