SOAS University of London

International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies

Why Choose ICC?


Choosing a foundation is a big decision and we know that many of our offer holders will also be considering other programmes, so we would like to remind you of some of the special features and advantages of ICC: 


1. Our research shows that progression to high ranking universities is the most important factor for students in choosing a programme.

ICC has been running since 1985 and the quality of the programme is recognised by top universities across the UK. Over the last 5 years, 80% of ICC students who completed the programme have gone on to top 30 universities (The Guardian University Guide). During the academic year 2017-18:

  • ICC Foundation students received offers from 49 universities in the UK.
  • 80% of our ICC Foundation students received offers from all or all but one of their UCAS choices, and 96% of our students received offers from the majority of their choices. ICC Foundation students selected ‘firm’ or ‘insurance’ offers from 31 universities in the UK.
  • ICC Foundation students progressed to 20 universities for undergraduate study and 70% stayed at institutions within the University of London.

Of course, all our students are guaranteed an offer for any degree at SOAS and will receive comprehensive and unbiased UCAS advice from our Academic Advice Unit to help them apply for other universities. You can see a full list of the destinations of our 2018 students at the IFCELS students destinations web pages.


Thu Thu
"My Academic Adviser was very supportive throughout the UCAS process and I was delighted to receive offers from all my five choices, including one from my first choice: University College London."                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Thu Thu from Myanmar                                                                   after ICC progressed to BA in Education Studies,                               UCL Institute of Education                           

2. The IFCELS Department, which runs the foundation, is a full department of SOAS and all the staff are employed directly by the university.

We pride ourselves on the expertise of our stable and experienced teaching team, and in fact, 80% of the teachers currently working on ICC have been with us for at least 10 years. Our 30 years of experience running foundation programmes, and the high quality of the teaching, lead to exceptional student success rates. ICC makes progression to a top university a reality for our students. Last year, the pass rate was over 97%. 79% of those achieved at least a “Merit” grade of more than 60%, and over 30% gained a “Distinction” score of over 70%.


Hanieh Bazargan
"Attending the SOAS ICC programme was without a doubt the best decision that I have made throughout my life. It gave me the courage, confidence and guidance to realise my potential and dreams."                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hanieh Bazargan from Iran                                                          progressed to BA Development Studies and Study of Religions, MA International Studies and Diplomacy, Graduate Diploma in Law, and then a PhD, all at SOAS

3. We offer a unique study environment and student experience in the heart of London.

As an ICC student you will be a full member of SOAS and the University of London and will have the same access to SOAS and University of London facilities as undergraduate students. This includes libraries, student societies and activities, and sports facilities. All your teaching will take place on SOAS’ central London campus in Russell Square, sharing the same teaching rooms as undergraduate and postgraduate students. Living in the SOAS or University of London student halls (all within walking distance of the campus) is a great way to make friends with undergraduate students from the UK and around the world. See the SOAS Accommodation pages for information.

Byung Sun Park
"SOAS is one of the best places to study. It’s a small university and very inclusive. Wherever you go, they will welcome you. Try to get involved in SOAS activities. There is a fantastic range of things available."                                                                                                                                                                                                    Byung Sun Park from Korea                                                                 former ICC student and Captain of the SOAS football team                                                    
4. SOAS is a friendly and welcoming global community.

With more than half the students coming from outside the UK, SOAS is one of the most international universities in the world. People come from over 130 countries to study the languages, societies and cultures of the world; people with passion, and a truly international perspective. Come and meet the world and broaden your horizons at SOAS.


 "One of the main reasons I chose to do my foundation programme at SOAS is because it has an enviable sense of community that is different from most London universities, and it provides students with many choices to join sports and societies or even start their own. I took the opportunity to start a SOAS Cinema Society where we show weekly screenings of classic and new Hollywood films. Along with that, the SOAS Cinema society is participating in a London wide film festival taking place in March."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Maya Alsughaiyer from
Saudi Arabia


5. ICC has a flexible structure so you can individualise your studies and pursue your academic interests.

Unlike most foundation programmes, we do not restrict students to particular “streams” but we offer a range of 10 optional modules, ranging from Business and Economics to the Social Sciences and Humanities, and you choose two of these to create your own pathway to prepare you for undergraduate study. So, for example, if you are interested in a degree in a Business-related subject, you can combine the Business Studies module with Economics, Quantitative Methods, Media and Communications, International Law, Development Studies or even World Art. So, whatever aspect of Business appeals to you – Finance and Accounting, Marketing and Advertising, Business Economics or Commercial Law – you will be well-prepared for your degree.

Sukayna Ashikali
"While I always knew I wanted to study Law, the flexible option choices offered on the ICC programme meant I could pursue other interests alongside my passion. Having a background in sociology and criminology, I enrolled in the Development Studies option. This module was not only academically intriguing but it helped my essay writing and critical analysis, skills that are essential to my undergraduate course. In addition, I’ve been able to apply what I learned in ICC Development Studies to the core Legal Systems of Asia and Africa module on my law degree and I will be selecting Law and Development as an option in my third year."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sukayna Ashikali from the UK, progressed to LLB Law at SOAS

If you would like to talk about ICC or have any questions, please contact Graham Davies, Head of IFCELS, at or our Head of Foundation programmes, William Hetherington at check our International Visits page for details of when our staff will be in your country.