SOAS University of London

English classes

Disclosure date: 9 November 2012

Reference: FOI2012/073


1) Please provide me with any list of options available for students needing to brush up on their English for academic reasons (both for students for whom English is their first and second language).

2) Please provide copies and/or weblinks to resources given out to students who need to brush up on their English. If it is not possible to provide all resources within the appropriate limit, please provide the most basic.

3) If you put on English classes for students who need to brush up (both home and international), please state how much this cost in the 2011-2012 academic year. How many hours of classes did you provide in total?

4) What percentage of the classes' attendance was made up by home students and what by foreign students in the 2011-2012 academic year?

5) What is your minimum IELTS entry requirement for undergraduates? What is it for postgraduates? Did you accept any students with a score below this minimum to begin their course in 2012-2013? If so, how many and what was the lowest score?

6) How many foreign students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) does the university have this year? What is the total projected income from course fees?

7) How many home students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) does the university have this year? What is the total projected income from course fees?


1) SOAS does not run courses designed to “brush up” English as such. SOAS provides insessional English classes for international students whose first language is not English and whose English level is borderline to SOAS' entry requirements. These classes are also available to other students whose first language is not English who opt in.

We have both classes and one-to-one tutorials, and the list of topics/skills covered is:

  • academic literacy
  • revision/exam techniques
  • listening and note-taking
  • reading and note-taking
  • academic vocabulary and style
  • grammar improvement
  • dissertation writing
  • reading for research


2) I wrote to you to ask if you would be content with a sample of the material given out for each module. I have not yet heard from you, but I am attaching this sample material in order to get a response to you as soon as possible. If you decide that you would like more material, please let me know. Please note that this material is not subject to the open government licence, and SOAS retains the copyright in it. We are content for you to use it for non-commercial or journalistic purposes, but please write to me for permission if you wish to reproduce it for any other purpose.

3) The insessional provision provided by IFCELS (International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies) cost £76k in 2011-2.

There were 893 hours of classes in total.

4) Almost all attendees are students from overseas. If a UK citizen’s first language was not English, they would have been eligible for the classes, but in practice this is a very small number (less than 1%).

5) For unconditional entry we require 7.0 IELTS with 7.0 in each subscore. For undergraduate entry with insessional requirement: 7.0 overall with 6.5 in each subscore. For presessional English the minimum is 6.0 overall with 6.0 in writing and no other sub-scores below 5.0. These are strictly adhered to.

6) 1,296 full-time overseas students with fee income of £18.2m.

7) 3,079 full-time home students with fee income of £16.2m.