SOAS University of London

Learn a Language

Language Entitlement Programme arrangements for 2018-19

Language learning is a key aspect of the SOAS experience. We teach more than 20 modern and a range of classical languages, ensuring broad coverage of our regions of interest. No other UK university offers the choice of African, Asian, and Middle Eastern languages we do.

One of SOAS’s key aims is to produce graduates who can understand and interpret the world through a relevant language. It is our aim that all SOAS students have the opportunity to gain at least some knowledge of the languages of Africa, Asia and the Middle East taught in our world class language departments, with their rich array of approaches and perspectives on the language and culture of a region. 

Languages are closely embedded in our research and in our teaching, and we believe that language study should be embedded in students’ programmes of study and an integral part of their curriculum. It is the close connection between language study and discipline study which underpins students’ engagement with and understanding of associated societies, histories and cultures.

For students starting in 2018-19 language-learning embedded in your programme of study for credit or be taken alongside your degree study not for credit.

Language Study for Credit

In order to strengthen language study at SOAS, we have developed the curriculum of our programmes over recent years to ensure that language study is part of the module choices available in almost all our of our UG and PG programmes. Students can now choose a language option as an integral part of their degree in the vast majority of our programmes.

This means that from 2018-19 our students’ opportunity to learn a language will be embedded in their degree-level programme of study.  As well as providing pedagogically sound language provision nested in clear student support functions, this kind of language provision is linked to credit-earning, and so is included on a SOAS transcript and then becomes a clear and evident skill on a student CV.

This model of language provision is part of our long-term strategy to maintain and strengthen teaching, research, and scholarship in a wide range of African, Asian, and Middle Eastern languages, which add to SOAS’s academic mission and distinctiveness.

Language Study Not for Credit

These languages are key regional languages in the areas we specialise in and many of them can only be studied at SOAS. Taking a module in one of these strategically important languages is an exciting, intellectually and personally enriching experience and adds a distinctive element to your CV.

In the small number of cases where there is no language option for UG programmes in their first year or for PGT programmes, non-credit bearing language courses will be offered in two ways:

1.   As academic modules in our strategically important and vulnerable languages. These modules will be housed inside language departments and have close links with them. The following strategically important and vulnerable languages will be available as non-credit bearing options in the language departments for undergraduate and masters students:

Region Languages
Africa Amharic, Hausa, Somali, Swahili, Yoruba, Zulu
Near and Middle East Hebrew, Persian, Turkish
South Asia Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Urdu
South East Asia Burmese, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese
East Asia Tibetan

2.   In any of the languages offered by the Language Centre as evening classes to SOAS students at a discounted fee in Term 1 or for free in Term 2 or both provided the student is eligible for a free LEP class – see below.

Transition from Previous LEP Free Classes:  Academic Year 2018-19 Only

New students enrolled for 2018-19 are not entitled to a free additional language class. Students who joined SOAS before 2018-19 and who have not yet taken a free LEP class will still be able to do so in the Language Centre during this transitional year. The free LEP classes for these students will run in Term 2. However, students may start their chosen language study with a discounted fee evening class in Term 1 and continue to the next class in January for free (a £20 admin charge applies). Enrolment for the free Term 2 LEP classes in the Language Centre runs from Monday 5th November till Sunday 9th December. No enrolments or enquiries for LEP classes in the Language Centre can be taken at the Language Centre before 5th November.