SOAS University of London

Faculty of Languages and Cultures

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.

LEP for programmes starting in 2018-19 – language-learning embedded in your programme of study

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’ entitlement to learn a language (the LEP) 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.

LEP for programmes starting in 2018-19 - in cases where structure does not allow credit-bearing

In the small number of cases where there is no language option for UG programmes in their first year or for PGT programmes, then the LEP will be offered as a non-credit bearing language course in one of our strategically important and vulnerable languages. These modules will be housed inside departments and have close links with them.

The following strategically important and vulnerable languages will be available as non-credit bearing options for such 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

Transition from previous LEP:  2018-19 only

Since this new arrangement replaces the current approach where language entitlement was taught outside of students’ programmes, 2018-19 will be a transitional year. Students who joined SOAS before 2018-19 and who have not yet taken an LEP class will be able to do so in the Language Centre as part of the transition period.