SOAS University of London

Facts and figures

UK Top 10 in the 2021 QS World University Rankings


  • 93% for quality of learning resources (NSS 2016)
  • Excellent staff/student ratio and small class sizes
  • Currently 52 UG students and 63 Masters students
  • 10 to 12 research students from various parts of the world join the department each year


  • Top ten nationally for our research output of world-leading quality and for the vitality of our research environment (REF 2014)
  • A seminar series, frequent workshops and regular conferences with high-calibre international participation
  • Several research and reading groups for students and staff, collaborative activities with other linguistics departments in the south of England and other University of London colleges.
  • Frequent invited lectures and academic visitors, in particular from Africa and Asia
  • Easy access to excellent specialist library holdings and endangered languages archive
  • The department publishes two journals, Language Documentation and Description and SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics

Alumni and student stories

  • "My main reason for coming to SOAS was that this was the only place where there was a specialist who could supervise my thesis."

    I enjoy the student atmosphere here. The Students’ Union bar and café is cozy and friendly and I’ve enjoyed getting involved in the knitting for peace club. Also I have been impressed by the array of specialists in the department of Linguistics.

  • "Studying linguistics at SOAS has opened my eyes to a whole world of languages which can sometimes be overlooked in a Western education"

    I think the variety at SOAS is one of its strongest aspects – simply being a student at SOAS has taught me a lot about cultures and has given me the opportunity to meet so many great people.

  • "I am extremely thankful that SOAS has given me the opportunity to learn about my heritage"

    It is a quirky university making it stand out from all the rest, being extremely culturally diverse and welcoming towards students from all backgrounds.

  • "London is city that offers a thing to everyone. Luckily, most of these “things” are available for free or at a low price if booked in advance. "

    My primary destination has always been SOAS, not London. But I somehow got attached to the crowded, and yet cosy, streets of London, with its tiny cafes and shops that take you on multicultural tours around the world.

  • "Being small and tight-knit, SOAS made further education seem less daunting and overwhelming."

    Not only did my professor’s passion for his subject really shine through but his class was brilliant enough for me to run between campuses so as not to miss a word.

  • "The SOAS course has provided me with the practical foundation to help me excel as a translator. "

    It was while working at the law firm that I first considered pursuing a career as a translator. I was drawn to the position because it allowed me to combine my interests in law and language.

Read more alumni and student stories

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