SOAS University of London

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Year Abroad Requirement

In signing up to a degree which has a compulsory Year Abroad requirement, students commit themselves to going on the Year Abroad.

Students who do not wish to proceed on the compulsory Year Abroad will not be able to continue their degree course and will be required to register for a different degree.

Where no alternative degree is available, failure to proceed to the Year Abroad may result in termination of degree registration. Exemption from the compulsory Year Abroad requirement is not possible in degree programmes for which the School does not offer suitable alternative courses that may be taken in lieu of courses taken during the Year Abroad.

The power to grant suspension of Year Abroad requirement rests with the Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching. Requests for suspension of Year Abroad requirement are referred to the Departmental Undergraduate Tutor (or Year Tutor) concerned and simultaneously to the Associate Dean, to whom Departmental Tutors make recommendation.

Requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis but suspension of Year Abroad requirement is normally not granted except where there are certificated compelling reasons. These reasons and documents might include

  • Letter from GP to confirm that the student is a main carer of a chronically ill close relative whose condition arose AFTER the student registered for the course
  • Letter from GP recommending that the student should not go abroad on account of a medical condition which has arisen AFTER the student registered for the course
  • Written evidence of a drastic change of personal circumstances (pregnancy, childbirth) which must have arisen AFTER the student registered for the course
  • Inability to obtain an entry visa for the countries concerned

The situation of disabled students is resolved on a case-by-case basis.