SOAS University of London

Facts and figures

iin the UK for History (QS World University Rankings 2022) 


  • Small class sizes: currently 120 undergraduate students, 30-40 new Masters students per year
  • MPhil/PhD enrolment amongst the strongest in the country, research community of close to 50 doctoral students
  • 94% satisfaction for teaching (NSS 2016)
  • 90% satisfaction for teaching (Guardian University Guide 2016)
  • Ranked 19th in the world in the 2018 QS World University Rankings. 
  • Ranked 11th in UK (Guardian University Guide 2016)

Alumni and student stories

  • "The degree program is quite challenging and stimulating and makes me constantly reassess my preconceptions and look at issues from points of view that I had never considered before and I’m developing my skills."

    The courses at SOAS are highly specialised which makes it a unique institution in the world and it’s a privilege to be studying here. SOAS has been an experience that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.

  • "My experience here of studying Buddhism and Taoism was highly inspiring"

    You might not be able to find a department dedicated to your major... However, because SOAS has many courses that are interdisciplinary, you also might be able to find courses of your interests. For example, for SOAS does not have a dedicated philosophy department, I, a philosophy major, looked for courses in other departments that cover philosophical discourses. My experience here of studying Buddhism and Taoism was highly inspiring.

  • "Studying Buddhism at SOAS is certainly an enjoyable journey full of enlightenment and encouragement."

    From Indian Buddhism to Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, the diversity of the courses perfectly fitted my interests in Buddhism.

  • "SOAS is all about the people! If ever I get frustrated with my studies I remember that I have met some of the most brilliant, funny and inspiring people through being here."

    I chose SOAS over any other university because of the languages available to be studied here. At the time I was in Sri Lanka learning Sinhala and I had to make a decision about where I wanted to go. SOAS was the only place in the UK where I could continue learning such an obscure language!

  • "The Study of Religions department offers the perfect combination of unparalleled breadth of modules with excellent teaching by leading academics. "

    I wanted to be able to study in detail several diverse religious traditions side-by-side, from sociological and historical perspectives as well as theological. The SOAS course has proved ideal in this.

  • "Thanks to my studies at SOAS I attended the Parliament of World Religions and was very involved in organising the G20 Interfaith Summit held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2015."

    Thanks to my studies at SOAS I attended the Parliament of World Religions and was very involved in organising the G20 Interfaith Summit held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2015.

  • "I would describe my time at SOAS as some of the happiest years of my life. "

    The Department of the Study of Religions is the perfect place to do my PhD which traces ideas about asceticism in one of the early Buddhist schools in Ancient India. Backed up by contact with people from Languages and Cultures, I couldn't ask for a more supportive environment.

  • "Above all, what really makes the whole experience of studying in the program so enriching is the quality teaching. It is the people that make SOAS a world-class academic institution."

    SOAS is both very established and prestigious but also always current and fresh. Its regional focus builds on itself through the years of surveying and engaging in the cultural, economic and social landscape as our world becomes increasingly interwoven and intimate.

  • "The multilingual culture and great diversity at SOAS makes it a unique place to study. "

    The MA programme Religions of Asia and Africa (Buddhism pathway) has offered me a good opportunity to explore the Buddhist traditions in various forms and contexts. In this course, I have been able develop an in-depth understanding of the subject and necessary research methodologies.

  • "The course has been beautifully structured so that all the modules interlink and complement each other."

    I've also loved being part of the lively community that is SOAS; there's a buzz you can feel as soon as you walk through the doors. I've enjoyed the free world music concerts in the Brunei Gallery lecture theatre, or just sitting in the JCR with a cup of tea, hearing snatches of debate in many languages, and reading the posters and pamphlets for every possible political cause. SOAS is a stimulating place to be, both inside and outside the classroom, and I'm happy that I now have a lifelong connection to this unique institution.

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