Finding SOAS PhD Theses in the Library Catalogue

All SOAS PhD theses can be found through the Library catalogue and this will tell you if there is a digital copy which can be viewed online.

  • Search by author or title if you know the details of the particular thesis you would like to see
  • To browse our PhD thesis collection enter ‘Thesis’ in the search box and select ‘Classmark’ in the drop-down menu
  • To limit your search of theses to a particular subject then click on ‘Advanced’ select ‘Add Search Field’ and enter keywords into the new search box
  • If a digital copy of the PhD thesis is available for you to view online there will either be a note in the catalogue record or a separate entry for the digital copy

Using Printed Copies of SOAS PhD Theses

  • SOAS keeps printed copies of all PhD Theses and they can be consulted in our Special Collections Reading Room on Level F
  • All printed PhD theses need to be ordered before you visit the Reading Room. Once you have found the PhD thesis you need you can fill in an online order form through the ‘Order archive material’ link from the catalogue record of the PhD thesis. Alternatively you can fill in an order form available from the Library Enquiry Desk or Special Collections Reading Room
  • Before you consult any SOAS PhD thesis in the Special Collections Reading Room you will be asked to fill in a Data Protection Declaration
  • You are permitted to photograph a maximum of 5% of a PhD thesis or one complete chapter (whichever is the greatest) for personal research purposes only
  • Please note that some of our printed PhD theses are currently unavailable to consult in Special Collections because they are being digitized. If this is a case you will find a note on the Library Catalogue record for the PhD thesis
  • If the printed thesis you need is affected please write to for further assistance

Using Digital Copies of SOAS PhD Theses

  • A significant number of SOAS PhD theses have been made available freely online (with permission from the author) through SOAS Research Online since 2011
  • You can browse the latest PhD theses via SOAS Research Online or you can search by author or title if you know the details of the thesis you need
  • Some PhD theses in SOAS Research Online are restricted for a period of time at the request of the author. They will only become available digitally once this restriction period has expired
  • A number of our PhD theses (dated before 2011) are available via the British Library EThOS service. You can search the EThOS database to check if a PhD thesis is available
  • SOAS will be making a significant proportion of our PhD thesis collection available online in 2018 due to our work with Proquest who are digitizing our backrun of PhD Theses. If you cannot find a digital copy through the SOAS Library catalogue then please check ProQuest’s Dissertations and Theses database

Finding PhD theses from Other Institutions

To find PhD theses produced at other institutions we recommend you use the following resources

SOAS PhD Digitization Project

SOAS is currently working with Proquest to digitize our entire collection of PhD theses. The results of this project will mean that theses will be made available to anyone to read, without charge, via SOAS Research Online . In addition, a copy will be added to ProQuest’s Dissertations and Theses online database, a very well established database used by students and researchers internationally.

Please note that this may affect access to the printed library copy of some theses in 2018, if this is the case there will be a note in the catalogue records of the individual thesis. Once a PhD thesis is added to SOAS Research Online you will be able to find a link to the digital copy via the SOAS Library Catalogue.

We have written to our SOAS PhD graduates by letter and email to ask authors to opt-out of the project if they do not want their thesis to be digitized. If you are an author of a SOAS PhD thesis and did not receive this communication and do not want your thesis to be included in the project please let us know by writing to Please note any thesis submitted from 2011 onwards is not included in this project as authors have already selected whether they wish to have their thesis digitized and these existing agreements will stand.