Visiting Research Students


Visiting Research Student’s scheme

The Visiting Research Student’s scheme is designed for students already embarked on doctoral research with their home university, but who wish to take advantage of the unique resources SOAS has to offer. It is also available to students proposing to embark on a research degree but who need a period of preparatory study other than is provided by a Master’s programme. Applicants wishing to undertake supervised research without registering for a degree course are also eligible to apply.

Since Visiting Research Students (VRS) are not registered for a degree programme they are not formally assessed on their work and cannot be awarded a qualification. Visiting Research Students can enrol for one term, two terms or three terms in one academic year only.

VRS benefits

A VRS benefits from most of the privileges enjoyed by the School’s research degree students. A VRS will:

  • be allocated a research supervisor,
  • can expect five hours of supervision per term,
  • are attached to the academic department of the supervisor,
  • are full members of the SOAS Library,
  • may use the School’s student computing facilities, and
  • may, by arrangement with the teachers concerned, audit (attend but not be registered for or examined in) classes in areas relevant to their research.

If the enrolment period includes the summer term (term three) they have the added benefit of continuing enrolment through to the beginning of the next academic year with no additional charge, although there may only be limited access to their supervisor during the summer vacation period.

The VRS programme is not suitable for those wishing to attend SOAS as a visiting academic. Academic hospitality is generally only available for visiting academics and is not generally offered to visiting students. 

Deadlines for VRS applicants

The deadlines for receipt of a complete application form (including receipt of references submitted directly and confidentially by your referees) are the same as those for the MPhil/PhD programme.

Please remember that applications submitted on the day of the deadline are unlikely to be considered complete in time as an application must include two confidential references and all supporting documents.

Tuition fees

See tuition fees for detailed information.

How to apply

The requirements for application are the same for VRS applicants as they are for MPhil/PhD applicants. For further information please see how to apply guidance before completing the online form.