SOAS University of London

Facts and figures

rank in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2021 for South Asian Studies


  • 86% satisfaction for teaching and 86% for learning resources in the NSS 2016
  • Asian Studies departments ranked 2nd in UK - NSS 2016
  • UG Applicant/Place Ratio 5:1
  • Number of Staff: 6 academic, 2 teaching and scholarship, 6 teaching and scholarship (fractional)
  • SOAS is the only institution where Burmese, Indonesian and Vietnamese are taught in the UK, and one of only a handful in Europe
  • SOAS is one of only two universities where Thai is taught in the UK
  • SOAS is the only university in the UK with a department focusing solely on the study of the languages and cultures of South East Asia, complemented across the School by broad multidisciplinary expertise in the region
  • SOAS joining the global elite for Modern Languages in the recent QS World University Rankings by Subject, where it has been ranked sixth in the UK and 32nd internationally


Our research draws heavily upon the resources of SOAS’ world-renowned Library and its extensive South Asia collection, as well as all the institutions, galleries and resources on our doorstep throughout London.

Staff research interests include, in a variety of South East Asian contexts:

  • Cultural studies
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Cinema and film
  • Traditional and modern literature
  • Language pedagogy
  • Linguistics, phonetics and sign languages contexts

Alumni and student stories

  • "SEA is one of not many departments in the world where Thai cinema has been intensively taught and studied."

    The South East Asia (SEA) Department therefore becomes an ideal place to explore this particular topic as the department provides interesting courses in Thai cinema conducted by internationally prominent lecturers.

  • "SOAS encourages and motivates its student to believe in themselves, and that is exactly what I have done."

    Not only does SOAS offer a first class education with top scholars in the field, it also offers a great professional and social network. Upon graduation, my professional career path was wide opened. The SOAS experience has taught me to be a specialist in different fields, not only politics, but also development, gender and migration, and good governance.

  • "SOAS is surely the only place in Europe, if not the world, where students can build their own personalised degrees from such a diverse range of fields."

    I have enjoyed being on this programme because we have excellent staff who make it possible for students to pursue a broad range of interests in South East Asia.

  • "I am constantly impressed by the commitment of my fellow students at SOAS."

    I always maintained my early interest in South East Asia and hoped to return to SOAS one day, in order to complete my studies. The opportunity to do this occurred when I retired. I am now studying for an MA in South East Asian Studies.

  • "I was drawn to SOAS by its international outlook and its non-Eurocentric viewpoint."

    At SOAS there is a great breadth of events, lectures and film festivals to attend.

Read more alumni and student stories

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