Find Out More about the Collaborative Student Learning scheme

Applications to opt-in and be matched to a trained CSL Facilitator are now open. If you are a first year undergraduate student, use this link to complete the sign-up form

If you are interested in becoming a CSL Facilitator, email the team at to register your interest. 

What is Collaborative Student Learning (CSL)?

Collaborative Student Learning is a peer-to-peer learning initiative started at SOAS in 2019. Students in their second, third- and fourth-year are trained to facilitate weekly 1-hour collaborative learning sessions for groups of first-year students studying the same degree programme.

CSL Facilitators are not expected to teach content. Instead, they facilitate group collaboration amongst first-year CSL Participants, enabling you to ask better questions, adopt better learning strategies, and work together to find solutions to common problems.

Who can attend CSL?

CSL sessions are subject-specific and run on a weekly basis alongside lectures and tutorials. CSL programmes are centrally coordinated, department-owned and student-led. In the academic year, 2022-23 successful schemes ran for first-year modules in all departments.

Please note: departments that do not have sufficient numbers of Facilitators may be unable to run. Please check this page regularly for updates.

What are the benefits of CSL?

Reported benefits for you:

  • Students that attend peer-led learning sessions attain lower failure and attrition rates (students dropping off the course), a higher percentage of first-class grade attainment and higher mean grades.
  • Academically, students take greater ownership of their learning experience, develop a deeper understanding and personal interest in their subject, and refine their own learning strategies and study skills.
  • CSL can help reduce anxious feelings associated with joining a new university, and encourage a greater sense of belonging and improved academic confidence.
  • Enhanced friendship and community development, greater confidence in social integration and opportunity to participate more fully in the wider SOAS community.

For more information on how to get involved with future CSL programmes or to inquire about CSL on your course please email

What have former participants said?

"CSL was extremely helpful for my module. Our session was focused on the book review we had to complete. The Facilitators running the session made us feel comfortable asking questions and made the session really interactive."

"A great experience to get insight into how the language learning degree develops over the years."

"It’s a great opportunity to see where you could be in three years time! It’s helpful and inspiring. It’s like having a fellow Arabic student big sister."

94.7% answered 'Yes' or 'Maybe'

when asked if they would recommend attending CSL to new students.

(Participant feedback 2021-22)