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English language

All international applicants must be able to show that their English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete their course at SOAS

You can demonstrate English language ability in several ways: see our English language requirements section for full details.

Pre-sessional and in-sessional English

If you do not meet the English Language Requirements in full, you may be offered an In-sessional English course or a four-week or eight-week Pre-sessional English course, depending on your test results.

Pre-sessional English is only available for September starters and is not included in exchange agreements (so will be at the student’s cost). In-sessional courses are free and take place during the term time.

English Language and Academic Studies (ELAS)

Any student not achieving the entry requirement for one of the pre-sessional courses (or who is starting in January) should consider applying for the ELAS programme using the online form. Students achieving excellent progress on ELAS may be allowed to audit or register for one undergraduate module alongside their ELAS programme in Term 2.

IELTS Academic/for UKVI5.55.5 in all subscores
PTE Academic5555 in all subscores
TOEFL iBT7217 in all subscores

Visa requirements and SELT

Applicants who require a Student Visa must prove their knowledge of the English language when applying. As a higher education provider, SOAS can assess your level of English using a variety of tests and qualifications. However, you may be asked to provide evidence of a secure English language test (SELT) as part of your Student Visa application.

Study Abroad or Exchange applicants who require a Student Visa and plan to take a Pre-sessional English course must provide a SELT test.

If you are not sure if you will require a pre-sessional course or ELAS, then we recommend that you take one of the following approved SELT English test, as this is the safest option:

Academic requirements

Undergraduate applicants

Undergraduate applicants should have the equivalent of a British 2:1 in their current undergraduate studies. For example, North American students should have a GPA of 3.3/4.0 and students from Norway should be receiving predominantly grades B and C. Applicants with a GPA of 3.0, or equivalent, will be considered if they can demonstrate a strong academic motivation or have a higher GPA in their Major.

Please note that we do not offer a first year programme. Undergraduate students can join SOAS in their sophomore/second year at the earliest.

Postgraduate applicants

Postgraduate students must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree with an overall grade that is equivalent to a British 2:1. For example, North American students should have a GPA of 3.3/4.0 and students from Norwegian institutions should have an average grade of B/C.