SOAS University of London

Study Abroad / Exchange Programme at SOAS

Academic and Other Support

We hope you enjoy your time at SOAS, whether it be for one term or the full year.  This page is designed to provide information that you may need during your studies and to help you have the best study abroad experience.

Student Engagement Team

The Student Engagement Team at studyabroadexperience@soas.ac.uk is your main point of contact during your time at SOAS.

Department Office Support 

Each department has a Student Support officer who can provide advice and guidance on any departmenl-related query such as navigating modules.  Their contact information can be found on each department's page.

You will be assigned an Academic Advisor at the start of Term who can offer advice and guidance on all aspects of academic life at SOAS.

Study Support         

Library, Learning and Teaching Innovation (LLTI) offers all students extra support with their academic studies. The department runs one-to-one tutorials, workshops and has 'help yourself' resources online that cover the following topics:

  • Using the online Bloomsbury Learning Environment (Moodle)
  • Planning and structuring essay
  • Listening to lectures and taking notes
  • Referencing
  • Preparing for and doing exams
  • Working with long reading lists/ adapting to an independent learning style

To make an appointment for a tutorial, please visit this LLTI webpage or email cilt-ad@soas.ac.uk.

Student Advice and Well-being

The main Student Advice and Well-being office is based in Paul Webley Wing, Senate House. They can offer advice and support on a range of areas relating to student life, for example, on money and budgeting, health, faith and spiritual practices in London and complimentary therapies.  They also have the following specialist services:

  • International Student and Welfare Advice
  • Counselling
  • Disability Advice
  • Mental Health and Well-being Advice
  • SOAS Chaplaincy (based in the Faber Building at Russell Square)

All services are free and confidential. For further information about all of these services, as well as information about their drop-in times, how to make an appointment and their online materials, please visit Student Advice and Wellbeing.

Students' Union and Getting Involved

All of the societies, events and facilities of the SOAS Students' Union are open to Study Abroad and Exchange students, so get involved! The Students' Union website has a full list of all the societies available, an events calendar and welfare information and you can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Your student sabbatical officers are based on the ground floor of the main building at Russell Square, next to the student common room.

Assessments, Submission and Extensions

If you are at SOAS for the full academic year then you must complete the same assessments as the degree students in your classes.  Full year students are expected to be present for Term 3 exam period and cannot expect alternative assessment arrangements to be made to accommodate travel wishes.  

Note: SOAS has a final School deadline, after which no essays (even with evidence) can be submitted.  

If you are at SOAS for either Term 1 only or Terms 2/3 then you will follow our Alternative Assessment Policy. 

Term 1 only Alternative Assessment Policy
  • Students taking Term 1/Full Year modules with an exam will most likely need an alternative assessment as they will not be at SOAS for the exam period (Term 3)
  • Students taking Full Year modules with no exam may need an alternative assessment or different weightings for existing assessments
  • Students taking Term 1 modules with no exam will complete the same assessments as full-degree students
  • Language modules and other courses which need to be assessed with an end of term test will need to have assessments arranged before the end of Term 1
  • The standard alternative assessment policy is:
    • Undergraduates – 4,000-word essay due Friday of Week 1 of Term 2
    • Postgraduates – 5,000-word essay due Friday of Week 1 of Term 2
    • Please note - this is subject to approval by the convenor
  • Your alternative assessment will be confirmed to you by the relevant department before Reading Week.

Term 2/3 only Alternative Assessment Policy
  • Students taking Full Year modules with an exam will most likely need an alternative assessment as they were not at SOAS for Term 1
  • Students taking Full Year modules with no exam may need an alternative assessment or different weightings for existing assessments
  • Students taking Term 2 modules with an exam or with no exam will complete the same assessments as full-degree student
  • Due to the cumulative nature of language courses, students joining language courses in Term 2 are expected to sit final examinations in Term 3
  • The standard alternative assessment policy is:
    • Undergraduates – 4,000-word essay due Friday of Week 1 of Term 2
    • Postgraduates – 5,000-word essay due Friday of Week 1 of Term 2
    • Please note - this is subject to approval by the convenor
  • Your alternative assessment will be confirmed to you by the relevant department before Reading Week

Submission/Extensions

All coursework should be submitted via the BLE in the appropriate submission point. If you have a question about this, please contact your module convenor and/or the department office directly.  

Extensions are not given at SOAS: if you are unable to submit your work according to the deadline then you should apply for Mitigating Circumstances. Please see this Registry webpage for instructions on how to apply.

Grade Conversion and Marking Guidelines

The marking system in the U.K. is different to that of the U.S.A., other parts of Europe, Japan and Korea. Even if you are completing the alternative assessments you will be marked according to the U.K. system. Each faculty has marking guidelines stating what you need to produce in order to achieve certain percentage marks. The marking guidelines can be found on individual module pages on Moodle.

The grade conversion charts on the right of this page will give you an idea of how U.K. percentage marks compare to the U.S. and ECTS systems. Your home institutions will convert your grades so your final converted mark may differ to what is indicated on these scales but they should give you an idea of how you are doing.

SOAS Credit Conversion to your Home Institution

If you come for the full year, then each full year module will earn you 30 SOAS credits. If you come for either Term 1 (Autumn semester) or Term 2/3 (Spring Semester), then each module will earn you 15 SOAS credits.

It is up to your home institution how they choose to transfer your SOAS credits but we provide this information as a guide.  

ECTS: A full/maximum class load for one academic year is 120 credits (30 credits per full year module) and is the equivalent of 60 ECTS points.  Therefore, each full year SOAS undergraduate module is worth 15 ECTS points, and a half year SOAS module is worth 7.5 ECTS points.

US CREDITS: A full/maximum class load for one academic year is 120 credits and is the equivalent of 24 or 32 US credits (whatever is the full course load for your institution).

Assessment Regulations and Plagiarism

Even if you are completing the alternative assessments you will be expected to follow the same guidelines and regulations as SOAS degree students. You will find a guide to SOAS regulations, including information on word counts and the penalties for plagiarism on the Degree Regulations, Policies and Procedures page.

Plagiarism is taken very seriously at SOAS and includes using the exact words of others without indicating this with quotation marks and referencing, summarising another's work without referencing them and also using your own previous work without acknowledging this.  Please make sure to read our Plagiarism Statement.

Please take careful note of the regulations and reference your work properly. Full penalties will be applied even though you are not a degree student.