SOAS University of London

Online Academic Summer School

Online Learning

The Online Academic Summer School allows you to immerse yourself in the SOAS experience from anywhere in the world. Study with us for 2 or 4 weeks, engage with world-renowned academics and get to know like-minded, inquisitive and socially engaged students from across the globe.

Teaching and Learning

Our online courses take a blended approach to learning, ensuring that students still enjoy an interactive and engaging experience with a high quality of teaching. Courses will include live tutorials, recorded lectures, group discussions, independent learning time and a wide range of online resources that you can access at any point.

The programme is delivered through a Virtual Learning Environment (intranet page) which hosts your lectures and live sessions, and that sets out the readings for each day along, the guiding questions for discussion. Students also have access to a vast amount of academic and policy-related resources through the incredible SOAS library. Our world-renowned library features over 1.5 million items and electronic resources in over 400 languages, and is recognised as one of the world’s most important libraries for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Students will require regular access to a computer with a good internet connection, and the following applications installed:

  • A word processor that accepts Microsoft Word formats (.doc and .docx)
  • A PDF reader
Time Commitment

Courses are taught intensively over two weeks between Monday - Friday. Students should expect to spend around 4-5 hours per day completing course related activities. These would normally comprise a pre-recorded lecture (30min-1 hour), live tutorial/seminar/guest speaker (1 hour), reading (1 hour) and independent or group activity (1 hour). You will have flexibility to complete your work in your own time and at your own pace each day. Live sessions are recorded and made available to watch back if you are not able to join. Students studying for credit will submit a 2000-2500 word written assignment one week after the course finishes.


Each Academic Summer School course is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits is equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system.  

If you wish to gain credit from studying with us, you will complete a form of assessment either during or after your course. For those choosing not to earn credit, no formal assessment will be given. Assessment may vary for each course and more information can be found within course descriptions and course handbooks. Participants that attend over 80% of the course will be provided with a certificate of attendance and transcripts will be available to students that are assessed for credit.

If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests solely with your home institution.


Each course is assessed by two online assessments (‘e-tivities’*) comprising of 30%, the remaining 70% is formed of a 2,000 - 2,500 word essay. The e-tivities provide formative and summative feedback to students as a means of monitoring their progress and encouraging areas in which they can improve. E-tivities will vary in format but will include article reviews, quizzes, blog posts, essay plans and more. On successful completion of the assessments, students will receive a transcript confirming the credit awarded. Students that do not require credit are strongly encouraged to take part in the e-tivities, but are not required to submit the assessments.

* An 'e-tivity' is a framework for online, active and interactive learning following a format that states clearly to the students its 'Purpose'; the 'Task' at hand; the contribution or 'Response' type; and the 'Outcome' (Salmon, G. (2002) E-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning, New York and London: Routledge Falmer.)

Navigating Time Zones

Courses have been designed with varying time zones in mind. All lectures will be recorded for access at any time and the discussion forum is open to posts from students at all times. Any 'live' sessions will be scheduled between 13:00 - 15:00 BST and will be recorded for any students unable to attend.