SOAS University of London

Celebrating more than 100 years of research and teaching excellence, SOAS University of London’s world class scholars are well-placed to provide the analysis and understanding of our rapidly changing world.  In 2018, SOAS University of London is on the 4th place in QS Development Studies ranking.

Top reasons to study here

  • International reputation for academic excellence; ranked first in London for teaching and learning provision.
  • Undergraduate, postgraduate, online and distance learning courses across an extensive range of subjects in the social sciences, arts, humanities and languages.
  • Welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

Bachelor's programmes

Social Sciences (50)
Humanities (37)
Business & Management (14)
Arts, Design & Architecture (6)
Law (3)
Environmental Studies & Earth Sciences (1)
Natural Sciences & Mathematics (1)



The School was founded in 1916 as the School of Oriental Studies and celebrated its centenary in 2016.  The SOAS estate has undergone a recent transformation, including the ambitious Senate House North Block project.  This historic building has revolutionized the student experience with state-of-the-art learning and teaching facilities and contemporary social spaces.


A SOAS student is typically passionate about their subject; opts to study more than one language; loves to learn, to travel, to be surprised; and is interested and engaged with the world around them.

SOAS aims to add and enhance to these attributes by offering courses of study, which give students the opportunity to look at their subject(s) from multiple perspectives; to challenge preconceived ideas through debate with fellow students and tutors; and to overturn unexamined assumptions.

To this end, SOAS offers an extensive range of exciting courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and also masters degrees and diplomas by distance and online learning.


Students are drawn to SOAS by its international reputation for academic excellence, as well as for the opportunity to study in a lively and international environment with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

A Master’s degree provides an opportunity to pursue a subject in greater depth; to acquire skills and knowledge in a new subject; to prepare for a research degree; or to acquire vocational skills for career progression. 

Looking to the future, identified areas of research include: global voices; heritage of humanity; global interactions; sharing a small planet; and global diplomacy and governance.


SOAS students are encouraged to develop a truly global perspective and are uniquely placed to inform and shape current thinking about the economic, political, cultural, security and religious challenges in society.  That is one of the reasons why they develop careers that make a real difference in the world. 

SOAS graduates aspire to varied and ambitious goals.  Whether it be developing a career as a UN diplomat, dreaming of staging a kabuki play, or championing human rights, SOAS develops the skills for students to excel in their chosen area when they graduate.

Alongside its taught degrees on campus, SOAS runs an extensive and prestigious programme of online and distance learning courses.

University Ranking

QS World University Rankings by TopUniversities
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296 -44
QS World University Rankings is one of the top international rankings measuring the popularity and performance of universities all over the world.
World University Rankings by Times Higher Education
World University Rankings is a vital resource that provides the definitive list of the world's best universities.
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report
1093 -64
Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report presents all the top universities from the U.S. and 60 other countries around the world.


Student services

Students discover a fascinatingly diverse, lively and close-knit community on the SOAS’s central London campus, and friendly fellow students who share an intellectual interest in the international issues in which SOAS specialises.

Degree combinations in law, politics, economics, finance, business, management, the arts, humanities and languages provide many options for study, in either single-subject or two-subject (combined) degrees.

For students where a language is not a core element of their degree, the Language Entitlement Programme (LEP) gives students the opportunity to include language learning as an extra activity entirely free of charge.

Housing services

SOAS offers a variety of accommodation options: in halls of residence; student homes; and privately rented houses.

Dinwiddy House is reserved for SOAS students only and is located a 20-minute walk from the SOAS campus.  Dinwiddy House is a self-catered, mixed residence.  All rooms are en-suite, with 4-8 rooms clustered around a shared kitchen/dining space. Paul Robeson House offers accommodation for SOAS postgraduate students, and there is provision for student couples. Additional accommodation at Urbanest St Pancras is located on the Regent’s Canal in vibrant King’s Cross, close to a great choice of culture, nightlife, bars and restaurants.

Library services

The SOAS Library is one of only five National Research Libraries in the UK, housing over 1.2 million printed volumes, together with a major collection of archives, manuscripts, rare books, and a rapidly growing collection of electronic resources.

ICT services

Each student has a personal SOAS email account and an allocated file storage space on the network, which can be accessed from any computer.

Across the campus there are a wide range of open access computer labs; specialist language and music labs; multi-media facilities; plus research, IT support, and special needs computer facilities.

Medical services

SOAS Student Advice and Wellbeing are focused on helping any student to complete their course successfully through the specialist, on-campus, professional services on offer: international student advice; welfare and financial advice, support for students with disabilities and student counselling.

Student Life

Campus life

SOAS is situated in the very heart of London, surrounded by fashionable cafés and restaurants, green spaces, bookstores, museums and arts venues. The British Museum, British Library, Regent’s Park and the West End are all within walking distance of SOAS’s vibrant campus.

In addition, London is home to world-renowned international art galleries, musical performances, opera, museums and festivals, which all go to make London the culture capital of the world.

SOAS is located close to both underground and mainline train stations, and it is only a ten-minute walk to the Eurostar hub at St Pancras, from where it is a short hop to Paris, Brussels and continental Europe.

Sports facilities

At SOAS it is possible to join a wide variety of sports’ societies, including Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Football, Lacrosse, Netball, Pool and Snooker, Rugby, Running, Squash, Swimming, Tennis and Volleyball.

Studying for a University of London degree automatically qualifies you as a member of Student Central, which operates a range of sports facilities for students, including a swimming pool and gym.

Student clubs

Students will find making friends at SOAS easy by joining any of a wide range of societies, events and student-led clubs.

Clubs are as varied as the Beekeepers, who care for two beehives on the roof of SOAS; to the South Asian Film Society, which celebrates Bollywood and South Asia’s rich film culture.

SOAS Students’ Union is a bustling and diverse environment, which offers support and representation for all SOAS students.  The Union organises approximately 50 clubs and societies, covering sport, dining, political debate, cultural issues and everything in between. If your particular interest is not represented then it is easy to set up your own society.

Student Reviews

Friendly university experience with engaging academics
Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars
Friendly, diverse and cosy atmosphere. Student body who care about making a change in the world. Engaging academics.
Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars
Absolutely Brilliant.
SOAS, my journey into the Arab world
Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars
Studying Arabic at SOAS meant beginning my journey into the Arab world. SOAS proved to be a distinct global academic platform, animated by students who are, like me, looking at the world under the stretch of the widest view. The quality and diversity of the class allowed me to engage in debates to learn from the perspectives of others and share my own. Most importantly, the experience made me a...

London, England, United Kingdom