The School was founded in 1916 as the School of Oriental Studies. It took its present title in 1938, by which time it had also established itself as a centre for African Studies. It moved to its present site in 1941.
SOAS is a remarkable institution, specialising in the study of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This means that SOAS remains a guardian of specialised knowledge in languages and regions not available anywhere else in the UK, but also that SOAS scholars grapple with pressing issues - such as democracy, migration, development, human rights, poverty, religion, social change - which impact on a global scale.
With more than 300 academics dedicated to research and teaching in these areas, it has become one of the world’s leading institutions of its kind. Our research expertise in languages, political and social sciences, arts and humanities provides the resources and knowledge to equip people for a global economy and a multicultural world.
SOAS Careers is here for your next steps. We have a great Careers Learning Zone filled with resources, a new lunchtime workshop series with practical support for applications and interviews, and a dedicated team of Careers professionals to help you plan your choices for life after SOAS.
The Careers Service supports all SOAS students in every aspect of their career preparation. The Careers team: brings over 100 employers onto campus through events; maintains a library of information explaining how to get into the various graduate careers; holds lists of full-time and part-time vacancies and internships as well as postgraduate funding.
The Student Welfare Office provides impartial and confidential information and advice on all aspects of student welfare.
Counselling services both at SOAS and at the University Health Centre aim to help students make the most of their time by helping them cope with difficulties arising of a personal or emotional nature.
The Student Homes team remain busy assisting students who are looking for accommodation for the academic year. We're taking students who are in London out to visit our properties and are also assisting students who are overseas with their requests to complete distance applications.
Bed spaces are reserved for SOAS students in the following privately run halls of residence
London boasts a range purpose built student accommodation run by private organisations and more traditional halls of residences run by charitable organisations and housing associations. These offer a huge variety of room styles, facilities and extra curricular activities across a range of budgets
The SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Library attracts scholars from all over the world to consult its holdings and further their research. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes at the SOAS campus at Russell Square in central London.
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 and special needs computer facilities.
All non-EU international students coming to study in the UK for six months or more now pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. This charges covers the cost of NHS from a GP or hospital. Non-urgent treatments or operations are not covered, however, and you will have to pay a fixed price for any medication you are prescribed.
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.
SOAS is located close to Russell Square Station on the Piccadilly Line and Goodge Street Station on the Northern Line, making it easy for students to explore all parts of this great city. Nearby Euston Station provides mainline rail links, 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.
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.
Students will find making friends at SOAS easy by joining any of a wide range of sports, 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; the Women’s Rugby Team; to the much discussed Hummus Society.
SOAS Students’ Union is a bustling and diverse environment, which offers support and representation for all SOAS students. The Union organises approximately fifty clubs and societies, covering sport, dining, political debate, cultural issues and everything in between.