SOAS University of London

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

City Centre
City Centre

In or close to the centre of a city

UCAS Code: S09

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Silver is awarded to institutions that deliver high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for their students, and consistently exceed "rigorous national quality requirements" for higher education in the UK. Find out more about TEF.

Student Statistics

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 50%
  • Postgraduate 50%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 82%
  • Part Time 18%

Where students come from

  • UK 57%
  • EU 14%
  • Other 29%

Student gender

  • Male 35%
  • Female 65%

Undergraduate Open Days

Open days allow you to experience the university first hand, and help you decide if it's the right place for you​.

Student Services and Facilities

Libraries and Information Services

  • The SOAS library is the UK National Research Library for Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
  • The library houses over 1.3 million volumes, together with a major collection of digital resources, archives, manuscripts, rare books, and special collections.
  • Students at SOAS also have access to the main University of London library in Senate House, as well as other libraries belonging to colleges of the University of London.

Student jobs

  • SOAS' location in central London ensures there are plenty of part-time job opportunities for students to take advantage of.

Careers advice

  • The SOAS Careers Service is the dedicated provider of careers advice, events and information services for current SOAS students and alumni, providing support in the search for part-time work, internships or full-time jobs after students graduate.
  • The service offers confidential, one-to-one careers advice and resources on how to decide on a career path. This includes advice on the application process, CVs, interviews or practice interviews, and assessment centres.
  • Information is given on internships, full-time jobs, part-time jobs, recruitment agencies and volunteering; and the JobOnline vacancy service advertises opportunities, providing a Job Alert service direct to students who register.
  • There are also resources on starting a business, and student enterprise.

Health services

  • SOAS offers a Student Advice and Well-being service.

Counselling and Mental Health Support

  • SOAS offers a confidential student counselling service.

Disability support

  • The SOAS Student Disability Office provides information, advice and support to disabled students, from when they first apply to when they graduate.

Other services and facilities

  • SOAS' expansion in 2016 into the north block of the iconic Senate House building provided students with a variety of new learning spaces, seminar rooms, lecture theatres and breakout spaces – as well as cafés and informal social areas.

Students' Union

  • SOAS Students' Union is a bustling and diverse environment, which offers support and representation for all SOAS students.
  • The SOAS SU is one of the most politically active in the UK and has the largest proportional turnout in SU elections in the country.
  • The SU has approximately 150 clubs and societies, covering sport, political debate, cultural issues and everything in between.


  • SOAS celebrated its centenary in 2016 and continues to chart a course as a scholarly resource of global relevance for the 21st century.
  • Founded in 1916 as a college of the University of London, the School of Oriental Studies took in its first students at the start of 1917.
  • In the late 1930s the school expanded, and with the aid of a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation founded the Department of African Languages and Cultures – adding 'African' to the name of the school in 1938.

Fascinating Fact

  • SOAS lecturer William McGovern was an inspiration for the film character Indiana Jones.

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • Professor John Atta Mills – former president of Ghana.
  • Zeinab Badawi – TV and radio reporter and news presenter.
  • David Lammy – MP for Tottenham, former minister of state for higher education and member of the SOAS International Advisory Board.
  • Paul Robeson – American actor, singer and civil rights activist.
  • Dame Freya Stark DBE – travel writer; one of the first Western women to travel through the Arabian deserts, often alone. Joined the Ministry of Information during World War II and contributed to the creation of a propaganda network aimed at persuading Arabs to support the Allies or at least remain neutral.
  • Fatima Bhutto – poet and writer; granddaughter of former Pakistani prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and niece of the late Benazir Bhutto.
  • Jamie Drummond – co-founder and chief strategy officer for ONE, a global advocacy organisation which arose out of the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt campaign.
  • Jemima Goldsmith – writer, human rights campaigner and fundraiser for several national and international charities. She is associate editor of New Statesman and the European editor-at-large for Vanity Fair.


SOAS University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG