SOAS University of London
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Welcome to SOAS University of London
SOAS, which stands for the School of Oriental and African Studies, specialises in teaching languages and social sciences related to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It has a focus on international study, and as such has produced influential alumni including a Nobel Peace Prize winner, several UK ambassadors, Supreme Court judges and heads of state.
Based in the heart of London in Bloomsbury and Islington, the main campus is in a cozy brick block where you'll easily get to know the other students you'll be studying with - after all there are only around 5,000 students in attendance here.
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Courses and fees
There's approximately 400 courses on offer, many of which are combined degrees. A Level entry requirements range from BBB depending on the subject applying for, and applications are welcomed from students who don't have traditional qualifications to help recruit a diverse student body.
The university is divided up into three faculties: the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, and the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences.
The law school is currently the only place in the UK where you can study for a non-European qualification, and the same goes for economics and politics too.
The Arts and Humanities faculty has courses which cover history, music, religion, art, and media. It has unique departments which include those devoted to Buddhist Studies, Eastern and Orthodox Christianity, Jaina Studies, and the study of Japanese religions.
The languages faculty has a wide mix of language studies on offer including those from Africa, China, Japan, the Middle East and South Asia. It also has departments devoted to Jewish and Islamic studies.
Currently, three of the subjects on offer rank in the top ten of the Complete University Guide 2014. East and South Asian Studies ranks fifth, while Anthropology and Middle Eastern and African Studies both rank eighth.
As an international-focused university, SOAS offers ample opportunity to study abroad as part of your course, often a requirement for many of the qualifications on offer. Many of the courses are focused on international heritage, plus the university welcomes a diverse mix of overseas students, offering international foundation courses in English as pre-sessional study to those coming to the university.
The tuition fees for undergraduate students in 2013/14 were £9,000 for UK and EU students and £14,590 for international students. Postgraduate fees vary, starting at around £6,000 for taught degrees, so check out the website for more details on course fees.
As one of the most important institutions of Asian, African and Middle-Eastern Studies, many of the facilities on offer are highly-regarded for their importance and significance in this field of study. The library is perhaps the most important facility on campus, holding over a million volumes in more than 400 languages - and there is also the impressive Brunei Gallery, gifted by the Sultan of Brunei, which contains significant works of art.
Situated in Bloomsbury, in the heart of central London, SOAS is close to some of the biggest and best attractions in the capital - including the British Museum and the British Library. The Vernon Square campus in Islington, which is a little more suburban, has an array of unique boutiques and restaurants on offer. Both locations offer excellent transport links to the rest of London and beyond with convenient tube stations close by.
Library and study facilities
The library has recently undergone a £6.5 million facelift and is one of only five National Research Libraries in the whole of the UK. One of the most important libraries for Asia, Africa and Middle East studies, there are approximately 1.5 million books and periodicals to get stuck into.
There is a mixture of 220 Macs and PCs on offer across campus as well as a devoted multimedia room to enhance your work. You'll be given your own email account and network drive, plus wi-fi is available in certain parts of the campus.
The careers service at SOAS is part of the wider Careers Group run by the University of London and the largest careers service in London. It has an enormous listing of jobs and can help you make the first steps onto the career ladder or simply help you find work experience or brush up your CV.
The Brunei Gallery is a unique exhibition space which presents events related to Asia, Africa and the Middle East, while the Foyle Special Collections Gallery has a rotating display of manuscripts and artefacts on display.
The student union organises approximately 50 clubs and societies, covering a diverse mix of activities, and it also runs the bars and common rooms on campus, plus the cafe and stationary shop at Russell Square. An active events calendar is organised for the year, and the leaders of the union are elected on a yearly basis.
Medical and Welfare Services
There is no university-run health centre on campus, but there are plenty of NHS surgeries close to the campus which you can register at. The wellbeing team can offer advice to international students, as well as those with disabilities, and also provides counselling, and financial advice.
A small number of scholarships are on offer for students, awarded for different requirements including academic excellence, support for international students, and those who have financial need. As part of your application for a tuition fee loan you can also apply for a maintenance grant or loan which can help you cover the costs of living.
Living in London can be costly, so SOAS has a range of accommodation options available to you. While many students may choose to live in private student flats, SOAS has a number of halls of residence available to students, including those shared between other University of London students.
This is SOAS's exclusive halls of residence which are located on Pentonville Road, approximately 20 minutes away from the main campus. All rooms are self-catered and are arranged into cluster flats of five or six rooms.
There are six halls that the University of London shares and are all based in central London. All halls provide catered meals and offer a more traditional student experience than Dinwiddy House. Approximately 170 spaces are reserved for SOAS students. These halls can be especially attractive if you want to broaden your social circle.
In London there are also a number of independent halls of residences for students from all different sorts of universities across the campus. This can be particularly appealing if you'd like to share with people who have similar interests or living attitudes. Independent halls include Ashwell House for female Catholic students, Hillel House for orthodox Jewish students, the YMCA Indian Student Hostel, plus many other halls that are non-secular.
There are three open days which take place during the year at SOAS, and they are designed so that you can get an idea of what to expect if you decide to study at the university. On the day you will have the opportunity to speak to academics, meet surest students, tour the campus and visit the halls of residence, providing you with ample opportunity to ask questions and find out more about student life at SOAS.
In addition to open days, the university also runs UCAS events, international fairs and it also takes part in the University of London taster days, designed to give those in year 12 a sample of university life.Information on their website for the upcoming dates.
The 2014/15 term dates are as follows:
- First Term: 22 September - 12 December 2014
- Second Term: 5 January - 20 March 2015
- Third Term: 20 April - 12 June 2015
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