Academic Support

There are several ways in which students are given academic support throughout their two-year study at the IIS

Pre-sessional and In-sessional Academic Skills Support

Each new cohort has students with varying levels of English language and academic skills proficiency.

Based on the entry tests we conduct with students and the UKVI IELTS results at the time of admissions, some students attend pre-sessional courses at SOAS for development of their Academic English Skills. Some pre- and in-sessional Academic Skills classes will also be timetabled for all students at the start of the first term at the IIS. This is to orient students to the academic conventions of the IIS and enhance students’ skills in this area prior to submission of their first assignments. Other sessions may be scheduled by the Academic Skills Support Team at the IIS according to need and upon request (see below for details).

In-house Support

In-house support includes one-to-one sessions with individual Academic Advisers, lecturers and the Academic Skills Support Team at the IIS. All students are allocated an Academic Adviser at the IIS, who is available to provide students with constructive academic and personal development guidance and support across the programme of study that will guide them in their journey to become professional teachers. Academic Advisers also review students’ wider academic progress.

Students who need additional support will be able to meet regularly with the IIS’ Academic Skills Support Team, who will work with students to determine the type of support they need. This support is available for academic skills needs and some language needs. Students may request academic skills classes or workshops, or one-to-one tutorials and consultations where a member of the team will offer them support and guidance on their academic skills and language (where applicable). Alternatively, students may email their assignments for feedback on their writing. This service will be available to all students throughout their period of study at the IIS, subject to availability.

Students are encouraged to learn from the comments of the lecturers and to discuss their progress with their teachers and Academic Advisers as well as the Academic Skills Support Team and the Programme Leader.

The Aga Khaninfo-icon Library, London

The Aga Khaninfo-icon Library is a shared library between the Institute of Ismaili Studies and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations - Aga Khan University, to support teaching and research in the Institutes.

The library is also committed to fostering knowledge of Islam, past and present, and to facilitating access to resources on the history, faith and cultures that comprise the Muslims in general and the Ismaili Shi’a community, in particular, to external researchers and students.

The Aga Khan Library occupies state-of-the-art facilities that offer a conducive research space supported by an extensive collection of modern works on subjects of interests to the Institutes, in a remarkable variety of Eastern and European languages. The Library is also the proud custodian of several collections of unique resources, precious manuscripts, and rare books, many of them donated by acclaimed scholars in the field of Islamic Studies.

SOAS Library


IIS students have borrowing privileges with the nearby SOAS Library. The SOAS Library is one of the world’s most important academic libraries for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and one of only five National Research Libraries in the UK. The Library attracts scholars from all over the world to consult its holdings and further their research. The Library houses over 1.3 million volumes at the SOAS campus at Russell Square in central
London, together with a major collection of archives, manuscripts, rare books and special collections, an expanding Digital Library and a growing network of electronic resources.

The SOAS Library is part of Library and Learning Services Directorate, which also includes the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, the Endangered Languages Archive and the Brunei Gallery.


Conference Fund

Students are actively encouraged to participate in conferences which the Department aims to facilitate through the dedicated Student Conference Fund.