The Study Assistance Scheme (SAS) is an employee benefit which provides financial support for UCL staff seeking to gain qualifications to support their work and careers.
Application windows 2019/20:
- The application window for Term 1 closed on Monday, 9 December 2019 at 09:00. We are no longer accepting applications for this window.
- Monday, 10 February 2020 – Friday, 27 March 2020 – for staff enrolling on their course of study during term 2 and during the Easter break
- Monday, 15 June 2020 – Friday, 31 July 2020 – for staff enrolling on their course of study during term 3 and during the summer break
Please submit your Study Assistance Scheme application well in advance of the deadline. Do check our website regularly for updates before applying, for example, if at any point in the year UCL exceeds its SAS funding grant, a notice will be placed on this website and we will no longer accept new applications.
Please expect to hear the outcome of your application within three weeks of the closing date.
You must be a UCL staff member who has successfully passed their probation period at the time of applying. The UCL Induction and Probation Policy has information about this
You must have 12 months of ongoing employment funding on your current post at the date your application was submitted
Courses must be credit-bearing and lead to a qualification
Courses must relate to your area of work and support your job role at UCL
You must have enrolled on your course of study prior to submitting an SAS application
Applications must be authorised by your line manager on the basis that the qualification will support your job role at UCL and your department will be able to accommodate any necessary study leave. The policy for requesting time off to train can be found on the UCL website: Leave for Domestic and Personal Reasons
If you are a Honorary Research Fellow, you will not be eligible for this scheme
If you are already in receipt of an award or grant (other than SAS) towards the fees for your course or departmental funding of £865 or more, you will not be eligible for the scheme. If your department contributes less than £865, SAS can provide a contribution to make up the difference
If you are studying for a professional accountancy qualification you will not be eligible for SAS. The support for qualifications such as this is provided by the Finance Division. Further details on this can be found on Support Package for Professional Accountancy Qualifications
You must meet the SAS conditions set out below
Your SAS grant will be up to 50% of the total cost of your course (fees + examination costs*)
The maximum amount SAS will contribute for the 2019/20 academic year is £865. This is the same for overseas students
Backdated SAS applications to previous academic years will not be accepted
How to apply?
Speak to your line manager to approve your proposed SAS application
Enrol on your course of study (to make an application, you will need to submit your student number for UCL programmes)
Submit your SAS application form. If you are a returning applicant who is continuing on the same course of study which SAS has previously supported you with, you will only need to complete the SAS Renewal Application.
Send your line manager's approval and proof of course enrolment to email@example.com.If you are a returning applicant you do not need to provide your line manager's approval again
If you are studying for a non-UCL qualification, you will need to cover the full cost of your course before submitting an application and you will need to provide documentary evidence of the following:
- Part-time status of the qualification being undertaken
- Qualification title and duration
- Total fees for the academic year
- Proof the course has been paid in full
- If your application is successful, SAS’s contribution will be deducted from the student fees for UCL courses and for non-UCL courses the payment will be made via a UCL expense payment form
If your qualification will take more than one year to complete, you will need to resubmit an application for each year of study, as it will not be automatically renewed. Returning applicants will only need to complete the renewal application form
You can only receive a SAS grant towards one course of study each academic year
SAS is applicable to: part-time, evening, day or block release, correspondence or distance learning courses
You will be expected to pay for any textbooks and any required memberships (e.g. to a professional body)
Additional funding for overseas students is out of scope for SAS. If you are classified as an overseas student, you can request to receive financial assistance to cover the difference between Home/EU student fees and overseas student fees through your department. To be eligible for this, your head of department will need to confirm that they consent to this discretionary arrangement
If you are in receipt of SAS and you voluntarily leave UCL employment, at any time between starting your course and 12 months after completion, you will be asked to repay. Repayment will be calculated on a pro-rata basis from the course start date to your last paid day at UCL
At present, I do not have 12 months of ongoing funding on my current post. However, my contract may be extended, am I still eligible for the scheme?
To be eligible for SAS you must have 12 months of ongoing employment funding on your current post at the date your application was submitted.
I am currently on secondment for 12 months but am then returning to my permanent role within UCL. Would I be eligible to apply?
- Yes, you would be eligible for SAS as the role you are returning to is permanent. We advise that you discuss with both Line Managers (‘host’ and ‘home’), to ensure that they are both happy to support your application and any change in working patterns.
I was in receipt of SAS last year. Do I need to complete another application for this year?
If your qualification will take more than one year to complete, you will need to resubmit an application for each year of study, as it will not be automatically renewed. Returning applicants will only need to complete the renewal application form.
How will my SAS award be deducted from my UCL student fees?
Once it has been confirmed that your SAS application is successful, the SAS team will contact the Student Fees Office to request to have the SAS award deducted from your Portico record.
If you have further questions regarding student fees, we recommend contacting the Student Fees Office at .
What is the expense claim procedure for non-UCL courses?
After confirmation that your SAS application is successful, the SAS team will send an expense claim form for you to complete, print, sign and date, and return to the SAS mailbox .
Once your form has been received it will be authorised and sent to Accounts Payable to make the payment directly into your bank account. The payment may take up to 7 days from the moment Accounts Payable receive the form and the supporting documentation.
What is the best format for my line manager to submit their approval?
Applications must be authorised by your line manager on the basis that the qualification will support your job role at UCL and your department will be able to accommodate any necessary study leave. The approval should be in an email format which is then sent to the SAS mailbox .
The policy for requesting time off to train can be found on the UCL website: Leave for Domestic and Personal Reasons.
When will I know if my SAS application has been successful?
Once the application window has closed, we will complete the final review of all applications. Please expect to have received the outcome of your application within 3 weeks of the application deadline. Applicants will be notified shortly after they have submitted their application if they do not meet the eligibility criteria.
How can I confirm whether my course will be covered by SAS?
Courses must be credit-bearing and lead to a qualification. If you are unsure whether your course is eligible, please email the SAS team
I am enrolled on a non-UCL course, how much of the course do I have to pay to be eligible for SAS?
- For non-UCL courses, we ask applicants to have paid the full amount for their course for that academic year. In order to pass the eligibility checks for SAS, you will need to provide receipts to evidence this payment.
I started my course 2 years ago, am I able to receive SAS as a backdated payment?
Backdated SAS applications to previous academic years will not be accepted.
I am currently in receipt of £500 departmental funding towards the cost of my degree, will I also be eligible for SAS?
If you are already in receipt of departmental funding of £865 or more, you will not be eligible for the scheme. If your department contributes less than £865, SAS can provide a contribution to make up the difference.
I am considered as an overseas applicant for my degree. How am I able to receive a reduction in my fees through SAS?
You will need to begin with speaking to your head of department. With their agreement, you will be able to pay the same as Home/EU students and they will provide financial assistance to cover the rest of your student fees which will remain at the total for overseas students. Once you have received the consent from your head of department, we then encourage you to apply for SAS.
Please note, if you are an overseas student and your department cannot provide you with financial assistance, you would still be able to apply for SAS, but you would not receive a reduction in your fees.
We will continue to evaluate the process for continuous improvement opportunities going forward and would welcome your feedback at any time at