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 2021/22:
- Term 1: Monday 27th Sep 2021 – Wednesday 1st Dec 2021
- Term 2: Monday 10th Jan 2022 – Sunday 13th Mar 2022
- Term 3: Monday 25th Apr 2022 – Sunday 19th Jun 2022
Please submit your application well in advance of the deadline and check our website regularly for updates. You can expect to hear the outcome of your application within three weeks of the closing date.
NOTE: 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.
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
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 a UCL 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
If you are a new applicant you must have 12 months of ongoing employment funding left in your current post
You must meet the SAS conditions set out below
How much will SAS contribute to my studies?
- 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 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 and get approval from your Head of Department
- Enrol on your chosen course of study
- Gather the following documents for your application:
- Your line manager's approval statement - this can be an email or PDF
- Proof of course enrolment/statement of student status – this should include the qualification title, duration and part-time student status
- Proof the course has been paid in full (non-UCL courses only)
- Your head of department’s approval document:
4. Submit your online SAS application form
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.
- 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
What is the best format for my line manager to submit 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 can be in an email format which is then sent to the SAS mailbox email@example.com or a signed PDF which the applicant can upload with their application form.
The policy for requesting time off to train can be found on the UCL website: Leave for Domestic and Personal Reasons.
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.
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, 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.
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