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Tuition fee deposits for postgraduate study – Frequently asked questions

Find out all you need to know about tuition fee deposits for postgraduate study with our frequently asked questions.

Why does UCL charge a deposit?

The deposit allows offer holders to demonstrate their commitment to attending their chosen programme of study at UCL and aids UCL in its resource and student number planning.

Which programmes of study does the deposit apply to?

A full schedule of the programmes for which a deposit is payable for the forthcoming academic session is at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/fees-funding. Tuition fee deposits do not apply to undergraduate programmes or postgraduate research programmes (MPhil/PhD, MD[Res], specialist doctorates or the MPhilStud, with the exception of selected specialist doctorates in the Eastman Dental Institute), graduate diplomas or graduate certificates. Tuition fee deposits may be charged for Master’s by Research (MRes) programmes.

Why does UCL charge a deposit for some programmes and not others?

UCL departments may opt to request a deposit for individual programmes where it is felt there will be a clear benefit with respect to resource and student number planning.

If my chosen programme is not currently listed and is included at a later point before my intended start date, will I be required to pay a deposit?

No. Programmes to be included are agreed before the start of the relevant admissions cycle and no additions are expected to be made once the admissions cycle is in progress.

What will happen to my deposit once paid?

The deposit will be held by UCL and following enrolment will form part of the total tuition fee charged for the programme of study at which point it will become subject to the procedures and policies applicable to tuition fee payments for current students, as detailed at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding.

How long do the terms detailed in the tuition fee deposit policy remain in effect?

The policy remains in effect until the point at which you complete formal enrolment to your programme of study.

How much is the deposit I need to pay?

This will vary according to your programme of study, mode of attendance and fee status. For full-time students this will usually be at a lower level of £2,000 or a higher level of £4,000. A rate of 50% of the above may apply to those intending to study on a part-time (non-modular/flexible) basis. Separate levels apply to some programmes within the Eastman Dental Institute. A deposit will not usually be required from applicants intending to study on a modular/flexible basis but may be requested for specific programmes.

A full schedule of the deposit amounts payable for the forthcoming academic session, detailed by programme, mode of attendance and fee status is at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/fees-funding

If your application is successful, the deposit due and payment deadline will be communicated to you in your offer of admission.

When does my deposit need to be paid by?

For September starters the deadline for full payment of the deposit will usually be the later of 1 April preceding the start of studies or six weeks from the date of the offer of admission but no later than the day preceding the formal start date specified in the offer of admission.
 

Do I have to pay my deposit before I accept my offer?

No, the requirement to pay the deposit will only arise once you accept your offer. You may do this, via the Applicant Portal, at the earliest opportunity and by any response date specified in your offer of admission. Your deposit does not need to be paid until the paymen deadline stated in your offer of admission.

Is payment of the deposit the same as acceptance of the offer?

No. The payment of the deposit is a separate requirement. You still need to accept UCL’s offer, via the Applicant Portal at the earliest opportunity and by any response date specified in your offer of admission.

How do I make payment?

Following acceptance of the offer of admission, payment should be made through UCL’s online payment system, Payonline, by the offer holder or a third party acting on his/her behalf. A link to Payonline will appear in your offer letter and in the Applicant Portal.

Do I have to pay the entire amount in one transaction?

Payment may be made in multiple instalments but full payment of the specified amount must be received by UCL by the deadline specified in the offer of admission.

What happens if I do not pay in full by the deadline?

If full payment is not received by the specified deadline UCL reserves the right to withdraw the offer of admission. If UCL intends to withdraw an offer, the offer holder will be sent email notification by Graduate Admissions shortly after the payment deadline. The notification will provide at least two days’ notice of the withdrawal of offer. If the tuition fee deposit is paid in full during that period the offer will not be withdrawn for non-payment.

I have an existing tuition fee debt to UCL. How does this affect my application and payment of the deposit?

If you are in debt to UCL with respect to tuition fees at the point of offer, UCL may not issue a decision until such a time as the debt is confirmed as discharged.

My account with UCL is in credit. How does this affect payment of the deposit?

If your fee account balance is in credit (for example, due to overpayment of tuition fees for a previous period of registration), Graduate Admissions will confirm the credit with UCL Student Finance and subject to the offer holder’s agreement, any tuition fee credit will be stated in the Applicant Portal and will be reflected in the balance of any deposit payment due.

What happens if I wish to transfer acceptance of the offer (for which the deposit is due) to an alternative offer of admission from UCL?

If UCL agrees to a transfer from one programme to another, whether before or after payment of the tuition fee deposit but before enrolment, and the newly selected programme does not require a deposit, any deposit paid prior to the transfer shall be refunded or, with the offer holder’s consent, be held by UCL against tuition fees for the newly selected programme. If UCL agrees to a transfer from one programme to another, whether before or after payment of the tuition fee deposit but before enrolment, and the newly selected programme requires a deposit, any deposit paid prior to the transfer shall, with the offer holder’s consent, be held by UCL towards the deposit for the newly selected programme. The applicant portal will update accordingly with the amount of tuition fee deposit paid (if any) noted against the offer of admission for the newly selected programme.

I would like to defer my admission. What will happen to the payment I have made?

Should UCL agree to an offer holder deferring entry to the following academic session, any payment made will be held on account and will form part of the tuition fees, once enrolled. Where payment has been made in part or has not been made a revised payment requirement will be communicated in the deferred offer of admission. The above terms concerning full payment by the stated deadline continue to apply. Deferral of admission is only permitted once.

I hope to/will have funding in place by the start of my studies but not in time to pay by the stated deadline. May I be granted an exemption?

Exemption from the requirement to pay a deposit may be extended to applicants who provide official documentary evidence to Graduate Admissions that they have been awarded funding, in the form of an acceptable studentship, scholarship, or sponsorship, sufficient to cover the deposit in full.

What evidence do I need to provide to confirm funding?

Evidence should constitute a formal, dated letter of award from the funding body, naming the applicant and programme of study. The document should be issued on headed organisational stationery and be signed by a relevant officer of that organisation.

What happens once I submit this information?

Graduate Admissions will consider the information and decide whether an exemption may be permitted. If this is agreed and the information is received by Graduate Admissions prior to an offer of admission, no deposit will be requested as part of the offer. If this information is received by Graduate Admissions in response to an offer of admission the requirement to pay the deposit will be cancelled.

What happens if my funding application will not be decided by the payment deadline?

Should an offer holder have an application for appropriate funding pending, which will not be decided by the deadline, UCL may consider extending the deadline accordingly. Any such extension will be subject to receipt, by Graduate Admissions, of evidence of the application for funding in the form of a formal, dated letter from the funding body on its letter head and signed by an authorised officer of the funding body specifying the name of the offer holder and expected date of decision. Should UCL agree to extend the deadline, full payment must be made by the extended deadline or exemption agreed.

My funding is uncertain and I am unable to pay by the stated deadline. May I be granted an exemption?

UCL will consider all requests for exemption from the deposit requirement at its absolute discretion.

Is the deposit refundable?

Payments made toward a tuition fee deposit are generally not refundable if the offer holder chooses not to enrol or is otherwise unable to enrol for reasons within the offer holder’s reasonable control. However, payments are refundable on request in the following circumstances:

  • An offer holder fails to meet the conditions related to academic entry requirements set out in the offer letter and is not admitted (this excludes conditions relating to English language proficiency).
  • An offer holder fails to secure the necessary clearance to enter the UK and undertake the programme;
  • UCL is unable to admit an offer holder due to the programme of study or specific mode of attendance previously agreed with UCL ceasing to be available.
  • If the offer holder requires a deferral to the subsequent academic session and UCL is unable to agree that deferral.

UCL has absolute discretion in considering and applying refunds of deposits other than in the circumstances set out above.

How do I request a refund prior to enrolling on my programme of study?

Refund requests should be addressed in writing to UCL Graduate Admissions and will be acknowledged within 10 working days of receipt. Authority to approve refunds of tuition fee deposits rests with the Director, Access & Admissions.

Authorised refunds will be returned to the same individual and using the same method as for the original payment. UCL will not refund the exact amount of deposit that it receives.

If the deposit is being refunded to a non-Sterling bank account where a currency conversion is necessary, any exchange rate fluctuations shall be at the risk of the offer holder.

UCL shall also be entitled to deduct any bank charges directly connected to the refund of the deposit.

How do I request a refund after enrolling on my programme of study?

Where formal enrolment has been completed, refund requests become subject to the arrangements concerning tuition fee refunds for current students. Please see the following: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/fees/pay-your-fees/how-to- pay#refunds