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Refund Policy for International Deposits

Applicants who are classed as overseas for fees purposes are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £3,000 in order to be able to register on their programme of study at UWE Bristol.

A refund can only be issued in a small number of circumstances (see exceptions). The criteria listed below is only applicable to applicants who have not yet fully registered with UWE Bristol.

Applicants can only request a refund within three years of applying for their programme of study at UWE Bristol.

Refund criteria

A full deposit refund will be considered in the following circumstances:

  • An applicant requests the return of their deposit within 14 days of receipt of payment at UWE Bristol under the Consumer Protection Regulations 2014.
  • The University is unable to provide the academic programme originally applied for, offered and accepted and the applicant does not want to take up a place on any alternative offered.
  • An applicant fails to meet the conditions of their offer, unless the place is deferred (see deferral section below for full criteria).
  • Personal circumstances (formerly known as extenuating circumstances) include:
    • serious personal accident or injury of self or close family member
    • death of close family member (eg partner, parent, primary carer, child)
    • medical emergency or requirement of long term medical care for the applicant or close family member (eg partner, parent, primary carer, child)
    • impact of natural disaster or civil disruption
    • significant change in financial circumstances
  • If the applicant cannot take up his/her place due to failure to obtain a student visa (see visa refusal section below for full criteria).

Documentary evidence required

Please note that documentary evidence from an official source will be required before a refund can be approved and processed.

If the applicant is applying for a refund based on a visa refusal, irrevocable evidence must be provided to confirm that they are no longer in the UK (see visa refusal section below for full details).

How to apply for a refund

If an applicant meets the criteria outlined above and is eligible for a refund, they will have to complete a Request for refund form.

All refunds will be approved by the International Office as per the criteria outlined above.


Visa refusals

A refund can also be applied for if an applicant cannot take up his/her place due to failure to obtain a student visa, providing that their visa application:

  • is valid – they have provided proof that they have the finance and qualifications required and documents provided are genuine as per Tier 4 requirements
  • is timely – they have applied for their visa at least 15 working days before the latest start date of the programme
  • provides proof of the visa refusal from a diplomatic mission or visa office.

An administrative fee of £500 will be retained for a refund made as a result of a visa refusal.

No refund will be given for students whose visa is refused for the following reasons:

  • Fraudulent application – if any part of the application is deemed to be fraudulent
  • Insufficient funds – incorrect account type is used/not enough money is showing in the account/the money has not been in the account for the required period
  • Incorrect documentation – documents have not been submitted as stipulated in the Home Office guidance

Please refer to current Home Office guidance to ensure that your visa application is valid. Appeals can be considered on a case-by-case basis by writing to international@uwe.ac.uk and enclosing the necessary documentary evidence.

If applicants do not fit into the refund criteria detailed above then NO refund will be given and the full deposit paid will be retained by UWE Bristol.

Submission of evidence

To qualify for any refund, the applicant must provide irrevocable evidence that they are no longer in the UK (we may ask for a copy of the passport page containing the exit stamp) and that their CAS or visa has been cancelled. All such refunds shall be made to the source of the original payment unless the necessary authorisation is provided.

Deferring students

If you are unable to join us as planned you can request to defer your place to the following year. A deferral request will be granted on a maximum of two occasions. After this, students will have to re-apply to UWE Bristol.

UCAS applicants are only able to defer their place if they meet the conditions of their offer by 31 August.

If, after you have been granted a deferral, you decide that you no longer wish to attend UWE Bristol, you will still be required to complete a Request for refund form and your request will then be assessed using the relevant refund policy criteria. If you do not meet this criteria, then no refund will be given and the full deposit paid will be retained by UWE Bristol.

For students wishing to defer:

  • We will hold the £3,000 deposit for the following year and refund any additional money paid.
  • If you decide to defer and request a refund of the deposit paid, please be aware if your refund request is approved the £500 administration fee will still be retained by UWE Bristol for a visa refusal and you will then be required to pay the full tuition fee deposit of £3,000 for your deferred entry date.
  • Requests for refunds will be considered using the refund policy in place at time of original payment. If you require a copy of the refund policy that was in place at the time at your payment, please email international@uwe.ac.uk.

If you wish to defer your place, please email international@uwe.ac.uk.

Please note: The University reserves the right to change its refund policy for international deposits at any time.


* Exceptions to the opening paragraph:

  • Government-sponsored students
  • Applicants sponsored for full tuition fee by UWE Bristol 
  • Applicants sponsored by another educational institution
  • Students sponsored by an International Scholarship Agency, eg Chevening Scholarship
  • Students in receipt of US Direct Loan or any other Government Financial Aid which is certified by UWE Bristol and received by UWE Bristol 
  • Applicants to programmes offered at University Centre Hartpury, where a different deposit scheme exists

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