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Sponsored students

SOAS is able to invoice sponsors for fees. Students must provide an authorised letter of sponsorship. Where fees are to be paid direct to SOAS by an employer, the student must immediately inform SOAS if they withdraw from the programme or module. In cases where a sponsor pays less than the full fee, the student remains liable, and will pay the remaining proportion of the fee. In the event of non-payment by the employer or other sponsor, the student remains personally liable for the payment of fees in full by the due dates.

If your employer or other organisation (sponsor) has agreed to pay all or part of your fees on your behalf, your sponsor will need to provide us with an official signed letter, or a purchase order, on headed notepaper confirming the sponsorship. The original letter or purchase order should be returned to the Department together with your completed Application Form and Declaration Form which you must sign and date. An invoice will be sent directly to your employer/sponsor.

The sponsor's letter must confirm that the tuition fees will be paid and contain the following information:

  • Student name
  • Student number
  • Programme of study
  • Name of sponsor (organisation)
  • Address and relevant contact details of the sponsor (preferably any of the following – Executive Director of the organisation, Director of Human Resources or Director of Finance, telephone number and email)
  • Percentage or specified amount of the fees that the sponsor will pay

Part-sponsored students

If your sponsor has agreed to pay less than the full fee, or a specified percentage of the fee, please ensure this is clearly specified on the confirmation letter or purchase order.

You will be liable for the balance of the fees due and in order to complete enrolment you must pay the balance due. Please see payment page for how to pay your fees.

Non-payment by sponsor

In the event of non-payment by a sponsor by the due date of the invoice, the student will become personally liable for the payment of fees in full and the balance will be due immediately.

Gaining support from your employer

Support from your employer can come in several forms. It could be financial; it could be allowing study time or an offer to read through your work for your course. Whatever the level of support from your employer, it will help you succeed in your studies. The page below is aimed at giving you a methodology for seeking that extra support from your organisation.

If your employer would like more information on our postgraduate programmes they visit the Employers page of this website, or they can download our programme guide.

Before you start

Know yourself:
  • Why do you want to study this degree?
  • What do you hope to achieve and what are your goals?
  • Why have you chosen this specific degree?
  • How will you manage your study time and combine this with your work commitments?
  • What support are you seeking from your organisation?

You will need to ensure that you fully understand the programme you have chosen, what it entails (eg. number of study hours per week, number of assignments/examinations). You should also be very clear about what you want to achieve as this will form the basis of your request for support from your employer.

Know your organisation:
  • What support is already available from your employer?
  • Who holds training budgets and makes the decision?
  • Have other employees studied on this programme or something similar and what were their experiences? It is useful to talk to other employees who have followed a similar course of study to ascertain how they managed their study time and their experiences.
  • Why will this programme benefit your organisation and its aims?

Understanding the above points will ensure you approach the right people in your organisation and have all the relevant information that they will need to make their decision.

Prepare your case:
  • How important is sponsorship for you to be able to join and complete the programme?
  • Are you willing to negotiate terms with your employer?
  • How much does your line manager/HR department etc. know about the programme?
  • Do you have experience in writing reports or presenting an argument/business case?

Considering all these elements means that you will have all the information you need and how you should request support from your organisation.

Putting together the business case

You may need to present to your organisation or submit a written report or request. Either way, following a simple structure will mean you convey all the information you need without losing your audience. A standard structure would be:

  1. Title
  2. Executive summary

    Summarise your case and the final recommendations.

  3. Introduction
  4. Analysis

    This should review your current work situation, why you want to follow this course of study, what the alternatives are, and how this will benefit your organisation.

  5. Alternatives

    Highlight other programmes that cover a similar subject and what made this programme stand out for you, identify specifics about the individual courses that have direct relevance to you and your teamís objectives (you should avoid just listing the whole programmes). Aim to be clear about the benefits to you, your team and the organisation by following this course of study.

  6. Implementation proposal

    Review how you will combine your studies with your working day and when your organisation can expect to see benefits. How will you take what you learn from your programme of study and apply this to your work. Make sure you remember to include the number of study days and exam periods when you will be out of the office and how you plan to ensure that your work and your team are not affected by your studies.

  7. Any other supporting evidence

    Do not forget to include the cost of your programme and potential length of time to completion.

We are happy to help with any further information you may need to build a proposal or to make direct contact with the relevant people.