Tuition fee refund policy

If you're taking a leave of absence, withdrawing or transferring from the University, you will need to know how this affects your tuition fees. Read about your eligibility for a refund, and how we calculate and apply them.

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Overview

The policy applies to you if you're in full-time or part-time attendance, including as a distance learner. It provides essential information on tuition fee refunds.

You should also make sure that you promptly complete the change of status form, sign it and submit it to your department.


1. Grounds for refunds

a) When fees will be refunded

Withdrawing from your course

Your fees will be refunded whether that's initiated by you or the University.

Taking a leave of absence

Your fees will be refunded unless

  • your leave of absence ends in the same academic year
  • you're a postgraduate research (PGR) student and take a leave of absence shorter than six months within the same academic session

If you're a PGR student, your registration start date marks the start of a 12-month academic session.

Read more about the leave of absence process for undergraduate and postgraduate taught (PGT) students (student login needed) and PGR students.

Transferring or downgrading

Your fees will be refunded if you transfer or downgrade from a masters qualification to a diploma or certificate qualification, except where

  • the transfer or downgrade is the result of a failure to progress on the higher qualification
  • academic services, like teaching or supervision, for the higher award have been received. Contact your department for advice

Exceptions

If you're a PGR student and submit your thesis early, your refund will be calculated on a pro-rata monthly basis.

If you're a student in the English Language Teaching Centre and take a leave of absence, withdraw, or start later or leave earlier than expected, your refund will be calculated on a pro-rata weekly basis once we receive your completed change of status form.


b) When fees won't be refunded

Withdrawal of a module or unit

If the University withdraws a unit or module, you won't necessarily receive a refund.

Tuition fees typically cover the annual provision of teaching, academic support and other services for

  • 120 credits per academic year for undergraduate students
  • 180 credits per academic session for postgraduate taught students

There may be occasions when you can't access some modules, but your total number of credits will remain unaffected and therefore no refund will apply.

If you think you may be entitled to a tuition fee refund, contact the Fees and Funding Team at studentadmin@sheffield.ac.uk.

Taking a leave of absence

Your fees won't be refunded if

  • your leave of absence ends in the same academic year
  • you're a postgraduate research student and you take a leave of absence shorter than six months within the same academic session

If you're a PGR student, your registration start date marks the start of a 12-month academic session.

Transferring or downgrading

Your fees won't be refunded if you transfer or downgrade from a masters qualification to a diploma or certificate qualification and

  • the transfer or downgrade is the result of a failure to progress on the higher qualification
  • academic services, such as teaching or supervision, for the higher award have been received. Contact your department for advice

2. How refunds are calculated

The following tables set out how the University calculates refunds.


a) Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students

If you withdraw or take a leave of absence, the fees you're due to pay will differ depending on

  • when you take your leave of absence
  • whether you're an SLC-funded undergraduate or a sponsored, a self-funded or an SLC postgraduate loan student
Term of withdrawal 2021–22 dates Percentage of annual tuition fees due (SLC-funded undergraduates) Percentage of annual tuition fees due (self-funded, SLC postgraduate loan, sponsored)
Term 1: Intro Week–week 5 20 September–31 October 2021 0% 0%, after retention of any deposits
Term 1: Week 6–12, including the Christmas vacation 1 November 2021–16 January 2022 25% 33%
Term 2 17 January–24 April 2022 50% 67%
Term 3 25 April 2022 onwards 100% 100%

Other registration dates

The dates relate to students who are attending a full academic year, with registration starting on 27 September 2021.

You will need to adjust these if your start of registration date is different. This may apply to you if you

  • are a cross-sessional student
  • have an earlier registration start date, such as if you're a PGDE self-funded student starting on 6 September. However, if you're funded by SLC, the information above still applies

If your registration period is for one semester only, or you're on a continued professional development programme, email studentadmin@sheffield.ac.uk.

Exceptions

From Intro Week to week five, if you're on a

  • distance learning course, 10% of your annual tuition fee will be retained for Residential Weekends, unless charged separately by the department, such as in Orthoptics
  • a Languages for All courseseek guidance about refunds

b) Postgraduate research students (self-funded and sponsored)

If you withdraw or take a leave of absence, the fees you're due to pay will differ depending on when you take your leave of absence.

Week of withdrawal 2021–22 dates Percentage of annual tuition fees due
Intro Week–week 4 20 September–24 October 2021 0%
Week 5–12 25 October–19 December 2021 25%
Week 13–25 20 December 2021–20 March 2022 50%
Week 26–38 21 March–19 June 2022 75%
Week 39 onwards 20 June 2022 onwards 100%

Other registration dates

These dates relate to students who are attending a full academic year, with registration starting on 27 September 2021.

You will need to adjust these if you're a cross-sessional student.

If your registration period is for one semester only, email studentadmin@sheffield.ac.uk

Exceptions

From Intro Week to week four, if you're on a

  • distance learning course, 10% of annual tuition fee will be retained for Residential Weekends
  • a Languages for All courseseek guidance about refunds

3. How refunds are applied

If your fees were paid by debit card, credit card or a direct bank transfer, the refund will be made to the same account.

The method of refund will be determined by the amount of tuition fees paid and owed up to the point of application.

Therefore, subject to individual circumstances, a refund can be

  • a direct refund of tuition fees already paid
  • a reduction in the tuition fees due
  • a tuition fee debt reduction

Sponsorship and Student Loans Company (SLC) funding

If your fees are paid by the SLC to the University as part of a tuition fee loan or grant, any refund will be made to the SLC.

SLC-funded undergraduate students

Your cut-off dates mirror the SLC payment dates.

If you change your course part-way through an academic year, you should contact the fees and funding team at studentadmin@sheffield.ac.uk for advice on how this will affect your fees.

Sponsored, SLC-funded undergraduate and SLC postgraduate loan students

The University will notify Student Finance England (or the equivalent funding body) about your leave of absence, course withdrawal or changes in fees.


Contact us

Email the fees and funding in the Student Administration Service at studentadmin@sheffield.ac.uk if you need to know how this policy affects you after

  • changing your degree course
  • submitting your thesis earlier than anticipated
  • any other kind of interruption to your studies

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