Tuition fee deposits for Masters applicants

If you are a taught postgraduate applicant to Leeds who requires a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK, you will need to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 in order to receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

We will ask you to pay the deposit after you have met all your academic and language conditions and accepted your unconditional offer.

The deposit will be deducted from your course tuition fee and will be included in your CAS, which will ensure that visa officials know you have made an advance payment.

The University of Leeds requires a deposit before issuing a CAS for a number of reasons, including to meet good practice standards as a Tier 4 sponsor and to help give you the best chance of a smooth visa application. Your deposit payment also demonstrates your commitment to the University and helps us to plan our resources to ensure you have the best possible experience when you arrive in Leeds. Consequently, your right to a deposit refund is limited (full details are provided in the ‘Frequently asked questions’ that follow).

Please note: Taught postgraduate applicants in the School of Dentistry who do not need a Tier 4 (General) student visa are also required to pay a deposit. Special rules apply; please use Coursefinder for details.

Exemptions

If you will be receiving full funding from a University of Leeds-recognised sponsor you are not required to pay a tuition fee deposit but must provide a valid final award letter or financial guarantee.

The definition of a University-recognised sponsor includes national governments, corporations or employers, national and international charities and universities, but does not include family members or friends.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to pay a tuition fee deposit?

Tuition fee deposits are paid by taught postgraduate applicants who will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa in order to study in the UK and require a CAS from the University to make a visa application.

If you are fully funded by a University-recognised sponsor, you do not need to pay the deposit but will need to provide a valid financial guarantee or final award letter instead.

If your scholarship covers only part of your tuition fee, you will be required to pay the deposit.

If the amount you will be paying yourself is less than £1,500, you will need to pay your portion alongside providing your sponsor letter in order to receive a CAS.

If you will be studying a taught postgraduate course that is delivered through online/distance learning, and therefore do not require a CAS or visa to study in the UK, you do not need to pay the deposit.

How much is the tuition fee deposit? Is it an extra cost?

The tuition fee deposit is £1,500 but you can pay more if you wish. The deposit will be deducted from your course fee, so it is not an additional cost.

When do I need to pay the deposit or provide exemption evidence?

After you have accepted an unconditional offer, the University will email you to confirm your acceptance and request your deposit payment or exemption evidence.

Please do not pay the tuition fee deposit before you have received the email request or when your offer is conditional.

If you will be studying a summer pre-sessional English course at the University of Leeds Language Centre before your Masters programme, please refer to our information on summer pre-sessional English courses for payment deadlines.

If you will be studying a Masters course only, there is no formal deadline to pay the deposit or provide evidence of full funding. However, we recommend that you do so as soon as you are able after receiving the request email. It is your responsibility to complete this stage with enough time for a CAS to be issued ahead of applying for your visa.

Please note that the University reserves the right not to assign a CAS if there is not enough time between the deposit payment or sponsor letter being received and the latest possible date to join your course.

How can I pay the deposit?

Once the University has contacted you to request your deposit, you will need to respond to a Deposit and Exemption message in the application portal to confirm you will be paying the deposit. You will then be able to see a new section in the portal called My CAS Payments, where you will need to read and accept the terms and conditions of the deposit process before you can proceed to the payment stage.

You can pay either by credit or debit card using our online payment system or by bank transfer via Flywire (a payment service for overseas student fees).

Please note that we do not accept direct bank transfers.

It is possible to pay the deposit using more than one card, if needed.

Please allow three working days for your payment to be processed. We will then send you a confirmation email and the payment will be visible in the My CAS Payments section of your portal.

You do not need to notify us once you have paid. 

How can I provide sponsorship evidence?

Once the University has contacted you to request your deposit, you will need to respond to a Deposit and Exemption message in the application portal to confirm that you are fully sponsored and provide a final award letter or financial guarantee as proof. Your evidence will then be reviewed and we will email you to confirm whether we have been able to exempt you from paying the deposit.

We are not able to exempt applicants on the basis of a scholarship application or conditional award letter. If you do not have a final award letter at the point of receiving the email, please wait until you are able to provide it before responding to the Deposit and Exemption message.

Please note that the deposit is not refundable in the event of an unsuccessful funding application. If you are reliant on a full fee scholarship or sponsorship award, we advise that you do not pay the deposit while you await the outcome of your scholarship application, as you may not be eligible for a refund.

What information should my sponsor letter include?

For deposit exemption purposes, your sponsor letter must:

  • Be from a University-recognised sponsor (this includes governments, corporations/employers, charities and universities, but does not include family members or friends)
  • Be clearly legible and written in English
  • Be on official letter-headed paper bearing the organisation's official stamp
  • Include the official financial sponsor's name and contact details
  • Include your name
  • Be dated within the current academic year or clearly state which academic year the sponsorship is for
  • Specify the amount of money that the official financial sponsor is paying or state that the sponsor will cover all course fees
  • Be final and unconditional.

Please note that you will also be required to provide your letter to the Fees team when you register as a student, so that your sponsor can be invoiced, and additional criteria may apply at that time. For more information, please see our fees guidance for sponsored students.

I have applied for a US Federal Loan to fund my studies. Do I need to pay the deposit?

If you will be receiving the Federal Loan you are not required to pay the deposit.

Once you accept your unconditional offer you will receive an email requesting that you complete the Deposit and Exemption message in your application portal to confirm your funding. You should select ‘US Federal Loan recipient’ from the options given.

There is no need to provide any evidence as the funding is arranged internally by the University, so you will automatically be exempted from paying the deposit once your loan is confirmed.

I will be studying at the University of Leeds Language Centre. Do I need to pay the deposit?

All students taking a summer pre-sessional English language course at the University of Leeds need to pay the deposit. Please refer to our information on summer pre-sessional English courses for payment deadlines.

As you will need to pay the tuition fee for your pre-sessional English course before you register as a student, we encourage you to pay this in full at this stage, rather than paying the £1,500 deposit only, but this is not a requirement.

Students studying at the University of Leeds Language Centre on an English language course that is not a summer pre-sessional are not required to pay a tuition fee deposit.

I am an international student but do not need a Tier 4 visa. Do I need to pay the deposit?

If you have an alternative immigration status that means you do not require a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK (such as an EU passport or indefinite leave to remain), you will need to confirm this in response to the Deposit and Exemption message in the application portal and upload your evidence. If it is approved, you will be exempted from paying the deposit and we will not send you a CAS.

Do I have to pay the deposit to save my place?

If you have received an offer for a Masters course then this will remain valid until the course begins. However, by paying the deposit (or providing appropriate sponsorship evidence) you are showing your commitment to the University of Leeds and this enables your application to proceed to the CAS issuing stage.

If you have received an offer for an online summer pre-sessional course, although you will not need a CAS we still ask that you pay the deposit as your commitment to studying at the University of Leeds. For information about when to pay, please refer to our information on summer pre-sessional English courses.

If I defer my place to next year what happens to my deposit?

The University will retain your deposit towards the tuition fee and CAS for the deferred course. Please note that the terms and conditions of the tuition fee deposit are subject to change each year. 

In what circumstances will you refund my deposit?

Your right to a deposit refund is limited to the following circumstances:

  • If you request a refund within 14 days of the payment being received by the University of Leeds.
  • If you request a refund within 14 days of completing student registration.
  • If your visa application is refused (unless the refusal is due to a fraudulent application). If you have deferred your offer, only a visa refusal for the deferred course will be considered. A £40 administration fee will be deducted from your refund.
  • If you provide appropriate evidence that you have secured sponsorship and your sponsor pays your tuition fees in full. A £40 administration fee will be deducted from your refund.

Unless your fees are being paid in full by a sponsor, if you receive a deposit refund your course offer will be withdrawn and cannot be reinstated or deferred.

You must submit your refund request through the My Enquiries section of the application portal, along with any supporting evidence. 

If your request is approved we will try to issue your refund within 14 days, though it may take longer at this time as staff are working remotely due to the coronavirus outbreak. Please also note that bank processing times can vary and are out of our control. A refund can only be made to the account from which the original payment was made.

When will I receive my CAS?

We are currently issuing CASs for programmes due to start in September 2020. We will issue your CAS as soon as we can after you have supplied all necessary data (eg passport details) and either paid your tuition fee deposit or provided appropriate evidence of full funding. You do not need to contact us to request a CAS.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, we have not yet begun to issue CASs for courses starting in September 2020. For our latest position, please see our coronavirus information page.

Under Home Office rules, the earliest that we can issue a CAS is six months before the start of your course, and the earliest that you can apply for a visa is three months before the start of your course. For further information, please see our Tier 4 visa application guidance.

Who can I contact if I have any further questions?

You can contact us through the My Enquiries section of the application portal or email study@leeds.ac.uk.