SOAS University of London

Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about your studies, you can contact at any time. However, we have collated a number of questions that we are often asked. Take a look and see if your query has already been answered.


I have submitted my enrolment form but have heard nothing since. What is the status of my enrolment?

During enrolment periods we receive a very large number of enrolment forms and it can take some time for all of these to be processed. We will send a confirmation email to you once your enrolment has been successfully processed. If there is a problem with your enrolment, we will contact you by email. If, after 10 working days from the submission of your form, you have still not received an email, you should contact us to check on the status of your enrolment.

I have successfully enrolled. When should I expect to receive my module materials and OLE login details?

Module study packs are sent out via DHL during the two months running up to the start of the study period.  You will be sent a pre-alert advisory email by DHL to inform you that your materials are on their way. This email will include the Air Waybill number of your package, which you can use to track the shipment. Fr new students, your OLE login details will be emailed to you approximately three days before the start of the study period.



Can I get a refund if I no longer want to study the module?

Module fees are fully refundable up to the point that you receive the learning materials for that module. After receipt of the materials, if a cancelation request is made within two weeks, the module fees can be refunded less a charge to cover the costs of materials and administration. If the cancelation request is made more than two weeks after the receipt of the learning materials, all fees paid are non-refundable.

I require an invoice or my bank will not allow me to transfer money out of the country. How can I get one?

Contact to request a statement of your fees due.



How long should I spend studying each module per week?

For the 2014 study year onwards, students starting February should allow around 5-6 hours per week for each module and for students who starting June, 10-12 hours per module, per week is advised.

How many modules can I take per study year?

We strongly recommend that students should take only one or two modules in their first year, so that they can adjust to studying at a distance, whilst combining this with work and family life.

Students wishing to register for more than three modules in their first year should satisfy their academic programme convenor that their personal circumstances will allow sufficient study time for this on a weekly basis (e.g. those students not in employment or in part-time employment). Students wishing  to complete an MSc in two years they will need to enrol/pay for three core modules and both Research Methods and the Dissertation in the first year although the Dissertation is written and submitted in the second year. Please contact your programme convenor by email.

When can I access the online learning environment?

Access is made available at the start of the study year in February or if you are a new student starting in June, at the beginning of the study period.

What drives/ports will my computer need to have?

Electronic study guides require a USB port. For some modules you will also need a DVD player.

What do I need an Athens username and password for and how do I get this?

You will need an Athens username and password to access the selection of electronic journals available through the University of London Online Library. To obtain your unique Athens username and password, you will first need to register with the University of London Online Library. A link to the library website can also be found on the OLE. Once you have registered, your Athens username and password will be sent to you via email.

I am currently in London. Can I use the SOAS library?

We can provide you with a form, which you need to take with you to the SOAS library to prove your eligibility. Having submitted the form, you will be given an annual library membership (including full borrowing privileges). With this membership you will also be able to apply for borrowing rights at over 170 academic libraries throughout the UK and Ireland through the SCONUL Access scheme.

My circumstances have changed. Can I defer my module?

We understand that situations can arise that mean it is difficult for you to continue to devote sufficient time to your studies. You can defer your studies on a module at any point up until the examination date. If you wish to defer a module on which you are enrolled, you should contact

I have previously deferred a module and would now like to take it. How do I resume my study?

When you are ready to resume a module that you have previously deferred, complete and submit the enrolment form in the usual way. However, please indicate that it is a previously deferred module in the payment section. It is assumed that you already have the module materials. You will only be sent a replacement study pack if the module content has been revised during the intervening period.

Can I change modules once I have started it?

Once you have received the study pack for the module you have enrolled on, you are committed to completing that module as part of the programme.

Can I change programmes and will the modules I have already taken count towards my new programme?

Students may request to transfer their registration to a different programme by completing an Upgrade or IPA Transfer form. Permission to transfer a student’s registration is granted at the discretion of the Programme Director. Only modules completed that are part of the new programme can be used as credit towards the award of this qualification.

My registration has expired but I have not finished my degree. What can I do?

If you have not completed the assessment requirements for all of the modules on your programme within five years, you will be withdrawn. However, you do have the opportunity to apply to extend your registration for one additional year. Extensions of registration are subject to an extension of registration fee. You will need to complete and submit a Registration Extension form before your registration period expires.


Online Learning Environment (OLE)

I have sent a message to my module tutor through the OLE, but have not received a response. How can I contact my tutor?

Our module tutors should respond to academic queries submitted through the OLE within three working days. If you have not received a response within this time period, please notify 



How do I know if my exam entry forms were received?

Students registered to sit an examination will be sent an admissions notice (usually via the local exam centre) no more than two weeks before their first exam. If you would like to ensure that your exam entry forms have been received and your exam registration completed, you will need to contact the University of London’s Exams Office, by email at or phone (+44 0) 20 7664 4186.

I have a problem with the date/location of my examinations. What can I do?

The date and location of an exam can only be changed in exceptional circumstances, such as the exam centre being closed on the scheduled date of the exam. If your exam centre is closed on the scheduled date for the examination, contact the University of London’s Exams Office immediately, by email at or phone (+44 0) 20 7664 4186. Please note that it is not compulsory for you to sit the examination for a module in the same year that you studied that module.

Why is there only one exam period per year?

The cost of running more than one examination period each year is prohibitively high. If we were to run a second exam period, the cost of each module would need to increase by at least £300. We want our modules to be affordable to as many people as possible, so we try to keep our costs down. As a result, we only have one exam period held during October each year.

Can I have some past exam papers / model answers?

Past exam papers are available to students on the OLE. However, please note that model answers are not available. Also, a Specimen Exam paper is included in the Introduction unit of each module. Whilst the actual questions set in the exam will be different from those on the Specimen Exam paper, these do provide a valuable guide as to the structure of the exam and format of the questions that you can expect.



I have just applied for a job/PhD and they require references. Am I able to ask a tutor or Programme Director to provide me with a reference?

As a current student or graduate, we can provide you with a letter of academic reference. This letter, signed by the Programme Director, will outline the programme that you studied and your academic performance across the modules.