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.



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?

If, on average, you can find 10-15 hours per week for study, you should be able to complete two modules and two dissertation stages a year.

How many modules should I take per study year?

This depends on how quickly you wish to complete your programme. You may only enrol in one module per session (retaking a module whilst being enrolled on another module is at the discretion of Programme Director). If you are taking an MSc and wish to complete it within two years, you will need to complete one module and one dissertation stage per study session (dissertation stages occur after the module exams in the same study session).

Both Programmes start with core modules for the Programme you are studying followed by dissertation stage one.

Students wishing to complete an MSc in three to five years will be able to spread their modules and dissertation stages across these years, however, it is strongly advised that you maintain the structure of the Programme by taking the relevant dissertation stage in the same study session as your module.

When can I access the virtual learning environment?

Access to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is made available to students on the first day of the study session they are enrolled in.

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 VLE. Once you have registered, your Athens username and password will be sent to you via email.

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 once 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

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

Students may request to transfer to different programme for example from a PGCert to a PGDip or from a PGCert or PGDip to an MSc. Permission to transfer will depend on grades obtained in the core module and/or elective. Requests are to be made to the Programme Director. If accepted, credits gained will be transferred to the new programme.


Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

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

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



I have just applied for a job/PhD and they require references. Am I able to ask a tutor or Programme Convenor 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 Convenor, will outline the programme that you studied and your academic performance across the modules.