SOAS University of London


Council Tax Student Status Information

What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is set by and payable to local councils as a contribution to cost of the services that they provide. The Council Tax bill for a dwelling depends on its value and the number of adults living there. Some dwellings are exempt, which means that no Council Tax is payable and there will be no bill for the dwelling. In other cases certain people are disregarded when counting the number of adults in a dwelling and there may be a reduction in the bill.

How does Council Tax affect Students?

To qualify for exemption as a student you must be undertaking a full-time course of education.

This is defined as a programme of study:

  • On which students are normally required to attend for a period of at least 24 weeks in the academic year and
  • Would ordinarily require, in the opinion of the University, a student undertake tuition, study or work experience amounting to an average of 21 hours per week.


Postgraduate research students who are in their writing up year can qualify for exemption from Council Tax if they meet the criteria outlined above.

University Halls of Residence are exempt from Council Tax, which means that students who live there will not have to prove their student status.

Students living elsewhere than a University Residence may be asked by the Council to prove their student status (e.g. in order to prove that at property where all residents are full-time students is entitled to exemption or to apply for a discount on the Council Tax bill where there are less than two adult residents in a property. )

All students must ensure that contact details held by SOAS are up to date, particularly the term time address as we will not issue Letters for Council Tax for addresses not on our database. If you have recently changed address please update your address using SOAS Online Student Services before you proceed with your application for a Council Tax letter.

How can I apply for a Council Tax Letter ?

You should apply for an Enrolment Certificate, which will be accepted by your Council as evidence of your student status at SOAS. You can apply for this online via the Student Information Desk (SID), or you can request a letter in person at the Student Hub. The Student Hub is on the lower ground floor of the Paul Webley Wing and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

You must have completed all elements of enrolment with SOAS for the year before we can provide your Council Tax letter.