SOAS University of London

Student Advice and Wellbeing

Hardship Funds

UK Students

Access to Learning Fund

If after planning your budget for the year and working whenever you can, you are still unable to make ends meet, you should consider applying for a grant from SOAS’s Access to Learning Fund. This fund is provided by SOAS and awarded using national guidelines to provide financial support to home students, where access to education might be inhibited by financial considerations or where students face exceptional or unforeseen financial difficulties.

The can also help students with above average needs, for example students with dependents, disabled students, lone parents, mature students and final year students.

To apply for the Access to Learning Fund, please read the guidance below and complete the SOAS Access to Learning Fund application form below.

SOAS Additional Support Funds

If you began your undergraduate programme at SOAS in 2012 or later, and after budgeting are unable to cover all your costs, you can apply for SOAS Additional Study Support Funds. These are awarded based on the following criteria:-

  • You must be from a group under-represented at SOAS
  • You must be undertaking your first undergraduate degree (students who currently hold a degree or who are transferring from another Higher Education degree will not be eligible)
  • You must ordinarily be resident in England
  • Your household income must be less than £25,000 as assessed by the Student Finance England (SFE)
  • You must have applied for all available funding

Note: SOAS has many diverse groups but would particularly like to support:

  • Students from low participation neighbourhoods,
  • Students from lower socio-economic groups,
  • Students with disabilities,
  • Students from black and ethnic minority groups,
  • Students from a school with an above regional average of students on free school meals,
  • Students from a school where a low percentage of students achieve 5 A-C GCSEs.

Please note that meeting these listed criteria alone will not guarantee this award as these are limited in number.

To apply for Additional Study Support Funds please complete the SOAS Access to Learning Fund application form below.


EU & International students

International and European Union students, who encounter unforeseen or exceptional hardship, may be able to apply for a small grant from the SOAS Hardship Fund. Grants are usually limited to a £500 maximum.

Students from the following groups would be considered a priority for this funding:-

  • Final year undergraduate
  • From a developing country
  • PhD student writing-up
  • Masters student writing dissertation

We also have a small fund for students from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh

To apply for the SOAS Hardship Fund please complete the form below:-

SOAS Childcare Fund

If you are a Home, EU or International student and have child care costs then the SOAS Childcare fund could help you with these costs. We have a limited amount of £750 grants towards child care costs. To apply please complete the SOAS Access to Learning Fund form (above).

Other sources of help

Debt counselling and advice 

Step Change Debt Charity (formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service) offers free debt advice and also publish a student debt guide which is free to download. Please visit StepChange website.

If you do get into debt, however small, the golden rule is don't ignore it, do something about it. Even if there is no way of reducing the debt or you can’t see a way out, someone else may be able to help. Talk to someone about it – there may be a solution. The International Student and Welfare Adviser is experienced at working with students with financial problems and will help to work out the best solution to every situation.

Application forms are also available from:

The Student Advice and Wellbeing department at Vernon Square

The Students’ Union office at Russell Square

Useful websites:

John Hitchman, Student Adviser (Finance & Immigration)

Tel: 020 7074 5014
Student Advice and Wellbeing, Vernon Square, Room V302