SOAS University of London

Student Advice and Wellbeing

Hardship Funds

  • Access to Learning Fund
  • International Funds
  • Childcare Fund
  • Additional Study Support Fund
  • Other

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 the SOAS 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, especially:

  • Students with dependents
  • Disabled students
  • Lone parents
  • Mature students
  • Independent students or students who have limited contact with their parents
  • Final year students

Undergraduates - You must have been fully means-tested and receive the maximum amount of maintenance loan available to you before applying.

Postgraduates - We expect to see that have taken the Post Graduate Loan to assist with your fees. Before assessing we also check to see that you have an income for living costs of £218 per week (£181 for those with dependents or cannot work due to ill-health or disability). This income doesn't have to be from employment, it could be from a number of different sources including savings, private loans, benefits etc.

SOAS Access to Learning Fund Application Form 2018-19 (pdf; 349kb)  

International Funds


International postgraduate and undergraduate students who encounter emergency unforeseen costs or unexpected financial hardship may be eligible to apply for a small grant usually up to £500 from the SOAS Hardship Fund.

We also have a fund specifically for students from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh with the same criteria.

You will need to be able to demonstrate that you had made reasonable provision for living costs and tuition fees before starting your course.

Students from the following groups would be considered a priority for assistance

  • Final Year Undergraduate
  • From a developing country
  • PhD Student writing up
  • Masters student writing dissertation

Applications can take up to four week to process. Please read the FAQ page before completing the application form.


How much will I receive? Students typically receive up to £500

Can I apply more than once in the same year? Students can only apply once in each academic year.

How long will it take? We aim to have money paid into your account within 4 weeks of receiving the application.

SOAS Hardship Fund Application Form 2018-19 (pdf; 296kb)

Childcare Fund

Any student who has childcare costs can apply to the Childcare Fund. The fund is not means tested, and provides a grant of up to £750 towards childcare costs. To apply please complete the Access to Learning Fund application, providing supporting evidence which indicates your childcare costs and birth certificate(s) of your child/children. You do not need to provide any further supporting documentation unless you wish to apply for further support from the Access to Learning Fund.

The childcare fund is limited and distributed on a first come first served basis, so early application is advised.


I'm an international student can I apply? Yes, any student with childcare costs can apply once per academic year.

How long does it take to process my application? Up to 4 weeks.

What documents do I need to support the application? Receipts from a registered childcare provider.

To apply please complete this form SOAS Access to Learning Fund Application Form 2018-19 (pdf; 349kb)     

Additional Study Support Fund

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


How will I know if I'm eligible? Please see the criteria above. If you apply for the Access to Learning Fund, you will be automatically assessed for the fund.


Ballantyne Financial Assistance Fund for Law students

Students registered on a programme in the School of Law who are experiencing financial need may apply to the Ballantyne Financial Assistance Fund for a grant.

The following conditions apply:

Grants from the fund are to be made only to students registered on a School of Law undergraduate, postgraduate or research degree programme.

No grant may exceed £600 and no student may receive more than £600 in any one academic year.

The Ballantyne Financial Assistance Fund was set up in 2016 as a result of the generosity over many years of William Ballantyne, a long-standing friend of the SOAS School of Law. William Ballantyne taught Arab Comparative Commercial Law and Arbitration as a Visiting Professor at SOAS and is author of Commercial Law in the Arab Middle East: The Gulf States (Lloyd’s of London Press, 1986); Law and Development in Arabia (Graham & Trotman, 1980); A Register of Laws of the Arabian Gulf (Lloyd’s of London Press, 1985) and Essays and Addresses on Arab Law (2000). He continues to practice as a barrister specialising in Arab Laws.