Please find below the frequently asked questions for prospective students.

Frequently asked questions for prospective students

Application Process

How do I apply for a degree at SAS?
Applications can be made online from the relevant course page. See how to apply here.

When is the application deadline?
To view the current application deadline for the programme, please visit the School of Advanced Study website

Please register your interest for future start dates and you will be notified when applications open.

Can I apply for more than one programme?
Yes, although you can only be accepted on one programme.

Is there an application fee? 
A non-refundable application fee will need to be paid before your application can be considered. Please visit the School of Advanced Study website for further details.

When will a decision on my application be reached?
Usually within 4 weeks of receipt. You will be asked to complete a formal letter of acceptance and return it to the Registry.

Can I nominate a third party to liaise with SAS on my behalf?
The University is bound by the Data Protection Act 1988, which means that we cannot discuss your application with anyone but yourself. If you need another person to talk to us on your behalf, or to collect documents on your behalf you must send us written confirmation that this named person is authorised to receive information or collect documents. It would be helpful if the person you nominate has a copy of your letter to us.

Entry Requirements

What are the minimum academic entrance requirements?
The normal minimum academic entrance requirements for taught postgraduate programmes are an upper-second class honours degree from the United Kingdom or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants for research programmes (MPhil/PhD) are normally required to hold a masters degree. Please see our admissions policy [PDF] for full details.

The qualifications I have are slightly lower than the entry requirements for my chosen programme. Can I still apply?
Yes. We welcome applications from those who do not meet the minimum entry requirements. Non-satisfaction of these does not automatically mean your application would be unsuccessful. Work experience and personal circumstances are considered, and each application is assessed on an individual basis.

If I meet the academic/language requirements as stated in the prospectus, will I definitely be offered a place?
No. There are only a limited number of places available on each programme per academic year.

Do I have to take an English language test?
All students whose first language is not English, or whose first language is English but are not a national of the UK, Ireland or a majority English-speaking country as defined by the UK Home Office, must be able to provide suitable evidence that their level of English language is adequate for postgraduate study.

What are the current English language minimum requirements?
View the School's entry requirements.

My English test score is slightly lower than the minimum required. Can I still apply?
Yes, you may still apply but the School may require you to either meet the English language proficiency levels before you commence your programme, or to take English language classes alongside your degree programme. We are bound to comply with UKVI English proficiency requirements.

If I am made an offer, does that mean I definitely have a place on the programme?
If you are made an unconditional offer you will definitely have a place on the programme. If you are made a conditional offer, you will only have a place if you meet the conditions set out in your offer letter.

Application documentation

What documentation is required to apply for a postgraduate programme at SAS?
Applicants will need to provide two academic references, their final degree transcript and evidence of English language competency if applicable. Applications for research programmes will also need to include a research proposal and bibliography. Application for some programmes may require additional documentation – this will be made clear on the application form.

What is a transcript?
A transcript is an academic record of the results you achieved in your previous study. This should list the marks you received in the different assessed pieces of work you undertook that formed part of your degree and your overall final mark. You would have, in most cases, received this when you graduated. Copies can be obtained by contacting the Registry office at your previous institution.

What happens if I graduated a long time ago and transcripts were not issued then?
Universities usually keep hold of record cards which detail the marks of previous students. These can be transposed into an academic transcript. Contact your previous institution's Registry office for further information. We will also accept the degree certificate as not all Universities keep records.

What is a certified copy?
Copies of transcripts can be certified by the issuing University or by a public notary or embassy.

My degree certificate/transcript is in a language other than English. Do I need to send in an officially translated copy, and if so, who should I get to translate my transcript?
If your transcript is not in English we will need an original certified or notarised translation of your transcript as well as the original transcript. There may be a charge for these services. [Original documents can be returned upon request.]

I am a former SAS student; do I need to provide references and/or transcripts?

Will my application still be considered if it is not complete?
Applications will usually not be considered until they are complete. Please contact the Registry office to discuss your options.

I’m a final year student and do not have a complete transcript.  What do I do?
If you are offered a place at the University, and are still studying, it would be on condition of meeting requirements set by the admissions tutor, and on receipt of your completed transcript prior to the start of term. If you are made an offer it will be conditional on sending your final transcript after you receive it. If you have not yet completed your study please send an interim transcript with your application.

What needs to be covered in my reference?
Referees must be familiar with the applicant’s academic work, preferably from the institution at which they have recently studied/currently study. 


When will I receive information about registration?
Information about registration will be sent to you in August if you have applied before 1 August.

University Rankings

Why is the School omitted from university ranking tables?
The School is not included in most university rankings tables, for example The Times Good University Guide, The Complete University Guide, Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings. There are two main reasons for this:

  • Many of the ranking tables do not include postgraduate-only institutions, The School is not included because it is a specialist postgraduate-only institution and does not teach at undergraduate level.
  • The School is a unique institution. It receives special funding directly from HEFCE for its national mission to support and promote research in the humanities and social sciences; the only institution in the UK to receive national funding for this purpose. Its central role then is to support the research of others and this is reflected in the excellence of its research support and promotion activities. It is, therefore, difficult to compare the School with other higher education institutions. For this reason, the School does not enter the REF, the UK’s Research Assessment Framework (formerly the Research Assessment Exercise), which is used to measure the research excellence of universities in the UK. Instead it undergoes separate periodic reviews to ensure its work and activities continue to justify its special funding.

Please refer to our student satisfaction survey reports for information on the student experience at the School.

Study Options

Can I defer my place?
Providing the programme convenor agrees, you may defer your place to the following academic year and we will contact you again nearer to your new start date, to confirm that you wish to take up your deferred place. Students are only permitted to defer their entry onto a course for 1 year.  If you are unable to take up your place the following year you will need to reapply when you are in a position to start your study.

Fees and Costs

What are the tuition fees?
Our tuition fees are set each year and are subject to annual increase. For any queries relating to payment of tuition fees and assessment of fee category amongst others, please see our tuition fees policy.

Will I pay home or overseas fees?
The education department of the UK government decides which categories of student must be charged the lower, 'home' fee. There are many different categories of 'home' fee payer, and the regulations can be quite complicated. UKCISA have produced summaries of these regulations for you.

Do I have to pay a deposit?
Please visit the School of Adanced Study website for details. You will be advised in your offer letter of any deposit needed to be paid.

International Students

Will I require a visa to study at SAS?
Overseas (non-EU) students requiring a visa for more than six months must apply for a student visa under Tier 4 of the UK Visas and Immigration points-based system. In order to make an application, students will need to be sponsored by the School of Advanced Study and issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). CAS’ are issued by the School’s Registry office. Please note that a CAS will not be issued unless the Registry office has all the necessary documentation. For further information visit the UK Visas and Immigration website

Do I need to register with the Police?
When required, registration is indicated by the immigration stamp in your passport. You must report to the police station nearest to where you’re staying within seven days. If you are staying in London, within the Metropolitan Police area, you should register in person at the Overseas Visitors Records Office on Borough High Street. Recorded information line: 020 7230 1208; Telephone: 020 7230 1286.

Visiting the School

Can I arrange to visit the School and/or an institute?
Yes. Call the administrator at the Institute you wish to study in, and they will be happy to arrange for you to visit the School and/or an institute.

Is there an open day?
The School has a stand at the University of London postgraduate open day held annually in November. Some of the institutes arrange separate open days. Read more about our open days.


How do I apply for halls of residence?
The School does not have its own halls of residence, but has access to University of London accommodation although space is limited.


I have a disability; do I have to declare it?
No. It is up to you whether you wish to declare your disability. We encourage students to do so, so that the School can provide relevant support to students. All personal information relating to this is confidential. 

What happens if I don’t declare my disability?
Nothing. It is in your interest to declare your disability, but if you do not, this will not affect your studies should it be subsequently declared.

MPhil/PhD Study

Do I have to find a supervisor before I apply?
No. Students should have a specific topic in mind which they wish to study, and it is expected that you have chosen an institute at which to pursue your research. You should send your research proposal and CV to the institute who will try to find an academic who is willing and able to supervise your research.

What does my research proposal have to cover?
Applications to undertake doctoral research at the School will need to include a research proposal. There is no strict format, but the research proposal guidelines are designed to help you frame your research proposal.

Can my prospective supervisor also be my referee?
In the first instance applicants are generally encouraged to seek external references. Please contact the Registry office for further information