Refund policy for international deposits


Applicants who are classed as overseas for fees purposes are required to pay a non-refundable deposit in order to be able to register on their programme of study at UWE Bristol.

A refund can only be issued in a small number of circumstances (see exceptions). The criteria listed below is only applicable to applicants who have not yet fully registered with UWE Bristol.

Applicants can only request a refund within three years of applying for their programme of study at UWE Bristol.

Further information on deposit amounts.

Refund criteria

A full deposit refund will be considered in the following circumstances:

  • An applicant requests the return of their deposit within 14 days of receipt of payment at UWE Bristol under the Consumer Protection Regulations 2014.
  • The University is unable to provide the academic programme originally applied for, offered and accepted and the applicant does not want to take up a place on any alternative offered.
  • An applicant fails to meet the conditions of their offer, unless the place is deferred (see deferral section below for full criteria). Please note that if you are found to have submitted fraudulent documents as part of your UWE application you will not be eligible for the deposit refund.
  • Personal circumstances (formerly known as extenuating circumstances) include:
    • serious personal accident or injury of self or close family member
    • death of close family member (for example partner, parent, primary carer, child)
    • medical emergency or requirement of long term medical care for the applicant or close family member (such as partner, parent, primary carer, child)
    • impact of natural disaster or civil disruption
    • significant change in financial circumstances.
  • If the applicant cannot take up his/her place due to failure to obtain a student visa (see visa refusal section below for full criteria).

Students who arrive in the UK on a student visa and claim asylum or apply to switch their immigration/visa status will not be issued a deposit refund unless there are exceptional circumstances which will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Please note that if any part of your application to UWE Bristol is found to be fraudulent the deposit will not be refunded, this includes any part of the application, tuition fee payment or visa application.

We will not issue a refund once the student has arrived in the UK and after the commencement date of the course.

How to apply for a refund

If an applicant meets the criteria outlined above and is eligible for a refund, they will have to complete a request for refund form (PDF).

All refunds will be approved by the International Office as per the criteria outlined above.

If applicants do not fit into the refund criteria then no refund will be given and the full deposit paid will be retained by UWE Bristol.

Documentary evidence

Please note that documentary evidence from an official source will be required before a refund can be approved and processed.

If the applicant is applying for a refund based on a visa refusal, you must provide irrevocable evidence that you are no longer in the UK (we may ask for a copy of the passport page containing the exit stamp) and that your CAS or visa has been cancelled. All such refunds shall be made to the source of the original payment unless the necessary authorisation is provided.

Visa refusals

A refund can also be applied for if an applicant cannot take up his/her place due to failure to obtain a student visa, providing that their visa application:

  • is valid – they have provided proof that they have the finance and qualifications required and documents provided are genuine as per Tier 4 requirements
  • is timely – they have applied for their visa at least 15 working days before the latest start date of the programme
  • provides proof of the visa refusal from a diplomatic mission or visa office.

An administrative fee of £500 will be retained for a refund made as a result of a visa refusal.

No refund will be given for students whose visa is refused for the following reasons:

  • fraudulent application – if any part of the application is deemed to be fraudulent. This includes refusals based on Deception, False representations, Submission of false documents or false information, Non-disclosure of relevant facts
  • more than one refusal for insufficient funds – incorrect account type is used/not enough money is showing in the account/the money has not been in the account for the required period
  • more than one refusal for incorrect documentation – documents have not been submitted as stipulated in the Home Office guidance
  • not attending your visa appointment unless there are extenuating circumstances that can be evidenced
  • UWE Bristol may require at times to check the validity of the visa refusal with the UKVI for which permission from the applicant is required. No refund will be given if permission is not granted or if the visa refusal is not confirmed as valid by the UKVI.

Please refer to current Home Office guidance to ensure that your visa application is valid. Appeals can be considered on a case-by-case basis by writing to and enclosing the necessary documentary evidence.

Appeals for fraudulent refusals will only be considered if a successful UKVI Administrative Review outcome is received.

Deferring students

If you are unable to join us as planned you can request to defer your place to the following year. A deferral request will be granted on a maximum of two occasions. After this, students will have to re-apply to UWE Bristol.

UCAS applicants are only able to defer their place if they meet the conditions of their offer by 31 August.

If, after you have been granted a deferral, you decide that you no longer wish to attend UWE Bristol, you will still be required to complete a request for refund form (PDF) and your request will then be assessed using the relevant refund policy criteria. If you do not meet this criteria, then no refund will be given and the full deposit paid will be retained by UWE Bristol.

For students wishing to defer:

  • We will hold the deposit for the following year and refund any additional money paid.
  • If you decide to defer and request a refund of the deposit paid, please be aware if your refund request is approved the £500 administration fee will still be retained by UWE Bristol for a visa refusal and you will then be required to pay the full tuition fee deposit for your deferred entry date.
  • Requests for refunds will be considered using the refund policy in place at time of original payment. If you require a copy of the refund policy that was in place at the time at your payment, please email

If you wish to defer your place, please email

Please note: The University reserves the right to change its refund policy for international deposits at any time.


The following students are exempt:

  • Government-sponsored students
  • applicants sponsored for full tuition fee by UWE Bristol 
  • applicants sponsored by another educational institution
  • students sponsored by an International Scholarship Agency, eg Chevening Scholarship
  • students in receipt of US Direct Loan or any other Government Financial Aid which is certified by UWE Bristol and received by UWE Bristol.