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Deposit refund policy for postgraduate taught programmes

Our deposit refund policy is applied 14 days after making a deposit for a postgraduate taught programme.

Cooling-off period

Should an applicant’s circumstances change during these 14 days they can request a deposit refund. After the 14-day cooling-off period, the University Deposit refund policy is applied.

During the 14-day cooling-off period you may request a deposit refund by contacting us at On receipt, your deposit will be returned within 30 working days, minus any bank or transfer charges that were charged by the payment service you used.

If you enrol within the 14-day cooling-off period, the cooling-off period will cease at the point of enrolment, at which point the policy for withdrawal after enrolment will apply. The deposit becomes non-refundable upon enrolment, although you may request for the deposit to be rolled forward to the next intake if an application for Interruption of Studies is made and approved.

If you withdraw from the University more than two weeks after enrolment, you will (as per the standard Cardiff University Finance policy) be charged a pro-rata tuition fee based on number of weeks enrolled, and the deposit payment will be accepted as payment against this pro-rata amount, assuming the amount is more than £1,000.

By making a deposit payment you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the Deposit Refund Policy. The deposit is non-transferable and non-refundable except under the circumstances outlined below. Refund requests must be made in accordance with the University’s Deposit Refund procedures and deadlines. Deposits will be held at least until the start date of the course applied for, or longer, at the discretion of the University.

Refund approvals will be made in accordance with the University Refund Policy. If you have any queries about the deposit payment or refund policy please contact us at

Reasons for a refund

After the 14-day cooling off period has passed deposits will not be refunded except in the following circumstances:

In such circumstances you must provide a scanned copy of the Entry Clearance Officer’s refusal letter.

Failure to arrange to take an appropriate English Language test prior to the start of your programme will not be considered grounds for a refund. You must provide evidence of having taken a recognised test within 12 weeks prior to the start date of your programme in order to qualify and evidence of this must be provided.

Where there are no UKVI visa or immigration implications, the University may choose to lower the published English Language requirements if previous academic study or professional experience demonstrates the potential to succeed on a programme of study. If the University chooses to lower the English language requirement and you are therefore accepted onto the offered programme of study, your deposit payment will be retained should you choose not to take up the place.

If you do not meet the academic requirements of your offer you must submit academic results to the University as soon as they are available and before the start date of your programme in order for them to be considered by the Admissions Tutor. If we subsequently offer you a place on the same programme and you choose not to take up the place, your deposit payment will be retained.

Where an applicant is offered an alternative programme either on English Language or academic grounds you will be entitled to a deposit refund should you decide not to accept the alternative offer. If an alternative offer is accepted the original terms of the deposit policy apply and you would not be entitled to a refund should you change your mind at a later date.

Ill health where there is demonstrable evidence from an official medical practitioner that study at Cardiff University is no longer possible. This applies to ill health of an applicant or dependent where the applicant has caring responsibility.

Where an applicant (or dependent) is seeking short term treatment (treatment lasting 12 months or less) and where an applicant meets the terms for a deferral (where an applicant meets the terms of their offer and has not previously deferred entry) the deposit will be rolled over to the next academic year. Where a deferral has not been approved the deposit will be refunded.

Under this category applicants will have to provide evidence of a change in financial circumstances that was not known at the time a deposit was paid. For example, evidence of a loss of funding or scholarship or of redundancy unknown at the time of payment.

Notwithstanding previous reasons, refunds may be made in exceptional circumstances.

This covers matters that would prevent the applicant from continuing with their studies in the UK - for example a death in the immediate family, or breach of contract on the part of the University. Documentary proof of such circumstances must be provided and the severity of the circumstances deemed appropriate by the University.

Decisions on refunding the deposit where there are exceptional circumstances will be made by the University at its discretion.

A transfer to another educational institution in the UK after enrolment at Cardiff, is not normally considered to be an exceptional circumstance and may only be considered where there are valid academic reasons for such a transfer. Students who choose to not study at Cardiff before enrolment will not be eligible for a refund.

If you fail to attend the start of the programme or withdraw after enrolment, then no refund will be made. The Home Office (UKVI) will be informed that you are not enrolled on the expected programme. In this case you may request for the deposit to be rolled forward to the next intake if a deferral is requested and approved. Deposits rolled forward will be non-refundable except when the criteria listed above are met.

If the University cancels the programme for which you have accepted an offer then all fees paid will be refunded.

Applicants who are unable to travel to the UK because of the effects of coronavirus will be able to apply for a refund. Requests for refunds on this basis will only be considered after 31 July 2021.

Applying for a refund

To apply for a refund outside of the 14-day cooling-off period, an applicant must complete the online request form and provide the necessary documented evidence by email within 4 weeks of the programme start date (as stated in your offer letter).

An applicant must be able to produce:

  • an academic transcript (dated after the deposit was paid) or valid English language certificate (dated after the deposit was paid and within 12 weeks of the start date of the course) to show that they did not meet the conditions of their offer;
  • a visa refusal notice to show their visa was refused;
  • evidence that an application for funding has been denied;
  • or verifiable official documentation to support their claim of ill health or exceptional circumstances.

The evidence should be emailed to no later than 4 weeks after the course start date (as stated in your offer letter).

Refunds will be processed as soon as possible but no longer than 60 days after the course start date and an applicant will be told whether their application for a refund was successful after this period. Where this option has expired, a bank transfer will be made back to the person or body who paid the fee in accordance with UK money laundering laws. Please note payment will be returned via the same method payment was received.

Due to anti-money laundering laws deposits can only be refunded to the account from which the payment was made. We cannot refund deposits to any other account or by any other mechanism of payment.

Fraudulent information

If you are found to have provided fraudulent or incorrect documentation in support of your University or UK visa application or in requesting a deposit refund the above policy will not apply. In such circumstances any offer from the University will be invalidated and we will notify appropriate authorities if the case of serious fraud or deception. In these cases, deposits will be retained and there will be no entitlement to a refund.