Access and Participation Plan 2020/21–2024/25

Read our own performance assessment and find out about our seven strategic measures being put in place to implement: a progressive outreach programme; more collaborations and partnerships; new academic programmes to widen access; integrated employability outcomes and more.

Introduction from Will Hunter

Founded in 2015, the London School of Architecture has two fundamental charitable objectives – to widen access and participation into a career in built environment; and to deploy design as a transformative force to generate innovations that will deliver more sustainable lives.

These two aims are interlinked. We see design as the way humans participate in evolution: we therefore wish to attract and remove barriers for the next generation of visionaries to address the world’s challenges and opportunities. Ultimately, we believe this will lead to the greatest advances.

The development of this Access and Participation Plan – the school’s first – has provided a welcome opportunity for us to take stock, to reflect upon our first five years and to chart a course for the next five years. We have had many successes in our short history, and this plan will ensure that we set a course for continuous improvement, building pace towards our key priority of widening access and participation.

It is very pleasing to note that our assessment of performance highlights no significant issues in continuation, attainment or progression. The area identified as requiring most focus is access in respect of two key target groups: students from areas where participation in higher education is lowest, and students from an ethnic minority background. These two groups are underrepresented across the architecture sector, and the LSA is committed to becoming an exemplar in changing this.


Read the Access and Participation Plan for 2020/21–2024/25 in full below:



A plain text version of this document can be found here.

 Value for Money

The LSA passionately believes in delivering Value for Money (VFM), which is the achievement of economy, efficiency and effectiveness in how the school acquires and uses its resources in order to meet its objectives. The LSA has a statutory responsibility to ensure that we achieve Value for Money in its use of public funds.

We also have a responsibility to all our stakeholders (students, staff and external customers and partners) to ensure that we use resources in the best way possible to achieve our objectives. This responsibility extends beyond the use of public funds encompassing all sources of funding.

We strongly uphold the principle of Value for Money: ‘Spending less, spending well, and spending wisely’.

If you would like more information on how we use resources, you can see our audited accounts, which are published here.

Refunds and Compensation Policy

This regulation does not apply should a student exercise their statutory right to cancel their enrolment within 14 days, in which case no fees or charges will apply and any monies paid will be refunded.


1. There is no general entitlement to a refund of tuition fees once a student has registered on their course, except in the case of overpayment or receipt of sponsorship after payment of the fees by the student. Refunds for other reasons will only be made in specific circumstances as set out below.

2. Where a fee (or prepayment) refund is agreed it will be made payable to the individual or organisation that originally paid the fees (or prepayment, as applicable) within 14 days of the refund being approved by the LSA. For example:

a) where a student’s fees are paid by the SLC, as part of a tuition fee loan or grant, any refund will be made to the SLC;

b)where a student’s fees are paid by the student, any refund will be made to their verified bank account; and

c)if a student’s fees are paid by their employer or another third party, any refund will be made to the verified bank account of the employer or third party that originally paid the fees.

Early withdrawals within the first three weeks of the start of the course

3. Where a student withdraws from their course during the first three weeks of the first year of study the LSA will waive any tuition or associated fee liability (including any prepaid tuition fees excluding the deposits) relating to attendance on that course. Further information in relation to such withdrawals is provided as follows:

a) This applies to students starting a new course only (first year of the MArch in Designing Architecture programme), and so students starting the second year of a course are not covered by this Policy.

b) This applies to all categories of student: Home, EU and Overseas (where permitted without Tier 4 visas).

c)The three-week period starts from the formal registration start date of the course.

d)This policy only covers students who register in their course and then withdraw from the course. It does not affect the existing requirement for students to pay their tuition fees at the times specified (or provide evidence of sponsorship) on or by registration, and it does not in any way sanction an extended deadline for the payment of fees.

Withdrawal after three weeks of course

4. It is currently LSA policy for a student who withdraws three weeks or more after registration on their course to be liable for the full terms’ fee, except, in specified circumstances as set out below:

a) Where a student with an undergraduate SLC tuition fee loan withdraws from their course, the LSA will only receive the relevant proportion of the SLC fee loan triggered by the student’s attendance on the specified census date(s). For example the LSA will only receive the Spring term fees payment if the student is continuing to attend during that term. The fee liability of an undergraduate SLC-sponsored student who withdraws from their course will therefore be restricted to the amount of fee payable by the SLC, and the student will not be liable to pay the balance of the course fee not met by the SLC.

b) Where a student is prevented from continuing on a course due to medical or other exceptional reasons outside their reasonable control. Any such refund request must be supported by such evidence as may be reasonably requested by the school, and the LSA will have discretion to decide each case based on the individual circumstances.

c) Where a curriculum-related student complaint against the LSA has been upheld, then you may submit a refund request to the Operations Director for consideration.

d) In the tragic event of the death of a current student there is an entitlement to a full refund of any tuition fees paid by the student for the academic year in question. The normal requirement to produce evidence will be waived where it would be inappropriate in the school’s reasonable opinion.

e) Where a student withdraws from a course at a recognised exit point, then their fee liability will be restricted to the relevant proportion of the overall course fee. Where this results in an overpayment on the part of the student then a refund of that overpayment will be payable to the student.



5. Where a student’s fees are being paid partly through an SLC loan and partly through up-front payment then only the element of the fees paid through an SLC loan will be covered by paragraph 4a above.

6. Anyone not covered by these exceptions will continue to be liable for that term’s fee if they withdraw from their course.

Circumstances where compensation may be payable

7. In the unlikely event that the LSA was not able to preserve continuation of study, the payment of compensation for tuition costs will be considered. Each application will be considered on a case by case basis and the factors which will be considered include:

  • The course of study and circumstances for non-continuation
  • Any mitigation that the LSA has put in place
  • Tuition fees of any study which has to be repeated
  • Any additional tuition fees as a result of transferring
  • Any additional travel costs incurred as a result of changing location
  • Relocation costs
  • Any distress and inconvenience that has been caused by the LSA


8. Applications for compensation should be made to the Operations Director. They should contain as much information as possible and the basis for any estimates of costs should be clearly set out. Claims will be considered within 28 days and the outcome will be communicated to each applicant in writing.

9. Where a student is dissatisfied with the LSA’s assessment of their claim for compensation they should challenge the basis for the assessment by contacting the Operations Director. If dissatisfied with the outcome the student should invoke the LSA complaints procedure, which is set out in the Institutional Handbook.