Terms and Conditions

University of Edinburgh ELE Terms and Conditions.

Most recently updated: 24 January 2022.

Please read these terms and conditions carefully as they contain important information about your contract with the University.

The minimum age for enrolment on English Language Education courses at the Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh is 18 years at the course start date unless otherwise stated in the course description.


Contract with the University

  1. These Terms and Conditions set out the contractual basis for your relationship with the University of Edinburgh (the "University").
  2. The Contract between you and the University in relation to your course at the Centre for Open Learning (“COL”) is made up of:
  • these Terms and Conditions;
  • the description of your course which is available on the ELE website here
  • the confirmation of your place from COL; and
  • the University's relevant rules, regulations, policies and procedures (see Clauses 5 and 6).

3. By accepting the University's offer of a place on an English Language Education (“ELE”) course, you enter into a Contract with the University.

4. You will enter into this Contract with the University even if your fees are paid by a third party on your behalf.


University Rules, Regulations, Policies and Procedures

  1. By paying your fees, you agree to comply with the University’s rules and regulations and related policies and procedures, as amended from time to time. These include the University’s Code of Student Conduct, the Dignity and Respect Policy and other relevant rules, regulations, policies and procedures including in relation to the use of IT facilities, health and safety and data protection.
  2. You may be removed or suspended from the course if the University considers that you are in breach of any of these rules, including the Code of Student Conduct.


Application Process

  1. Applications are only accepted via our online application form.
  2. Your application will not be considered if you do not provide all information and supporting documents requested during the application process.
  3. You must provide evidence that you meet all applicable admission criteria for your chosen course(s), including English language requirements, otherwise your application may be declined.
  4. Applications must be made before the advertised booking deadline for your chosen course(s). COL is under no obligation to accept applications after the deadline.


Payment and Fees

  1. Details of fees for our courses are available on the ELE website here.
  2. Payment of fees must be made upon request and within advertised/requested timescales, otherwise your application may be declined and you may not be permitted to attend your course(s).
  3. If your fees will be paid by a third party which informs the University that it accepts full liability for your fees, the University will invoice the third party directly and will seek to recover any unpaid fees from the third party in the first instance. However, the University reserves the right to seek payment from you if recovery from the third party is unsuccessful.
  4. The University reserves the right to refuse you admission to your course if you have not paid all fees due.
  5. All payments must be in GB Pounds Sterling. You must pay any currency conversion costs or other charges incurred in making the payment or in processing a refund.


Cancellations and Refunds – Student Cancellations

  1. You have the right to cancel your Contract with us at any time within 14 days of payment.
  • If you cancel within 14 days: you will receive a full refund.
  • If you cancel your place after the expiry of the 14 day period: you will not be entitled to a refund other than in exceptional circumstance (see Clause 19).
  1. If your course requires a deposit (pre-payment) to secure your booking, the 14 day cancellation period begins from the date you pay your deposit. Final balance payments made at a later date do not have a separate 14 day cancellation period.
  2. To cancel within 14 days, please send an email to col.admissions@ed.ac.uk clearly stating that you wish to cancel.  
  3. In exceptional circumstances, including serious illness or bereavement, the University may consider refund requests outwith the 14 day cancellation period. Please send an email as soon as possible to col.admissions@ed.ac.uk, explaining the exceptional circumstances and the course you wish to cancel. We will review such requests on a case by case basis, and reserve the right to ask for supporting evidence.
  4. Subject to approval and availability, you may be able to transfer your enrolment to a different COL course taking place in the same term. Course fees already paid can be transferred to the new course, and any outstanding balance must be paid in full before the place can be confirmed. Course fees cannot be transferred between terms, or held over to the next academic year. No refund will be given if the new course costs less than the original course. Any request for a transfer must be made to the COL at col.admissions@ed.ac.uk.


Cancellations and Refunds – Cancellation by Us

  1. Where there are good reasons to do so, the University may cancel your course. For example, we may cancel your course(s) if we fail to recruit the minimum numbers of students for the course, or if circumstances beyond our reasonable control prevent us from delivering it. We will make every reasonable effort to give you as much notice of cancellation as possible.
  2. If you have been offered a place on your chosen course(s) at the time of cancellation by us, we will (i) offer you an alternative course, subject to course capacity and meeting applicable eligibility criteria, and subject to payment or refund of any difference in price or (ii) refund in full the fees paid by you.
  3. The University’s liability when it cancels a course will be limited to a refund of fees paid for the cancelled course and, where applicable, for accommodation booked through COL only, in accordance with Clauses 21-23.
  4. While the University makes every attempt to avoid changes to courses, we strongly suggest that you do not make any travel arrangements or private accommodation bookings until you receive confirmation of placement on your chosen course(s). We also strongly suggest that you invest in a comprehensive travel insurance policy, which covers costs in the event of course cancellation. See Clauses 30 and 31.



Refund Processing

  1. We will contact you if a refund is due, and may request details from you to enable us to process the payment. This may include payment card details and/or bank details.
  2. Once we have the details we need to process the refund, reimbursements will be made using the following method:
Original Payment Method Reimbursment Method
Credit/debit card Same card as payment, unless the card has expired, in which case BACS
  1. After we begin processing the refund, the funds will normally reach you within 3-5 working days. Please be aware however, that due to factors beyond our control it may take up to 3 weeks in some circumstances.
  2. If we contact you requesting additional details to enable us to process a refund, and you do not provide the details within 6 months from the date we request them, you will lose the right to claim the refund.


Changes to Courses and Right to Make Necessary Alterations

  1. While every effort is made to ensure that courses are delivered in accordance with the descriptions provided, it may be necessary or desirable for the University to make changes in course provision and delivery, either before or after enrolment in order to appropriately manage its resources, pursue its policy of continuous improvement, or to comply with changes in law or with government guidance in relation to its operations. Changes may also be made due to circumstances outside the University’s control as set out in Clause 50. The University therefore reserves the right to:

(i)  make reasonable changes to the timetable, location or teacher(s) specified for a course, including where otherwise unavoidable, the cancellation of a limited number of classes; and

(ii) make reasonable changes to the content, syllabus and delivery method of a course.



  1. The University does not accept liability for any loss or damage to your property including the transfer of computer viruses to electronic equipment. We strongly advise that you insure your property against such risks.
  2. The University does not provide insurance for students. We strongly advise that you investigate and acquire an appropriate insurance policy that covers your person possessions, medical and repatriation expenses (if you are not covered in the UK) and cancellations to cover any fees and travel costs.




  1. COL may be able to help you to find accommodation for your ELE course. Options may include University accommodation and private accommodation partners. Further information about accommodation can be found on the ELE website here.
  2. Where available, accommodation can be requested during the course application process, and any accommodation offers made by COL will be set out in your offer of a course place.
  3. If you arrange accommodation through COL, we will facilitate payment for you. Accommodation fees will normally be requested and are due at the same time as course fees.
  4. Any accommodation bookings will be subject to the accommodation provider’s terms and conditions, a copy of which will be included with your offer. You should read these carefully


  1. Please note:
  • COL may not offer accommodation for all courses. Please check for accommodation availability on the ELE website here.
  • COL cannot guarantee availability of accommodation and/or your preferred accommodation option, and places are given on a first come first served basis.
  • Any accommodation bookings arranged through COL will commence the Saturday prior to your course start date and will end the Saturday following your course end date, unless otherwise advertised. If you require accommodation outwith the advertised timescales, COL is not obligated to arrange this for you and cannot guarantee availability.
  • Students who are withdrawn from their course resulting from breaches of the rules and regulations set out in Clause 5, may also be required to withdraw from accommodation arranged by COL, and are subject to any cancellation fees set by the accommodation provider.
  • Students who choose to arrange their own accommodation do so at their own risk and COL is not responsible for any issues that arise. We strongly advise that you carefully investigate private accommodation options, and that you only book with reputable providers.



  1. It is your responsibility to arrange an appropriate visa should you require one to enter and/or study in the UK.
  2. COL is not able to provide visa advice. If you require information or advice about visa requirements, please refer to the UK Home Office website and/or contact the University’s Student Immigration Service.


Course Content

  1. The copyright and other intellectual property rights in relation to course content/materials remain the sole and exclusive property of the University (or, in some cases, the relevant copyright holder). You agree that you will not copy or permit to be copied any of the course content/materials, nor disclose or permit the disclosure, sell or otherwise pass on those content/materials to others, unless agreed otherwise in writing with the University.


Personal Data and Privacy Policy

  1. The University holds information about everyone who applies to the University and everyone who studies at the University. We disclose information about credit students to your funding body if applicable, and to governing agencies such as the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
  2. Following your booking, we use the information provided to: administer your studies; monitor your performance and attendance; provide you with support to fulfil our public task; maintain our IT systems; and develop our strategic plan. These uses of your data are in your legitimate interest.
  3. For more information about our privacy practices, please visit the University of Edinburgh’s privacy statement and privacy policy.
  4. By enrolling on our courses, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms. If you have queries regarding the University’s use of your information please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer at recordsmanagement@ed.ac.uk.
  5. Private or unauthorised recording of any online teaching sessions is strictly forbidden.
  6. COL teachers may record online sessions to aid and enhance the learning and teaching experience. The recordings may be available on Learn to those with access to the course. Teachers will seek agreement from session attendees before recording.



  1. If you wish to make a complaint, please contact COL in the first instance so that we have the opportunity to address your concerns and resolve them. This is known as ‘Frontline Resolution’. Please email us at col.admissions@ed.ac.uk.
  2. If COL cannot resolve your complaint through Frontline Resolution, we will refer you to the University's complaints procedure. This procedure has been produced to help the University resolve any complaints you may have as promptly, fairly and amicably as possible where Frontline Resolution has not been possible. 



  1. The terms of the Contract shall only be enforceable by you and the University.
  2. The Contract constitutes the entire agreement between you and the University in relation to its subject matter.
  3. The University will not be liable to you for any failure to carry out, or delay in carrying out, any of our obligations under the Contract where that delay or failure is caused by events beyond the University's reasonable control including acts of God, war, terrorism, industrial disputes (including disputes involving the University's employees), fire, adverse weather, pandemics, epidemics or disruption resulting from pandemics or epidemics, and national emergencies. In such circumstances, the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies.
  4. No failure or delay by the University or you to exercise any right or remedy provided under the Contract or by law shall constitute a waiver of that or any other right or remedy, nor shall it prevent or restrict the exercise of that or any other right or remedy.
  5. If any provision or part-provision of the Contract is or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable, it shall be deemed modified to the minimum extent necessary to make it valid, legal and enforceable. If such modification is not possible, the relevant provision or part-provision shall be deemed deleted. Any modification to or deletion of a provision or part-provision shall not affect the validity and enforceability of the rest of the Contract.
  6. Your Contract with the University and any dispute arising from it (including non-contractual disputes) shall be governed by the laws of Scotland and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts.