Terms and conditions
1. These terms
1.1 What these terms cover. These are the terms and conditions on which we provide services to you, whether these are courses, associated services or digital content combined (a Course).
1.2 Why you should read them. Please read these terms carefully before you submit your application to us. These terms tell you who we are, how we will provide a Course to you, how you and we may change or end the contract, what to do if there is a problem and other important information. If you think that there is a mistake in these terms, please contact us to discuss.
2. Information about us and how to contact us
2.1 Who we are. We are Kaplan Open Learning (Essex) Limited, an affiliate college of the University of Essex, trading as University of Essex Online. Our company is registered in England and Wales under the company registration number 06245017. Our registered office is at 2nd Floor, Warwick Building, Kensington Village, Avonmore Road, London W14 8HQ.
2.2 How to contact us. You can contact us by calling +44 (0)113 388 8888 or by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to University of Essex Online, West Gate, 6 Grace St, Leeds, LS1 2RP.
2.3 How we may contact you. When we contact you we will do so by telephone or by writing to you at the email address or postal address you provided to us.
2.4 “Writing” includes emails. When we use the words “writing” or “written” in these terms, this includes emails.
When the following words with capital letters are used in these terms and conditions, this is what they mean:
Academic Year means the twelve month period between 1st August and 31st July each year.
Credits means a unit that gives weight to the value, level or time requirements of a Course;
Full Course Fees means the total tuition fees payable to complete the requisite number of Credits for a Course;
Maximum Period of Study means the maximum period in which your Course must be completed. This can be found in our Rules of Assessment.
Minimum Study Requirement means attempting a minimum of 30 Credits in each year of a Course, commencing on the Start Date of your Course and each anniversary after that;
Start Date means the date on which the Course you have accepted a place on commences;
3. Our contract with you
Once you complete and submit the online application form for a Course we will contact you to discuss your application, which must be submitted in English. Your application will be considered by a member of the Academic Team. If we approve your application we will send you an offer letter which will confirm the details of your Course and its Start Date. We will also send you a study plan showing an Indicative Study Duration for your Course and a payment plan outlining your Full Course Fees. The offer letter will contain a link to our acceptance form. Acceptance of your application will take place when you use the link on the offer letter you receive from us and submit the online acceptance form, at which point a contract will come into existence between you and us.
3.1 Please note that admission decisions are subject to our Admissions Policy.
3.2 If you are awarded Accreditation for Prior Learning then the number of Credits that you require to complete a Course may be reduced and thus the Full Course Fees may be reduced – this will be set out in your payment plan.
3.3 You may end this contract and not be charged any tuition fees (or obtain a full refund if you have paid them) at any time up until 21 days from the Start Date of your Course (the Cancellation Period).
4. Your rights to make changes
5. Our rights to make changes
(a) To reflect changes in relevant laws and regulatory requirements;
(b) To implement minor technical adjustments and improvements, which will not affect the delivery of a Course;
(c) To ensure consistency with UK Higher Education sector practice and guidance, including complying with our obligations under the Quality Code (such as renaming or improving course materials).
5.2 More significant changes to these terms and conditions/ a Course. We may make the following changes to these terms and / or a Course. If we do, we will notify you at least 30 days in advance and if you do not accept the updated terms you may then contact us to end the contract as per section 7 of this document: YOUR RIGHTS TO END THE CONTRACT. For example, we may change these terms:
(a) To increase tuition fees annually to proportionately reflect the costs associated with establishing and providing the Course, such as any changes in higher education funding we may receive;
(b) To correct errors;
(c) By adding or removing optional modules;
(d) To make these terms and conditions clearer;
(e) If a third party such as the University of Essex or the Student Loans Company imposes the change on us, such as amending a policy or procedure.
5.3 Updates to digital content. If the Course contains digital content (such as software or an eBook), we may update or require you to update digital content, provided that the digital content shall always match the original description.
6. Providing courses
6.1 Acceptance of your place on your Course. By submitting the online acceptance form you are formally accepting your place on the Course and Start Date as set out in your offer letter. Submission of the acceptance form also constitutes your agreement to these terms and conditions.
6.2 We are not responsible for delays or inaccessibility outside our control. If our provision of Courses is delayed or the learning platform is inaccessible due to an event outside our control then we will contact you as soon as possible to let you know and we will take steps to minimise the effect. Provided we do this we will not be liable for delays or inaccessibility caused by the event, but if there is a risk of substantial delay or inaccessibility you may contact us to end the contract and receive a refund for any part of a Course you have paid for but not received.
6.3 What will happen if you give us incorrect or fraudulent information. As part of our admissions process, we may require evidence of prior qualifications and work experience to assess your suitability for your chosen Course. If you give us incorrect or fraudulent information, we reserve the right to immediately end the contract and section 9.2 will apply.
6.4 Reasons we may suspend the provision of a Course to you. We may have to suspend the provision of a Course, for example:
(a) To deal with technical problems or make technical changes;
(b) To update the Course to reflect changes in relevant laws and regulatory requirements;
(c) To make changes to a Course as notified by us to you (see section 5).
6.5 Your rights if we suspend the provision of a Course. We will contact you in advance to tell you we will be suspending provision of a Course, unless the problem is urgent or an emergency. You may contact us to end the contract for a Course if we suspend it, or tell you we are going to suspend it and we will refund any sums you have paid in advance for part of the Course that you have paid for but not received.
7. Your rights to end the contract
(a) If you want to end the contract because of something we have done or have told you we are going to do, see section 7.2;
(b) If you have just changed your mind about a Course, see section 7.3. You will be entitled to a full refund if you cancel within the 21-day Cancellation Period. For undergraduate student loans, no loan monies will be claimed from the Student Loans Company (SLC) if you cancel within the 21-day Cancellation Period. For postgraduate student loans, we will not notify the SLC of your enrolment and you will not receive any loan monies if you cancel within the 21-day Cancellation Period;
(c) In all other cases (if we are not at fault and the Cancellation Period has ended), see section 7.3.
7.2 Ending the contract because of something we have done or are going to do. If you are ending a contract for a reason set out in (a) to (e) below, the contract will end immediately and we will refund you in full for any part of a Course that you have paid for but not received. The reasons are:
(a) We have told you about an upcoming change to a Course or these terms which you do not agree to (see section 5.2);
(b) We have told you about an error in the fees or description of a Course you have applied for and you do not wish to proceed;
(c) There is a risk that provision of a Course may be significantly delayed because of events outside our control;
(d) We have suspended provision of a Course for technical reasons, or notify you we are going to suspend them for technical reasons, in each case for a period of more than three months; or
(e) You have a legal right to end the contract because of something we have done wrong.
(f) Exercising your right to change your mind (Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013). For most Courses provided online you have a legal right to change your mind within 14 days and receive a refund. We give you an additional 7 days so you have 21 days within which to change your mind If you are cancelling within the 21 day Cancellation Period then please let us know by a clear statement: using the contact details in section 8.1 , send us a letter, email us, or call us. Please give us your name, address, details of the Course and where available your phone number and email address. You may also use the model cancellation form. The use of the model cancellation form is not obligatory. To meet the cancellation deadline it is sufficient for you to send us your communication telling us you wish to cancel before the end of the Cancellation Period. If you are posting either a letter or the model cancellation form to us, you may wish to send this by recorded delivery as you will need to be able to prove that we have received it. If you are completing the online model cancellation form electronically, we will acknowledge receipt by email without delay.
7.3 Ending the contract where we are not at fault and the Cancellation Period has ended
(a) You can withdraw from your Course at any time but you do not have a right to receive a refund if you change your mind once the 21-day Cancellation Period ends, unless you have paid in advance and section (c) below will apply. Please see section 8.1.
(b) If you are paying your tuition fees on a monthly basis and decide to withdraw from the Course after the end of the 21-day Cancellation Period, then no refund will be made and no further tuition fees will be charged from the date the contract ended.
(c) If you have paid your tuition fees annually in advance and received the discount, and decide to cancel the contract after the end of the Cancellation Period, then you will receive a refund. We may deduct from that refund as reasonable compensation for the net costs we will incur as a result of your ending the contract, the discount for each month of study commenced between the Start Date and the date the contract ended. You will be refunded the remainder of the advance payment in full.
(d) If you are paying your undergraduate tuition fees by a loan from the Student Loans Company (SLC), we will inform the SLC that you have withdrawn from your Course and claim no further funding. Once instalments have been paid by the SLC they are non-refundable and students will remain liable for the amounts paid even if they withdraw, transfer or suspend their studies at a later date.
(e) If you have claimed a postgraduate tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company (SLC) to pay your postgraduate tuition fees, it is your responsibility to notify the SLC if you withdraw from your course. If you withdraw from your course, your postgraduate loan payments will stop. If you get a payment after you have withdrawn you may be asked to repay this straight away.
8. How to withdraw from your course and end your contract
8.1 Tell us you want to withdraw from the Course. To withdraw from your Course, and end the contract with us, please let us know by doing one of the following:
(a) Phone or email. Call student support on +44 (0) 113 388 8877 or email us at email@example.com. Please provide your name, home address, details of the application and, where available, your phone number and email address.
(b) Online. Complete the Course Withdrawal Form on our website, if you are withdrawing from the Course after the end of the Cancellation Period.
(c) By post. Print off the Course Withdrawal Form and post it to us at the address on the form. Or simply write to us as that address, including the information required in the form. You may wish to send this by recorded delivery as you will need to be able to prove that we have received it.
8.2 If you want to end your contract with us during the 21-day Cancellation Period then please see section 7.2
8.3 How we will refund you. If you withdraw from your Course within the 21-day Cancellation Period, we will refund you any tuition fees paid for your Course by the method you used for payment. However after the 21-day Cancellation Period has ended we may make deductions from the tuition fees, as described above in section 7.3 (c). Please note that refunds will be made to the original tuition fee payer within 14 days of the receipt of the request for a refund.
9. Our rights to end the contract
9.1 We may end the contract if you break it. We may end the contract for a Course at any time by writing to you if you:
(a) Do not make a payment to us when it is due and you still do not make payment within 7 days of us reminding you that payment is due;
(b) Do not receive undergraduate loan approval by the Student Loans Company (SLC) prior to the Course Start Date or if approval is withdrawn by the SLC during the duration of your Course.
(c) Provided false documents, or information that is misleading or inaccurate which is sufficiently serious to have affected our offer of a place on your Course;
(d) Do not submit your first assignment within the 21-day Cancellation Period or you submit it but it is not of the required academic standard to continue with the Course;
(e) Fail to meet the Minimum Study Requirement or you fail to meet the requirements of the Rules of Assessment;
(f) Have not complied with our policies, those of the University of Essex or you are guilty of inappropriate conduct, or are acting in a way that detrimentally affects the learning of others.
9.2 If we end the contract in the situations set out in section 9.1 we will refund any money you have paid in advance for a Course we but we may deduct from that refund as reasonable compensation for the net costs we will incur as a result of ending your contract, the discount for each month of study commenced between the Start Date and the date the contract ended. You will be refunded the remainder of the advance payment in full.
9.3 We may withdraw a Course. We will write to you at least 30 days prior to the advertised Start Date to let you know that we are not going to run a Course. An alternative Start Date or full refund will be offered. We will not withdraw a Course after its advertised Start Date.
10. If there is a problem
10.1 How to tell us about problems. If you have any questions or complaints about a Course, please contact us. You can call us on +44 (0)113 388 8888 or by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to University of Essex Online, West Gate, 6 Grace St, Leeds, LS1 2RP.
10.2 Please follow the link to see our Complaints Policy.
10.3 Your legal rights. We are under a legal duty to provide Courses that are in conformity with this contract. Nothing in these terms will affect your legal rights.
11. Tuition fees and payment
11.1 Where to find the tuition fees for a Course. Annual tuition fees and Full Course Fees are advertised on our website. Tuition fees include the cost of all core e-books. The applicable annual tuition fees and Full Course Fees for your Course will be shown on your payment plan.
11.2 Tuition Fee Changes: Prices are reviewed annually. We reserve the right to increase tuition fees in line with the RPI-X index.
11.3 What happens if we got the fees wrong. It is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of our Courses may be incorrectly priced or you have been given inaccurate figures in your payment plan. If this happens and the tuition fees written in your payment plan are higher than the actual price, we will charge you the lower amount. If the tuition fees written in your offer letter are lower than the actual price, we will contact you before proceeding with your enrolment.
11.4 When you must pay and how you must pay. We accept payment by credit cards and debit cards (not including American Express unless payment is made online), bank transfers, banker’s drafts or online payment. An additional administrative fee may be charged if you pay online. All payments made in respect of student fees and other charges must be made in pounds sterling. Any currency conversion costs or other charges raised by the remitting bank when making a payment shall be borne by you or the third party making the payment. Refunds will be paid in pounds sterling with the charges by the remitting bank being borne by us. We have discretion to agree any payment plan with you however if you are paying your annual tuition fees by monthly instalments and you are not using an undergraduate student loan from the Student Loans Company (SLC), then the first monthly payment set out in your payment plan is payable before the Start Date. Monthly payments will then be due on the same date each month for the Indicative Study Duration.
11.5 If you withdraw from the course and then re-enrol. If you withdraw from the course and re-enrol within six months, the cost of your course fees will be honoured. However, should you withdraw from the course then re-enrol after a six-month period your remaining course fees will be chargeable at the current advertised rates on our website.
11.6 What to do if you think a payment plan is wrong. If you think a payment plan is wrong please contact us promptly to let us know.
11.7 Undergraduate and Postgraduate student loans: these are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). If you wish to fund your undergraduate studies this way, you must complete and submit your undergraduate loan application to the SLC, prior to the Start Date of your Course. Postgraduate loan applications can be submitted retrospectively as outlined by the SLC terms and conditions published on the SLC website. We can assist you in completing your application, but it is your responsibility to submit the application to the SLC.
If your Course is funded via an undergraduate tuition fee loan from the SLC, then we will claim the first loan instalment from the SLC after the end of the 21-day Cancellation Period. You become liable for future instalments at the start of future terms as set out in the SLC terms and conditions published on the SLC website.
If you have claimed a postgraduate tuition fee loan from the SLC, the loan is paid directly to you. You are responsible for the payment of your tuition fees. You are bound by the SLC terms and conditions published on the SLC website.
If your Course is funded via an undergraduate tuition fee loan from the SLC , should you withdraw from the Course before the end of the term date (as defined in the SLC terms and conditions) we may only be entitled to a percentage of your tuition fees; if this results in an outstanding balance of your tuition fees you will be liable for the balance.
11.8 How tuition fees are calculated: The fees are charged on the length of time it takes to obtain sufficient Credits to complete a Course, with a cap set at the Full Course Fees. If you take longer than the Indicative Study Duration to complete your Course, the maximum sum payable for your Course will be the Full Course Fee. If you are paying your annual tuition fees by monthly instalments, tuition fees will continue to be payable, even if you are on a study break, until the Full Course Fees have been paid. Module availability may necessitate occasional study breaks. If you are in arrears at the end of your Course, we reserve the right to withhold your award certificate until the debt has been cleared. If you wish to progress or transfer onto another Course, all outstanding fees must be paid before you can start the new Course.
11.9 Discounts: a 10% discount is offered to those paying for a minimum of one year’s tuition fees or an award (whichever is lower). A 10% alumni discount on postgraduate tuition fees will be offered to applicants who have previously completed an undergraduate degree with Kaplan Open Learning, University of Essex Online or the University of Essex.
11.10 Debt Management Policy: We have a Debt Management Policy with the aim of minimising levels of student debt and allowing us to continue to invest in the provision of high quality online higher education. The policy specifically covers the collection of tuition fees and charges payable to University of Essex Online by current and former students.
12. Our responsibility for loss or damage suffered by you
12.1 We are responsible to you for foreseeable loss and damage caused by us. If we fail to comply with these terms, we are responsible for loss or damage you suffer that is a foreseeable result of our breaking this contract or our failing to use reasonable care and skill, but we are not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if either it is obvious that it will happen or if, at the time the contract was made, both we and you knew it might happen, for example, if you discussed it with us during the application process.
12.2 We are not liable for business losses. We only provide Courses for domestic and private use. If you use a Course for any commercial, business or re-sale purpose we will have no liability to you for any loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption, or loss of business opportunity.
13. How we may use your personal information
13.1 How we will use your personal information. We will use the personal information you provide to us:
(a) To provide Courses to you;
(b) To process your payment for a Course;
(c) If you agreed to this during the enquiry process to inform you about similar courses that we provide, but you may stop receiving these at any time by contacting us.
13.2 We may share your personal information with:
(a) Other companies that are under the same ownership as us;
(b) Business partners, suppliers and sub-contractors for the performance of any contract we enter into with them or you;
(c) Professional, statutory and regulatory bodies;
(d) Advertisers and advertising networks that require the data to select and serve relevant adverts to you and others. We do not disclose information about identifiable individuals to our advertisers, but we may provide them with aggregate information about our users (for example, we may inform them that 500 men aged under 30 have clicked on their advertisement on any given day). We may also use such aggregate information to help advertisers reach the kind of audience they want to target (for example, women in SW1). We may make use of the personal data we have collected from you to enable us to comply with our advertisers’ wishes by displaying their advertisement to that target audience;
(e) Analytics and search engine providers that assist us in the improvement and optimisation of our website;
(f) Local representatives who may contact you directly on our behalf in some countries.
14.1 Essential requirements. You will need the following essentials to participate in one of our online Courses.
(a) Access to a PC or laptop;
(b) Ability to connect to the internet via a broadband connection;
(c) Word processing software, for example Microsoft Word.
14.2 Your browser. Our learning platform supports all the major modern browsers. However, for optimum performance we recommend that you use the latest version of Chrome. Our learning platform does not support versions of Internet Explorer 9 or below.
14.3 Pop-up blockers and firewalls. Your web browser may have active pop-up blockers to suppress unwanted advertising. Similarly, you may be behind a content-blocking device such as a firewall. It may be necessary to reconfigure or disable these. If you are accessing the learning platform from work or in a public place you may have to contact the system administrator to do this.
14.4 Computer equipment and internet access costs. These are not included in our tuition fees and are your responsibility.
15. Other important terms
15.1 We may transfer this agreement to someone else. We may transfer our rights and obligations under these terms to another organisation. We will always tell you in writing if this happened and we will ensure that the transfer does not affect your rights under this contract.
15.2 Courses are not transferable between students.
15.3 Students must not make their online passwords available to any third parties.
15.4 Course duration and completion requirements. You must meet the Minimum Study Requirements in any year of study Courses must be completed within the Maximum Period of Study outlined in the Rules of Assessment.
15.5 Nobody else has any rights under this contract. This contract is between you and us. No other person shall have any rights to enforce any of its terms. Neither of us will need to get the agreement of any other person in order to end the contract or make any changes to these terms.
15.6 If a court finds part of this contract illegal, the rest will continue in force. Each of the paragraphs of these terms operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.
15.7 Even if we delay in enforcing this contract, we can still enforce it later. If we do not insist immediately that you do anything you are required to do under these terms, or if we delay in taking steps against you in respect of your breaking this contract, that will not mean that you do not have to do those things and it will not prevent us taking steps against you at a later date. For example, if you miss a payment and we do not chase you but we continue to provide your Course, we can still require you to make the payment at a later date.
15.8 Which laws apply to this contract and where you may bring legal proceedings. These terms are governed by English law and you can bring legal proceedings in respect of Courses in the English courts. If you live in Scotland you can bring legal proceedings in respect of Courses in either the Scottish or the English courts. If you live in Northern Ireland you can bring legal proceedings in respect of Courses in either the Northern Irish or the English courts.