Access Programme

Access Programme Terms and Conditions

Below are the terms and conditions of the University of Edinburgh's Access Programme.


1.1   These terms and conditions represent an agreement between the University Court of the University of Edinburgh (the “University”) in respect of the University’s Centre for Open Learning (“COL”) – and you, a prospective student. By accepting COL’s offer of a place on the Access Programme (Arts, Humanities and Social Science), you accept these terms and conditions in full, which along with your offer and relevant University rules, regulations, policies and procedures located at, form the contract between you and the University in relation to your studies at COL as amended from time to time pursuant to Clause 1.3 (the "Contract").

1.2    If you have any questions or concerns about these terms and conditions, please contact COL’s Access team:

1.3    Any amendments made by the University to the Contract will be made available on the Access website: which you should consult regularly. In the event that we are required to make any significant changes to the Contract, we shall take reasonable steps to bring these changes to the attention of affected students as soon as reasonably practicable. Please refer to Clause 9 for further detail.

1.4    The Access Programme may require you to agree to the terms and conditions of professional bodies or third party providers. Details of these requirements will be available on the Access website. By agreeing to these terms and conditions, you also agree to abide by any relevant professional bodies' terms and conditions. 

1.5    In the event of any conflict between a provision in these terms and conditions and the other documents forming part of the Contract, including any professional bodies' terms and conditions (if applicable), and the University’s rules, regulations, policies and procedures, these Access Programme terms and conditions shall take precedence. 

2.    OFFERS

2.1    It is your responsibility to ensure that all of the information you provide to the University is true and accurate.

2.2    If it is discovered that your application contains incorrect or fraudulent information, there is a re-assessment of your fee status, or significant information has been omitted from your application form, the University may withdraw or amend your offer, or terminate your registration at the University, according to the circumstances.

2.3    The offer the University makes to you will be conditional or unconditional.  If your offer is conditional, the University will set out the conditions which you will need to fulfil in order to be admitted onto the Access Programme. In particular your offer may be conditional based on your English language level.

2.4    If you have not fulfilled the conditions of your offer before the date notified to you in your Offer or any other date notified to you, the University reserves the right to withdraw your offer.  

2.5    You may be required, at the request of the University, to provide satisfactory evidence of your qualifications (including English language qualifications) before admission. Failure to provide such evidence to the University's satisfaction may result in the termination of your offer, the revocation of your registration as a student of COL and the University and termination of the Contract.


4.1    Matriculation is the administrative act of becoming a credit study student of the University within COL.  It consists of three components: (i) registration; (ii) confirmation of attendance; (iii) full admission and carries with it the obligation to abide by the rules of COL and the University, including the payment of tuition fees and other charges ("Matriculation").

4.2    The Sponsio Academia is the oath, which was originally in Latin, taken by students matriculating into the four ancient Scottish universities (Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Aberdeen and Glasgow). The Sponsio Academia at first matriculation is as follows: "I acknowledge that in all matters relating to the teaching and discipline of the University I have willingly placed myself under the jurisdiction of the Senatus Academicus, and I recognise that if, in the opinion of the Senatus, my studies or my conduct are unsatisfactory, it has authority to forbid my continuance upon courses qualifying for a degree."

4.3    After you have accepted your offer, you must matriculate at the commencement of your studies and agree to the Sponsio Academia. You can agree to the Sponsio Academia electronically by clicking accept as part of the online registration process. Thereafter, your matriculation status will be dependent on your attendance on the Access Programme being confirmed by COL. 

4.4    Failure to matriculate at the commencement of your studies, in accordance with the timescales set out in the University's rules, regulations, policies and procedures, will be deemed to be non-matriculation resulting in termination of the Contract and cancellation of your student record.


5.1    Your admission to the University, attendance on the Access Programme, and right to enjoy any of the privileges of membership of COL and the University, including access to services and facilities, is subject to you complying with the terms of the Contract and matriculating in accordance with Clause 4.

5.2    The Access Programme is not suitable for non-EEA nationals who do not have existing immigration permissions which allows study, as they do not meet University requirements for sponsorship under the Tier 4 or Student Visitor routes.

5.3    You should also note that your progression on the Access Programme and your final award are not guaranteed and are dependent upon your academic performance.

6.    FEES

6.1    Tuition fees are due, in full, prior to the date falling 5 weeks after the commencement of the Access Programme (a "Final Payment Date"), unless you are self-funding and paying by instalments. Further information about fees, including payment options, details of SAAS funding, and how to pay your fees can be found on the Access website.

6.2    You will not be deemed to have matriculated until your tuition fees have been paid (or your first instalment paid if paying by instalments), or satisfactory evidence produced that such fees will be paid by a sponsoring authority. You will be personally liable to pay your tuition fees if a sponsoring authority fails to do so.

6.3    In the event that your tuition fees have not been paid in full by the relevant Final Payment Date (as defined in Clause 6.1 above) or in accordance with COL’s fee instalment scheme, the University shall be entitled, but not bound to, refuse to permit you to continue on the Access Programme and terminate the Contract (without incurring any liability to you). 

6.4    The University may pursue legal proceedings in relation to non-payment of tuition fees. 

6.5    If you have any concerns regarding payment of fees or require further information about tuition fees (including the refund of tuition fees), please contact COL’s Access team.


7.1    In addition, you may incur additional expenditure on items such as (but not limited to) application fees, fieldwork, specialist materials, supplementary instrumental tuition and annual continuation fees; although in some circumstances assistance from University funds may be available to meet such expenditure, you shall have primary responsibility for payment. 

7.2    Details of any additional significant expenditure that you may be required to incur, or small charges which may be made in some subjects for items such as course materials, equipment or room hire, photocopying and laser printing are available on the Access website.

7.3    The University may pursue legal proceedings against you if you are in debt to the University or may disclose information about you to credit reference agencies or other credit assessment, debt tracing or fraud prevention organisations. In addition, if you are in debt to the University (whether for tuition or other fees) you may be recorded as a debtor of the University in any references requested from COL or the University.


8.1    If you accept your offer onto the Access Programme by means of distance communication (i.e. there has been no face-to-face contact between the University and you at the time you accept the offer) you have a legal right to cancel the Contract at any time within 14 days from the date the Contract is formed i.e. from your acceptance of the offer. 

8.2    In order to cancel the Contract in accordance with Clause 8.1, you must notify COL’s Access team in writing within the timescales referred to in Clause 8.1. If you give initial cancellation notice verbally, you must subsequently confirm this in writing.

8.3    If you have made any self-funded payment under the Contract prior to the date of cancellation of the Contract then the University will provide you with a full refund as soon as reasonably possible but in any event within 30 days of the COL Access team receiving your written notice of cancellation.

8.4    Notwithstanding the specific cancellations rights set out in clauses 8.1 and 8.3 you can cancel the Contract at any time during the course of the Access Programme by providing written notice to COL’s Access team. Cancellation after commencement of the Access Programme may result in loss of whole or part of your tuition fee in accordance with the terms of the University’s tuition fee policy.


9.1    COL reserves the right to: 

9.1.1    make variations to the contents of the Access Programme, including the range of courses offered; 

9.1.2    alter the approach to methods of delivery of the Access Programme such as the timetable, location, number of classes and methods and timings of assessments; or

9.1.3    discontinue the Access Programme or courses and merge or combine courses; 

in each case due to events outside the University's reasonable control or if the University considers that such action is reasonably necessary in order to appropriately manage its resources, pursue its policy of continuous improvement, comply with changes in law or comply with the instructions of the University's regulators or a professional body.

9.2    Where the changes referred to in Clause 9.1 are not significant (that is, where they lead to changes to individual elements of the Access Programme but do not lead to a substantive change in the overall content or method of delivery of the Access Programme), the University will communicate the changes via the Access Programme Virtual Learning Environment (Learn), accessible following matriculation, which you should consult regularly.

9.3    In the unlikely event that the University (i) discontinues or does not provide the Access Programme; or (ii) significantly changes the content, method of delivery or method of assessment of the Access Programme such that the overall learning aims and outcomes are fundamentally different; or (iii) significantly changes the location at which the Access Programme is taught, and any such change may adversely affect you, the University will notify you at the earliest possible opportunity. If the University is unable to offer a replacement programme, you will be entitled to withdraw your application by notifying the COL Access team in writing, at which point COL will make an appropriate refund of tuition fees and deposits paid.


10.1    The University shall use its reasonable endeavours to:-

10.1.1    deliver the Access Programme with reasonable care and skill and as far as possible, in accordance with the description applied to it on the Access website or other relevant documents; and

10.1.2    clearly explain the academic requirements of the Access Programme to you.

10.2    You must use all efforts to fulfil all the academic requirements of the Access Programme, including submission of course work and other assignments and attendance at examinations and other required events, on time and in accordance with the relevant policies, rules and regulations of COL and the University. 

10.3    If you do not act in accordance with this Contract, or any of the documents referred to in it, the University may take disciplinary action against you under the University’s Code of Student Conduct.


11.1    If you have a complaint, we encourage you to raise the matter with COL Access staff in the first instance where appropriate, so we can work with you to resolve the issue. If you are not satisfied with the resolution or do not want to raise this with COL Access staff, you can contact COL’s Complaints Officer via or 0131 650 4400. Further information about the University’s complaints procedure can be found here:


12.1    Whilst the University takes reasonable care to ensure the safety and security of its students whilst on the University's campus and/or whilst using COL and the University’s services, the University cannot accept responsibility, and expressly excludes liability, for loss or damage to your personal property (including computer equipment and software). You are advised to insure your property against theft and other risks.

12.2    The University shall not be held responsible for any injury to you (financial or otherwise), or for any damage to your property, caused by another student, or by any person who is not an employee or authorised representative of the University.

12.3    The University shall not be liable for failure to perform any obligations under the Contract if such failure is caused by any act or event beyond the University's reasonable control including acts of God, war, terrorism, industrial disputes (including disputes involving the University's employees), fire, flood, storm and national emergencies ("Force Majeure Event").  If the University is subject to a Force Majeure Event, it will take all reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies.


13.1    The University reserves the right to exclude you from the Access Programme if you wilfully and persistently neglect your academic work to such an extent that there is no reasonable possibility of you being able to progress into further study.

13.2    The University also reserves the right to exclude you from the Access Programme for disciplinary offences, for non-matriculation, for non-payment of tuition fee debt, or for inadequate attendance or performance on the Access Programme, in line with relevant COL and University policies and procedures.


14.1     The University holds information about all applicants to, and all students of, the University. The University uses the information from your application:-

14.1.1    to process your application, to collect feedback and to send you information about COL and the University and its events, such as open days; and 

14.1.2    if your application is successful, the University will also use the information it holds about you to deliver the Access Programme, to provide educational and support services to you, to monitor your performance and attendance, to collect feedback and for management activities such as strategic planning, statistical analysis, equal opportunities monitoring and maintaining our IT systems.

14.2     The University may disclose student information to third parties as set out in the guidance on the disclosure of student information available via the University website.  We will inform you regarding use or disclosure of your information for any other purposes.

14.3     More information about the University’s data protection policy can be found on the University’s website: You can view the University’s full privacy statement here: You can contact the University’s Data Protection Officer at:

15.    GENERAL

15.1    The terms of the Contract shall only be enforceable by you and the University. 

15.2    The Contract constitutes the entire agreement between you and the University in relation to its subject matter. 

15.3    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. 

15.4    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. 

15.5    The courts in Edinburgh will have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim arising out of or in relation to the Contract and that in any such proceedings these terms and conditions and the Contract into which they are incorporated will be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Scotland.