Short Courses

Short Courses Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions for Short Courses bookings at the Centre for Open Learning.

Most recently updated: April 2024.

We've re-written the terms and conditions to make them easier to understand and updated the 'Cancellations and Refunds – Cancellation by Us' and 'Refund Processing' sections to include information about when you can expect a refund should a course be cancelled.


Minimum Age for Enrolment

Please note, the minimum age for enrolment on Short Courses at the Centre for Open Learning (COL) is 16 years at the course start date.


Application Process, Payment and Fees

  1. Applications are only accepted via our online booking service, or by visiting the COL reception desk at The Old Nursery Building, Holyrood Campus, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ.
  2. Applications must be made before the advertised booking deadline for your chosen course(s). COL is under no obligation to accept enrolments after the deadline.
  3. Full payment of fees must be made at the time of enrolments, and cannot be made retrospectively.
  4. COL will not reserve spaces on any course pending receipt of an application and payment.
  5. COL cannot process enrolments made on behalf of another person, enrolments must be made by the person who will be attending the course.


Cancellation of Courses and Changes to Courses, by COL

  1. We reserve the right to reschedule or cancel courses. Reasons for this may be, but not restricted to, low enrolment numbers, weather warnings and teacher availability.
  2. Publicised course teachers (web and print form) may be subject to change due to teacher unavailability. Where there is a change in teacher, COL will endeavour to give as much notice as possible in advance of individual classes or the course start date.
  3. We may be required to cancel an individual class at short notice. Reasons for this may be, but not limited to, teacher absence, weather warnings, or unforeseen building/facility issues. Wherever possible we will endeavour to offer a replacement class at the end of the course on the usual class day and time.

The University of Edinburgh is not responsible for any additional costs you may have incurred, including costs for travel or accommodation, as a result of cancelled courses, classes or changes to courses made by COL.


Cancellations and Refunds – Student Cancellations

  1. Once you have made payment to COL as part of the application process, you are deemed to have a contract with COL. You have the right to cancel this contract with us. The cancellation period will expire at the end of 14 days after you have made payment.
  2. In the event that you wish to cancel or amend your course place, please see below for an overview of our policy:
Date of Withdrawal Fee Refund 
Within 14 days of COL receiving your payment We will refund all fees paid by you, minus the cost of any classes you have attended
After 14 days of COL receiving your payment No refund will be made for any fees paid by you.
  1. You will lose your right to cancel if you have attended and completed the course during the cancellation period.
  2. Please note the below exceptional circumstances, where any requests for a refund outwith the 14 day cancellation period will be considered on a case-by-case basis: 
    1. You can demonstrate extenuating personal circumstances which prohibit you from attending (for example, serious illness and bereavement.) Please note that supporting evidence may be requested.
  3. Students should be aware that outwith the 14 day cancellation period, there is no automatic right to cancel and obtain a refund.
  4. Please note you must inform us of your decision to cancel in a clear statement by sending an email to


Cancellations and Refunds – Cancellation by Us

  1. We may cancel your course place if we fail to recruit our minimum level of enrolments or if circumstances beyond our reasonable control prevent us from delivering it.
  2. At the time of course cancellation, we will offer you an alternative course (subject to their being places available) or refund in full the fees paid by you.
  3. Following cancellation of individual classes, if we are unable to provide a replacement class or you are unable to attend a replacement class, we will provide a refund at the end of the course equivalent to the value of the lost class, based on the course fee you have paid.


Refund Processing

In the event that a refund is made, reimbursements to you will be processed using the following method:

Original Payment Method Reimbursement Method
Credit/debit card (online or in person) Same card as payment, unless the card has expired, in which case BACS
Cheque BACS
Gift voucher Gift voucher

We will endeavour to process refunds as quickly as possible, but please be aware that due to factors out with COL’s control, it may take up to 3 weeks.



  1. To qualify for a reduced or concessionary fee you must be eligible at the time of enrolment and be prepared to provide supporting evidence if we request it. Only one concession may be claimed at a time.
  2. Concessions cannot be applied retrospectively.


Course Materials

  1. Most course fees do not include materials, books, etc. Please check course details on our website for the most up to date information regarding additional materials that may be required. We advise against purchasing any materials in advance of the course commencing, as any associated costs are not the responsibility of COL/the University of Edinburgh and are purchased at your own risk should the course be cancelled.



  1. Where we provide courses which offer progression opportunities we cannot reserve places for future study without full payment and a confirmed course booking.


Code of Student Conduct

By enrolling on a COL course, you will be required to comply with the University’s Code of Student Conduct.

Code of Student Conduct

This code sets out expectations for student behaviour and also the procedures used by the University in order to resolve matters when student’s behaviour is unacceptable. If you breach any of the terms set out in the Code of Student Conduct then you may be withdrawn from COL courses.


Your Data

The University may use any information which you provide during the application process to compile statistics which may be published or passed to a governmental or regulatory body.



Any complaints about COL should be made in writing and sent via email to Formal complaints will be dealt with in accordance with the University’s complaints procedure. More details are available from the University’s Academic Services.