Fees and eligibility
All lifelong learning courses are for people aged 19 years and over.
You must also have lived in the UK for a minimum period which will differ depending on, for example, whether you are a UK national or from inside or outside the EEA (please speak to a member of staff if you have any queries about your eligibility).
Course fees can be made up of a tuition fee, and sometimes an examination or assessment fee and a materials fee.
Pay for your course
There are several ways you can pay for your lifelong learning course.
Pay in full
If your course fee is less than £70 you must make full payment at enrolment. Your position on the course is not secure until payment has been made.
If your course fee is £70 or more, you can pay in three equal instalments over three consecutive months in cash or via a debit / credit card.
If you withdraw from your course you will be charged the outstanding balance of the full cost of the course.
If your employer is paying for your course you must provide a letter of confirmation on letter-headed paper from your employer.
The Lifelong Learning Team will send them an invoice.
You can pay over the phone (by credit/debit card only) if your course does not require pre-course advice and guidance and if you are paying the full fee.
Please ring any centre to enrol and pay.
Advanced Learner Loans
If you are studying a Level 3 course you may be able to apply to the Student Loans Company for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay your fees. For more information please contact the National Careers Service on 0161 393 6474 or visit:
Courses with a qualification (accredited courses) have an examination or accreditation fee.
This fee is included in the course fee for the majority of courses.
Where there are separate examination charges you will pay for these during the course.
You will not able to enrol onto any accredited courses unless you intend to achieve the award and complete the course.
This is a requirement of the funding agreement with the Skills Funding Agency.
If you wish to do a course without a qualification there is a range of options where you enrol each term.
Books and equipment
You may need stationery, textbooks or other materials for some subjects.
Please refer to the course information sheet or ask your tutor at your first class before buying any items.
You may be able to borrow books from your library (Find a library).
Learners entitled to a concessionary rate do not pay any fees for qualification courses that are funded by the Skills Funding Agency.
If you are in receipt of a benefit, proof of this must be shown when you enrol for your course.
Please bring original documents as we are unable to accept photocopies.
All our courses are for adults aged 19 years and over
Concessionary rates for qualification courses
Circumstances that qualify for a concessionary rate on qualification courses (course code begins with V):
- In receipt of Job Seeker's Allowance
- In receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (work-related activity only)
- In receipt of Universal Credit (work related requirments group, work preparation group or work focused groups)
- Studying a Maths or English (Skills for Life) course
- Aged 19-23 and studying at Entry Level, Level 1 or 2 course (not ESOL) without having already obtained a Full level 2.
- Aged 19-23 and studying your first Full level 3
- You may be entitled to a concession if you are unemployed (or earning less than £115.50 per week), in receipt of another state benefit and you wish to study a qualification that may help you to gain employment. You will need to discuss this with one of our Information, Advice and Guidance staff before you enrol.
Learners are not entitled to concessions for a Level 3 qualification course but can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. Please ring a member of the Curriculum team for more information.
If you have difficulty paying the course fees and are on a low income you can apply to the Discretionary Learner Support Fund for financial support when you enrol.
Concessionary rates for non-qualification courses
Learners entitled to a concessionary rate for non-qualification courses that are subsidised by the Skills Funding Agency pay a reduced fee.
Circumstances that qualify for a concessionary rate on courses with codes beginning with the letter C.
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Reduction (Low Income)
- Income Support
- Universal Credit
- Job Seeker's Allowance
- Working Tax Credit with a household income of less than £16,010 per year (Child Tax Credit is not eligible)
- Pension Guarantee Credit (Saving Credit only is not eligible)
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Asylum seeker in receipt of Asylum Support assistance
- Unwaged dependant of a person on the above benefits.
If you have difficulty paying the course fees and are on a low income you can apply to the Non Vocational Support Fund for financial support when you enrol.
Specialist courses and small groups
Specialist courses are available at a higher hourly rate.
There is a partial concession on these courses for people who receive the benefits listed above.
There are also some courses not funded by the Skills Funding Agency offered at competitive rates (but there are no concessions).
You will only get a refund if your class closes or if you give advance notice no later than one week before the course start date that you wish to withdraw. If you withdraw later than this you will not be entitled to a refund and if you are paying by instalment you will be charged the outstanding balance of the full cost of the course.
For details information you can read the Policy and Procedure for Fees which is available at all lifelong learning centres.
Oldham Lifelong Learning Service tries to provide courses and services as published.
If the Service needs to alter, postpone or cancel courses or services (e.g. a course may close or merge because there aren't enough learners) the Oldham Lifelong Learning Service cannot be held liable for any additional costs incurred by you because of the changes.
The Service makes every effort to find a suitable alternative for you if a change does happen.