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General Information

Ways to Enrol, Concessions, Costs & Conditions, Facilities for Disabled students, Bursary and more ...

Methods of Enrolment


You can enrol online for all of our courses.  A secure online enrolment form is available. Payment by credit or debit card is included as part of the enrolment process. 

By post

Students should complete the enrolment form in the centre of the brochure and can pay by cheque.  If students are enrolling by post for more than one course then separate enrolment forms and cheques are needed for each course.


With regret we are not be able to accept telephone or cash enrolments.

Confirmation of Enrolment

If you enrol by a receipt will be sent out to you in the post. If you have enrolled online, a confirmation of enrolment will be sent to your email address.  The Confirmation of Enrolment is your only acknowledgement of enrolment. If you enrol by telephone or post and have not received your Confirmation of Enrolment within ten days then please let us know.

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Costs and Conditions

There is no upper age limit, however the minimum age for students attending these adult learning programmes is 18, unless otherwise stated.

The information about each course gives details of the fee that must be paid. For many courses, a concessionary fee is also given. The concession is available for those who are in receipt of State Benefits (including pensions), or are full-time students, or are members of University staff holding a valid staff card.  (Please note that concessions cannot be claimed retrospectively.)

Over-subscribed and Cancelled Courses

Unfortunately, we are unable to run courses that are under-subscribed so all our courses are offered subject to a certain minimum enrolment (usually 12 students).  Occasionally we are forced to cancel a course.  If this happens we shall let you know as soon as we can and refund your enrolment fee.

Early Bird - We make the decision on whether or not to run a course seven days before the course start date based on whether we have reached the minimum number of enrolments.  So please help us to help you!  If we receive your booking at least seven days in advance of the course start date you will help us to ensure that courses are not cancelled.

Be an early bird and enrol well in advance!

This year we will have a very strict deadline for enrolment of one week before the class is due to start.  It is with regret that once the class is closed we will not be able to take any further enrolments.

When a class is cancelled, it will no longer appear in the online enrolment site.

Refund Policy

We regret that fees cannot be refunded except when a course does not run or if your application is rejected because the course is full.  The University is unable to refund fees when, for whatever reason, the student fails to attend.

Exclusion Policy

The University, via the Open Learning Programme Co-ordinator, reserves the right to exclude any student from its Open Learning courses for behaviour which: (1) is abusive or threatening to other course participants or University staff and/or (2) disrupts the learning of other participants and/or (3) damages or misuses University equipment or property.

Facilities for Disabled Students: New Protocol 

We welcome applications from people with disabilities and we will do our best to ensure that your individual requirements are met so you can get the most from your course.  In order for the University to address your support needs and in order to comply with the University's Health and Safety Regulations, all students who may require assistance will need to enrol at least 3 weeks before the start of the course.  Students will need to complete a short questionnaire before they enrol and return that to the Open Learning Office.  The questionnaire can be downloaded here.  Any student who would like further information should contact the Disability Office, Dr Tess Maginess at 

The Bridget Sarah Hurson Memorial Bursary

The bursary is established in the memory of Bridget Sarah Hurson, late mother of Professor Tess Maginess and Ms Edna Gibson. Bursaries, up to the value of £200 each, will be awarded this academic year to students facing financial hardship who wish to enrol in any Open Learning course.   Individual applicants should make a written submission of no more than 300 words detailing how the award would enable them to participate in an Open Learning Programme. The closing date of applications is Friday 2 September 2022. The award will be made in two instalments. A sum equal to the amount of the fees payable will be paid at the beginning of the course; the balance will be paid at the end of the course and will be dependent on the recipient attending 70% of classes.  Applications should be sent to the Open Learning Office, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University, 20 College Green, Belfast BT7 1LN or by email: and will be considered by a panel drawn from the School and the family.


We regret that there is no parking within the University precinct for students attending day-time classes. For evening classes, limited parking is available from 5.00 pm on the main site.

Access to the Library

You can qualify for a library card if you enrol for a 20-week credit bearing course or 2 x 10-week credit bearing courses (one in the Autumn and one in the New Year) by the end of October. Please contact the office on 028 9097 3323 to request a library card.

Information on Credit Points (CATS)

CATS stands for Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme.  This is a national scheme which has been established to allow different types of academic courses to be compared and valued and even transferred and traded.

What about the level?  The level gives an indication of the difficulty of the course or, in positive terms, the intellectual rigour of the course.  Level 1 typically equates to the first year of a traditional three year primary degree. Level 0 indicates the level below the first year of a university course.

If you choose to do a course that offers CATS points then to earn the points you will have to attend at least 75% of classes, and successfully complete the work set by your tutor.

Notes for Completing Assignments

The Open Learning Programme aims to ensure that all students get the most out of their experiences with the University. We have sought, over many years, to develop a model of education that proves learning can be a hugely rewarding and enjoyable experience. As part of this we have always sought to emphasise the role played by assessments in the learning process and to encourage students to take on the added challenge of completing the assignments set in each course.

It is important to note that this is not the ‘Pass’ and ‘Fail’ exercise many of us think of when we hear the word assessment. Rather, the completion of an Open Learning assignment is an important part of your overall learning experience. The feedback provided by tutors should be seen, not as a judgement of ability, but rather as a very individual record of progress made to date. Importantly, this feedback will also offer advice as to how you can further improve your work and continue on your journey of personal development.

As a university based and accredited programme we are guided by the marking criteria used across the institution. This criteria assesses students’ work based on three key aspects:

  1. Understanding of topic
  2. Critical Thinking/Analysis
  3. Presentation (including correct use of academic format and referencing)

The grades/marks awarded will therefore be based on how each of these are applied within an assignment.


It is important that as you quote or refer to other works in support of an argument, that each one is carefully referenced. It should normally be presented at either the bottom of the page or at the end of the essay and in the following format: Barrell, J., The Dark Side of the Landscape, (Cambridge 1980) p. 16

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