Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below a selection of the most commonly asked questions about our evening class programme.
Questions about our courses and the programme as a whole
FAQs main programme
Are the courses classroom-based or delivered online?
All of our adult education classes starting in October 2020 will be delivered only online.
The classes are taught live, which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time. To take part in the course you will need a computer, or laptop, or tablet computer, connected to the Internet. The device you use will also need to have a camera, microphone and speakers. Most devices now have these built in, but if not you might have to buy them from a computer shop and to connect them to your computer or laptop.
Most courses will use Zoom as its online delivery method. Zoom is very easy to use and nearer the date of the first online session for your class you will be sent an email with a web address (or URL) that will allow you to access the course. We have produced a Handy Guide to Zoom [pdf] which gives you basic information on how to use Zoom.
A small number of courses use Microsoft Teams instead of Zoom. Zoom and Teams work in a similar way, and again you will be sent information on how to access your course using Teams nearer the start date.
When do the courses start and how long do they last?
Most classes run 10 or 20 weeks. Classes that run for 10 weeks will run for one academic term and those running for 20 weeks will run over two academic terms, with a vacation between the two terms.
Imperial College does not have half term holidays and our adult education programmes do not have reading week breaks.
What are the course fees?
Please see our fee details for the current year. For longer courses we offer all early bookers a discount called the early-bird fee. This is shown, when available, on the course page.
How big are the classes?
Our usual size of class for language classes is no more than 16 students. For non-language classes the numbers might be higher.
Do the courses lead to any academic qualification?
Our adult education classes are not part of any degree programme and do not carry any ECTS or other academic credit. However, if you attend at least 80% of the classes you will receive an Imperial College Certificate of Attendance.
Replacement certificates are only available up to 12 months after the end of your studies on a particular adult education course.
As an IC undergraduate, can I take an evening class as part of my degree?
Our adult education classes are intended as an informal way to pursue an interest, or to brush up on existing skills, or develop new skills, and so they cannot be taken as part of a degree course. They do not carry a ECTS or other credit rating and are not included on students' transcripts of marks.
Do I need to buy a book before the course starts?
Please wait until the first session of your course before buying any textbooks. The use of a particular textbook may vary from year to year depending on the teacher and indeed on the students' needs and so you will be advised which book to buy during the first lesson.
For the Music Technology course it is advisable that you purchase the headphones before the first class meeting (please see course description for details).
Do external evening class students get access to other College facilities?
Participation in the Evening Class or Lunchtime Learning (Daytime) programmes does not in itself grant student status.
Membership of Imperial College Library is not available to Evening Class or Lunchtime Learning (Daytime) learners, however you can gain access to some College facilities by joining the Friends of Imperial College.
This currently costs an additional £20 per year, and in addition to being able to use Imperial College's cafes, bars and restaurants with a 10% discount, you will benefit from a programme of special events organised by Friends of Imperial College, including lectures, social events and reduced price membership of the Imperial College sports facilities. You can even gain a discount on future evening class courses at Imperial College.
For more information on membership of Friends of Imperial College visit the Friends of Imperial College website.
Can I change classes if I find I'm on the wrong level?
Generally, if sufficient space is available in the class you want to change to, then you may transfer, subject to the agreement of the teacher of that class. The necessary arrangements are made by the Evening Classes Administr ator who must be notified by anyone intending to change courses. Our student records must at all times be accurate.
Is there homework?
Homework is not compulsory for Evening Classes or Lunchtime Learning (daytime) classes. However, teachers may set homework on a voluntary basis and if you are studying on a language course you are strongly advised to undertake additional home study outside of the class.
Do I gain student status?
Taking part in an Evening Class or Lunchtime Learning (daytime) course at Imperial College does not confer student status, and so access to student facilities is not generally possible. However, you can gain additional access to some of the facilities at Imperial College, including discounts in some of the College food and drink outlets, and the sports centre, by joining the Friends of Imperial College.
Library access is not possible.
Questions about enrolment
How, when and where can I enrol?
To enrol you need to have access to the internet. We use online enrolment for all our courses.
Please note that we cannot reserve any places until the full fee has been paid.
Is there a deadline for enrolment?
There is no official deadline for course enrolment, but it is up to individual course tutors whether they are willing to accept late applications for a particular course. If you are applying late please contact the tutor before applying to ask if it is possible to join their course. You will find the tutor's (or language coordinator's) email address on the course description page.
As a general rule we do not recommend starting a language course more than two weeks late, but other courses might be more flexible so do ask.
Under-age applicant policy
Our classes are run as adult education courses and they are not suitable for children. The minimum age to join our classes is 16 (at the time of the start of the course).
If you are aged 16 or 17 and you would like to join one of our evening or daytime classes you will need to have a Parental Consent Form signed by your parent or guardian stating that you have permission to attend a course. Parents and guardians should be aware some courses may contain material of a sensitive nature, and it is worth asking in advance if this is the case.
The Parental Consent Form can be obtained from Christian Jacobi.
As a new IC student, I haven't got an IC ID card yet. Can I still enrol at the internal rate?
Yes, certainly. When you enrol online, please indicate your CID number (College unique ID number) which you can find on all pieces of correspondence you have already received from the College, including your letter of acceptance.
I neither work nor study at Imperial College. Can I still join a class?
Yes, absolutely! Our courses are open to all. You do not need any previous qualifications to join a class, although language classes might require you to have sufficient proficiency in a language to join a particular level.
Do Imperial College alumni qualify for the internal rate?
The Internal Rate is only available to current Imperial College staff and students.
Imperial College alumni should select the Associate Rate when applying.
I'm not sure of my language level - can I check before enrolling?
For language courses we strongly recommend that if you are applying for a course above beginners' level you should check your language level before enrolling.
You can do this by using our language course descriptions, on the individual language course internet pages, to try to identify the course level which should be most suitable for you. If you use this method please be reasonably realistic about your level of proficiency before proceeding with enrolment.
Alternatively you can contact one of our language coordinators to arrange either a telephone or face-to-face short assessment of your ability. This is very quick and informal, and is designed to help you gauge your language level not catch you out. You can find the contact details for the relevant language advisor under the language course you are interested in, or on our language advisor contact page.
It is not necessary to obtain a level check for beginners' language courses if you have never studied the language previously. Also it is not necessary to check for level or ability for non-language classes.
Can I get a refund if I change my mind?
Please ensure you are able to commit to the full length of the course on which you enrol before enrolling on any course.
When we organise day and evening classes our part time tutors are given a contract to deliver the course based on sufficient enrolment for their course. Once a course is running we are committed to honouring that contract to the tutor.
Because of this, we are unable to offer any refunds or part-refunds once a course is running.
If you wish to cancel your place on a course, and receive a refund, you must inform us before the day of the first lesson or teaching session. If you do this then you will receive a full refund. After this date no refunds or part-refunds will be available.
To request a refund prior to the start of term please email Christian Jacobi at email@example.com
Can I bring a guest to my class with me?
Sorry, no. For legal and insurance reasons set by the central authorities at Imperial College we must have a formal record of all persons in our classes and because of this guests cannot join you on a class, even if it is only for one session. It can also lead to complaints from other learners if people attend sessions for free.
How do I make a complaint?
Thankfully complaints are very rare, but we do take any dissatisfaction with our service or teaching very seriously. At Imperial College we follow standard practice in education by using a two tiered complaints system.
Local Resolution: The first tier of this system is called “Local Resolution”. It is by far the easiest and quickest way to resolve an issue or concern you might have. It involves raising the issue directly with the person concerned, such as the tutor or other member of staff. If they have said something that has caused discomfort, upset or offence, discussing it with the tutor after a class is often enough to resolve the matter in a satisfactory way. Remember our tutors and other members of staff are human too, and it is very rare for any offence caused to have been intentional.
Similarly, if you have a concern about the academic content of a course or teaching style, raising it directly with the tutor concerned is often enough to resolve it, or to allow the tutor to explain why a matter is taught in the way it is. Our tutors have many years experience of teaching and there will be a reason why they deliver their classes in the way they do, but that does not mean they are not willing to listen to feedback and suggestions from you.
Ideally you should always try local resolution before proceeding to Central Resolution.
Central Resolution: If Local Resolution does not resolve the issue you are entitled to submit an official Formal Complaint Submission Form (CLCC Evening/LL Classes) detailing your complaint. This process is called “Central Resolution”.
If you wish your complaint to be dealt with using Central Resolution you must submit their reasons for complaint on the form (Formal Complaint Submission Form (CLCC Evening/LL Classes).
Please note that no other methods for submitting a complaint for Central Resolution are accepted. If you email or write a complaint you will be asked to complete the Formal Complaint Submission Form (CLCC Evening/LL Classes), and we are not be able to look at your complaint until it is submitted on this form.
Please use the link below to download a copy of the form.
How do I use online learning tools (Microsoft Teams and Zoom)
Equipment Required for Online Learning
To take part in online classes you will be asked by your tutor to use a specific computer program (or app) to access the class. In most cases this will be Microsoft Teams or Zoom, but some tutors will ask you to use a different program or app. Most programs and apps will work on a variety of computer devices, including desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets and in some cases smart phones. You are responsible for ensuring that you have the correct computer equipment and program or app for your particular course.
In addition to access to a specific program or app you may also have to sign up for membership of a online sharing service, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. In the case of Microsoft Teams and Zoom this is free. Again, you are responsible for ensuring you are correctly signed up for the appropriate membership before the start of the course.
You will also need an internet connection to take part in any online classes and for most classes you will need at a microphone and web-camera connected to your computer or tablet. Many computers, laptops and tablets already have these built in, but you might want to check on that first.
To access your class your tutor must send you an invitation to join the meeting (meetings are called "teams" in Teams)
When you receive an email with the invitation it will contain an internet link. Click on this.
If you have a Microsoft Office 365 subscription which uses the same email address used by the tutor to send you an invitation you should connect automatically.
If you do not have a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, don't worry you do not need one. In the email invitation you receive there will be a link to join the "team". Click on this and you will be asked to create a free Microsoft account (you will have to give some personal details to do this). You will then be send a numeric code by email (this verifies your email address) which you enter and this should give you access to the Teams meeting. This method takes a little while so we recommend you try to do it a little in advance of the class - after you receive your invitation of course!
With Zoom the system is similar. You will be sent an invitation by email to join the Zoom meeting for your class. Again this is all free, you do not need a Zoom subscription. Click on the link in the email, complete the personal information in the online form and you should find yourself in the correct Zoom meeting. You might be asked to enter a password to join the Zoom meeting. This should have been sent to you when you received confirmation the class is running.
The method with Zoom should be a bit quicker than with Teams, but again it is worth testing the process out in advance.