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Choosing a teaching institution

Our checklist will help you decide if an institution is right for you. It might also provide the right questions to ask when you make your enquiries.

Two students working in the library
Points and information to consider about teaching institutions.

The University of London is revising the recognition framework for institutions teaching our degrees during the latter half of 2018.

Institutions that enter into an agreement with the University will be known as University of London Recognised Teaching Centres.

Teaching institutions will enter the new framework before 31 December 2018, and the terminology on our website will change from 1 January 2018.


  • Is the institution a recognised centre, or has it started the recognition process?
  • Is it registered with the relevant local authorities, such as the Ministry of Education?
  • How long has it been established? Check its website or printed brochures.
  • How long has it been providing support for University of London students? Has it got a 'track record' of successful results?
  • Can you talk to enrolled students and get their opinions? (Check out our institution pages for testimonials.)


  • Does the timing and frequency of classes suit you?
  • What format do the classes take? Are there tutorials as well as lectures? What size are the tutorial groups?
  • Does the institution offer teaching and learning support for all levels of the degree? Is this support limited to a range of units or modules?
  • Are the lecturers full-time or part-time?

Facilities / Services

  • Does the institution provide details of the specific services and facilities it offers?
  • How do its services and fees compare with other institutions in your area?
  • Can you see the facilities, especially the library? Can you borrow books from the library, and/or does it have good electronic library resources?
  • If you already have your subject guides, does the institution hold copies of the essential and recommended texts? Is there room to study in the library, and is it quiet?

Contracts / Formalities

  • Is there a written contract between you and the institution when you enrol? (If not, make sure you understand the terms and conditions that apply and your liability.)
  • Do you pay fees in one payment or in instalments? What is the refund policy is if you cease studying?
  • While we advise you not to enrol until you have an offer from us, we realise that you may be eager to start your studies before this. Is the institution able to charge you only for tuition you receive if we cannot accept you on the programme?
  • Contact a local alumni ambassador for advice about their experience.

Additional checks for online or correspondence institutions:

  • If based in the UK, is the institution accredited by the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council or a member of the Association of British Correspondence Colleges?
  • If it offers study materials as part of its tuition, do these offer more than our subject guides do?
  • If a tutor service is offered, what response time does the institution guarantee?
  • Can you send in your assignments by email and receive feedback the same way?
  • If you are not certain about a teaching institution's status with us, contact our institutions team for more information. Further questions may be answered below.


Do I have to take local tuition to complete my degree?

Our courses are designed to be studied independently, and you choose whether or not to receive further study support.

The only exceptions to this are the courses listed above with a compulsory taught element. To study these courses, you will need to attend an institution.

What standard of tuition can I expect to receive?

Our quality assurance framework is designed to ensure that teaching institutions provide a high standard of support.

Most students are very pleased with the support they receive, though some can be disappointed. It is vital that you research an institution to make sure it meets your needs.

Please contact the institution directly if you have any questions about its services.

Are recognised teaching institutions part of a franchising arrangement?

No. While we officially recognise institutions that offer study support to distance-learning students of the University of London, these are not part of a franchise arrangement.

You choose whether or not to attend a teaching institution (except where teaching support is compulsory).

What if an institution is not listed in our directory?

We list institutions that we formally recognise as well as those that have begun the process to become recognised.

Occasionally, we begin discussions with an institution but will not list it until formal agreements are in place. If an institution is not listed, we advise that you undertake your own research.

What if local support is not available where I live?

You may wish to consider correspondence or online tutorial support. Check our directory for any institutions that offer online support for the course you are interested in.

What if local support is not available where I live?

Yes. Fees paid to us relate to admission, registration, course fees (i.e. study materials) and examinations.

If you choose to receive additional study support, you also pay a fee to the institution.

We have no involvement in the fees charged by an institution, nor any financial disputes that may arise between you. Any financial arrangement you make with an institution is entirely your own responsibility.

I have a complaint about an institution, what should I do?

If you wish to make a complaint about an institution, please raise it with the institution first, as disagreements are often resolved quickly and amicably.

If you still wish to make a complaint, please refer to our student complaints policy.

My local teaching institution says I must register with the University. How do I do this?

Enrolment at a teaching institution is separate from registration with the University of London.

Before you start your studies with an institution, check your eligibility for your chosen course and submit your online application.

See how to apply for more details.

I wish to switch institutions. Do I have to tell the University?

You do not need to tell us about the support you are getting. But this information can be useful and we are grateful if you keep us informed.

When you register for your course, please let us know which institution you are attending.

If this changes during the course of your studies, please use the 'change of details' form.

Can I study with the University of London in the UK? How do I arrange a visa?

Since our distance-learning courses can be studied anywhere in the world, registration for these is insufficient for a visa and we are unable to assist you with visa matters.

If you wish to travel to the UK to study on-campus, you should contact the relevant university for advice.

Will the name of my teaching institution appear on my degree certificate?

Teaching institutions do not appear on your University of London degree certificate.