Tuition fee policy

1. Introduction

Central Film School London (CFSL) reviews its fees and its fee policy annually.

Where there may be any friction between the policy below and any of our obligations under regulation and (new) external rules, the hierarchy of precedence, highest to lowest is:

  • UK law
  • The codes and protocols of UK national regulators
  • The regulations of our awarding body, the University of Gloucestershire
  • CFS policy and procedure.

Tuition fees relating to courses commenced in any academic year are liable to increase annually, with any price increase capped at the level of the Retail Price Index (RPI) + 2% subject to any national regulation imposed by the UK government.

The liability of the student for payment of course fees, and the agreement between the student and the School in relation to the payment of all fees due will remain in place, so long as the School has delivered the academic provision. Please note that the School reserves the right, within the latitude allowed by national regulators such as the Office for Students (OfS) and consumer legislation and codes of practice, to alter the timing and/or location and or/content of the academic provision, always consulting and advising students in line with national regulation.


2. Methods of Payment

Payment in Full

The School encourages students to pay full year one and year two tuition fees in advance and we accept payment using direct bank transfer:

Account Name: Central Film School London Ltd.
Bank Name: Lloyds TSB
Account: 00772008
Sort Code: 30-00-09
IBAN: GB10 LOYD 3000 0900 7720 08
SWIFT: LOYDGB21013

Students must quote the student name and course ID on their remittance and confirmation of payment should be sent to:

Central Film School
Accounts Team
3rd Floor Universal House
88-94 Wentworth Street
London
E1 7SA

Or emailed as an attachment to: accounts@centralfilmschool.com

Payment can also be made using credit or debit cards using Worldpay.

3. Payment of Fees

a) Full-time Undergraduate and Post-Graduate Students
All fees for the first year are due before the start of the course, unless agreement is made to pay by instalments as set out above. At time of writing, UK/EU/EEA students do not have access to UK government financed loans, grants or bursaries and are expected to incur the full costs of the tuition fees themselves.

For the purposes of this policy, the School differentiates the processes it follows when considering the tuition fee liability between UK/EU/EEA or Non-UK/EU/EEA students, where a non-UK/EU/EEA student requires a Tier 4 visa to attend the School, only where the costs incurred for administrative fees and tuition fee levels vary as per the published information and terms and conditions. Tuition fees for the second year of eligible programmes become due in March of the academic year in which the student began their course. It is the responsibility of students to agree to a payment schedule with the accounts department once fees become due. See section 4. Outstanding Debt for further detail.

Students whose fees will be paid by their home country’s student loans provider (such as Lannekasen in Norway) must supply the accounts department with the schedule of payments as soon as they are granted the funds. If the funds need to be paid for the second year of a course, students should ensure appropriate arrangements are in place with the provider and supply the School with evidence.

b) Short-course Students
All short course students confirm their place on their course by paying a deposit of 20% of the full tuition fee for that course. The remaining balance must be paid before the first scheduled day of teaching.

c) Deposits
All Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Short Course students offered a place must pay a deposit of 20% of the published tuition fee to secure their place at the School. Please note this is not refundable in the event the student cancels the contract after the expiry of the 14-day ‘cooling off’ period.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS for Tier 4 applicants only) numbers will not be issued until the full first year fee has been paid.

A deposit may be refunded for Tier 4 applicants only in the following circumstances:

  • Students are unsuccessful in securing an appropriate visa for study. (In such circumstances the deposit and fees paid will be refunded. No deposit will be refunded if the refusal is the result of fraudulent activity.)
  • Students who fail to meet the conditions of their offer – documentary evidence must be provided
  • Severe mitigating circumstances- a letter outlining the nature of the mitigating circumstances must be sent to the School along with copies of all relevant documentation. The School will review each case on an individual basis in line with UK consumer law and UK higher education regulation.

The decision to refund the deposit will be at the discretion of the School and a £200 administrative fee will be retained by the School to cover administration costs.

d) PTFT Students (BA Students Only)
Under the procedures set out in the CFSL Procedures for Assessment Reassessment and Progression, students who fall in the PTFT category (students whose credit deficit is such that they must complete modules on a part-time basis before rejoining the programme full-time in a
subsequent academic year), students will be charged the regular per module retake fee as set out in this policy.

PTFT Students will then be charged a tuition fee based on the level they are rejoining at:

  • Level 4, 5 and 6: Full fees for two years
  • Level 5 and 6: 1/3 of annual tuition fee plus full annual tuition fee
  • Level 6: 2/3 of annual tuition fee

Students that require a Tier 4 visa and therefore are ineligible to be registered as PTFT and will be required to complete retaken modules remotely before returning at the fee levels described above. Students in this category are registered as Tier 4 Part Time (T4PT).

In all instances, students that are rejoining a programme after completing retakes on a part-time basis at any level must settle outstanding fees before they can attend classes.

e) Instalments
Instalments will only be granted in cases where the student demonstrates a particular need to pay their fees using this method. Instalments will only be granted on a term-by-term basis, according to the published term dates for a course. All requests for instalments must be directed to the Principal and must be agreed at the point of accepting the offer. CFSL is under no obligation to grant an instalment agreement, and students who do not keep up payments risk their places on their programme should they fall behind.

In agreeing to instalments, students are entering into a commitment to ensure they pay as per the agreed instalment date(s). Failure to keep up with payments or continual late payment will result in an administrative charge of £20 per month, potential enforced withdrawal from the programme or withholding of academic transcripts and certificates.

If students are aware that a payment may be missed, they must notify the School’s Principal giving a minimum of five working days notice otherwise they may be liable for the £20 administration charge.

Central Film School London
Accounts Team
3 rd Floor Universal House
88-94 Wentworth Street
London
E1 7SA

Eligible students paying fees by instalments who withdraw partway through their programme of study will be required to complete payment of their outstanding fees as determined by the refund policy set out below.

If an installment agreement is cancelled, the remaining tuition fee payable becomes due immediately.

Instalments should be paid through bank transfer using a Standing Order. The School may require proof that a Standing Order has been set up, which clearly shows the amounts and dates agreed in the instalment agreement.

4. LIABILITY FOR PAYMENT

Students should be aware that they will be charged and thus financially liable for:

  • Retaken modules: £1000 per module
  • Reassessment of examinations and coursework: £75 per reassessed module to cover awarding body administrative charges

It should be noted that some individual modules may involve a charge or a cost voluntarily assumed by the student, for example associated with expenses for travel to a field visit or extra actors’ time. Please see the relevant course materials for disclosure of additional course costs. At
all times, extra costs attached to modules will be notified to students in advance of the commencement of year one and/or year two of a programme.

Students will be personally liable for any professional membership fees that they choose to adopt. All School fees due must be fully discharged before completion of award or qualification.

5. Outstanding debt

No enrolled student with outstanding tuition fee debt can progress to the next stage of their programme of study, receive an award, be considered for further qualifications or be given a reference from the School, without prior approval from the Principal. Once fees become overdue, students will be sent statements and reminder letters, and if no action is taken, the debt will be referred to the School’s debt-collecting agents. Such referrals will also incur Legal Recovery Costs. If a student needs information on their debt or to discuss repayment plans they should contact the
accounts team: accounts@centralfilmschool.com

The staged process the School will follow when dealing with enrolled students who do not pay tuition fee debt on time is as follows:

  1. Initial reminders and payment requests will be sent at least one month before fees become due. If a student is having difficulties in meeting payment deadlines, they must contact the Principal immediately to discuss options. Reasonable requests will be considered but only on agreement with the Principal.
  2. If a student does not respond to payment requests or arrange to meet with the Principal, a final warning letter will be sent to the student by email, with a date indicating when action will be taken.
  3. If there is still no response, on the date stated in the final warning letter, students will be removed from school registers and may be barred entry into classes. At this stage, the risk of enforced withdrawal from the programme increases. Students that continue to attend classes but do not address their tuition fee debt will be counted as absent until the matter is resolved.
  4. Tier 4 students who reach stage 3 may be in breach of the requirements of their visa and may be reported to the UKVI. Attendance will not be counted, therefore Tier 4 students are at risk of breaching the 10 contact point rule.
  5. If the matter is not resolved within seven calendar days of stage 3 or 4, students will be automatically withdrawn from their programme. Students withdrawn from their programme for non-payment of fees are not entitled to a refund for any fees paid up to the date of withdrawal, and are not entitled to receive any certification for academic progress up to the date of withdrawal.
  6. Outstanding tuition fee debt that remains once a student has been automatically withdrawn will be passed on to debt-collection agencies. Students will be liable for any further costs incurred by the School.

The school will take every precaution necessary to ensure students have the fullest opportunity to clear debt once they reach stage 2. The onus is on the student to proactively engage with the School to discuss any personal circumstances that may be affecting their ability to meet their tuition fee payment obligations. The School will try to be as flexible as possible but will prioritise the needs of the institution as a whole when considering students’ individual circumstances.

6. Recognition of Prior Learning

a) Experiential Learning (RPEL)
Experiential Learning is learning achieved outside of a formal learning environment. It may include learning gained as part of work experience, volunteer work, or as part of a training course for which a student may not have received any formal qualification.

Students applying for RPEL for entry on to the later stages of a programme, or to gain credit for particular modules, may be eligible to have their tuition fee reduced. This will only be granted if the student is able to demonstrate that they meet the School RPL Policy.

b) Certificated Learning (RPCL)
Certificated Learning is learning for which a student has received a formal qualification, for example a Certificate or Diploma of HE, a Higher National Diploma (HND), a Foundation Degree, or individual modules/course units completed at another institution. Partial levels will be charged as for experiential learning above.

In normal circumstances only qualifications and experience acquired in the last ten years will be admissible. Certain courses may apply a different time period to reflect professional and other regulatory requirements.

Within this system of School recognition of prior learning any modules deemed by us to be ‘trailed’ from prior learning will be charged for at the prevailing module rate. For example, if a student applies for APL for the first level (HE Level 4 in UK convention) of their degree programme (120
credits), but find that they have not met all the learning outcomes and are awarded only 105 credits, they will be charged a fee for the additional module that they must take to meet the requirements of our degree.

Applications for RPCL will be assessed on receipt and discussions held during the interview stage. After acceptance of a place, students will be invoiced the normal advertised fee for the relevant module/stage which they are hoping to be awarded credit for.

7. TUITION FEE REFUND POLICY

CFSL is a small, private, specialist multi-platform media school offering a specific and finite number of places on each of its courses. Students applying to study on BA or MA programmes at the School must attend an interview where each student is invited to tour the facilities and talk to staff and students on all aspects of student life at the School.

CFSL cannot typically refill a place on any of its courses once a programme has begun. Furthermore, the collaborative nature of many of the projects, workshops and assessments necessitates long term planning, budgeting and commitment from students and staff. Student attainment in group projects and assessments can be severely impacted through withdrawals from the programmes, and replacement group members are difficult to find from within the cohort, requiring the employment of graduates or other professionals to fill the roles. For these reasons, the School has a policy that prevents students from withdrawing from a course once it has begun, without paying the tuition fees for the course for that academic year. The School has a formal policy and procedures on withdrawing from a programme as set out below.

In the event a student has a genuine case of extenuating circumstances The School has a formal policy regarding the procedures for deferring a place or Suspension of Studies on a programme, however this does not negate the requirement for all students to pay the tuition fees in full for the year they began their studies.

This policy applies to registered students who subsequently withdraw from their programme of study before completion and relates only to fees paid personally by a student or by a student’s sponsor. In all cases applications for refund of fees will only be considered if the School has received a written notification of withdrawal by completion of a “Student Suspension of Studies/Withdrawal Form”. The date of receipt of the form will be the effective date of withdrawal. The completed form must be submitted to the Head of Administration for signature. Tuition fees will not be reduced for students who start their course late. Instead, direction and support will be given to students for how they can cover missed material.

In cases of extreme mitigating circumstances, The School reserves the right to use management discretion when considering applications for refunds. Any refund due will be made using the original method of payment, i.e. credit/debit card payments will be refunded to the original card, and bank transfers will be refunded to the account that was originally debited. Evidence of payment may be required for the School to process a refund.

a) All students
The following policy applies on withdrawal to those students who commence study in September or October of any Academic Year:

  • Students who withdraw after the first day of attendance of scheduled classes (of the first year of BA programmes) will be liable for the full tuition fees and no automatic refund will be provided.
  • The school reserves the right to consider refund applications on a case-by-case basis in the event of severe mitigating circumstances, and on the merits of the reasons and evidence provided by the student.
  • Under circumstances where student withdrawals fall within the legislated terms of the CMA, the School will follow the legislated terms.
  • Students should refer to the School’s full Terms and Conditions in relation to tuition fees before accepting an offer of a place at the School.

Students on short-courses who withdraw after the mandated ‘cooling off’ period will not be entitled to a refund at any time after commencement of the programme.

8. CHANGES IN CIRCUMSTANCES

Students wishing to break their programme of study must first contact their Programme Leader and complete the awarding body’s Student Suspension of Studies Form so that suitable arrangements can be agreed in order to maintain their student status at the School. The School’s Enrolment and Registration Policy details this process. Cancellation of instalment payments without prior notification to the School will constitute unilateral withdrawal from the programme of study. If a student cancels their instalment payments they should forward a letter of cancellation with payment for the balance of fees outstanding, as the outstanding fee payable becomes due immediately.

If circumstances beyond a students’ control mean they are no longer able to meet the payment schedule agreed in an instalment agreement or for year two of a programme, the School will endeavour to seek an amicable resolution before any action is taken. The emphasis is placed on students to highlight these instances at the earliest opportunity so the School can make appropriate plans.

9. OTHER CHARGES

The School gives students information in advance and in line with consumer legislation requirements regarding any additional charges or optionally assumed costs, made in connection with the academic programme. There are some programmes or individual modules that require payments to be made to contribute towards the additional costs necessarily incurred for materials or activities such as field trips. Where no budget is assigned to a production on a practical module, students may choose to raise a budget themselves, though are not under any obligation to do so. Details of fees and potential extra necessary or optional costs are available in our terms and conditions. Below is an indicator of what these may be. Students must incur costs for travel to and from locations selected for the production of student films. It is for this reason that we encourage student productions to take place in a 1.5-mile radius of the School, to keep travel costs down for cast and crew involved in the production. Travel may be by public transport or by taxi, and students must familiarise themselves with these costs on or before arrival in London.

Some resources require a refundable deposit of up to £50, such as booking a laptop overnight or borrowing items from the library. Separate policies exist for these resources, available to students on the school intranet (Moodle), and deposits will only be retained if a student breaches the policy. On some personal projects, students are required to purchase hire insurance from an outside insurance provider. There is a separate policy for using CFS equipment for personal projects available to students on the school intranet (Moodle). This cost could be up to £150 dependent on the nature of the project, shoot length and amount and type of equipment required. CFS will advise students on this before they undertake their personal project.

10. SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarships or part-scholarships are awarded to students before they enrol on their course as per the Scholarships Policy. The School does not award part-scholarships for students that have already enrolled on a full-time programme. Students who are awarded a scholarship or part scholarship for a two-year programme will have that Scholarship applied to both years of the programme.

A student in receipt of a scholarship or part-scholarship is expected to meet the agreed payment terms of any fees due in line with this Tuition Fee Policy. No exceptions will be made solely on the basis of any previously agreed scholarship awarded.

11. FINANCIAL HELP AND ADVICE

The School is prepared to discuss all matters relating to finances with students, from tuition fee payments to rent and personal finances. There are no mechanisms for financial aid from the School itself, though it will provide students with practical support and guidance if they find themselves in
difficulties. Contact the Head of Administration for more information.