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Essential coronavirus info
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Frequently Asked Questions

Study online with UAL Short Courses

Our FAQs address the most common questions our students have about UAL online short courses.

What technologies are used to deliver the course?

Blackboard Collaborate® is used to deliver the online sessions. It is a licensed 'online classroom' and encompasses web conferencing, mobile collaboration, instant messaging, and additional features relevant to your course. Each session is observed by tech support, who will help if you have any difficulties accessing content.

Workflow lets you access course content, view recorded sessions, and upload your assignments. Workflow is an e-portfolio, and it can store vast amounts of content and track your progress to offer you the best learning experience. You will have your own assignments page to upload your work to, so your tutor can give you feedback and you can share content with your class.

Padlet Backpack is a collaborative online space that we use to support our teenager courses. Padlet Backpack is specifically designed for schools and provides students with a space to access course content, share information, ideas and creations. Invited participants can post comments, images, videos and links in a safe and moderated environment.

Instruction videos and guidance on how to use these three platforms easily will be provided.

What is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)?

A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a system for delivering learning materials to students via the internet. Our VLE offers you flexible access to a large archive of content, which is made available to you for the duration of the course and for three months after course completion.

Who can attend/book a course?

Anyone aged 18 or over (unless specified) can attend; there is no upper age limit.

What skills or prior knowledge do I need?

Most courses welcome complete beginners, though some require experience with the specific subject. Each course's description will say if additional experience is needed, and you are welcome to enquire if you are unsure.

How many students are in each class?

Most courses have a limit of 12 students, though there are larger classes for some of the most popular courses. This information can be found on individual course pages.

How long is an online course?

Courses vary in length from 6 to 10 weeks long, with one session each week. Each course will have its duration listed in the ‘Details for booking’ section at the bottom of the course page.

How long is an online class?

Typically, a class lasts for 1.5 hours, but some are 1 or 2 hours long. The exact duration of each course is listed in the ‘Details for booking’ section at the bottom of the course page. We recommend logging on 10-15 minutes before the scheduled start, to check all your equipment works.

What time zones are the classes delivered in?

The times listed for each course are UK time, so please be sure to check what time the sessions will occur in your local time to ensure you can attend.

When do I need to book?

There is no strict deadline, but we take enrolments until each course is full, so we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment, ideally 4 or more weeks before the start date. Your place on a course is only guaranteed once the fee has been received.

When will I receive information about my online course?

You’ll receive a confirmation email immediately after booking. Two days before your course starts (or 2 hours before if you book within 48 hours of the course start), you will receive specific information about your course, including your login details. If you have not received your VLE login details within 24 hours of your course starting, please email

Can I attend from overseas?

Because the courses are online you are welcome to attend from any country in the world.

You are required to attend live classes that run to UK time, which you can check online on a website such as World Time Buddy. All courses will be taught in English so you will need a good level of spoken and written English.

How good does my English need to be?

All courses are taught in English, and you must have a minimum IELTS score of 5. We do not require your official test results, but it is your responsibility to ensure you have the appropriate level of English to attend and participate in a course.

If you are based in London, you could combine your course with English Language studies running at UAL's Language Centre. Further details can be found on our Language Centre pages.

What is the minimum age to enrol?

Anyone aged 18 and over on the first day of the class can enrol, unless the course is specifically advertised as being for persons under that age. There is no upper age limit.

What equipment/software will I need?

In addition to any course-specific materials (which will be listed on the course webpage), you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Firefox or Chrome)
  • A microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended)
  • A webcam
  • A good broadband connection - this is essential, so please ensure you are using a strong WiFi connection or an Ethernet cable internet connection and are not using mobile data.

Can I use a tablet or a mobile device for the course?

You can access online sessions using mobile devices like Apple or Android supported tablets and smartphones. However, some of the features of Blackboard will be limited.Similarly, you can access Workflow on tablets and mobile devices, but some features will be reduced.Whatever device you are using you must have a good internet connection via WiFi or Ethernet connection - we do not recommend 2G, 3G or 4G.

Why do I need headphones when my computer has speakers?

Live classes use technology which enables you to talk and hear the tutor and other students. Because the microphone records everything around you, it can record the sound coming from the speakers, creating an echo loop which is likely to make the live class inaudible.

Do I need to study outside class hours?

Most courses will give you weekly assignments to complete outside of class. These should take around 1 ½ hours. They are not compulsory, but will enrich your learning and you will receive feedback on them from your tutor.

Will I receive a qualification?

You will receive a 'Certificate of Attendance' which will be emailed to you at the end of the course, provided you meet the required levels of participation (attendance of live sessions and completing weekly assignments).

Contact us

If you can't find an answer your question email