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How can we help you?

Here at Hotcourses, we’re keen to help you find your perfect course. We know that things don’t always run smoothly though, so if you need help, we’ve brought together some of our most frequently asked questions below. Likewise, we’re always happy to add new course providers to our site and assist those that already list our courses with us, so we’ve covered that below too. If you still can’t find the topic you need help with here, Jade or Jane from our editorial team are on hand and ready to assist on Facebook or Twitter, or if it’s not urgent, you can email us on support@hotcourses.com

To help us answer your query, first click on which of the following best describes you:

I am a visitor to Hotcourses trying to find information about courses

Questions about finding courses

How do I find the right course or class for me?

Hotcourses sites allow you to search for a subject, then refine and filter your results by location (enter a town or postcode), by price, by hours of study and other things that are important for making your choice. The more you refine and filter, the more personalised the options presented will be, so tell our search engines more about what you want!

Once you have found the course or class you are looking for, then you can book directly with the provider of that course, or, if the option to book and pay online is not available from that provider, you can email them or visit their website.

Why is there contact information on some pages and not on others?

Some course providers will have chosen not to list their contact details for whatever reason. In this case, you have a few options. If you’re really keen on that particular course, you might like to get in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook and we can try and chat to the course provider for you. Alternatively, you might like to try searching again and picking another class. Or, as a last resort, it might be worth just looking up the name of the course provider in the phone book, the old fashioned way.

The course I am looking at does not have a booking option on it...

Some providers on Hotcourses want to handle the booking directly, either because they do not take online bookings, or because their courses have complicated entry requirements that are not suited to online bookings. These providers list their web address and an option to email them for you to make enquiries directly.

Do Hotcourses run the courses?

No. We provide inspiration and guidance towards finding the right course but we don’t actually run any ourselves. Instead, we allow course providers to list their courses on our site. Therefore we don’t specialise in any specific subjects. We can give you general advice but you’re better off speaking to the course provider directly if you’ve got questions on that particular course.

I have a specific question about something to do with the class I am thinking of booking/have booked...

If you have a question about a class that you have booked, then you need to direct this to the provider of the class, not to Hotcourses, using the contact details provided. Sorry, but we have no more information than that provided by the organisation or person offering the class via our websites. If you need information about things like arrival times, equipment needed for the class, cancellations or moving classes, then you need to contact the provider either using the ‘Request info’ button if they have listed one, using the contact details in your post-booking email, or, as mentioned, by looking them up in the phone book.

I requested information from a course provider; why haven’t I heard anything?

The time it takes for course providers to respond does vary but we usually hope that they won’t take longer than 72 hours. If it’s been longer than this and you’ve still not heard from them, drop us an email (support.team@hotcourses.com) and we’ll chase this up.

How do I know if I am suitable for a specific class?

If there are entry requirements, then the course provider should list these on the detailed class listing page. If no entry requirements are stated here, then you can assume that you are eligible. Some providers will want to ask you some questions in advance, which they will do when you make a booking request. They may suggest a different class if they think another would suit you better.

I am nervous about going to see a private teacher; will I be safe?

Meeting a private learning provider is no more or less safe than anything else in life, but if you are meeting someone for the first time and this worries you, there are some steps that you can take to be careful. If you are worried about meeting a teacher at their home or teaching venue, you can ask for the initial meeting to be in a public place, like a café or library. If the teacher offers to come to your home to teach you, then you can take the same approach; an initial lesson in a public place. If you are unsure, ask for customer references that you can speak to yourself to check that the person is of good standing.

Questions about bookings

What happens to my money after I book through Hotcourses?

When you book and pay, we hold your funds securely, until after your first class date. The course provider will receive your payment directly from us 2-3 weeks after this date. This protects both us and you from course providers who might set up pretending to provide classes that don't exist and so it keeps us both safe from fraud.

How do I know my card details are safe?

As you would expect, we take this incredibly seriously. Neither Hotcourses nor the provider of the class ever see your credit or debit card details. These are exclusively handled by our market leading payment security partners:

The site is secured with VeriSign SSL, issued by the leading Certificate Authority worldwide. They carry out daily scans for Malware to protect all your data on our sites. Sagepay are our payment processing partner who securely deal with the card companies and banks on our and your behalf. They are PCI DSS Level 1 compliant (which basically means the highest global standards of card payment security, imposed by the card issuers) and provide secure payment processing for over 30,000 websites in the UK alone, including big names such as Easyjet and Hawes & Curtis.

What name will appear on my card statement?

Since all bookings are taken using Hotcourses secure booking and payment system, the name that will appear on your statement will be Hotcourses Ltd, rather than that of the provider of the class.

I paid but I have not received a booking confirmation email...

If you completed the booking process and did not receive any error messages along the way, then this means that it is possible that your email confirmation has become stuck in spam or junk mail filters. Please check your junk mail folders for the email (which will be sent from marketplace@hotcourses.com). If you still cannot find the email, then please contact us at marketplace@hotcourses.com in order to be sent another copy of your booking confirmation.

I am trying to make a booking, but the system will not process it...

If you are experiencing problems, then please contact us at marketplace@hotcourses.com.

I need to cancel the class that I booked.

Classes can have different 'cancellation windows'. Some classes cannot be cancelled once booked, others can be cancelled up to a specified number of days after booking and others can be cancelled a specified number of days before the class date. The provider of the class sets these terms, not Hotcourses, and the specifics for the class that you have booked is stated during your booking journey.

If you are still within the stated cancellation window then you can log into your account using the email and password you set up during booking. You will be able to cancel by clicking on the booking you made and clicking on the cancel and refund button.

If the cancellation window has passed, then no cancellation will be possible using your account. You may ask the provider whether they will cancel or move your booking, but this is at the discretion of the provider once the cancellation window has passed.

My class has been cancelled by the course provider...

If a provider cancels a class for any reason then they should offer you an alternative date or a refund. They can refund directly to the card that you paid with using the Hotcourses Marketplace system or provide you with a refund in cash.

I went to my class and nobody was there – what now?

If the provider of the class does not show up, please contact us immediately. If you make contact within 2 days of the class then we will follow this up with the provider and ensure that you have your money returned in full if no alternative arrangement can be made.

I didn't like my class...

You need to take this up with the provider of the class, not with Hotcourses. Hotcourses' role is to provide you with access to as wide a range of options for classes as possible, and to make it easy to book them online, but we cannot arbitrate between attendees and providers over disagreements about class content.

When you buy a course through Hotcourses, you do so on the basis of the information supplied by the provider at the time of booking, so any queries or disputes need to be raised with the provider directly. The information provided about classes and providers is created by the provider, not by Hotcourses and by booking using this platform, you acknowledge this.

I cancelled within the cancellation window, but have not yet received my funds.

If you cancelled via your Hotcourses account, then it will typically take up to 5 working days for your refund to reach your account. If you still have not received your funds after this period then please contact us at marketplace@hotcourses.com. If you have agreed a refund with a provider but did not cancel using your online Hotcourses account and have yet to receive the refund, then you need to contact the provider directly.

I booked directly with a course provider rather than through Hotcourses but now I’m having problems – can you help?

If you found a course on Hotcourses and then booked directly with the course provider, then we won’t be able to help you with any issues you may subsequently have we’re afraid. You will need to deal directly with the course provider.

Questions about signing up and logging in

Is Hotcourses free?

Searching on Hotcourses is completely free. Not only that, but joining Hotcourses as a member is free too and you get a personalised area where you can shortlist and compare courses. All we ask is that you complete a simple sign up form to help us ensure the courses listed are relevant to you. By joining Hotcourses, we may email you from time to time with course ideas that we think you will be interested in.

I can't sign up.

The email you are trying may already be registered with Hotcourses.com. In this case please register an alternative email address. If after re-trying you still cannot register please email: support.team@hotcourses.com

I can't log in.

If this has happened then we are afraid that we cannot find details of you ever having registered on our database. You may have registered using a different email address than you are using now, so it is worth trying any other email addresses that you may have. If this does not work then you will have to re-register. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

I've forgotten my password.

If you cannot remember your password, go to ‘Sign up’ on the homepage. Select ‘Log in’ and then on the link that comes up in the box saying ‘Forgotten your password?’ You will then be asked to enter your email address and we’ll send you a link where you can change your password.

How do I unsubscribe?

Please enter your email address on this page. This will automatically unsubscribe you.

I have unsubscribed but still receive emails.

Please email support.team@hotcourses.com.

Writing reviews

How do I submit a review?

Search and find the appropriate course provider or course and click on 'Write a review'. This will take you through to a page where you can enter your comments. If you just want to review the course provider and not a specific course, leave the course field blank.

When will my review appear on the website?

Reviews take up to a week to appear on the site as they have to pass through our moderation process.

Will my review be edited?

No. The comments on the site are those of our users and are unbiased and unaltered. We do of course retain the right take down abusive or offensive material.

Can I submit a review for a college I can't find on the site?

Unfortunately not, however if you find a college or course that isn't on the site, let us know and we'll put it up there as soon as we can.

I can find the college but the course I went on is not there - can I still write a review?

Yes, you can. Simply write a review of the college and leave the course title blank. We still want to hear from learners even if the course isn't currently running.

Can I write more than one review about the same college?

You can write more than one course review about the same college if you are reviewing different courses, but you cannot write two college reviews about the same college.

Do I need be signed up to write a review?

You will need to be signed up in the process of writing.

Someone at the college contacted me about my review. Did you give them my details?

No. It is against our policy to share any details of reviewers other than they have specified to show against the review. Reviewers stay anonymous unless they choose to post their email address/contact info on their review. You need to opt into this when you write the review.

How long do my reviews stay on the site for?

We do not remove reviews based on the length of time they've been there.

Can I comment on other people's reviews?

Yes, we welcome this. If you want to comment on someone else's review, or if you are a course provider and you disagree on what someone has written, then click the ‘Reply to this review’ and you will be taken to a screen that allows you to submit your comment.

Questions about fees and funding

Do you offer scholarships and bursaries?

No. From time to time we may run competitions where you can win funding for a course but generally we don’t offer scholarships or bursaries on a regular basis.

The course I’m looking at says it might be free but I have to ask the provider – what does this mean?

This usually denotes the course is free for 16-19 year olds and is generally the case for further education courses. Those older may have to pay all or some of the fees for the course as they won’t be subsidised by the government.

I receive benefits; can I get help paying for a course?

It’s possible but it’s not something we can be sure of. This changes often when new governments come into power so it’s worth checking the gov.uk site for the latest on this.

Where can I find free courses?

There are certain free courses on Hotcourses – as mentioned, some are free for 16-19 year olds and you’ll also find some ‘taster’ courses that you can do for free as a way of seeing if you want to commit to a full course. The best way to find these is either to search for the subject you’re interested in and click through to the course details page to find out the price. Or, you could type ‘free’ into the search box which will return a few. It’s worth noting though that this will also bring up courses with ‘free’ in the title, like gluten free baking or free running for example.

I live overseas and want to study in the UK can you help with funding?

We do not offer funding for overseas students looking to study in the UK. Please contact the course provider you’re hoping to study with directly regarding opportunities for funding. If you're just after more information, have a look at Hotcourses Abroad and Scholarship Search.

I can't find any funding available for the course I want to study.

If the funding details don't appear on our website it's because the institution hasn't listed them with us. That may be for a variety of reasons, including that they simply don't have bursaries and scholarships in that particular area.

Feedback on an area of the site

I’ve got an idea that could improve Hotcourses; do you want to hear it? We are constantly changing Hotcourses, adding new features and revising existing ones to make it the most useful website possible. Therefore we welcome feedback and suggestions about the direction of the site. If you have any ideas about what you would like to see on the site in the future, please contact us at support.team@hotcourses.com and we will attempt to reply within 24 hours.

I had a horrible experience with a course provider and think they should be taken off your site...

If you know something you think we should know about a course provider, do get in touch with us and we can look into it further.

I am a course provider

Appearing on Hotcourses

Hotcourses looks like a site we would like to be listed on – how do I go about making this happen?

The best first step is to chat to one of our sales team on sales@hotcourses.com (don’t worry, it’s not all sales – there are free options too).

Do I have to pay to add my courses?

You don’t have to pay to add your courses in a very basic way, no, but to get the full benefits of being on our website, you may want to consider some of our paid options – these will help you get more qualified leads and can ensure you appear clearly in search results. Have a chat with our sales team on sales@hotcourses.com to find out more.

I would like to advertise on one of Hotcourses websites – what are my options?

Hotcourses offers a wide variety of advertising options such as banner ads, priority keyword searches; school, college, departmental or university profiles, interactive e-mail links, direct marketing and online applications. To find out more about these options, please email sales@hotcourses.com and one of our account managers will contact you soon afterwards.

Editing your listings

How do I amend my course information?

You can amend your course information at www.myhotcourses.com but if you need advice on updating and amending your course information please contact us at newproviders@hotcourses.com.

I think you’ve got the wrong data about my courses on your site and I don’t think anyone in my organisation added them – how can I correct this?

The course data on Hotcourses.com is generated and maintained by Hotcourses Ltd (all FE and non-HE courses) and UCAS (all HE courses). If you think something is incorrect, email us at feproviders@hotcourses.com and we will do our best to adjust it accordingly.

I represent an organisation that would like to work with Hotcourses in some way


I think my organisation has a similar goal and audience to Hotcourses and I’d like to see if we can work together but I’m not sure how just yet...

We’d love to hear from you – drop our marketing and content manager, Jade an email on jade.odonoghue@hotcourses.com and she’ll discuss this further with you.

Can we get your course search facility on our site as a widget?

Yes. Jade can help with this too (see address above).

We’d like to use your database and send them emails, is this possible?

Maybe – we’d need to know more about how you’d like to set this up. We don’t give away any information from our users but we do sometimes send them emails with information about other companies we think they’d be interested in.


I’m a journalist writing an article about hobbies/courses/education and I’d like to chat to a representative from Hotcourses...

We’d probably like to chat to you too! Email the details to press@hotcourses.com and we can see how we can help.

Do you have course statistics I can use in an article?

Yes – drop us a line on press@hotcourses.com and we’ll see what information we can get for you.