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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3840
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I attend a private film school in London, UK Masters Degree

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I attend a private film school in London, UK for a Masters Degree programme.
I'm in the process of dropping out of that course on my own request, but I paid my fee in advance for the whole year (the entire course). It is now about 1/3rd of the total course duration. The school's timetable suggest that an Exit Award is available soon, for those that drop out of the course before finishing the MA.
So I wanted to exercise that exit award, but I also want my money back for the rest of the course - the part I'm not gonna attend after dropping out.
The terms and conditions state the following (those were on my application form):,
6.4 Where there are exceptional circumstances these will be dealt with entirely at the school’s discretion on a case-by-case basis.
6.6 All deposits paid to secure a place on any programme are non-refundable.
Not sure how much information do you need to asses, I can provide more. I'm an international student from the EU.
What can I do to get a refund for the rest of my course?
Thank you in advance for any help!
Kind regards,

Hi thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. How much are you looking to reclaim? Do you have any exceptional reason for leaving the course early? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello AJ,Thanks for responding!I want to leave, because I want to start a business and focus on other things - I feel I won't benefit much more by staying. So it's not the school's fault.The course was £16,625 , and I've estimated the refund should be about 10-11 grand.Tom

Hi, Thank you. It says in the terms and conditions that the deposit is non refundable, not the course fees per say. How much was the deposit? Have you asked for a refund? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi AJ,The deposit was 20% of the fee, so £3,325 (I now realize I didn't subtract this from the fees to estimate by refund).I have asked for a refund, but I have mixed answers from different people. Finance dept. person says I can't, other finance dept. person says it depends and it's only in special cases. Last time I made an official e-mail to the department they said they're collecting statements and invoices. Today I'm talking to my programme leader about my reasons to leave.Is there any law I can reference to them about refunds like this? I'm kind of walking blindfolded here in legal knowledge...

Hi, Thank you. Techinically the law would be two fold:

(i) Contractually you are only receiving a refund for a service you have not received;

(ii) If they did charge you the whole sum for terminating the contract, this is known as a contractual penalty which is essentially penalising you for terminating and is not a pre estimate of their loss. Such concepts are unenforceable under English Law.

I would write back to them and say that you accept the deposit was non refundable, but are not prepared to pay for an entire course you have not received the benefit of. Say that to charge in such a manner would be nothing more than a penalty for termination which you do not believe is enforceable or fair under English Law.

I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards AJ

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