Charging for Course Material

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The guidance was created in 2006 to provide Departments/Schools with more detailed guidance on the matter of charging students for course materials. 


In line with guidance from the Funding Council, the University’s current policy remains that core learning materials should be provided to students free of charge.

Charges should not be made for the following:

  • Where a department requires students to utilise departmentally-produced workbooks, packs of printed handbooks, etc, that are essential parts of classes. Such materials should be provided free of charge to students.
  • Routine handouts issued in classes.
  • Materials which are essential to undertaking a class, e.g. chemicals, scientific glassware, etc

Examples of permissible charges:

  • Where a department/school provides a pack of printed materials which draws together articles/materials from various sources for the convenience of the students (e.g. to save  students having to purchase a number of books), a charge to cover the cost of production may be made. Students should be informed that they may choose to purchase the printed version, or could access it online (printing it all or extracts themselves), or could access the texts directly.
  • Personal safety equipment which could reasonably be expected to be purchased, e.g. lab coats, safety goggles, where those items would become the property of the student. A department may choose to bulk buy such items and sell them at cost price to students. Students could choose to buy the items from the department or could purchase them elsewhere.
  • Field trips/off campus activities such as theatre trips. 


If you would like further information on this guidance, please contact the Education Enhancement Team


Guidance on Charging for Course Materials

Relevant Links

Here are additional links of interest

Academic Policies & Procedures


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