Terms and conditions

Privacy policy

Welcome to FutureLearn!

We respect your right to privacy.

This Privacy Policy applies to your use of www.futurelearn.com (the “website”) and your participation in any research sessions with us. It tells you (the customer) what to expect when we collect personally identifiable information about you, and what your rights are concerning the collection of your information.  It is provided in accordance with our obligations under the UK Data Protection Act 2018 and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

We will not collect any personally identifiable information about you unless it is in response to you using our website, actively registering for one of our online products or participating in research sessions with us. The security of your personally identifiable information is extremely important to us. 

This Privacy Policy is regularly reviewed to make sure that we continue to serve your privacy interests and we reserve the right to update it as we deem necessary. 

Please review this Privacy Policy carefully.  It should be read alongside the FutureLearn Terms and the Cookies Policy. Unless otherwise defined, terms used have the same meaning as in the Terms.  

If you have any questions, comments, or complaints about this Privacy Policy please contact us at the details set out below. 

1. About Us

In this Privacy Policy, references to “we” or “us” are to FutureLearn Limited, a company incorporated in England and Wales (registered number 8324083) whose registered office is at Buchanan House, 30 Holborn London, England, EC1N 2HS.

2. What information we collect

2.1. Registering with FutureLearn. 

When you register on the FutureLearn Website, when you create and update your Learner profile, and when you purchase Online Courses on the Website, we and third parties working with us will collect the following information:

    • Name, email address, age (required)
    • Home address, date of birth, telephone number, country of nationality (required for certain courses)
    • Other personal data if you choose to register for a FutureLearn account via third party sites including Facebook and Google, and have provided your personal information on those platforms
    • Credit/debit card information 
    • Data relating to your use of our Website and enrolment on Online Courses
    • Information provided by you when you correspond with us (including via surveys)
    • Other information you choose to provide about your interests, educational background, occupation and work experience, learning goals, and other general learning preferences for the purpose of making course recommendations on our website or, if you’ve opted in, via email and personalising our services to your needs.
    • Information provided from third party sources, such as our Partners who may invite you to a certain course. 

2.2. Learning journey

When you are participating on an Online Course, we and third parties may collect and store the following additional information:

    • comments you voluntarily post while participating in online discussions with the Course educators and other Learners during the Course run
    • any email communications with FutureLearn to seek user support or to send queries related to the Course
    • any content submitted by you during the Course, such as written assignments, quizzes, and examinations, and the results of any assessments 
    • any data and documentation you submit in order to verify your identity where required to obtain a certificate or academic accreditation (collected by our third-party identity verification vendors who may store your information for the sole purpose of identification verification)
    • responses you voluntarily provide to FutureLearn, the Course educators, or third parties in questionnaires, surveys, or user research that you participate in related to the Course 

2.3. Requesting additional information on a FutureLearn Course

We collect information from visitors to our Website who express interest in a particular Online Course and wish to be contacted by the university or other institution offering the Course.  The information includes:

    • Name, email address, educational background, employment background, address, country of residence and telephone number

2.4. Accessing the Website  

When you access the Website we may use cookies to track, collect, and aggregate information about your use of the Website, including pages you have visited, the specific URLs that brought you to our Website, and links embedded on our Website that you have accessed.  This information may include IP addresses, and any information collected by cookies.  This may also include information such as the time and length of visits to certain pages on our website and page interaction information. For more information on our use of cookies, please refer to our Cookies Policy.

2.5. Participating in research

When you participate in research with us, whether through a third party platform or with us directly, we collect the following information from you:

  • Identity and contact data
  • A record of your informed consent
  • Data about you and your FutureLearn use
  • Recordings from your research session, for example written notes, transcripts, question responses, interaction data, photographs, and audio, video and screen recordings.

3. How we use your information

3.1. In providing our online services and products to you, we and third parties we work with will collect, store, and use your personal information for the following purposes:

3.1.1. to manage your Learner account;

3.1.2. to provide technical support to you;

3.2.3. to send you email notifications and updates about Courses you are enrolled on;

3.1.4. where you are invited by a Course provider or a third party institution such as your employer to enrol on a Course, to allow the that entity to enrol you on the Course, and to monitor and track your progress on the Course;

3.1.5. if you are taking a Course for academic credit, professional certification and/or other formal recognition of learning, to allow the university or other institution to monitor and track your progress, to award you with the relevant recognition as applicable, and to make direct contact with you regarding your progress and completion of the Course;

3.1.6. to contact you occasionally in order to invite you to share your opinions of and experiences with FutureLearn, and to to publish customer reviews and ratings of our Courses on our Website or on other media channels;

3.1.7. for marketing purposes, where you provide us with your consent to receive marketing communications, which may include email and/or telephone communications with information, news, and offers of Courses on our Website and third party offers;

3.1.8. for creating prospective customer databases by matching demographic data from your depersonalised information with members of the general public;

3.1.9. to use your information in an aggregated format to identify trends on our website and trends in our customer database. We may use this information in an aggregated and anonymous format and may share this information with third parties;

3.1.10. in connection with campaigns with higher education institution partners, to provide universities you have expressed an interest in, with your personal information so they may assess common areas of interest between their students and FutureLearn Learners and improve their educational programme offerings.  Any such data gathering will also be pursuant to the universities’ own privacy policies;

3.1.11. to share general user data with our Online Course providers for research related to online education (as more fully set out below); 

3.1.12. to enable you to participate in our refer-a-friend rewards scheme. 

3.1.13. to enable other learners on our platforms to view the information you have chosen to add to your profile and, depending on the profile settings you have selected, your course activity;

3.1.14. if you have decided to make your profile settings public, to enable members of the public to see your profile and course activity by searching for relevant FutureLearn courses and topics on the internet; and

3.1.15. to personalise our services (the FutureLearn Website, any email communications and the FutureLearn App) so as to best meet your needs, for example by providing tailored Course recommendations; and

3.1.16 where you are engaging in research with us, we use the personal data you provide us with to run and tailor a research session, pay an incentive (if applicable) and seek further consent/clarification as well as to record your consent to take part in a research session. We also use this personal data for reporting and internal analysis.

3.2. We use cookies to collect information relating to your use of the Website to enable, maintain and improve the functioning of our Website and the quality of our products and services. For more information, please see our Cookies Policy. 

4. Whom we may share your information with

4.1. For the above purposes, we may share your information with the following third parties.  Please note that any third parties’ use of your personal data will be governed by their own privacy policies and give rise to separate obligations under applicable data protection laws.  We suggest that you carefully review any third party privacy policies that may apply to you.  

4.2.Third parties that may receive your information include:

4.2.1. our payment services providers (i) PayPal (UK) Limited, (ii) Stripe Inc; and (iii) Chargebee Inc;

4.2.2. universities and other institutions that provide Online Courses on our Website, and institutions that award academic credit to Learners who successfully complete an Online Course; 

4.2.3. providers of assessments and marking services when you register for an assessment or submit a piece of work for marking in connection with an Online Course;

4.2.4. our ID verification partner Jumio, when you are required to submit personal information on certain Online Courses offering academic credit or professional recognition, or when you exercise the option of doing so on other Online Courses in order to receive a certificate of learning;

4.2.5. customer relationship management service providers (which allows us, for example, to send personalised email communications to you);

4.2.6. our customer service software provider Zendesk International Limited, if you contact our support team;

4.2.7. our file storage and management service providers;

4.2.8. our third party review and ratings partner, who assists us with collecting and moderating any review and rating you may elect to provide of our Online Content and Courses;

4.2.9. where you have agreed, to our refer-a-friend scheme provider, solely to enable your participation in the refer-a-friend scheme 

4.2.10. your employer, educational institution, or third parties who may invite you to enrol on an Online Course for training, educational, or assessment purposes;

4.2.11. where you participate in a research session with us, service providers such as Google Meet and third party marketing agencies such as Impero;

4.2.12. any FutureLearn group company (in a pseudonymised format for analytical purposes only);

4.2.13. if we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we may disclose your information to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets, provided that they continue to use your information in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Policy; 

4.2.14. if all, or substantially all of our assets, are acquired by a third party provided that they continue to use your information in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Policy, in which case information held by us will be one of the transferred assets; and

4.2.15. Any entity to which we are under a duty to disclose or share your information in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our Terms and other legal requirements; or to protect our rights, property, or safety, our users, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

5. How our Course providers may use your information

5.1. Some universities and other institutions that provide Online Courses on our Website are required to conduct research on their online educational programmes in order to qualify for research funds.  Accordingly, your activities on an Online Course – including comments you contribute while on a Course – are shared with our Course providers to enable them to fulfil their research requirements. Any data we share for this purpose will be in line with our Research Ethics guidelines – please read the guidelines carefully to understand how our Course providers may use your data in their research and the restrictions FutureLearn imposes on their use of your data.  

5.2. In addition, after you have registered with FutureLearn and together with our academic partners we may use your data to determine the level of interest in enrolling in further courses offered by the academic partner.  

5.3. Our Course providers may also embed links within the Online Course material or within emails related to the Course, and such links if selected will take you off the FutureLearn Website and bring you to a third party website, for which the Course provider is solely responsible.  If you are asked to submit personal information on any third party websites, the collection of that information will not be covered by this Privacy Policy and you must familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions and privacy policy of the third party website before submitting your information.  At no time will you be required to submit any information on third party websites as a condition for continuing the Online Course on the FutureLearn Website, and your decision not to provide information on third party websites will never affect your progress or any marks on the Course.


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