Opening a course for enrolment is when we publish the Course Description Page (CDP).
The course start date displayed on the CDP indicates when learners will be able to access the course content and begin learning. Once the course start date has passed, the CDP states ‘join now’ and enrolment continues.
If the course is listed publicly, the CDP will appear in FutureLearn course listings and, after a day or two, in internet searches. Invite only (private) courses and most non-English language courses are examples of unlisted courses.
When a learner finds a Course Description Page either from within FutureLearn or an internet search, they see the details of the course and can ‘join’, or enrol. If they join before the course begins they can access a Welcome Area (if available). They will be prompted by email when the course has begun.
- Short courses open for enrolment shortly before, or on the day of, the course start date. Enrolment continues after that, usually indefinitely.
- ExpertTracks open for enrolment on the same day they start. Learners can join and study at any point after that.
- Microcredentials typically open for enrolment months before they start. Enrolment generally closes just before the start date.
After enrolment opens, but before a course or microcredential start date, learners who enrol cannot access course content.
When do we open courses for enrolment before the course start date?
On-demand courses generally do not need an enrolment window, since they are always available for learners to enrol and study.
Factors to consider
Our data has shown diminishing returns with short course enrolment periods beyond 4 weeks.
Enrolment windows are only useful in certain instances, which include:
- limited-run courses, especially where facilitated and/or technical and specialist audiences (this includes microcredentials) need time to be promoted and enrol a cohort of learners.
- a facilitation window is scheduled at the start of an on-demand short course run.
- marketing or promotional aims, needing a course URL to link to.
What is required to open a course for enrolment:
- approved Course Description Page copy. We’ll let you know when the copy is ready to review. You will be asked, at this time, to confirm when you would like to open the course for enrolment.
- learning outcomes inserted into Course Creator.
- educator profiles added to the CDP.
- any collaborating organisation information, which we will add, at your instruction.
- facilitation window dates added in Course Creator (if appropriate).
- certificate information submitted.
Terminology on this page that you aren’t familiar with? Check out our glossary.