Paying for your course in monthly instalments

Choosing to study is a hugely worthwhile investment in yourself and in your future. But coming up with the full cost of your course upfront isn’t always easy. At NEC, we’re determined that course fees shouldn’t stop you from studying, so we’ve teamed up with Deko to offer you a flexible way to pay for your course through finance.

We offer a choice of 6 or 12 month repayment plans, with 0% APR as standard, so you can choose the best repayment plan for you, and it won’t cost you any more to spread the payments.

All you need to get started is a 10% deposit.

Examples of 6 and 12 month payment plans with NEC

Representative example, for GCSE Maths 6 month plan:

Course fee: £495
Minimum 10% deposit: £49.50
Amount of credit: £445.50
Monthly payment: £74.25
Duration of agreement: 6 months
Total repayable: £495
Rate of interest: 0% (fixed)
0% APR representative.

Representative example, for GCSE Maths 12 month plan:

Course fee: £495
Minimum 10% deposit: £49.50
Amount of credit: £445.50
Monthly payment: £37.13
Duration of agreement: 12 months
Total repayable: £495
Rate of interest: 0% (fixed)
0% APR representative.

More about applying for 0% finance for your course

To be considered for finance you will need to:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • You’re in paid employment or have a regular income (minimum 16 hours per week or £6,000 per annum, unless you are retired and receiving a private / company pension or in receipt of disability allowance);
  • be a permanent UK resident who has lived in the UK for at least 3 years;
  • have a UK bank account capable of accepting direct debits;
  • have a good credit history with no late payments, debt relief orders, CCJs, IVAs or bankruptcies;
  • provide an email address so your documentation can be emailed to you.

The value of the loan needs to be over £250.

Your application will be assessed based on eligibility, credit history and affordability and Deko will let you know the outcome in just a few seconds. It’s important to know that when applying for finance a hard credit check is made which is recorded on your credit file.

Once approved, Deko will let you know who the lender is and provide you with their full contact details. You then just need to digitally sign your credit agreement, pay your deposit and wait for your enrolment to be confirmed by NEC via email.

In a few cases, your application may be referred to a lender for manual assessment and you’ll be notified by email of the credit decision within 24 hours. If you’re not approved for finance it could be for a variety of reasons and the lender will be able to give you more information.

Repaying your loan

Your first direct debit payment will be taken about six weeks after you receive your confirmation of enrolment email from NEC. This will show on your statement as a payment to your lender. You have the right to repay all or part of the loan early at any time.

Cancelling your loan

There is a 14-day cooling off period where you can withdraw from the credit agreement after signing your documents. If you want to do this, you need to notify the lender.

A repayment plan does not affect our standard refund policy . Just contact us and we’ll cancel your application and the lender will refund your deposit and let you know of any outstanding balance if applicable.

Other repayment options

If you have any questions or would like to know more, get in touch and we can discuss your options with you. For example, would you like to pay a larger deposit and have lower monthly payments?

About Deko and NEC

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788) and act as a credit broker and not a lender.

Finance is provided through the Deko platform by Omni Capital Retail Finance Limited. Omni Capital Retail Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 720279).

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd which act as a credit broker and not a lender. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to www.dekopay.com/support or visit www.dekopay.com.

Special offers

As an education charity dedicated to helping independent learners to achieve life-changing qualifications, NEC wants to keep fees affordable. To keep our course fees as low as possible and ensure that they are affordable for individual students, who are often paying their own fees, we set course fees on a cost recovery basis. Any surplus we make is reinvested in improving the quality of our courses and developing our student support services.

Although our courses cost more than some other providers’, it’s important to be aware that we offer far more student support and higher quality learning resources than many of our competitors.

As a result, NEC’s fees for GCSEs and A levels offer some of the best value on the market, with multi-buy options, seasonal special offers, personal discounts, and affordable finance options.

Because we have so much experience, and are dedicated to helping our learners succeed, we also offer a much higher level of study support than many other online distance learning providers, providing real value for money.

On this page you’ll find information about any discounts and special offers we are currently running to help you save money on the cost of your learning.

Multi-buy offers

For some courses, we offer discounts if you enrol on two or more courses together. The following multi-buy offers are available online and over the telephone. Please note: you must enter the corresponding voucher code at checkout to redeem your discount when purchasing online. 

Multi-buy GCSEs*:

  • 2 GCSEs for £940 (online enter code: GCSEMB2)
  • 3 GCSEs for £1,410 (online enter code: GCSEMB3)
  • 4 GCSEs for £1,780 (online enter code: GCSEMB4)
  • 5 GCSEs for £2,225 (online enter code: GCSEMB5)

Multi-buy A levels**:

  • 2 A levels for £1,350 (online enter code: ALEVELMB2)
  • 3 A levels for £2,025 (online enter code: ALEVELMB3)

*The multi-buy offer excludes IGCSE Double Science.

**The multi-buy offer excludes A level Further Maths and A level History of Art.

Discounts are only available when paying in full and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. All offers are applied at the point of enrolment and not retrospectively.

If you wish to enrol on multiple courses beyond 5 GCSEs or 3 A levels, please call our Course Advice Team on 0800 389 2839.

Course bundle: English and Maths for Early Years

Enrol on any of our Early Years Educator courses and you can add GCSE English and GCSE Maths to your enrolment with a discount of £75 off each subject.

This offer is open both to new learners who enrol for the first time and existing students already working through these courses, making it easier for you to gain all the crucial qualifications you’ll need to begin or progress your career in Early Years Education.

Discounts are only available when paying in full and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. All offers are applied at the point of enrolment and not retrospectively. You cannot enrol online for this offer.

Forces personnel funding

Members of the armed forces can take advantage of the Standard Learning Credit (SLC) scheme: see the “Sources of financial help” section.


The TOTUM PRO card is available to current active students aged 16 or over, studying full or part-time in Further or Higher Education. The TOTUM PRO card replaces the NUS extra card but works exactly the same. It gives card holders access to a huge variety of special offers and discounts that help you save while you study. For further information about TOTUM PRO, including a full list of the deals and discounts they have on offer, visit the Totum website

Ask about TOTUM PRO when you enrol, or, if you are already studying with us, please email our student support team.

Special offers

From time to time we have special offers to help you save money on the cost of your studies. We’ll share details of these here.

Distance learning really can change lives. You can give a friend or relative the opportunity to learn something new by covering or contributing towards the cost of any course in our catalogue with an NEC gift voucher.

Gift vouchers are available in denominations of £25, £50 or £100.

Each year, NEC helps thousands of people get back into education and gain that a potentially life-changing qualification. With one of our gift vouchers, you can help someone towards that all-important course.

To find out more about our gift vouchers, call our course advisers on 0800 389 2839, or email us at info@nec.ac.uk.

Terms and conditions

The following terms and conditions apply to NEC gift vouchers:

  • Gift vouchers can only be purchased for NEC’s distance learning courses, and are not available for purchase towards teacher and trainer resources
  • Gift vouchers must be redeemed within 12 months of purchase
  • Gift vouchers cannot be exchanged for cash or used to pay outstanding balances
  • NEC reserves the right to amend the terms and conditions of the gift vouchers at any time.

Personal discounts for...

Home educators

If you are educating your children at home, you might be interested in the multi-buy offer.

This is extended to all the family enrolling at the same time, whether that be siblings or parent and child. Please call our course advice team on 0800 389 2839 to discuss your particular needs.

Click here to find out more about our new under 18’s service.


Thanks to a long-standing agreement between NEC and unionlearn, trade unionists are entitled to a 10% discount on the cost of our courses. If you’re a member of a trade union, simply let us know when you enrol and we’ll reduce the cost of your course accordingly.

  • 10% discount only applied when paying in full.
  • Offer can not be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Open University Students

NEC is pleased to offer a 10% discount on all its online distance learning courses to Open University members of staff and their families, students and alumni. Just call to enrol.

  • 10% discount only applied when paying in full.
  • Offer can not be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  • Offer can be used by the same individual more than once.
  • NEC has the right to ask for proof of the purchaser’s current or previous study or employment with the Open University. Examples of proof could be your OU student number.

NHS workers

In support and recognition of the vital work NHS members of staff perform. NEC is pleased to offer a 10% discount on all online distance learning courses to NHS workers during this time. Speak with a member of our Course Advice Team on 0800 389 2839 to enrol.

  • 10% discount only applied when paying in full.
  • Offer can not be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  • Offer excludes GCSE Double Science, A level Further Maths and A level History of Art.
  • NEC has the right to ask for proof of the purchaser’s current employment at an NHS organisation. NEC reserves the right to decline the offer if sufficient evidence is not provided.
  • NEC reserve the right to change the terms and conditions of this offer at any time.

Help with funding your NEC course

Depending on your own circumstances (and sometime your location), there are a number of possibilities for getting help to fund your online distance learning course.

The information here is not an exhaustive list but we hope it gives you an idea of where you could start to look for financial assistance. You could also consider approaching local community groups or charities specific to your own circumstances (such as ‘Help for Heroes’ if you are a former member of the Armed Forces).

Financial hardship

If you are having financial hardship, you may be able to get help toward the cost of your course. Turn2Us have an online search tool which will search for available grants based on your personal circumstances and location.


Grants of up to £300 are available from Carers Trust towards the cost of funding for courses and materials that will develop carers’ skills.


Awards of up to £750 toward education costs are available from The Hardman Trust for people who have previously been in Prison.

The Prisoners’ Education Trust provides grants to prisoners who wish to improve their future by studying through distance learning while in prison.

Home educators

If you’re homeschooling your child and looking for funding, we recommend speaking to your Local Authority. Depending on your location and personal circumstances, they may be able to assist you.

Members of the armed forces

If you are looking to do a level 2 qualification (such as a GCSE) you may be able to get help through the Standard Learning Credits scheme.





We are members of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Students aged between 14 and 25

If you’re aged between 14 and 25, you may be able to get support from The Prince’s Trust Development Awards. Awards of up to £500 are available for courses up to level 3, subject to your personal circumstances.


If you are employed and want to study an NEC course to help you improve in your current job or prepare for a promotion, we suggest asking your employer if they are able to help you with the cost of studying. Some organisations have schemes to help employees in this way. We recommend presenting your employer with information about the course and how it will help you to become better in your role.

Other sources of advice

If you’re still not sure whether you’ll be able to afford the cost of studying with us, the following services might be able to offer further advice:

  • Local library
  • National Careers Service
  • Citizens Advice Bureaux
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Local educational authorities
  • Trade unions (if you are a member).

Additional costs of completing your NEC course

The majority of our courses are entirely self-contained, however for some courses there may be additional costs to bear in mind which are not included in the course fee.

Texts and resources

Wherever possible, we have developed our courses in such a way that everything you need is included in the course materials we provide. However, in some cases you will need to acquire one or more texts that the course materials will refer to. For example, A level English Literature will require some books that you’ll read as part of your course.

If your course requires any additional resources they will be listed on the course information page for that subject, under ‘Set texts and resources’, so you can see what you’ll need before you enrol.

Exam fees

If your course leads to a qualification for which you have to sit exams, such as for A levels and GCSEs, exam fees are not included in your course fee. Your exam fees will need to be paid to the exam centre where you will sit your exams. Every awarding body charges a subject entry fee to each exam centre for every unit entered, which the exam centre then passes on to students. These fees vary from subject to subject and between different exam centres.

If you’re registering for your exams at one of our partnership exam centres, our student support team will arrange this for you and tell you how much the registration fee will be. If you’re sitting your exams elsewhere, you’ll need to speak to the centre’s examinations officer to find out the exact costs.

Registration with awarding bodies

If your course leads to a vocational qualification you will probably need to register with the awarding body to become a member before you can sit the exam or be assessed (for example: registering with NCFE CACHE for a childcare course, or with CMI for a management course). This fee may be an annual charge. Any relevant information will be given on the specific course information page.

Optional extra services

To help you get the best results from your study, we offer a range additional services that can be purchased separately.

Past paper marking

You can choose to add a past paper to be marked. Our A level and AS level courses include one past paper as standard, so if you’d like more to be marked, then this service would be useful.

The fee is £30.

Revision tutorial

If you’d like help to plan and manage your revision timetable before taking your exams, you can choose either a one hour or 30 minute tutorial, designed to help you to structure your revision. The session will be tailored to your individual needs and led by the tutor.

Revision tutorials cost £30 for 30 minutes or £45 for one hour.


Optional tutorial

As with the above, you can choose the duration and this will be useful if there is a particular area that requires additional attention. You can choose the subject of the tutorial.

Optional tutorials cost £30 for 30 minutes or £45 for one hour.

Additional review

An additional review can be provided on your progress to date.

The fee for a Review is £30.

UCAS Application Service

NEC offer two services to support you in your UCAS Application. 

  1. Predicted Grades and references
  2. Personal Statement review


You can choose to have a standard reference or a personalised reference, with your predicted grades

Option  1 –  Standard Service (£25)

This service provides you with predicted grades and a standard reference. A standard reference will:

  • Confirm your predicted grade
  • Include confirmation of your enrolment dates, and an acknowledgement if you are studying your course in one academic year instead of two
  • Highlight that NEC courses are flexible distance learning courses, which reflects the type of self-study you will be expected to undertake in higher education
  • Outline the skills which are gained in independent learning (organisation, self-motivation, time management, responsibility and independent research skills) which are highly applicable to higher education

Please note: You need to have completed 50% of your course assignments for NEC to provide a predicted grade.  

Once you have completed sufficient assignment work for predicted grades to be provided*, if we are your referee we can work with you to upload your reference to UCAS, or alternatively we can email your predicted grade(s) to an external referee of your choosing to be incorporated into your reference, or send this directly to your university. 

Please be aware that, for 2022 entry to university, the deadline to submit assignment work is by the 15th September 2021 for the October 2021 UCAS deadline, and 15th December for the January 2022 UCAS deadline.

Option 2 – Premium Service (£75) 

The Premium Service provides you with predicted grades and Premium reference. A Premium reference includes everything that our standard reference does, as well as personalised information from your tutor(s) about your academic performance on the course so far.

Please note: You need to have completed 50% of your course assignments for NEC to provide a predicted grade.

Once you have enrolled for this service, we will email you with a buzzword so that you can apply to UCAS using  NEC as a centre. This means that once you have completed the Education section of your UCAS application, we can upload your predicted grades and reference directly, so you don’t need to worry about it. 


The Personal Statement is the section of the UCAS application form where you tell the Admissions Tutors of your chosen universities about yourself and why you want to study the course you are applying to. You have an upper limit of 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces and blank lines) to do this. The same Personal Statement will be sent to all of the different universities and courses you are applying to, so we have found this can be a challenging task for a lot of students. 

NEC’s Personal Statement Review is a chance for you to gain additional support by submitting a draft of your Personal Statement to one of our experienced tutors for feedback. As far as possible, we will try to match you with one of our tutors who has a background in the area you want to study.

You can purchase a Personal Statement Review alongside either Option 1 or Option 2, or even on its own, depending on what is best for you.

Important information about predicted grades*

Predicted grades are a key part of the UCAS application process. They reflect the grade of qualification that your tutor believes you are likely to achieve in positive circumstances, which is then used by universities and colleges as an indicator of your academic ability and suitability for higher education. 

NEC can only provide you with predicted grades for the course or courses you study with us once you have completed 50% of your course assignments, not including your Introductory Assignment. This requirement is because your tutor needs to have seen enough evidence of your usual way of working to base a predicted grade or academic comment on.  

Please be aware that, for 2022 entry to university, the deadline to submit assignment work is by 15th September for the October UCAS deadline, and 15th December for the January UCAS deadline. This is to allow enough time for your information to be sent where it needs to go before the deadline. 

Ways to find more information:

Pre-enrolment: Contact our Course Advice Team at info@nec.ac.uk or give them a call at 0800 389 2839. 

After you enrol: Have a look at our Applying to University area on learn@nec, your learning platform, for more detailed guidance. You can also find our UCAS application form here, once you’re ready.

If you are considering applying to university, please have a look at the UCAS website in good time. UCAS provide a lot of resources to support you in making your application, including key dates you need to be aware of, specific course information and how to apply. NEC are not able to provide support about any entry requirements you will need to meet.