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. Please note: to claim this bundle you will need to enrol by telephone.

Multi-buy GCSEs:

  • 2 GCSEs for £940
  • 3 GCSEs for £1,410
  • 4 GCSEs for £1,780
  • 5 GCSEs for £2,225

Multi-buy A levels*:

  • 2 A levels for £1,250
  • 3 A levels for £1,875

*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.

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.

We’re here for you – NEC temporary price reduction

The National Extension College was set up in 1963 to help widen participation in education and we understand the important contribution we can make during this unprecedented situation. A distance learning course can feed your mind and give you valuable qualifications without interruption, wherever you live and whatever your circumstances are.

Education can give us all hope for the future.

In light of this, we are temporarily reducing the prices on our A level and GCSE courses*.

  • GCSEs are reduced to £450 (Online enrolments enter code: NEC450)
  • A levels** are reduced to £650 (Online enrolments enter code: NEC650)
  • **A level History of Art and A level Further Maths are reduced to £750 (Online enrolments enter code: NEC750)

We encourage you to enrol online where possible applying the voucher codes outlined above. However, if you are looking to enrol on multiple courses, please email or speak to our Course Advice Team for information on our multi-buy discounts.

No matter your age or what time of day you want to study, our courses will help you further your education and maintain your mental wellbeing.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our students, tutors and partners for their continued support during this time.

* Offer is for a limited time and subject to change. Offer excludes GCSE Double Science. Excludes Deko finance options. See full T&Cs.

  • Discount is available for a limited time and subject to change at the discretion of NEC.
  • Offer is only available on selected GCSE and A level courses.
  • Offer does not include any forthcoming courses.
  • Offer is only redeemable when payment is made in full and cannot be used in conjunction with any other discounts/offers or finance options currently available through NEC.
  • Offer redeemable via enrolment by telephone or through online payment using the corresponding discount voucher code.
  • Offers are applied at the point of enrolment and not retrospectively.
  • We may, at any time, and at our sole discretion, modify these Terms and Conditions with or without notice to the User. Any such modification will be effective immediately upon public posting. Your continued use of our Service and this Site following any such modification constitutes your acceptance of these modified Terms.

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.

Open University Students

If you’re currently studying with the Open University and need a qualification from NEC, we’ll give you a 10% discount on course fees. Just call to enrol, quoting your student number.

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.

Our basic service offers a general reference. This level does not include specific comments from your tutor about your performance on the course. We can submit these to UCAS if you are applying as an independent candidate, or send them to your chosen referee for incorporation into their reference. The fee for this service is £50.

Our premium service offers predicted grades and a more detailed reference with comments from your tutor on your performance so far. In addition we will provide you with support for your personal statement, and you will be able to apply using NEC as your UCAS centre. This will allow us to give you improved guidance if you have any problems with the UCAS system. The fee for this service is £80.