Home PageAbout online study, terms and conditions, and accessing the virtual classroom

About online study, terms and conditions, and accessing the virtual classroom

Before you pay for your course or start reading, listening and working through the assignments, please read these general guidelines, terms and conditions, and what you need to access our virtual classroom.

General Guidelines

This is a tightly structured learning programme that allows you to work through carefully selected interactive learning materials and, if appropriate, to engage in regular workshop-like discussions with other course participants.

On non-self-paced courses, you will work as a learning community, working through the materials as a group. The essential tool for your development as writers is an understanding of the importance of critiquing and evaluating work. Offering constructive feedback to others is the best way of learning how to edit your own work.

You will work towards specific course learning aims and outcomes and these, together with the critiquing guidelines provided, offer a framework for your workshop discussions and development as a writer. You may be organised into critiquing groups, which will provide you with a regular commentary on your work.

Each session runs over a week or a fortnight to allow you flexibility as to when you complete assignments. However, with the importance of critiquing in mind, we have set deadlines at the end of each session, which are important to enable critiquing groups to be productive.

The course team has extensive experience of developing online learning communities. A course moderator will be your first point of contact for any queries, but the more you interact with your peers, the more valuable you will find the course experience.

Assignment brief
Make sure you read the brief fully before starting a new assignment. Make a particular note of the word count and deadline. If you have any queries, first check the main and session forums or email fellow participants before starting to write. After completing the assignment, check it back against the brief.

Does it match the specified word count, and adhere to the subject matter and approach? If not, revise your work until your piece does meet the brief.

Feedback and critiquing
On non-self-paced courses you will receive critiques of your work at the end of every session from your fellow writers, and the course moderator will drop in to check on your progress and deal with any queries. Your tutor will post general guidance.

If you have a question about an assignment, podcast or deadline, read through the brief carefully, then check the forum – we find that this tends to resolve most queries and concerns. If you still aren’t clear about something, post a question on the forum or email a fellow student before emailing your course moderator.

Word count
It’s important to submit the number of words specified in the brief. If you write too many words, your peers/tutor will not be able to give useful feedback.

Try to post your work on or before the date in the brief, then your fellow writers will have enough time to read your work and comment on it. If you post late, your fellow writers are not under any obligation to read or critique your work. Do warn your fellow writers and tutor or course moderator if another commitment will prevent you from posting on time.

People who respect the art and craft of writing tend to produce thoughtful work and progress as writers. Submitting first drafts or work that has not been proofread indicates lack of respect – for the craft and for fellow writers. We recommend that you read through your work several times and make corrections before showing it to anyone.

Forum etiquette
Remember that the course forum and discussion areas are different from social networking sites. We like to see you discussing writing and your opinions on the various readings and assignments, but do please keep the tone and content professional. It’s best to use the general forum for general conversation about reading and writing; this frees up the individual session forums for discussion about each session’s tasks. Some students like to continue discussions or get more informal in our chatroom or via Skype.

Accessing our online classroom: what you’ll need

You will need a computer – PC or Mac – no more than four years old and a reliable broadband internet connection.

You will be able to follow the course and complete some assignments on tablets and smartphones. We recommend tablets over smartphones because of the nature and volume of content.


  • Windows XP SP3 or higher
  • Pentium 4 processor or higher, at least 500MHz, at least 512MB RAM
  • Sound card and speakers or headphones


  • Mac OS X 10.5 or higher
  • Intel processor, at least 512MB RAM
  • Speakers or headphones

We recommend the latest versions of these browsers. All are free to download:

We do not recommend using Internet Explorer below version 10. If you use Windows XP you should use a non-Microsoft browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Please enable cookies and pop-ups in your browser.

Essential apps

  • Microsoft Office (for working with Word docs). If you don’t have this you can download Open Office free: openoffice.org
  • Adobe Reader version 7 or higher. Download free: get.adobe.com/reader
  • Quicktime Player, latest version. Download free: apple.com/quicktime/download
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher
  • Up to date antivirus software

Optional apps
It’s useful to have Skype, Google chat or similar. If you use a phone line to chat to fellow participants or course tutors/admin/technical support, you are responsible for the cost.


1 August 2016

General Information
Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully as they govern your use of the Professional Writing Academy Limited (PWA) virtual classroom, and create a legal agreement between you and PWA. From time to time, these Terms and Conditions may be updated or modified. We therefore suggest that you visit this document regularly and note any changes thereto. If you do not agree to and accept without modification the notices, terms and conditions set forth herein, do not use the virtual classroom.

Your place on the course is not confirmed until you have read these Ts & Cs and confirmed your place, and you commit to attending to the session to the best of your ability (you will not get the learning benefits otherwise!).
You are only guaranteed a place for the Sessions you have paid for. You must be aged 18 or older to book and/or take part in any course.

Course Changes
We reserve the right to make changes to the advertised programme information (including, but not limited to, course content, tutors, and timings) for any reason at any time, but will endeavour to provide as much advance notice as possible, and will always endeavour to replace tutors with someone of equal experience and standing.

At our discretion, you may be able to transfer your booking to another course of the same duration, subject to availability. We will normally consider transfers up to 6 weeks before the course takes place, and any payment made will be allocated to the new course. If we receive a request to transfer a booking after this time, we may do so only if we have already received the full course fee from you and we are able to confirm another booking to replace yours. If either of these conditions are not met, we will unfortunately have to treat your booking as cancelled and shall retain the full fee as forfeit. Please note that any transfers may only occur once in any calendar year, and if we do transfer your place, we cannot offer refunds for cancellations or further transfers.


What happens if you want to cancel?
We are happy to accept cancellations up to 12 weeks before the course you are booked on commences and we will refund the full cost of the course.

If you need to cancel less than 12 weeks before the course takes place, we will do our best to find a replacement and if we succeed, the balance of your fee will be returned less a 10% reservation charge. If we are unable to do so, we reserve the right to retain the full deposit.

What happens if we cancel?
In the rare circumstance where PWA may need to cancel a course, we will provide you with as much advance notice as possible and shall either endeavour to offer you an alternative course of the same standing or return all fees paid, but shall not pay any other costs.

What happens if you want to leave the course after it has started?
By paying any non-refundable deposit and securing your place on a course, you are committing to the course for its full duration, and are, as such, liable to pay the full course fees as outlined in the payment plan.

If for any reason you decide to leave the course once it has commenced, you will still be liable for the full fees. In certain extreme circumstances, exceptions may be made at the discretion of PWA.

Intellectual Property
All material on or available through this site, including text, images, data and illustrations (collectively, the ‘Material’), is protected by UK and international copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property laws and is owned, controlled, or licensed by PWA.

Unauthorised copying, reproduction, republishing, uploading, manipulation, downloading, posting, transmitting or duplicating of the material, in whole or in part, is prohibited. Provided that you agree to and accept without modification the notices, terms and conditions set forth in these Terms and Conditions, PWA grants you a personal, non- exclusive, non-assignable and non-transferable licence to visit, view, and retain a copy of pages from the virtual classroom for your own personal, educational, non-commercial use only. You may not modify, copy (except as set forth in the preceding sentence), distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, create derivative works from, license or sublicense, assign, or otherwise transfer this licence or any of the Material or any information, material, software, products or services from PWA. You may not link to or frame the Material, virtual classroom, or any portion thereof, for any purpose unless specifically authorized in writing by PWA.

Nothing herein grants you any licence, express or implied, to use any of PWA’s official or common-law trademarks, except as such trademarks may be embedded in the link itself. Moreover, you may not visit or use the site to appropriate trademarks and/or to copy or imitate the ‘look and feel’ of the site, or any portions thereof, for any reason.

Access and Interference
You will not use any robot, spider, crawling, scraping, or other automated device, process, or means to access this site. Nor will you use any manual process to monitor or copy the site or the content contained thereon for any unauthorized purpose without prior written permission of PWA. You will not use any device, software, routine, or take any action that interferes with the proper working of the site.

Partner Sites and Third-Party Sites
PWA partners with a range of other websites by sharing some site content. All affiliated sites are covered by these Terms and Conditions.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, for your convenience, this site may reference or link to other third-party sites throughout the Web (‘Third-Party Sites’). PWA has no control over Third-Party Sites or the content within them. Accordingly, PWA cannot guarantee, represent, or warrant that the content contained on such Third-Party Sites is accurate, legal, and/or inoffensive. These Terms of Use do not extend to your use of Third-Party Sites, and your use of Third-Party Sites is solely at your own risk.

By using the virtual classroom to search for or link to Third-Party Sites, you understand and agree that you may not make any claim against PWA for any damages or losses whatsoever, resulting from your use of the virtual classroom or affiliated sites to obtain search results or to link to Third-Party Sites.

Suspected Violation of these Terms of Use
Violations of these Terms and Conditions, including unauthorized use of this site, may be investigated and appropriate legal action may be taken, including civil, criminal and injunctive redress.

Forums and Public Communication
PWA may offer forums, chat rooms and other opportunities (Forum Content) to facilitate your learning, networking and socialising with fellow participants and the public. You agree that all Forum Content is the sole responsibility of the individual or entity from whom such Forum Content originated. This statement includes all forms of synchronous and asynchronous learning.

This means that you (and not PWA) are entirely responsible for all Forum Content that you submit via the Forum or elsewhere on the site. PWA do not control or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, usefulness, integrity, or quality of Forum Content. You understand and agree that you may be exposed to Forum Content that is offensive, indecent, or objectionable.

Under no circumstances will PWA be liable in any way for any Forum Content, including any errors or omissions in any Forum Content or any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any Forum Content submitted via this site.

Registration and Account Security
You represent and warrant that the registration information you provide to PWA is and will remain true and accurate. You are solely responsible for the security and confidentiality of your password and account. Furthermore, you are solely responsible for any and all activities that occur under your account. You agree to immediately notify PWA of any unauthorized use of your account or any other breach of security with regard to your use of the site of which you become aware.

Your Participation in the Forums
You agree that you will not use a Forum or this site to submit or otherwise make available Forum Content that:

  1. Is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libellous, invasive of another’s privacy, racially or otherwise hateful, or otherwise objectionable;
  2. Harms minors;
  3. Impersonates any person or entity or falsely states or otherwise misrepresents your affiliation with a person or entity;
  4. Conflicts with any obligations you have under law including under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under non-disclosure agreements);
  5. Infringes any copyright, trademark, patent, trade-secret, or other proprietary rights of any third party;
  6. Constitutes or contains unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, ‘junk mail,’ ‘spam,’ ‘chain letters,’ ‘pyramid schemes,’ or any other form of unauthorised solicitation;
  7. Constitutes or contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy, or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
  8. Interferes with or disrupts the site, related services, or servers or networks connected thereto or disobeys any requirements, procedures, policies, or regulations of networks connected to this site or related services;
  9. Violates any applicable local, state, national, or international law or any regulations having the force of law;
  10. Is used to stalk or otherwise harass another.

Forum Content Posted to Forums
You acknowledge that PWA may or may not pre-screen Forum Content, but that PWA will have the right in its sole discretion, for any reason whatsoever (or for no reason) to pre-screen, refuse, move, or remove any Forum Content that is available via the site. Without limiting the foregoing, PWA may remove any Forum Content that violates the Terms and Conditions or is otherwise objectionable in PWA’s sole discretion.

PWA asserts no ownership rights over the Forum Content you post, transmit, or otherwise make available for inclusion on the Forums or elsewhere on the site. With respect to such Forum Content, however, you grant PWA a worldwide, royalty- free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive licence to use such Forum Content on the Forums, anywhere on the site, or elsewhere and in any media for the purpose of providing, promoting, or advertising the site and related services; such licence will survive the termination, for any reason, of these Terms of Use.

General Legal

Warranty Disclaimers
Your use and browsing of this site and the co-branded sites are solely at your own risk. The site, and everything on this site, including the materials and the co-branded sites, are provided ‘as is’ without warranty of any kind, either express or implied by PWA and its affiliates and agents, specifically disclaim all warranties and conditions of any kind, including all implied conditions of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, title, or non-infringement.

Without limitation, PWA and its affiliates and agents make no warranties or representations that the site will be error-free or uninterrupted, that defects will be corrected, or that this site, or its server are or will be free of viruses or other harmful components. In addition, PWA and its affiliates and agents make no warranties or representations regarding the use or results of the use of the content on this site or on any co-branded site.

You will defend, indemnify, and hold PWA and its affiliates and agents harmless from: (i) your use of and access of the site; (ii) your violation of any of these Terms of Use; (iii) your violation of any third-party right including any copyright, trademark, trade secret, or privacy right of content available on the virtual classroom. This defence and indemnification obligation will survive these Terms of Use and your use of the site.

Limitation of Liability
In no event will PWA or its affiliates or agents be liable for any indirect, consequential, special, incidental or punitive damages arising out of your access to, or use of, this site or the content or materials therein including any co-branded site, whether in a contract action or based on negligence, or other tort action, or any other claim whatsoever, even if PWA has been advised of the possibility of such damages.