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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many modules do I need to take to gain a Certificate of Higher Education (Economics)?
To gain the Certificate of Higher Education (Economics) you must complete one of the compulsory modules (Economic Principles or International Economics and Finance) plus three further modules, one of which can be made up of two half modules.

2. Do I have to attend all the classes?
Classes are an important part of the programme and it is difficult to do well if you miss too many. You will be assessed on your contribution to classes.

3. Are there any exams?
All Certificate of Higher Education (Economics) modules are assessed in full (half modules) or in part (full modules) by in-class tests. Please check the module outline/syllabus for assessment details. This does not apply to Quantitative Economic Methods. The assessment for this module is 100% exam. This exam will take place on a weekday during working hours.

4. Will there be other work to do?
There will be extra reading, coursework and for some modules in-class tests. The type of assessment will depend on the module you are taking. Please refer to the course outline - this will be sent to you after you enrol.

5. Can I get a refund once I have enrolled on a module?
The Faculty cannot undertake to make refunds when students are prevented from attending a course due to changes in personal circumstances other than health. Applications for refunds on medical grounds need to be made within four weeks of leaving the class, and supported by a medical certificate. All refunds for medical reasons will be subject to a £20 administrative fee plus a pro-rata deduction for the meetings attended. If the Faculty closes the class, or the class is full, or the student cannot be accepted for some reason, any fees paid will be refunded in full. If you need to claim a refund please send your medical evidence with a covering note to the Executive Officer for Economics.

6. Is this a recognised Access course to go on and do a degree?
This is not a recognised access course, although many students do use it to help them get onto a degree course. It is best to check with the admissions office of the university you are interested in applying to.

If you are interested in continuing your studies at Birkbeck, the Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics offer direct progression routes from the Certificate of Higher Education (Economics) to the BSc(Econ) Financial Economics, BSc Financial Economics with Accounting, BSc Economics and Business and the BSc Economic and Social Policy. In order to be considered for these degrees, you must pass two Certificate of Higher Education (Economics) modules in one year: for the BSc Financial Economics, you must pass Economic Principles and Quantitative Economic Methods with Merit (60-69 per cent) or above. For the BSc Economic and Social Policy, you must pass Economic Principles and The Modern World Economy with Merit (60-69 per cent) or above.

7. Will I be made exempt from the first year of the Birkbeck's BSc (Econ) if I successfully complete the Certificate of Higher Education (Economics)?
This course will not make you exempt from year one of the BSc(Econ).

8. Will I get any kind of certificate for doing the course?
If you are successful in completing the Certificate of Higher Education (Economics) you will receive a certificate. If you take a single module on it's own, you will receive a transcript showing your mark if you completed the assessment. You can also get a letter of attendance on request from the Executive Officer if you have attended 50% of classes (one week's notice is required).

9. When will I get my results and my certificate?
Module results are sent out by the assessment office in August. If you have successfully completed all of the assessment for a Certificate of Higher Education (Economics) you will automatically be sent your certificate in March/April. Please remember to inform us if you move house so that your certificate is sent to the correct address.

10. Can I get a letter to confirm I am attending a course?
Yes, requests should be addressed to the Executive Officer. One week's notice is required for letters of attendance.

11. What if I have to miss a class?
It is important that you go to class as often as possible. If you are not able to attend a class please inform the Executive Officer or the Programme Manager as soon as possible.

12. If I miss my class can I go to a class on a different night?
No, it is not possible to switch from class to class. You must go to the class you are enrolled on.

13. How do I know if my class is cancelled?
If a class has to be cancelled, you will be informed by email. It is therefore essential that you give us an up-to-date email address.

14. What if I can't hand my essay in on time?
If you do not hand coursework in on time you may lose marks. Please refer to the Assessment section for more information

15. What if I miss the in-class test?
You will have to pass the test to get an overall mark for the module you are taking. If you miss the test you will be given the opportunity to take it at a later date provided you have a doctor's note to show that you were unable to take the test due to illness. Please contact the Programme Manager for more information.

16. When will I get my library card? What if my course finishes in December and I enrol on a January course?
You should automatically receive your library card soon after enrolling. If you do not receive your card, contact the Executive Officer. If your course finishes in December and you enrol on another course starting in January or April, you library card will automatically be extended so you do not need to get another card.

17. Can I get help with English Language/study skills?
Study skills form an aspect of every course; however they do not form the basis of economics classes. See the Learning support and skills training area of My Birkbeck, for study guides, workshops and courses including English Language courses. The student's union also run some study skills courses.

18. What are the library opening hours?
The library is open Monday-Friday 08.30am-10.30pm and Saturday and Sunday 10.00am-11.45pm. You can access many resources online. The library website has a separate section for Certificate of Higher Education and Short Course students on what resources are available and how to access them.