Frequently Asked Questions
Here you'll find answers to some of the questions we are asked most frequently. If your query isn't answered here, do get in touch with us.
MAKING A BOOKING
CANCELLATIONS & TRANSFERS
What is The School of Life?
You can read all about us here.
Who is The School of Life?
You can read all about our Faculty & Staff here.
Where is The School of Life?
Our London HQ Classroom & Shop is in Bloomsbury at 70 Marchmont Street, London, WC1N 1AB. A map of our London location and full details of public transport can be found here. We also have campuses in Melbourne, Amsterdam and Paris and will be opening soon in Belgrade, Antwerp, Istanbul and Rio & Sao Paulo. Full details of our international campuses, including locations and course details, can be found here.
How do I get to the School of Life London?
A map of our London location and full details of public transport can be found here. If you are attending an event please check the website as some of our events are held offsite. Russell Square (Piccadilly Line) is 5 minutes’ walk away. King’s Cross, Euston and Euston Square stations are also close, only 10 minutes’ walk away. A map of our London location and full details of public transport can be found here.
How can I get in touch with The School of Life?
We would love to hear from you! For general enquiries, come and say hello in person and have a browse in our London shop at 70 Marchmont Street, London, WC1N 1AB, or you can telephone the shop on +44 (0)20 7833 1010. We are open 10:00-18:00 Monday to Saturday, 11:00-18:00 on Tuesdays.
Event purchases and queries: email@example.com
Shop purchases and queries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporate enquiries and private events: email@example.com
Press enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact details for our international campuses can be found here
Contact details for our Staff can be found here
To get in touch with a Faculty member, please email us at email@example.com and we will forward your email to them. We are not able to share contact details.
Who founded The School of Life and when?
The School of Life was founded in 2008 by Alain De Botton, Sophie Howarth and a number of other colleagues from the arts, education and cultural sectors. Morgwn Rimel has been the Director of The School of Life since 2009.
How can I contact Alain de Botton?
Please send all enquiries for Alain via the message form on Alain’s website.
What ideology is behind The School of Life?
None in particular. We provide a forum for exploring various life issues with like-minded people, fostering emotional intelligence through teachings from the humanities (literature, philosophy, psychology, history and art) and free from dogma. You can read more about us here.
What are your London shop opening times?
Monday to Saturday, 10:00 - 18:00; 11:00-18:00 on Tuesdays.
Can I watch your classes online?
Not yet but you can watch some of our videos on our YouTube Channel.
I want to make some films for The School of Life’s YouTube Channel - how can I get involved?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with some examples of your video work.
What type of programmes do you offer?
We currently offer Classes, Intensives, Special Events, Secular Sermons and Tours. For more information and a full, up-to-date list of our London events, please visit the Classroom section of our website where you can browse by event theme or format, or our Calendar, where you can browse by date.
For companies and private events, we currently offer Team Events and Team Workshops. You can read more about these here. Please email email@example.com for more information.
For programme details for our international campuses, please use the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of our website.
Can anyone attend your programmes or do you need to be a member?
Anyone can attend we offer a range of programme types that can be booked on a one-off basis as well as an EQ Certificate launching in September 2014 which gives unlimited access to our classes as well as sessions with a personal Life Coach, Bibliotherapy and Visual Arts Therapy sessions.
How much do programmes cost?
The price depends on the format, length and location of the event and number of attendees. At the time of writing, most of our UK events are priced as follows. Please check our website for up-to-date pricing information for specific events.
Classes - £45
One Day Intensives - from £165 - £250
Six Week Intensives - £250
Eight Week Intensives - £350
Week Long Intensives - £700
Secular Sermons- £20
Special and Major Events - from £30 - £40
Tours - £40
Team Events & Team Workshops - please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you offer concession prices for your events?
We offer a 10% ticket price reduction on events under £50 for Students with valid ID, over-65's, un-waged and people with disabilities. Check the event page for discount availability.
To claim your discount please click here for the codes to use at checkout or please call us on 0207 8331010. Please note that we will check your ID for proof of eligibility on arrival at event.
Where are the events held?
Most of our Classes, Intensives and Summer Schools and some of our Special Events are held at our London HQ Classroom & Shop at 70 Marchmont St, London, WC1N 1AB.
Most of our Sunday Sermons, Special Events and Tours are held off-site at various venues across London.
We aim to provide venue details for all our events on our website and e-tickets at the time of booking. In the unlikely event this has not been possible, we will email you with this information in advance of the event. Please note it is your responsibility to double-check your e-ticket or our website in advance of the event to make sure you are coming to the right venue. Please also make sure you have given us your correct email address. We cannot be held responsible in the event you do not receive venue details from us because of missed or undeliverable emails.
How long are the classes?
Classes last three hours. The first 30 minutes is an icebreaker with refreshments, followed by a two and a half-hour class, with a short break.
When and what time do the classes take place?
We offer weekday afternoon or evening classes. The afternoon classes generally run from 14:00 to 17:00 and the evening classes from 18:30 to 21:30.
Please note it is your responsibility to double check whether you are booking an afternoon or evening class at the time of booking. We cannot be held responsible if you mistakenly book an afternoon class instead of an evening class (or vice versa) and are then not able to attend on the day due to other commitments. We can only offer cancellations or transfers up to 10 days in advance of the event - for more information on our cancellation policy please see here.
Do you run any events on the weekend?
Yes, all of our Tours and Secular Sermons and some of our Intensives take place on the weekend. Please visit our Calendar where you can browse by date.
Is the Class pre-task compulsory? How will this information be used during the session?
Most pre-tasks are simply an optional and fun way to introduce you to the topic of the class so please do not agonise over your answers or worry if you don’t have time to complete the task before the event. There are no right or wrong answers and you will be given the opportunity to reflect on it again when you arrive at the event. If the pre-task requires you to bring along something to show and share with the group, again, please do not worry too much about it – just bring along whatever you have to hand.
Who will be leading my course/workshop?
Please check the specific event listing on our website here. We have a permanent faculty of course tutors and also invite guest speakers to run special events. You can read more about our Faculty & Staff here.
I think I’m depressed, is The School of Life for me?
The School of Life is dedicated to supporting participants to explore life’s big questions. We do so in a classroom environment. For more information about private therapy sessions, please see the Therapy section of our website.
I would like to propose a class or workshop. How do I do this?
We are not currently accepting proposals from any external facilitators.
How can I enrol at The School of Life?
Our EQ Certificate Programme is a chance to spend 12 months developing your emotional intelligence (EQ). You will have unlimited access to our core Class Curriculum, as well as sessions with your personal Life Coach, Bibliotherapy and Visual Arts Therapy. The programme launched in September 2014.
Does The School of Life have a membership scheme?
Yes, it's called The School of Life Friends, costing £60 per year. You can purchase membership here
How do I book a class?
The easiest way to book a ticket for any of our UK events is to visit the Classroom section of our website here, where you can browse by theme or format, or the Calendar section of our website here, where you can browse by date. You can book and pay online. An e-ticket will be issued to you by email. Please enter your details, especially your email address, carefully - we cannot be responsible for you not receiving your ticket or venue details because you have failed to enter your email address correctly!
If you are having problems booking online, please email email@example.com
To book events at our international campuses, please use the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of this page.
I am not 100% sure I can make the date yet. Can I reserve a place in advance?
Unfortunately we are not able to take reservations in advance.
I’ve seen a talk by Alain de Botton or other special event advertised online. How do I book?
Our large events are extremely popular. To avoid disappointment, we advise that the fastest way to book a ticket for any UK event is to visit the Classroom or Calendar sections of our website where you can book and pay online. An e-ticket will be issued to you by email. Please enter your details, especially your email address, carefully - we cannot be responsible for you not receiving your ticket or venue details because you have failed to enter your email address correctly! If you are having problems booking online, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To book events at our international campuses, please use the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of this page.
Can I book more than one event online?
Yes, simply select each event you wish to attend and add it to your shopping basket. All selected events will be there at the checkout.
Can I book a class for a friend?
Yes, but please let them know that they will be on the guest list under your name as the person who booked the ticket, not theirs - we are not able to transfer the booking to a different name. Please forward your e-ticket to your friend and ask them to bring it with them on the day. We also do gift vouchers if you are not sure which class your friend would like to attend. You can read more about those on the website here.
Can I book multiple tickets for a class, talk or special event?
If you would like to attend a class with a friend or colleague or two, please feel free to book via the website. Please note that all guests will be under your name on the guest list. If you would like to attend a class with a larger group please contact email@example.com and we would be happy to discuss the available options for business classes and private events.
I have booked multiple tickets for a class or special event but my guests will be arriving separately. Will they be able to get in?
Yes, please ask your guests to give the name of the person who booked the ticket on the door.
I am booked on tonight’s class or event. Please can you confirm the venue and start time?
Please check your e-ticket for this information. Alternatively, please check the calendar here.
I haven’t received my ticket in the post, when will it arrive?
We issue all tickets and receipts electronically by email. Please make sure to enter your email address carefully at the time of booking and if you do not receive your ticket shortly thereafter, please double check the email address you entered at the time of booking and also check your spam/junk folder. Please note we cannot be held responsible in the event you do not receive your ticket because you failed to enter your email address correctly!
I haven’t received any information about the start time/location of an event I am booked on to.
We aim to provide all information about the start time/location of our events on our website and e-tickets at the time of booking. In the unlikely event this has not been possible, we will email you prior to the event with this information. Please make sure you have given us your correct email address. We cannot be held responsible in the event you do not receive venue details from us because you have given us the wrong email address. For the avoidance of doubt, please check back on our website here for the most up-to-date information available.
Please note that some of our events are held off-campus so please do double check your ticket and/or the website to make sure you are going to the right venue.
The event I want to go to is sold out. How do I join the waiting list?
Please visit our website and locate your chosen event via our Classroom or Calendar. When an event has sold out, the button that usually reads ‘add to basket’ will now read ‘join the waiting list’. Please click this button and you will be notified if any further tickets become available for this event. If you receive notification that further tickets have become available, we recommend that you book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Please note: joining the waiting list does not guarantee that you will be able to purchase one of these additional tickets - you still need to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
I booked an event but can’t make it now. Can I get a refund?
We require at least 10 days’ notice for cancellations for Classes, Special Events, Tours and Secular Sermons and at least 1 month’s notice for cancellations for Intensives (including one day Intensives and courses). The cancellation period for your event will be stated clearly on the website when you add the event to your shopping basket and can also be found on your e-ticket. Refunds cannot be made after that time. You are however welcome to pass the ticket on to a friend to come in your place. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org quoting your order reference number to request a refund.
But what if I am ill or stuck at work or something else last-minute comes up that is unavoidable?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds or transfers less than 10 days before the event for Classes, Special Events, Tours and Sunday Sermons or less than 1 month before the event for Intensives (including one day Intensives and courses). You are however welcome to pass the ticket on to a friend to come along in your place.
There is a tube strike tomorrow, can I get a refund on my ticket?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds or transfers less than 10 days before the event for Classes, Special Events, Tours and Sunday Sermons or less than 1 month before the event for Intensives (including one day Intensives and courses). You are however welcome to pass the ticket on to a friend to come along in your place. In any event, you are responsible for making your own travel arrangements and we cannot be held responsible in the event of a transport strike.
Please do not get cross with our staff when they are unable to process a cancellation or refund for you - it is not their fault that you are no longer able to make the event!
I work for a brand or a business and am interested in collaborating with The School of Life. Do you work with businesses?
Using our network of world leading thinkers, we partner with businesses and brands to develop engaging written, digital and video content as well as live experiences. We also offer professional development packages and cultural insight consultancy. To see some Case Studies, please click here. To find out more or request our Business brochure, please email email@example.com
Can I book private classes for my office, department or team?
Yes, we work in partnership with businesses to provide unique professional development solutions. We develop training programs built from a range of classes and workshops that are tailored for businesses, addressing the themes of Creativity, Communication, Wellbeing and Leadership. To find out more or request our Business brochure, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you offer events for team days out?
Yes, we have a number of fun and engaging events suitable for teams as part of an away day or special occasion. To find out more or request our Business brochure, please email email@example.com
Are any of your courses CPD accredited? Yes, we are committed to supporting continued professional development and our work related core curriculum is accredited by by CPD.
Where do you hold your private business events?
We can organise events here at The School of Life, in our classroom, or we can run them offsite at your office or a venue of your choice. To find out more or request our Business brochure, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Cultural Insight Consultancy?
We pull together some of the best thinkers, artists, philosophers, neuroscientists, behavioural economists or psychologists to help work on your business challenge. Whether it’s around developing deeper consumer insights, validating ideas or helping to support a pitch, we work to understand and tackle your business problem with our unique approach. To find out more or request our Business brochure, please email email@example.com
How do I redeem a gift voucher online?
After adding the item or event you wish to purchase to your shopping basket, the next page will display a box on the left-hand side labelled “Gift Vouchers & Discount Codes”, where you can enter your voucher code and then click “Apply”. Your voucher code can be found on the bottom right-hand corner of your voucher letter. Please note that gift vouchers are only accepted by The School of Life London.
When will my gift voucher expire? Can I extend the date?
Gift vouchers are valid for one year from the date of purchase. The expiry date can be found in the bottom right-hand corner of your voucher letter, just above the voucher code. You only need to have booked your chosen class or event before the expiry date - the attendance date can be afterwards. Please note that we will not be able to extend the date of your gift voucher, and we urge you to use your gift voucher by the expiry date specified.
I have lost the code for my gift voucher. Am I still able to redeem it?
Please keep your voucher code safe as we cannot guarantee you will be able to redeem your gift voucher without it. The voucher code can be found on the bottom right-hand corner of your voucher letter. If you can provide us with the name of the person who bought the gift voucher for you, we may be able to trace it through our computer systems without the voucher code but we cannot guarantee this. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any such requests.
I have only used part of my gift voucher and can’t remember how much I have left. Are you able to check this for me?
Please email us at email@example.com quoting your gift voucher code and we should be able to check this for you. Alternatively, once you have added your chosen item(s) to your shopping basket online, you will be invited to enter your gift voucher code - once you click ‘apply’, the website will automatically generate the balance left to pay.
Can I buy your books/products online?
Yes, all The School of Life branded books and merchandise, along with a selection of gifts, are available to purchase online here.
Where is my order?
All UK orders made online via The School of Life website will be sent via Royal Mail post. Please allow 2-3 working days for your order to arrive. International orders will be sent via Airmail, please allow up to a week for your order to arrive. Gift vouchers will be dispatched separately. If you need a product urgently, please visit our shop at 70 Marchmont Street, London, WC1N 1AB or call us on +44(0)20 7833 1010. Our opening hours are 10:00-18:00 Monday to Saturday; 11:00-18:00 on Tuesdays.
What is your returns policy?
We want you to be completely happy with your purchase. If however you would like to return an item ordered online, please do so within 30 days. Items must be in original condition and returned with the original sales receipt.
Do you deliver to the US, Canada etc.?
Yes, international orders will be sent via Airmail. Please allow up to a week for your order to arrive.
How much are your delivery costs?
Once you have added your chosen item(s) to your shopping basket, you will be given the option to enter your destination to calculate the delivery costs.
I live outside of the UK. Is there a School of Life in my country?
Please use the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of our website to see information about our campuses outside the UK.
I would like to open a School of Life campus in my city. How do I do this and who can I talk to about it?
Because of the high volume of requests we receive, sadly we cannot respond to individual queries about international partnership. We hold annual summits in London for interested parties to hear more about the school and to get advice on their proposals. Please visit the International Partners page on our website to register your interest in becoming an international partner and we will contact you with information on the next summit ahead of it being announced on our website.
I would like to become a member of the Faculty at The School of Life. Are you hiring?
We are not recruiting for new faculty at this time.
Do you offer Internships or Work Experience?
Unfortunately it is not possible for us to offer internships or work experience at the moment. Please keep an eye on the Jobs page on our website for any such future opportunities which may arise.
Can I buy Friendship for someone else?
Yes. Please purchase a Friends gift voucher from The School of Life online shop here.
How long does Friendship last?
Friendship is valid for one year from the date of purchase. We will remind you to renew close to the expiration date, but will not automatically renew your subscription.
I have purchased Friendship but either not received or deleted the welcome email.
Please check your spam folder. If you still can’t find the email one day after purchase please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are Friends benefits redeemable at all branches of The School of Life?
Friends benefits apply only to The School of Life London.
Are there any limits to 10% discount for TSOL events and Tools for Thinking?
The 10% discount for TSOL events applies to Classes, Workshops and Special Events. It does not include Courses such as Mindfulness, Yoga, and Summer School. The discounts for events and Tools for Thinking are not compatible with any other special offer.
Who should I contact if I have another issue with Friendship?
Please email email@example.com.