What is The School of Life?
You can read all about us 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 around the world. Full details of our international campuses, including locations and course details, can be found here. Our London HQ Classroom is currently closed.
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.
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.
- 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 by visiting their websites. Simply change the location at the top of this page
- 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 their personal contact details.
Who founded The School of Life and when?
The School of Life was founded in 2008 by Alain De Botton and other colleagues from the arts, education and cultural sectors.
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.
Who writes the books published by The School of Life Press?
We are used to the idea that books have a single author and that this author's name is clearly identified on the spine and cover. However, at The School of Life, we have a different approach. We are a team: a group of psychologists, philosophers, sociologists and social scientists. Together we make up The School of Life's content team, which puts out a huge amount of material every year: we make films, put on classes and conferences for the general public, offer training and seminars to businesses as well as producing gift and books.
When it comes to these books, they are a genuinely collective effort – and therefore, we don't wish to highlight one author above another. The books we write are simply from 'The School of Life'.
What are your London shop opening times?
We are currently open from 12-6pm Tuesday-Sunday. We are closed on Mondays and UK Bank Holidays.
Christmas Hours 2020
Late night openings until 8pm on Thursday 3rd, 10th and 17th of December
Closed from 4pm on Thursday 24th December and reopening midday on Saturday 2nd January 2021
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.
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. At the moment we are not looking for any new international branches, we will announce any new opportunities via our website and social media channels. Email email@example.com to hear about the ways to get involved.
I would like to work for The School of Life. Are you hiring?
Please check the Jobs page on our website. All current vacancies will be listed here.
I would like to become a member of the Faculty at The School of Life. Are you hiring?
Please check the Jobs page on our website. All current vacancies will be listed here.
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.
Online Shop FAQs
Here you'll find answers to some of the questions we are asked most frequently.
To read our full terms and conditions please click here.
Where is my order?
Delivery times will vary dependent on the delivery method chosen, you can find estimated delivery times here. If you think your parcel has become lost, please check with your local post office before contacting us as it may be waiting for you there. Otherwise you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 20 7833 1010 and we will help you if we can.
Please note, that all orders may be subject to delay in delivery due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If your order has been shipped in the last 14 days (within the UK) or 21 days (outside of the UK), we are unable to provide further tracking information. Therefore please email us again after these time period has elapsed if your parcel has still not arrived.
Can I track my order
The majority of our orders are sent tracked and you will receive a tracking number in your despatch email. Please note, for some overseas orders we are unable to track the order to the final destination.
Can I get hold of a product more quickly?
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 12-6pm Tuesday-Sunday (closed on Mondays).
Please note: The shop is currently closed, except for Collect From Store (Click & Collect) orders. These can be collected between 12pm-6pm, Tuesday – Sundays.
When can I collect my order from store?
Collect from store orders are ready for collection in 2 working days from the date of purchase. You will receive an email when your order is ready to be collected. Please bring your orders number for collection. Uncollected orders will be refunded after 30 days.
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. Please fill out the return section of the dispatch note to ensure quick processing of your return. Items must be in original condition and returned with the original sales receipt. Customers are responsible for all returns costs and we are only able to refund the initial delivery charge if the items were damaged or faulty when delivered. Please note, refunds can only be made to the original card used to make the order, and can take up to 10 days to process once they are received in the warehouse. If it is not possible to refund to the same card, then we will raise a gift voucher for the correct value. To arrange a return, fill in our form here.
Do you deliver internationally?
Yes, international orders will be sent via Royal Mail Tracked and Signed or via an alternative courier based on the order size and destination. Please note we are unable to influence the delivery of your parcel once it has left the UK. Royal Mail may pass the delivery on to a local courier, if you have any queries it would be best to get in touch with your local postal service.
Please note, you are responsible for paying any import tax or duties.
How much does delivery cost?
Details about all our delivery costs can be found here
What can I do if my item was damaged or faulty when delivered?
If anything you receive from us is damaged or faulty when it is delivered, please notify us at email@example.com with photos of the issue within 10 days of receiving the parcel.
I would like to buy something as a gift, what gift options do you offer?
There is the option to add a gift message at the checkout, this will be added to the delivery note in the parcel. Delivery notes do not show prices as standard. We are not currently able to offer gift wrapping.
I made an error when entering my shipping details, can I please correct this?
Our packing and shipping process is extremely efficient. Once your order has been placed, it will be in progress and there is no way to alter shipping details. Please take care to ensure your shipping details are correct. If your parcel is unable to be delivered due to an incorrect address given, we may feel it necessary to refund your order rather than reattempting delivery.
I have teenagers/children and want to know which of your card sets and books I could purchase for them.
Our item most suited for families is the 100 Questions, Family edition. Our products and content are targeted at adults, and can contain material you may deem unsuitable for younger people.
How do I contact customer service?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries you have. Our customer service team works Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. We endeavour to answer emails within 3 working days. Please note emails are not monitored at the weekend.
What is your cancellation policy for Psychotherapy, Bibliotherapy and Career Counselling?
For Bibliotherapy and Career Counselling sessions, please note that once your appointment time and date have been confirmed, we have a forty-eight hour cancellation policy. Any cancellations less than 48 hours prior to an appointment, or any no-shows will be charged. We will refund unused Bibliotherapy or Career Counselling sessions within 6 months of the booking. If the booking was made more than 6 months ago but less than a year ago, we will gladly offer a gift voucher for the original value of the booking. Sessions need to be arranged within 12 months. To request a refund or exchange for a gift voucher please email email@example.com.
For Psychotherapy sessions, please refer to our therapy FAQ page.
Gift Voucher FAQs
How do I redeem a gift voucher online?
You can enter the gift voucher code within the checkout process for product purchases.
Our new class only vouchers should be entered when checking out for a class where it says “ENTER PROMO CODE”, prior to selecting the ticket type.
Please note that gift vouchers are only accepted in our Online Shop. They are not accepted in any other stores.
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. 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.
How can I find out the balance of my gift voucher?
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.
Classe & Events FAQs
What type of programmes do you offer?
We currently offer a variety of online Virtual Programmes, these include: Classes, Workshops, Special Events, Friend Conversation Evenings and Business Workshops. For more information and a full, up-to-date list of our London virtual programme, please visit the Events section of our website, where you can browse by event theme or format, or our Calendar, where you can browse by date.
How much do programmes cost?
The price depends on the format, length 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.
- Virtual Classes - £40 friends / £55 Standard*
- One-Day Workshops - £99 friends / £135 standard*
- Special Events - from £30*
- Virtual Conversations - £10 friends*
*Plus booking fee
Do you offer concession prices for your events?
We offer a 10% ticket price reduction on virtual events under £60 for Students with valid ID, over-65's, un-waged and people with disabilities. 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 ask for your ID for proof of eligibility at the event.
Where are the events held?
Our current virtual classes are hosted on Zoom. Once you have purchased your ticket you will receive an email the day before the event with all the essential information you will need including the Zoom invitation link and password. Please make sure you have given us your correct email address. If you have brought a ticket on the behalf of another person please make sure you forward them the email if you have not provided the other attendees email. Please note that our London classroom is currently closed.
How long are the classes?
Virtual Classes last two and a half hours. The first 15-30 minutes is for on-boarding (to join and connect to Zoom) and an icebreaker, followed by a two-hour class, with a short break.
When and what time do the classes take place?
Currently we offer morning and evening weekday and weekend classes. Please visit our Calendar where you can browse by date. The evening classes generally run from 18:45 to 21:00 BST, the morning classes from 9:45 to 12:00 BST. Please note it is your responsibility to double-check whether you are booking a morning or evening class at the time of booking. We cannot be held responsible if you mistakenly book a morning class instead of an evening class (or vice versa) and are then not able to attend on the day due to other commitments. To find out more about our ticket transfer, exchange or refund policy please see Cancellations, Transfers and Exchanges.
How do I book a class?
The easiest way to book a ticket for any of our UK virtual events is to visit the events section of our website here, You can book and pay online. An e-ticket will be issued to you by email (via Eventbrite). Please enter your details, especially your email address, carefully - we cannot be responsible for you not receiving your ticket because you have failed to enter your email address correctly. If you are having problems booking online, please email 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, you can book more than one ticket for each event. When booking you can assign any additional tickets to your friends and provide their name and contact details. To find out more about our transfer policy on existing tickets, please see Cancellations, Transfers and Exchanges.
I have booked multiple tickets for a class or special event but my guests will be logging in separately. Will they be able to log in?
Yes, you are able to amend or add the names of each individual that you have bought tickets for. If you did not do this at checkout please select the 'manage/edit' option in your confirmation email to add these details.
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.
Will I need to do any prior reading before the virtual class?
You are not required to have read anything before the event. The essential information email that you receive before the class contains a workbook which accompanies the class. If you have a printed you may want to print the workbook, however, you can also have it downloaded on your desktop.
Does The School of Life have a membership scheme?
Yes, it's called The School of Life Friends. You can find out more and purchase membership 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 virtual classroom environment. For more information about private therapy sessions, please see the Therapy section of our website.
Cancellations, Transfers and Exchanges for classes
I would like to change the name on my ticket (transfer)
Ticket transfers (changing the name of the attendee to the class) are available at any time on classes, specials, friends events, one-day workshops and L&D workshops at no additional cost. To do this please use the 'manage/edit' link provided in your confirmation email. We regret that transfers are not available on our Schools or Conferences due to the nature of the course.
I would like to exchange my ticket for an alternative time/date or another class
If you would like to exchange your virtual class, one-day workshop, L&D workshop or friends event ticket to another event or alternative time - you are able to do so for a £5 fee via your Eventbrite account up to 1 hour before the class begins. Please login to your account on Eventbrite via your ticket confirmation email and click on 'transfer' to select the class you would like to exchange your ticket for. Please note that if the alternative event is of lower value than the original booking, we are not able to refund the difference. If the event price is higher than the original event then you will need to pay the difference in addition to the £5 exchange fee. We are unable give exchanges on our 5-day Schools, Specials and Conferences due to the nature of the event.
I booked an event but can’t make it now. Can I get a refund?
We are unable to give any refunds on any of our virtual classes, virtual specials, virtual one-day workshops or virtual L&D workshops.
5-Day Schools and Conversation Evenings: Refunds are available up to 30 days before the event start date.
Conferences: Refunds are available up to 60 days before the event starts.
To request a refund within these parameters please use the manage/edit link in your confirmation email and select the 'request a refund' button.
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 email@example.com.
Are Friends benefits redeemable at all branches of The School of Life?
Friends benefits currently apply only to The School of Life London.
Are there any limits to 10% discount for TSOL events and online products?
The 10% discount for TSOL events applies to Classes, Workshops and Special Events and our range of retail products available to buy online. The discount can not be applied to Festivals or Conferences, the discount is also not compatible with any other special offer.
Who should I contact if I have another issue with Friendship?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to start seeing a therapist, what should I do?
The first step is to book an initial therapy session. If you would like to start the process, please go to our website to purchase one initial session. Availability and selection of a particular therapist is not offered at this initial stage, but if you have a particular request, please let us know.
We are unable to reserve initial session dates until we receive confirmation of purchase for an initial session. If, at any point, within 6 months of your purchase, you realise we cannot offer you a suitable initial session date, we will of course refund you for the full amount of the initial session.
Prior to making a purchase for an initial session, I would like to make sure a therapist would be able to see me at certain dates & times.
We offer therapy sessions on Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm (start of the session) or Saturday. If you can make yourself available during these hours, it is very likely that one of our therapists will be able to see you for an initial session.
For ongoing therapy, you might be invited to join a waiting list. If you have very specific appointment requirements, such as wanting an exact evening slot, you might need to wait several weeks or months.
What happens after I purchase an initial therapy session from your website?
Soon after completing the purchase of an initial session, you will receive an automated email with information about our psychotherapy service.
You will then be allocated to a therapist for the initial session. The therapist will contact you directly, within one week, via email, to arrange a time for your initial session. Please make sure you periodically check the email address you entered at checkout, including your junk folder.
What happens during the initial session?
During the initial session you will have the opportunity to disclose any topics you might want to bring to therapy with a skilled therapist as well as questions and concerns.
Where do therapy sessions take place?
Our therapy sessions take place online using video conferencing. Your Therapist will confirm all the arrangements with you in advance.
What is your current availability for therapy sessions? How long does it usually take to book the first session?
The therapists’ availability changes quickly. If you would like to be offered an initial appointment slot, please book an initial session through our website, so a therapist can contact you directly to find the best time.
The therapist for your initial session will aim to contact you within one week of receiving your booking confirmation. Clients are usually seen for the initial session within one or two weeks after being contacted by the therapist, depending on your scheduling requirements (please note that certain slots are in high demand, therefore it could take a bit longer to offer you an appointment if you require a certain time / day).
If you and the therapist for your initial session both agree that ongoing therapy might be appropriate, there may be a delay in arranging an ongoing appointment slot, as there is generally a high demand on the service.
I need to see a therapist urgently; do you have any availability this week?
If you are experiencing difficulties and feel you will benefit from seeing a therapist urgently, we advise you to seek help through services that offer emergency support. We try our best to accommodate requests, but it might take a few days to find a date that suits both your and your therapist’s schedule.
How much is the psychotherapy session? Do you offer discounts for therapy sessions?
The initial fee is £100 (or equivalent). The fee for ongoing therapy is agreed with your therapist as part of an agreement between you and the therapist.
Currently, we do not offer discounts for any of our therapy services.
Am I able to schedule fortnightly therapy sessions?
We suggest a weekly commitment from the client; fortnightly therapy sessions are not offered.
ABOUT ONLINE PSYCHOTHERAPY SESSIONS
What platform do you use for online sessions?
The School of Life therapists may use Zoom (preferably), or VSee for online sessions. Both platforms have been endorsed by various professional bodies and the choice for their use is based on quality, ethical considerations and for the protection of client and therapist. Please check if your location allows for use of these platforms. In exceptional circumstances, if the platforms are down or inaccessible, Therapist may contact you by telephone.
I live abroad and there is a great time difference between us. Would I be able to have therapy with a London based therapist?
You can definitely have therapy with one of our therapists as long as you can schedule a 50-minute session between Monday to Friday 8am and 8pm (start of the session) or Saturday.
Are online sessions as effective as in-person sessions?
Online sessions are as effective as in-person sessions. The structure is the same as in-person sessions and take place weekly, at an agreed time and day.
ABOUT PSYCHOTHERAPY AT THE SCHOOL OF LIFE
What is the approach used by the therapists at The School of Life?
Our psychotherapy integrates psychodynamic concepts, attachment theory, and existential humanism. The School of Life's ethos comes into our work in numerous ways and we very much share the philosophy.
I feel unsure whether therapy is what I need. Am I able to speak to a therapist over the phone to make sure I will benefit from the sessions? Could I summarize my concerns in one email?
During the initial session you will have the opportunity to disclose any topics you might want to bring to therapy with a skilled therapist, as well as questions and concerns. Certain topics are best discussed in-person, with adequate space to be understood. If you have specific questions that haven’t been answered, you may email email@example.com.
What type of couples come for Couples Therapy?
We work with couples at every stage of a relationship. We also offer relationship therapy for those who are not romantically involved, including friends, colleagues and relatives.
How is the premarital session structured? How does it differ from the couple therapy session?
Premarital therapy is usually time-limited and focused on issues around commitment. Couples who sign up for premarital therapy may want to have just a handful of sessions before they get married, though they are of course free to choose longer-term therapy as well.
I am concerned about my child. Are you able to offer therapy for children?
We do not currently offer therapy for children or adolescents, but we may in the future.
ABOUT THE PSYCHOTHERAPISTS
Am I able to select the therapist I want to have therapy with? Can you share more information about your therapists?
The School of Life Psychotherapists are all fully qualified and highly trained. They come from a range of backgrounds and of course, personal fit will vary, but our psychotherapists have a shared ethos and similar way of working. At the initial stage, you will be allocated to a therapist on the team. If you do have a specific request, or would strongly prefer a male or female therapist, please contact us. Preferences and requests can also be discussed during the initial session. The therapist you see for your initial session may recommend specific therapists on the team depending on suitability.
All psychotherapists affiliated with The School of Life are listed here (within our Faculty members). They are also registered and accredited with either the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or the British Psychoanalytic Council or the British Psychological Society (BPS). Therapists also meet regularly with other The School of Life therapists for continual professional development and to ensure best practice.
Are your therapists registered with any health insurance? How can I book a session with a therapist covered by my health insurance provider?
We are currently unable to offer therapy through private health insurance providers.
CONTACTING THE PSYCHOTHERAPY TEAM
I can’t find your contact number; how should I contact you? Can I pay you a visit?
Our preferred contact method is email. We aim to reply within 48 hours, business days only.
Privacy and confidentiality are fundamental to our service; and our therapy sessions are only bookable online by prior appointment.
- For other general enquires relating to Psychotherapy, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- We welcome all feedback and will treat it confidentially. For feedback relating to our Psychotherapy service, please email: email@example.com.
- For press enquiries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OUR CANCELLATION POLICY
For initial sessions:
- If you have scheduled a session with a therapist and have a confirmed session time and date, we have a forty-eight-hour notice period. For sessions cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice, a full fee will apply, therefore we cannot offer a refund or session replacement.
- If you are unable to arrange an initial session appointment or would like to cancel it for any given reason within 6 months of the original booking, we will gladly offer a full refund to your original payment method. For cancellations made after 6 months and within 1 year of the original booking, we can offer a School of Life gift voucher. Please note we cannot offer any refunds or exchanges after 12 months of the original booking purchase.
- If you were gifted a session that you do not wish to take, then we will happily exchange this for a gift voucher within 12 months of the original booking.
For ongoing therapy (after an initial session):
- Cancellation terms for ongoing therapy sessions are agreed as part of an agreement between you and the Therapist.
Business Clients FAQs
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are any of your courses CPD-accredited?
Yes, a number of our courses are, we are committed to supporting continued professional development.
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 email@example.com.