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.

General

Programmes

Making A Booking

Cancellations, Transfers and Exchanges

Business Clients

Gift Vouchers

Purchases

International

Jobs/Vacancies

Membership

 

General

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 around the world. 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.

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 11:00-19:00 Monday to Friday, 12:00-18:00 on Saturdays, 12.00-18.00 on Sundays.

To get in touch with a Faculty member, please email us at classroom@theschooloflife.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 open 11:00-19:00 Monday to Friday, 12:00-18:00 on Saturdays, 12.00-18.00 on Sundays.

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 youtube@theschooloflife.com with some examples of your video work.

Programmes

What type of programmes do you offer?
We currently offer Classes, Courses, Business Workshops and other Special Events. For more information and a full, up-to-date list of our London events, 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. For companies and private events, we currently offer Team Events and Team Workshops. You can read more about these here. Please email business@theschooloflife.com for more information. For programme details for our international branches, please use the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of our website to visit the specific website you are interested in.

Can anyone attend your programmes or do you need to be a member?
Anyone can attend, you do not need to be a member. 

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 - £55
  • One-Day Workshops - from £150
  • 5 Day Schools - £950
  • Special Events - from £30

Team Events & Team Workshops - please email business@theschooloflife.com

Do you offer concession prices for your events?
We offer a 10% ticket price reduction on events under £60 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, Workshops and Courses, and some of our Special Events, are held at our London HQ Classroom & Shop at 70 Marchmont St, London, WC1N 1AB. Most of our Special Events 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, evening classes and morning classes. The afternoon classes generally run from 14:00 to 17:00, the evening classes from 18:30 to 21:30 and the morning classes from 09:40 to 12:30. 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. To find out more about our ticket transfer, exchange or refund policy please see Cancellations, Transfers and Exchanges. 

Do you run any events on the weekend?
Yes, some of our courses take place on the weekend. Please visit our Calendar where you can browse by date.

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.

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.

Making A Booking

How do I book a class?
The easiest way to book a ticket for any of our UK events is to visit the Events 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 including a scannable QR code (via Eventbrite). 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 classroom@theschooloflife.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 Events 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 classroom@theschooloflife.com. 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. 

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. When booking you are able to specify the names of people you are buying tickets for, and provide an email address for each of them. If you would like to attend a class with a larger group please contact business@theschooloflife.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, 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 selet the 'manage/edit' option in your confirmation email to add these details. 

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.

 

Cancellations, Transfers and Exchanges

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 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. 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?

5-Day Schools, Friends Events and Conferences: Refunds are available up to 30 days before the event start date on our 5-day Schools, Friends events and Conferences. To request a refund within these parameters please use the manage/edit link in your confirmation email and select the 'request a refund' button. 

All other events: we are unable to give any refunds on any of our classes, specials, one-day workshops or L&D workshops.

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 therapy@theschooloflife.com.

For Psychotherapy sessions, please refer to our therapy FAQ page.

But what if I am ill or stuck at work or something else last-minute comes up that is unavoidable?
To find out more about our ticket transfer, exchange or refund policy please see Cancellations, Transfers and Exchanges. 

There is a tube strike tomorrow, can I get a refund on my ticket?
To find out more about our ticket transfer, exchange or refund policy please see Cancellations, Transfers and Exchanges.  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. 

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 please email friends@theschooloflife.com.

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 events discount can be applied to classes from the Core Curriculum, Workshops and Special Events. The discount applies to all products on our shop apart from gift vouchers.

 

Business Clients

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 business@theschooloflife.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 business@theschooloflife.com.

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 business@theschooloflife.com.

 

Gift Vouchers

How do I redeem a gift voucher online?
You can enter your voucher code in the checkout process. Your voucher code can be found on the bottom right-hand corner of your voucher letter. Please note that gift vouchers can be used for events and classes run by The School of Life London, or for products bought from our online shop.

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 customerservice@theschooloflife.com 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 customerservice@theschooloflife.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.

Purchases Made Online

You can see full Online Shop FAQs here.

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. Please note, refunds can only be made to the original card used to make the order. If this is not possible, then we will raise a gift voucher for the correct value. 

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.

International

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 international@theschooloflife.com to hear about the ways to get involved. 

Jobs/Vacancies

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.

Friends Membership

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 friends@theschooloflife.com.

Are Friends benefits redeemable at all branches of The School of Life?
Friends benefits currently apply only to The School of Life London, but will soon include access to wider international events.

Are there any limits to 10% discount for TSOL events and shop 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 friends@theschooloflife.com.