Consumer Protection & our Undergraduate programmes

The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) is an independent non-ministerial department whose primary focus is to ensure that competition and markets work in favour of consumers. It enforces regulation by investigating cases, providing rulings, issuing penalties and supporting the government. 

CMA compliance advice to higher education providers was introduced in 2015 and updated in 2023. The guidance outlines how consumer protection law applies to the higher education sector. 

All higher education providers are required to abide by the regulations of the CMA, to give students legal protection and build and maintain confidence in the sectors’ standards and reputation. 

The CMA provides specific guidance for undergraduate programmes and we use this to ensure that all information provided to applicants about the programme of study is clear and transparent. Art Academy London is committed to providing applicants with sufficient information so that they can make informed decisions regarding their choice of institution and programme. We also have procedures in place to ensure that any proposed changes to material information are compliant with consumer protection laws. As our validating partner, the Open University also periodically reviews our compliance with CMA. 

CMA & you 

The CMA guidance sets out your rights as a prospective student in three main areas: 

  1. Information Provision

All Higher education providers are required to provide clear, unambiguous and timely information to prospective students. This includes all advertising materials and information communicated during open days. 

Our programmes are under continuous review with the aim of making our students’ experience the best it can be. Where we need to make some changes, we follow rigorous procedures, often in conjunction with our validating partners, the Open University, to evaluate any risk and to ensure that any such changes are necessary and mitigated if appropriate. 

We will always consult with current students in the event of changes to their programme and pledge to communicate any such changes to prospective students as soon as possible. 

Art Academy London has a student protection plan that sets out what we will do in order to protect the interests of prospective and current students, to ensure the continuity of every students’ studies should they be negatively impacted by substantial changes to their programme.    


  1. Terms & Conditions

All Higher education providers must ensure that their T&Cs are written in plain English, easily available and fair and balanced; that they do not allow providers an unreasonably wide discretion to make changes and/ or avoid liability. 

Our T&Cs are made up of the student contract, our academic regulations and the student and programme handbooks. All of these documents are available on our website to view before you decide to apply. 

Our academic regulations and the policies referenced within them are reviewed and updated appropriately in response to the requirements of external regulatory bodies and in order to make improvements. We inform students of changes to any policy that are of particular importance to them. 


  1. Complaint Handling 

All Higher education providers must ensure that their complaint handling policy and procedure is accessible, clear and fair to students (since lack of information and/ or complex procedures may deter students from submitting a complaint when they have a valid reason to do so). 

Art Academy London has a clear complaints policy and procedure for current students and a similar policy and procedure for applicants, both of which provide the opportunity to take complaints to our validating partner, the Open University, where appropriate. 

A short guide to CMA for Higher Education can be found here and the full guidance here. 


CMA related complaints

If you feel that AAL has failed to comply with consumer protection laws, the complaints process is as follows: 

Applicants that have submitted an application but have not yet accepted their offer: Please email the Director of Academic Quality, Standards & Student Experience

Prospective students who have submitted their offer and current enrolled students: Please follow the Student Complaints Policy and Procedure.