Terms and conditions

Cookie policy

FutureLearn Cookies Policy

This is the cookies policy of FutureLearn which applies to the Website (“Cookies Policy”). This Cookies Policy should be read alongside, and in addition to, the Terms and the Privacy Policy.

This Cookies Policy describes the cookies we use and explains why we use cookies and how we deal with the information collected. It also explains how cookies enable the Website to function properly and why you may not be able to experience the full functionality of the Website and the Online Courses and Content if you disable the use of cookies.

We use cookies to enhance your experience of FutureLearn and to better understand how people use the Website. This may also include cookies from third party social media websites. By visiting the Website without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies, but you can change your cookies settings at any time by following the instructions below in paragraph 3: “How to disable cookies”.

Unless otherwise defined in this Cookies Policy, terms used have the same meaning as in the Terms document.


1          What are Cookies?

Cookies are small, usually randomly encoded, text files that are designed to store basic information (such as visitor preferences). A cookie file is created by the Website browsing and is transmitted and processed by the Web browser software of your computer (or such other device as you use to access the Website including, without limitation, mobile devices and tablets). The resulting file is stored in your Web browser’s installation directory or subfolder (cache). Your Web browser accesses this file when you visit the website that originally created the cookie.

2          Types of Cookies

2.1       The cookies described below are used to improve the Website and do not contain any personal information that would allow us to identify you (such as your name or other contact details), although the cookies do allow us to distinguish you from other users of the Website, identify repeat visitors, the type of content and sites to which a Visitor or Learner links, the length of time each Visitor and Learner spends at any particular area of the Website and the specific functionalities that Visitors and Learners choose to use. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when your browse the Website and helps us to improve the Online Courses.


2.2       There are four types of cookies that may be used during your visit to the Website;

(a)        Session cookies, which are stored only temporarily during a browsing session and are deleted from your device when the browser is closed;

(b)        Persistent cookies, which are saved on your computer for a fixed period (usually one year or more) and are not deleted when the browser is closed.  These help us remember you as a Visitor or Learner each time you use the same computer to visit the Website;

(c)        First party cookies, which are set by the Website and can only be read by the Website; and

(d)        Third party cookies, which are set by a different organisation than us, such as a third party analytics company, who sets its own cookies to perform this service.

2.3       By using this site, you consent to the use of the following cookies:

First party cookies

Cookie Name Purpose Session / Persistent Length of Storage
WordPress_test_cookie WordPress cookie to test if cookies are in use Session n/a
wp-settings- WordPress cookie used to customise certain features on the Website Session n/a
wp-settings-time- WordPress cookie used to customise certain features on the Website Session n/a
PHPSESSID Allows us to track the current User’s session ID Session n/a
_session_id To help identify a specific user Session n/a
session_last_active_at To track if a user can be given cached content Session n/a
_csrf_token Token to stop cross-site request forgery Session n/a
user_id To help identify a specific user who has ticked ‘Remember me’ Persistent Two weeks
ahoy_visit, ahoy_visitor To help identify a specific user across multiple devices. We use the ahoy library for this. Persistent Four hours (visit) / two years (visitor)
vanity_id To help identify a visitor for the purposes of A/B testing. We use the vanity library for this. Persistent 1 month
traffic_source If a visitor has come to site from a promotional campaign, this records campaign details we can measure the effectiveness of campaigns. Persistent 30 days
browser_prompt If a browser is unsupported, we may display a warning banner. This cookie records if a user has dismissed this banner. Persistent One week
fl-video-player-subtitles_enabled This cookie is used to record user subtitle preference and persist this choice across pages with embedded videos. Persistent Until cookie is purged.

Third party cookies

Service Purpose Cookie detail
Uservoice Collecting feedback from users https://www.uservoice.com/compliance/#pii-and-cookies
New Relic Performance monitoring https://newrelic.com/docs/subscriptions/new-relic-cookies
Google Analytics Website usage statistics https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/cookie-usage
Google Display Network Display Ads https://www.google.com/policies/technologies/ads/
CloudFlare Content delivery network for improving performance https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/200170156-What-does-the-CloudFlare-cfduid-cookie-do-
vzaar Playing audio and video https://vzaar.tenderapp.com/help/kb/video-players/cookies-and-the-vzaar-player Note that we are not using the vzaar VAST advertising feature.
VWO A/B testing https://vwo.com/knowledge/cookies-used-by-vwo/
CrazyEgg Visualise where users click https://www.crazyegg.com/privacy
Facebook Custom Audiences Reach users with ads on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/policy.php
Loop 11 Collecting feedback from users http://www.loop11.com/privacy/

2.4       The Website may display video content using Adobe Flash Player. Adobe uses Flash cookies (also known as Local Shared Objects) to help improve your experience as a Visitor or Learner and save your preferences. Flash cookies are stored on your device in much the same way as usual cookies, but your browser manages them differently. If you wish to disable or delete a Flash cookie, see Adobe Flashplayer Security Settings. Please bear in mind, though, that if you disable Flash cookies for the Website you may be unable to access certain elements of the Website and Online Courses and Content.

2.5       Our Partner Institutions may also use cookies over which we have no control. For further information on how our Partner Institutions use cookies please refer to the cookies policies on their respective websites.

2.6       Third-party advertisers on the Website may use cookies, beacons and other technologies to collect or receive information from FutureLearn.com and elsewhere on the internet to provide measurement services and target advertising. We have no control over cookies placed on the Website by third parties and you should check the relevant third party’s website for more information. You can change your cookie settings at any time by following the advice in paragraph 3 below: “How To Disable Cookies”.


3          How To Disable Cookies

3.1      You have the right to accept or stop cookies from being stored on your device at any time by modifying the settings in your web browser to reflect your cookie preferences. Please refer to your browser instructions or the “Help” function within your browser to show you how. Alternatively you may wish to use an online tool to help you opt out of the collection and use of information by visiting http://www.aboutads.info/choices/.

Please note that you may not be able to use all the interactive features of the Website and/or Online Courses and Content if cookies are disabled.

3.2       To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout