Coronavirus - Applicant FAQs

Updated: 26 January 2021

We know that many applicants and enquirers will have questions or concerns about their planned studies at Northumbria University, and we hope that these frequently asked questions will help reassure our new students who are yet to join us.

We are here to support you, so please contact us if you have any questions which aren’t answered below or you would like to chat. We will communicate regularly with all students who have applied to us.

If you were looking for general information for updates related to Covid-19 from the University, they can be found here.

Your studies

Yes, our January intake is going ahead as planned. There may be slight changes to dates to allow additional travel time for you – we will communicate this to you if it changes. All courses and dates are scheduled to run as planned. Please be assured we are continually reviewing the current situation in relation to Covid-19 and if there are any subsequent changes, we will advise you as soon as possible so that you have time to get ready to join your studies as planned.

The UK Prime Minister recently announced new restrictions in England. His message about staying at home to help stop the spread of Covid-19 was clear; remaining indoors is the best way to stop the virus from spreading further, and we should only leave our homes if it is absolutely necessary, such as for essential shopping and medical appointments.

This means that your programme must commence online except in a small number of courses in health and educational settings where learning activity will still be continuing face-to-face in accordance with government guidance. The university plans to resume on campus teaching as soon as we are approved to do so. We are continuing to monitor the situation and if there are any changes, we will update you as soon as possible.

Yes, you will follow a learning plan that allows you to complete your programme in the academic year as intended.  This will be delivered online as necessary. Dependent on travel restrictions in your home country and the UK, various options will be available to you. This will include online, on-campus (with appropriate social distancing) or a combination.

Please continue to monitor these pages on our website for up to date information and be assured we will be contacting you individually so that you know your own specific arrangements.

Yes. We are happy to defer you to a later intake to meet your own personal circumstances. We recognise that there is significant uncertainty with Covid-19 and are keen to support our applicants accordingly.

The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority, but we’re also working hard to make sure that people can make the most of our fantastic campus and feel safe and supported and ready to make the most of life at University. You can find out more the latest information about the steps being taken on campus here.

Yes.  There is full information below on what you should expect when studying online, what you will need and how we will ensure you can study from your time zone.

Yes, you will follow a learning plan that allows you to complete your programme in the academic year as intended.

Teaching will be online until at least mid-February in-line with current UK government guidance with the exception of a handful of programmes which have been given special exemption by the government to continue on campus face-to-face teaching.

We are very happy to support your studies remotely, until the time at which government restrictions are relaxed and we are authorised to welcome all students back to our campus. After that point, we would like you to attend campus to benefit from face to face learning and campus facilities.

If the UK restrictions are relaxed but your own country still has restrictions on travelling to the UK at that point, you will be able to continue to study online until you are permitted to travel. In these circumstances you should contact us to discuss your situation.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and if there are any changes, we will update you as soon as possible.

We understand that there is ongoing disruption to global travel and therefore, in line with the Home Office guidelines for students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4), we recognise that you may need to start your study online and join us when you are able to do so. Northumbria will use expected online contact points such as logging into online learning portals, attending virtual lectures and tutorials, and online submission of coursework to monitor academic engagement. Please complete the Personalised Support survey during enrolment to inform us if you are unable to travel to the UK for the start of Semester 1 and someone from our pathway team will be in touch with you.

You are required to engage with Northumbria’s blended learning offer for 2020/21 which means you must study on campus when you are timetabled to do so. You are permitted by the Home Office to study remotely in the UK in exceptional circumstances only. If you are an International student in the UK who cannot come on to campus from the start of Semester 1, please complete the Personalised Support survey during enrolment to inform us and someone will be in touch.

All learning and teaching on our Pathway Programmes will take place in small group sessions with direction and academic support from an experienced English Academic tutor.  This approach and focus on individually learning and development will continue online, with the opportunity to attend breakout session to discuss new knowledge and concepts, meet with your tutor during 1-2-1 sessions and informal café style groups to socialise with similar like-minded international students.

In fact, studying online offers many more options.  For example, as well as attending the live session you can watch it again to pick up the points you missed the first time.  Setting up a meeting with your tutor or classmates to work on a shared project can be much more flexible too.

So, our approach to online learning goes beyond just providing you with material online or via the university’s virtual learning environment and e-library.

Our Learning system additionally allows you to log into a virtual PC that provides all the software you would have if you were sitting at a PC on campus. There will also be directed reading via our online library and use of video and podcast.

You will be provided with a timetable for your online learning and induction to your programme and how to learn effectively online as part of induction.

You will be able to engage with your learning on line via a mix of live online classes each week via our advanced user-friendly virtual learning environment – Blackboard Ultra, access to recorded lecture materials 24/7 to enable you to study at times which suit your own personal needs, access to our 24/7 on-line library and opportunity for regular on-line one to one tutorials with your personal tutor to support you throughout your Northumbria journey.

The equipment that you need will be no different to that you need for your university studies when you come to the UK.  This should include:

  • Laptop or desktop computer
  • Wi-Fi/broadband
  • Access to Word, Excel, or other desktop functionality
  • The university has its own virtual learning environment (VLE), where you will find all your materials and any special software

You will be given access to the University’s resources via the internet.  As such you should have access to a computer (desktop/laptop) that is less than 5 years old alongside speakers/headphones/earbuds for listening to audio or videos presented and a webcam.  Our online sessions can be accessed via smart phone, but it is recommended that you have access to a tablet/laptop or a PC for ease of use and completing assessments.

You will also need access to a stable internet connection.  As a registered student, you will be able to access Office 365 via Microsoft’s arrangements for students.

The timetable will be organised around core hours of delivery, approximately 3 to 4 hours a day so that groups of students can continue to attend whole group classes, so depending on where you live your core hours could look something like the below.

Approximate difference
GMT Asia (+7) Middle East (+3) Latin America (-4)
9am  – 12noon 4pm – 7pm 12noon – 3pm n/a
1pm – 4pm n/a 4pm – 7pm 9am – 12 noon

In addition to the core hours there are approximately 4-6 hours per week of tutorials and small group sessions, these will be arranged to meet your time zone.  So, for example those of you coming from Asia which is ahead the UK it might be in advance of your core learning at 3-4pm (8am UK time).

Once you have completed all the application steps you will sent your enrolment information by email. You will need to follow these instructions to enrol.

Additional Information for EU and International students: Due to the current situation you will be required to enrol online. The university will then undertake your ‘right to study’ checks remotely even if you are already in the UK or have arrived on campus. Right to study checks, will involve checking that you have the correct immigration permission/documents to study in the UK. You will be contacted directly when you need to engage in these checks.

You can find further information for EU students in relation to Brexit here.

If you are a new student, you will have a comprehensive online induction before you begin your study in January. Your online induction will introduce you to the university, programme and provide an opportunity to meet your Pathway Teaching Team and of course your fellow learners. We will also prepare you for your studies at Northumbria University.

You can check more information regarding enrolment here. You should ensure that you have successfully enrolled in advance of your induction.

You will be able to generate this from your Student Portal after 18th January 2021. It will confirm that you are enrolled as a blended student until the time you arrive in the UK.

If you are already in Newcastle and have urgent need to access our library and learning spaces, we are continuing to ensure they are available in a safe manner. You should only access these facilities if it is absolutely necessary for your learning.

If you are in Newcastle and will be looking to use the services, you should also have two Covid-19 Lateral Flow Tests at Sport Central on our City Campus. You can find out more information here. If you are unable to take a test, then you must self-isolate at home for 10 days before accessing facilities.

We are aware that many applicants are unable to book tests. Northumbria accepts a wide variety of English tests and exemptions that may offer an alternative, including the QA Higher Education English test.

If you have specific questions about evidencing your English language, please contact us directly and we can discuss your options with you.

You can also find Covid-19 updates through the following links:

We will maintain our acceptance criteria and also due to our joint CAS options we have increased the amount of English Language tests we can accept for Pathways courses. These currently include WAEC, Indian Standard XII, and the QA English Language test.

These acceptable English language tests will only be available until your local English Language Centre re-opens.

For more information please contact us directly on +44 (0) 203 944 6272

If your Year 12 or O level exams have been cancelled, we are able to consider Year 11 grades or your predicted grades on a case by case basis. Please contact us directly on +44 (0) 203 944 6272

If you are not able to provide a financial guarantee letter confirming your sponsorship by the deadline, you can defer your offer to the next available intake or decide to continue by paying your minimum deposit.

Please contact us as soon as you receive your financial guarantee and we will advise you which intake you can commence.

Yes, and for some courses with limited spaces we recommend that you do. You can reserve your space by paying the full deposit of £5500 for the course or pay a place holder fee of £500. You will need to pay the full deposit and meet the financial requirements for your CAS to be issued.

Please refer to your Terms and Conditions.

Fees and finance

No. It is likely some of your study will be online due to restrictions on being able to open our campuses at this time. As outlined in the previous question, we are providing an extensive online course option which is designed to mirror your experience in the classroom as closely as possible, including live lectures and access to all the same support services you would normally receive.

Yes. Our standard deposit refund policy which can be found on the Terms and Conditions of your Offer continues to apply and we will of course refund your deposit in those scenarios.

In addition, if you are adversely affected by Covid-19, which impacts your ability to meet the conditions of your offer or your entry to the UK due to travel restrictions, we will also refund your deposit and discuss possible deferral options with you.

Yes.  We are flexible with your payment options and are happy to discuss your individual requirements if your fees are a concern.

Please contact us directly on +44 (0) 203 944 6272

In line with Government guidance our course fees will not change regardless of whether you are attending on campus or studying fully online, as we are delivering the same course content with the same academic staff online as on campus, albeit delivered remotely. You will be able to access the same high quality teaching materials, observe the same sessions and interact with your classmates, although virtually rather than face to face. As soon as you are able to join us on campus we will be glad to welcome you.

Travel, accommodation and studying in the UK

UKCISA has a range of information and advice for International Applicants and Students, including a COVID-19 FAQ section which is regularly updated

Yes. Our accommodation support team will be happy to help.

You can find much more information on the QA Higher Education website.

If you would like to speak to someone, please contact QAHE.accommodation@qa.com or 0203 627 6101.

If you plan to be able to come to campus for the start of your course and you require Northumbria University accommodation, you should apply for it in the usual way. There will be no penalties or fees charged to students who are unable to come to campus due to issues in relation to Covid-19. If you have paid a deposit and are then unable to take your room, you will be refunded your deposit. Please note that if you choose to arrange accommodation with a private provider, they may not be able to offer the same flexibility, so you should discuss your options with them directly.

If you would like help finding, organising and booking student accommodation, the QA Higher Education Accommodation Service is also available to help. Complete the online form here and one of the team will contact you to talk about your options.

In view of this new lockdown, the University has decided to offer students who are unable to, under current government guidance, live in University-managed accommodation through this lockdown period, the opportunity to pause rent payments on their tenancy. This will apply with effect from 11th January (the first date of the new term) until the date you return to your accommodation, or when the government allows you to return – whichever of these two dates is the sooner. International students will also have their rent paused until they are able to arrive in the UK and attend University. Further information, including how to apply for rent to be paused, can be found on the Student Portal.

In line with government guidance we are now asking all students (except those students who have learning in the exempt programmes) to stay at home and not to travel to Newcastle to their University accommodation at this time.

If, however, you have booked non-refundable travel, are unable to rearrange the date or are already travelling we are still ready to welcome and support you. We will update you with further information on travel plans as soon as further government guidance is released. We will support all students to study remotely, until government restrictions are lifted, and we are able to welcome you to our campus.

From 18 January 2021 you will be required to provide a negative Covid test before you arrive in the UK. You can find out more about this process here.

Please do not enter the UK before the date your 30 or 90-day transit visa starts. If you do you will be required to exit and re-enter to trigger your student visa status. This is a UKVI requirement.

You will need a valid transit visa to enter the UK. If your transit vignette has expired, you will need to apply for a replacement by completing the online form. The cost of replacing an expired 90-day vignette is £154 and you will need to make an appointment to resubmit your biometric information. We strongly advise that you only apply for a new visa, or apply to replace an expired vignette, when you are confident you can travel to the UK. The new vignette will be valid for a period of 90 days. If you cannot travel during this time, you may need to apply again to update your vignette.

When you arrive in the UK you may need to self-isolate in line with the current UK government guidance on entering the UK. If you are require to self-isolate then you will be able to do this, and will be supported to do so, in your university accommodation.

From the 18 January 2021 you will also be required to have a negative Covid test, before you travel to the UK.

If you are travelling to the UK to join us, please complete QA Higher Education’s online form with your travel information. This will allow the team at QA Higher Education to know when you are arriving and gives us the opportunity to provide any additional advice, guidance and support before and upon your arrival to the UK. This is particularly important should you be arriving from a country where you may need to self-isolate on arrival in the UK.

Your BRP will be posted to you. The compliance team will confirm the delivery date as part of the enrolment process. You are not required to attend campus to enrol or to collect the BRP

This is not a problem as the university has confirmation that Police registration is currently operating under reduced hours, and in some instances may be currently closed for new registrations due to the current UK lockdown. Delayed registration will not impact your immigration record. Once you have your BRP card and if you are concerned about registration please contact a Welfare, Immigration and Funding Adviser via the Student Portal.

Transit dates, obtaining your CAS and visa

A transition date is the date that you will join us on Campus, if you are unable to join us at the start of the programme. This is NOT a later start date of your programme, as you will still begin your course in January 2021 online and then you will complete your study on campus when you are able to join us In the UK.

Yes, if you are not starting on campus from the start date of your course, then you must start and engage with your programme online, until you are able to transition to campus. If you do not engage with your online study prior to moving to campus, we may not issue you a CAS and you may be withdrawn from the course, which may affect your visa status or application.

You need to tell us when you plan to arrive. When you have accepted your offer and requested your CAS, you will be sent a short questionnaire which will allow you to inform us of when you are able to arrive. If possible, you should aim to arrive on campus as soon as possible, ideally from the start of the programme.

No, you will not require a visa when you study online, but you will need a visa to join us on campus. If you require a visa to travel to the university, you will need to make sure you make all the necessary preparations for this before travelling. There is more information on this page about when and how you can make the transition to the campus.

Yes, the university are still issuing CAS for you to apply for your visa. We encourage you to apply for your visa but recommend that you wait to book your travel until we can confirm when your face to face teaching will start.

You should request your CAS via your applicant portal. If you have already requested your CAS but have not yet received this please do not worry, the team are currently working on these and will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Many Visa Centres have reopened or are due to reopen soon. There are, however, several countries where centres are still closed or are not currently processing new applications yet. You can keep up to date with the last information here.

The Government has confirmed that existing international students who have been studying by distance/blended learning will remain eligible to apply for the Graduate route provided they are in the UK by 6 April 2021 and meet the other requirements of the route. This is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year.

In addition, students who commence a one-year Master’s programme in January 2021 will also remain eligible for the Graduate route, even if they are studying remotely, provided they enter the UK before 27 September 2021 and complete the final semester of their studies in the UK.

To comply with social distancing rules, teaching will be blended learning. This means that you will attend some classes in person and for some others, you will continue online. This will be under on-going review.

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