Studying in autumn 2020 during coronavirus

Coronavirus information for new students in 2020

If you have questions about your applying to uni during coronavirus, we've got your back

We're doing everything we can to limit the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on your study plans. We're ready to welcome you to #TeamMDX in 2020! We know you've got questions though, so we've put together this information for all new students in 2020.

We'll keep this updated regularly and get in touch with you directly about any changes to your course or application.

Studying with us in autumn 2020

Our guide to what to expect when you start uni, including our plans for teaching and student services, as well as where to get personal advice.

Teaching and student life during coronavirus

Undergraduate applicants

If your exams have been cancelled

You've probably got some mixed feelings about Results Day after exams and assessments were cancelled this year. We understand you might be confused about what that all means too. We’ll be using calculated grades awarded by exam boards to assess your academic achievement and review your application.

To make it easier for you, here’s some information about how it all works.

  • How your qualifications will be assessed

    • A-Levels

      Your school or college will be asked to send exam boards two pieces of information for each of your subjects, based on what they know about your work and achievements:

      • The grade they believe you were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams happened as planned
      • The order of the students at your school or college ranked by performance, within each subject

      This information will be used by exam boards to calculate your final grades. The ranking of students in your subject is important to help standardise grades and try to make things as fair as possible across all schools and colleges.

    • BTEC

      Your school or college will consider things like classwork and homework, grades from assignments and mock exams, coursework and your general progress during the course. It's also likely that your teacher, tutor or trainer may base your grade on what they expected the result to have been if you were able to complete the assignments. 

      Depending on the structure of your qualification:

      • As well as an overall grade, schools and colleges may be asked to provide a grade for uncompleted modules or units
      • Like A-Levels, some schools and colleges might be asked to rank the students in order by performance, within the course

      The exam board or awarding organisation may use the initial calculated grades alongside other relevant information to determine the most accurate final grade.

    • A-Levels and BTEC

      Your school or college will be asked to send exam boards two pieces of information for each of your subjects, based on what they know about your work and achievements:

      • The grade they believe you were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams happened as planned
      • The order of the students at your school or college ranked by performance, within each subject

      This information will be used by exam boards to calculate your final grades. The ranking of students in your subject is important to help standardise grades and try to make things as fair as possible across all schools and colleges.

    • Access

      Your estimated assessment grades will be based on a range of evidence, including:

      • Prior attainment on your course – meaning what you've achieved so far and what your expected result would have been if you were able to complete the assignments in Summer 2020
      • Formative assessments – which will involve your teachers or tutors making an assessment on your grade while you're still completing the work on the course
      • Any other records of student performance over the course of study

      When calculating your grades, your school or college will consider things like classwork and homework, grades from assignments and mock exams, coursework and your general progress during the course.

What that means for your application

We’ll use these grades to help us make a decision about your application, although we'll look at more than just your grades to make sure the decision is fair.

So if you're feeling concerned that your grades won’t reflect everything that you’ve achieved at school or college, try not to worry. We recognise all of the unique knowledge and experiences that you'll bring to your education here and we'll do our best to consider those along with any qualifications.

And if we're not able to offer you a place on your original course, we'll always try and find an alternative option.

Remember that we'll continue to give equal consideration to all applications regardless of where you are from, or where you live. And we don't have any plans to change the term, enrolment or induction dates advertised on our website.

Undergraduate offer holders

We understand if you're taking some time to think through your options before deciding about your uni application. Remember that we're here for you with the right information now and in the coming weeks.

We're here to look out for you and give you the support and updates you need, so reach out if you have any questions.

What's happening with Results Day

The government has confirmed A Level results will be published on 13 August so you should know if your place is confirmed then, providing you don't have other outstanding conditions to meet, which might include GSCE grades or non-academic conditions like a DBS or occupational health check.

BTEC and OCR results are also expected to be released on that date as well, so you should know then as well. However, if you've applied through UCAS and taken any of the qualifications they list, you won't need to send your results to us.

If you have any questions about when and how your grades come to us then you can contact our admissions team who will be happy to help you.

Changes to your course

Our plans for teaching and learning in the autumn

For the first few months of term, we’re planning to teach you through a mix of online virtual and face to face learning. This means we can keep everyone safe while aiming to give you some opportunities to come onto campus. These arrangements are different across the courses that we offer so check your course page for info.

To understand more about our approach, read our guides to how we'll teach your subject.

When you can start your degree

We encourage you to work towards starting your degree in the autumn if you can, because that means you'll have more opportunity to make the most of being part of the #TeamMDX community. If that's not possible, then you might be able to start in January 2021 so check our list of courses with January start dates.

Changes to student finance

Don't worry, you can still apply for student finance in the same way as before, but if you're not sure about the process UCAS has plenty of information available to help get you started.

The Student Loans contact centre has re-opened for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland after a temporary closure as well, but if you've got any questions about your student finance application you should check their FAQs to see if you can find an answer there first.

Finance for EU students

If you're from the EU, you'll still be able to apply for student finance for this year and January 2021.

Postgraduate applicants

When you apply to a postgraduate course during coronavirus, we want to reassure you that:

  • We'll continue to give equal consideration to all applications regardless of where you are from, or where you live
  • We don't have any plans to change the term, enrolment or induction dates advertised on the website
  • We're constantly reviewing the deadlines we have attached to conditions of acceptance.

If you're worried about meeting your offer

We understand that everything that's happened recently means that your undergraduate studies might have been impacted, for example you've achieved a different result than expected. Get in touch with us if you're worried and we'll be happy to discuss your application with you.

International students

Your application

We understand there will be an impact on international applicants in a number of different ways, but while the the situation is changing every day:

  • The pre-sessional programme will be taught online in summer 2020
  • We're not anticipating any changes to fees should programmes move online
  • We're still accepting Erasmus applications, find out more about a study exchange here or studying abroad
  • We do still require you to complete an English language assessment if it's part of your offer, but we accept a wide range of tests as proof of eligibility. Find out more about which tests we accept, some of which are sat completely online
  • We'll allow you to delay submitting supporting documents. Please submit relevant portfolios, certificates, documents and passports through the applicant portal once you have them, we also accept clear photo images as well as scanned copies.

If your exams have been cancelled

We're aware a large number of international applicants have had their exams cancelled:

  • For qualifications awarded by UK exam boards, you'll be awarded grades the same way the UK students. Contact your college or exam board directly with questions
  • For the International Baccalaureate, you'll be awarded diplomas and certificates as usual which we will use to assess your application
  • For local qualifications, like your home country's high school qualification, school leaving qualification or university degree, we'll do everything we can to support you. just ask us for help.

Visa and CAS information

When we'll sponsor a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

We can sponsor you for a CAS if your course has some face to face on campus teaching. When you have a CAS then you can apply for Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

If you’ve applied for a course that’s taught fully online, then we won’t be able to sponsor you for a CAS because of UK Visa and Immigration regulations. This means you won't be able to come to campus for the start of term. If living on campus is important to you, then your Regional Office can support you to change to a course with some face to face teaching which will allow you to apply for a study visa.

Check your course page for information about you'll be taught.

Applying for your Tier 4 visa

  • We'll start issuing CAS’s from the end of July 2020
  • Before we issue a CAS, we'll check the status of the visa centre in your local area. If it's closed, you might be able to apply for a Tier 4 visa in an alternative location, subject to holding a residence permit there
  • Our International Student Advice team are here to support you through this process.

Accommodation for international students

You can decide to move into accommodation for the start of term, during the first few months or in January. We'll support you to find a room as long as we have availability. There's more info on accommodation below.

If your course is taught fully online then you won’t be able to move to accommodation on campus for the start of your course. If you want more options, then speak to your Regional Office about changing your application.

Accommodation for 2020 to 2021

How to decide if you should move to campus

If you're a UK student and we’re planning to teach your course fully online, then it’s your personal decision whether to move to campus. You might choose to live in halls straightaway and get involved in campus life or stay at home for now and move after a few months, or even longer. We’re taking a flexible approach to deadlines and move in dates so you can do what’s best for you. If you’re not sure about your plans then we’re here to give you advice.

If your course is taught through a mix of online and face to face learning, we'd recommend that you make the most of any opportunities to come to campus for learning and student life. It's your decision whether you do this by commuting from home or moving into accommodation.

If you're an international student, check the info in the section above.

How we'll keep you safe

We're making arrangements so you can live in a 'hall households' or social bubble so you can have a normal experience in halls of residence while staying safe. There will also be safety measures in halls like extra regular communal area cleaning, hand sanitiser and one way systems. We're updating our plans to follow changing government guidelines.

Deadlines, rent payments and refunds

  • There’s currently no set deadline to apply for accommodation although  we recommend applying now to get the room that you want
  • If you change your mind, then you can cancel up to 13 September and get a full refund
  • You can move into accommodation after the start of Autumn term or in January as long as we have rooms free. Fill out this form to get the latest updates on availability in halls.

More info on accommodation

Library and IT services

Using the library

The main Sheppard Library will be open and providing a full service during weekdays. Our library service also includes free remote access to our big collection of online ebooks and journal articles.

Study spaces and IT facilities

There will be bookable study spaces on campus and desktop PCs and Macs available. You can also loan a laptop for home, for short or long term use.

Support from the library, IT and learning teams

You’ll get lots of expert online support through one to one appointments, virtual training sessions and drop-ins.

Our library and IT services

Experience it online

Our virtual opportunities

Our online and virtual experiences give you the chance to find the information and support you need, explore our outstanding facilities and find out what it's like studying here.

So, even though we can't welcome you to our north London campus right now, you can still get a feel for what it's like to be a part of #TeamMDX.

Join a virtual experience

Get in touch

Our admissions enquiries team is happy to listen, give you any information you need and answer all your questions.

They're here to support you and even though you can't come to see them on campus, the team is still available for you to contact in a number of different ways.

Get in touch

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