Last updated: 22 April 2021
Ulster University is building maximum flexibility and agility in a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is here to ensure that no matter the challenges, we will continue to deliver the best possible experience for students online and on-campus when we can safely return. We are committed to keep your education and careers on track and on schedule.
We are sure you will have a lot of questions about what studying with Ulster University in London or Birmingham will be like. We have addressed a number of questions below and will continue to update this page with our plans. Our plans are based on Government guidance, public health advice and robust risk assessments that will be regularly reviewed and updated in that context.
Your Questions Answered
We continue to follow Government guidance regarding teaching and are committed to ensuring your ongoing access to learning. This does mean that our campus building are temporarily closed, however, all of our teams are still available to contact and we are continuing to deliver all teaching and all support services online to our students.
As soon as we are able to reopen our branch campuses, we will follow all health and safety processes necessary to provide our students with a safe and welcoming environment for you to enjoy. This also means that as soon as we are able to do so safely, we intend to deliver a blended learning approach. This means that, in addition to live online learning activities, we plan to offer some opportunities to engage in some small group face-to-face teaching and other activities in the campuses, continuing to follow Government guidance and social distancing measures as required.
Our plans include:
- Welcoming you as you become a member of our vibrant and supportive student community
- On-campus teaching opportunities will be available where possible, and it is safe and practical, taking in to consideration any social distancing rules
- Your course will be delivered using live online classes, with the opportunity to supplement these with face-to-face teaching where possible.
- You will be able to interact with your teachers and fellow students, either online or face-to-face where possible
- You will have access to a range of dynamic virtual teaching tools which our academics will use to deliver engaging and challenging online learning and teaching
- Access to a mix of online learning resources and your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) 24/7
- A dedicated online learning support team
- Bookable private study spaces available on campus, when reopened
- Access to all of our support services, either online or on-campus, allowing you to access library materials and resources, study advice from our ACE Team, Careers support, and pastoral support from our Welfare Team
- A social programme of activities to enable you to meet your fellow students, online, and in-person when possible, subject to social distancing
We plan to transition your teaching back to campus-based teaching as restrictions are eased and as soon as safe and practical for us to do so.
Students who have joined us since the start of the pandemic are completing a mixture of online and face-to-face learning with some studying fully online. The information we have included on this page further explains the requirements and any steps you may need to take to successfully complete your learning with us.
Students can be reassured that arrangements will be put in place to protect student progression, completion and award and every effort will be made to enable students to complete their courses as expected.
These alternative teaching, assessment and support arrangements have been designed to enable you to achieve the same learning outcomes you would normally, ensuring the value and quality of your award remain unchanged.
For example, below are some of the assessment adjustments that have been introduced (please note that specific assessment adjustments will depend on your course):
- Online exams in the place of campus-based exams, continuing to meet requirements of any professional bodies (such as CIMA and ACCA) as appropriate
- Group presentations and individual presentation submission requirements adjusted
- Class time dedicated for facilitating group work in online environments
- Replacement of group assessments with individual work submissions
- Additional guidance and support is available through Module Leaders, the QA Higher Education Learning and Teaching Team, and the ACE Team
You will be expected to continue to check your university email and attend your teaching sessions. Your Module Leaders will keep you informed should there be any adjustments to assessment methods.
If you have any concerns or require any additional support, your Module Leader will be able to provide guidance and recommend any available resources for you to make use of.
Please continue to monitor our FAQ pages on our website for more information. Please be assured we will be contacting you individually to make arrangements, so please do continue to check your emails.
Our approach to online learning goes beyond just providing you with material online or via the university’s virtual learning environment and e-library. Your teaching will include live online sessions for both your lectures and seminars and you will also have the opportunity to work online in small groups.
Our Learning On Demand system additionally allows you to log into a virtual PC which 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.
We also recognise that learning is also about having access to have individual discussions with your tutors. There will be opportunities for ongoing tutorials and regular online drop-in sessions to talk to your lecturers about how things are going, ask questions about your learning and share any worries you may have.
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.
No. It is likely some of your study will be online due to social distancing rules. As outlined in the previous question, we are providing an extensive online course option in the interim 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.
When possible, we plan to offer the opportunity to engage in some small group face-to-face teaching and other activities in London and Birmingham campuses, continuing to follow social distancing measures as required.
Recognising that some or all of your study will be online you will need to access the University’s resources via 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 smartphone, 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. You will be given access to Microsoft Office 365 once you are registered on your programme, free of charge.
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.email@example.com or 0203 6276101.
This guidance is subject to change and therefore we recommend that you check the latest Government guidance here before you travel. The latest Government guidance will specify how and for what period you will need to self-isolate when travelling to the UK. It may also include advice which is specific to you based on the country you are travelling from, together with guidance on how to travel safely from the airport. Please note that this guidance is subject to change so we recommend that you check regularly.
If you are travelling to the UK to join us, please complete this 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.
If you are travelling to the UK from the EU, please make sure you have consulted the relevant guidance regarding the UK and EU transition. You can check more information on our webpage here.
It is important that you follow the Government’s guidance when travelling into the UK, especially if you are travelling from or through a country that is on the red list. The UK has red listed countries that pose a high risk to spreading the Covid-19 virus and its new variants. Please check the Government guidance here for the full list of ‘red list’ countries with detailed information on the requirements you need to meet on arrival in the UK.
Currently, if you have travelled through or been in any of the countries on the red list in the last 10 days, you will not be permitted to enter the UK – unless you are:
- A British national
- An Irish national
- Have residence rights in the UK – This includes those who hold a full Student visa – Tier 4 or Student Route – or are an EU national with settled or pre-settled status in the UK.
- If you have resident rights, you will be permitted to enter the UK the same as a British or Irish national, and
- You must quarantine for 10 days in a UK Government approved hotel facility at the cost of £1,750
Please note: you cannot use the Test to Release scheme if you have been in or through a red list country.
It is critical that you follow the Government’s guidance on what you must do before you travel:
- Take a Covid-19 test and get a negative result 3 days before you travel
- Book and pay for a travel test package, which must be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your hotel quarantine
- Complete a passenger locator form
Please continue to check the guidance as it is subject to change.
We understand travelling can be stressful at the best of times and we want to ensure you are supported during this challenging time. Please complete the QA Higher Education travel notification form and let us know your circumstances. We will support you as you follow any necessary procedures to enter the UK.
Please do speak with our Welfare Team who are always on hand to support you with any queries or personal matters you may come across. Our friendly team are here to help and can also share a variety of resources with you that you may find useful.
Before travelling into the UK, please ensure you’re checking the latest information and advice about entering the UK here.
It is vital that students arriving in the UK have followed the correct arrival procedure to avoid additional costs and any delays. This includes ensuring you have the correct travel documents to present, testing requirements before travel, self-isolating on arrival and further testing during self-isolation.
Documents required on arrival:
- Complete a passenger locator form detailing where you will quarantine upon arrival
- Proof of study documents
- You must take a COVID-19 test and get a negative result before travelling – find out more here
- Book and pay for a travel test package, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken during your self-isolation period on arrival in the UK.
- Please check the Government guidance on providers of travel test packages. Please note that these tests are different from any tests offered through the university
We recommend that you regularly check the relevant Government guidance pages as advice may change. Please also remember to follow the Government’s safer travel guidelines, and plan ahead to avoid busy times.
Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have, or might have, COVID-19.
This helps stop the spread of the virus to other people.
- Do not go to work, university, or public places
- Do not go on public transport or use taxis
- Do not go out to get food or medicine – order it online, or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
- Do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
- Do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden if you have one
You can find more guidance on self-isolation on the NHS website here.
Remember, if you have been instructed to self-isolate by the NHS, and you fail to do so, you can be fined.
If you have to self-isolate, it’s important to know that you are not alone and we are here to support you.
We acknowledge that your experience during the 2020-21 academic year may be different from what you expected when you first applied to study with us. Although these changes have resulted from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, something that is beyond our control, we will endeavour to offer a learning experience that is equivalent to the experience we offered before the pandemic. When you come to enrol, we will ask you to confirm that you understand the changes that have been communicated to you by us. We will also ask you to accept the changes as changes to your contract with us. If you are not happy to accept these changes, please contact us.
You can find out more about the steps we are taking to help ensure your safety and wellbeing when you come in to campus here.
For International applicants
UKCISA has a range of information and advice for International Applicants and Students, including a COVID-19 FAQ section which is regularly updated.
Yes. All of our programmes will start online and you will be able to join your course in the UK at the point that you are able to travel.
If you intend to start an extended Master’s course and your course starts online, you will be offered a place on our Graduate Certificate course to commence your studies.
Yes. We plan for our programmes to start online in 2021 and you will be able to join your course in the UK at the point that you are able to travel.
If you intend to start an extended Master’s course and your course starts online, you will be offered a place on our Graduate Certificate course to commence your studies.
If you choose to start your studies online we will issue your CAS in advance of when normal campus teaching resumes. We will follow government advice on this and will notify you about changes before and during your course.
If you choose to start your studies online, we will issue your CAS in advance of when normal campus teaching resumes. We will follow government advice on this and will notify you about changes before and during your course.
If you chose to start your course online but cannot progress to the UK, we will pro-rata refund your fees for any study that you have not completed or allow you to continue studying online.
Our standard deposit refund policy which was issued with 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.
We are aware that many applicants are unable to book tests. Ulster University 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:
The Government has recently made temporary concessions to eligibility for the Graduate Route in response to Covid-19. The Graduate Route will open for applications on 1 July 2021.
To meet the requirements of the Graduate Route, students must:
- Have successfully completed an eligible course at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance
- Have existing permission for that course as a Student at the point of application
- Make their application in the UK
The new guidance states that for courses of 12 months or less, starting in 2021:
- If you are an international student who is currently outside the UK and starting your studies via distance/blended learning you will be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route provided you are in the UK by 27 September 2021
- If you are an international student who has existing permission as a student to study that course and has already travelled to the UK during that period of permission, you will be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route provided you are in the UK before the end date of your course
For courses of more than 12 months in duration, starting in 2021:
- You may be eligible for the Graduate Route, even if you have studied all or part of the 2020-21 academic year via distance learning because of the pandemic. You will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route because of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021
For more information, please visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Graduate Route guidance here.