Coronavirus guidance for students and applicants

Key University messages:

Tell the university if you develop coronavirus symptoms

If you develop coronavirus symptoms you must tell the University. Stay inside and report symptoms online using Infohub (login required). Should you have problems filling out the form or you need advice, please call the Covid Support Team on tel: +44(0)117 32 87000. The phone number is open from 09:00 to 19:00 every day. If you develop symptoms overnight, self-isolate immediately and report symptoms online using Infohub (login required) in the morning. If you report your symptoms online a member of the team will call you back.

The actions each of you take will be the biggest factor in reducing the transmission of coronavirus – helping us get back to normal quicker. It’s vital that you tell us if you have any symptoms – you won’t be penalised. We’re here to support you.

The COVID Support Team will take some details, explain how to book a free test with the NHS (if you haven’t already) and what your next steps are. If you are instructed to take a test, you must tell the University the result, even if it is negativeWe’ll also check back in with you throughout your self-isolation to make sure you’re OK and see if there’s anything you need from us. We've pulled together some guidance on university life in self-isolation, to help you stay connected and well during this time.

To reduce the spread of coronavirus, there are some rules you’ll need to follow. These are all outlined on our Return to Campus webpage.

Guidance for 2021 entrants 

Thinking of starting university in 2021? You still have time to research your options and we have plenty of course availability for 2021.

Physical open days may not be possible at the moment, but you can get just as much from a virtual open day. Visit our Open Days pages to find out when our next Virtual Open Day is taking place and register to attend.

We are also running other virtual events to help you with your decision including Offer holder days, support for interviews and events with schools and colleges. We will be at the UCAS virtual exhibitions too, so there are lots of opportunities for you to discover more about your chosen subject and what it is like to be part of the UWE Bristol community.

We understand that it’s an uncertain time to be considering your future and that the world has changed. But we’ve got you. To us, you are much more than just your exam results, which is why we treat every application individually. Your success matters to us. 

 

Latest guidance

Accommodation information

I am starting in January, when will I receive an update on my accommodation application?

We will begin to allocate accommodation for our January starters in October.  

Will there be social distancing in place when I move in? How will move in adapt?

We are asking all students to maintain a two-metre distance during move in. We will be operating arrival slots to ensure that we can safely move all residents in to their accommodation.

How will social distancing operate in halls?

When you move in to your accommodation, you will form a new household. Social distancing within your household does not apply once it has formed.

Some students will be moving from countries and areas of the UK where they need to take part in a 14-day isolation period. Those residents must not leave their accommodation, but can use the shared areas whilst keeping two metres from their household, and wearing a mask and gloves at all times.

Is flat occupancy limited?

Flat occupancy is not limited. A six-bedroom flat will house six people, and a 12-bedroom flat will house 12 people.

Are twin rooms available?

We have a very small number of twin rooms and these have been allocated to students who live together at home, for example siblings or existing housemates.

Can I mix with other students outside of my flat?

Yes, but in line with current government guidance. Please remember you are part of a wider community and take note of our conduct policy.

Can I have visitors?

To help us comply with government restrictions and to keep you safe during your time with us, visitors are not allowed for the first term. We will review this during the December holiday period.

Will there be social activities happening in halls?

We are working hard to develop a HallsLife programme which will include a mixture of online and in person events and opportunities to meet others.

Will communal areas be open?

The Common Room at Cotswold Court and Wallscourt Park will be closed for general use for the first term. This will be reviewed during the December holiday period.

Will there be enhanced cleaning services?

Yes. Cleaning Services will be working hard to ensure all high contact touchpoints are cleaned regularly.

Will accommodation receptions be open?

Cotswold Customer Services will be open daily between 07:00–19:00 to assist you. Wallscourt Park Customer Services will be open on limited hours, local signage will confirm timings. The Quantock Post room will also be open during week days.

If I need to self-isolate, what do I do?

Who can I speak to about accommodation?

You can contact our Accommodation Team directly. Read through our accommodation information for further guidance.

When and where can I collect my key?

Key collection information will be sent to you one week prior to your arrival date. It will detail your key collection location. Some keys will be posted to residents in advance. We will contact you if we are posting your key.

Will accommodation be allocated according to academic study?

Where possible, accommodation will be allocated with students who are studying courses within the same faculty. However, this is not always possible as it will depend on your course and the preferences you have selected on your application form.

Information for current students: study and campus environment

Will all my lectures/seminars be online?

Our expectation is that there will be no face-to-face lectures to limit the number of students on campus and to ensure that we follow the government’s social distancing rules. All our course teams are taking this opportunity to re-design their modules with a digital-first approach.

We are planning that all students will have face-to-face teaching over the course of the academic year, for small group learning, seminars, tutorials and practice-based learning. These may be timetabled in blocks to limit the number of students on campus at any one time, and to make sure that you are not being asked to come on to a campus for very short periods. We are particularly mindful that many of our students do not live on campus or are commuting to study.

Can you explain what you mean by online lectures and face-to-face teaching?

Online lectures will take place where it involves large groups of students or we're unable to ensure that we follow the government’s social distancing rules. For example: we've made the decision for all lectures to happen online for Teaching Block 1: Autumn term, due to their size and it being extremely hard to manage social distancing with large groups of students.

Lectures will be enabled through the use of technology so that we can share content with a large group without the need for social distancing. It means that you will be able to view the content more than once and learn at your own pace having the resources available to go throughout your course.

Face-to-face teaching will be activities such as seminars, small group sessions and practical elements of courses. We hope that these will take place face-to-face on campus to allow for discussion and interaction with your academics as long as government guidance allows for this.

I have reasonable adjustments, what arrangements are being made?

The University is taking an inclusive approach to assessments, moving to 24-hour online assessments for most modules, negating the need to apply extra time. You will not have the adjustment of extra time or rest breaks for these assessments.

Timed online assessments (e.g. 3 hours from beginning the assessment) are normally only used for very specific professional body requirements. Extra time would apply in this situation, unless learning outcomes would be compromised.

Once you are aware of the assessment method being used, if you have concerns about being able to access the assessment please liaise with the academic team to explore whether there is an appropriate alternative assessment. Where you are unable to find a solution, you and the academic can contact the Disability Service via disability.advisers@uwe.ac.uk or make a Disability Advice appointment via Infopoint to explore this further.

If lectures are online, how will we be able to question what is learned - will there be classes to discuss the lectures?

All online lectures will be followed by seminars and/or practical sessions where topics can be explored in further depth with the tutors.

Will there be a reduction in fees due to online lectures?

We appreciate that providing education through online learning was not what you anticipated. Whilst this way of learning and assessment may feel very different, the University is working hard to maintain the quality of your teaching and learning experience and to ensure that you still have access to a full range of support services. 

Equity and inclusion are at the heart of our learning, teaching and assessment plans for 20/21. These principles of fairness are at the forefront of our decision-making process. We are working hard to put in place mitigations, checks and balances to ensure our students are not disadvantaged in any way. 

As with most universities we are following the government guidance and not issuing refunds or reducing fees. Our position in relation to payment of tuition fees is clear and where we have been able to deliver alternative online teaching, supervision and assessments to our academic standards we have not be issuing tuition fee refunds. This policy remains in place for 20/21. 

The most recent government statement on this matter says that, “students ordinarily should not expect any fee refund if they are receiving adequate online learning and support.” You can read the full government statement on the Department for Education website.

Am I going to have to come on to campus every day?

We are revising our course timetables to reduce the number of times you have to come on to campus for very short periods. This is also aimed at reducing the strain on public transport and not overloading the campus during social distancing measures.

When will my Teaching Block 1 (TB1) timetable be released?

Your teaching timetable for Teaching Block 1 (TB1) will be released in myUWE on 7 October.

Can I change modules or timetable?

Your safety, and the safety of your fellow students and staff, is our first priority so we can only arrange module and timetable changes where it is absolutely safe to do so.

We can only make a change where there is space to accommodate this safely in each teaching space, and the change maintains a safe timetable for you that has no clashes.

We will prioritise requests for changes in the following order:

  • where the request for change relates to reasonable adjustments or care commitments
  • requests from students who did not have the opportunity to choose their modules earlier in the year, including top up students, referred students, returning placement students or those whose placements have been cancelled
  • all other requests for change will be considered but can only be actioned where it is safe to do so.

Please note that because of the constraints on space to keep everyone safe, we cannot guarantee that requests will be possible.

Please do not expect an immediate response – we will have to check that any requests can be safely accommodated, but will respond with an outcome as quickly as possible. You will need to follow your published timetable until we update you on the outcome of your request.

To view your modules choices, and request a change, log in to the Online Module Choices system.

Will I have access to PCs/PC labs?

We are currently in the process of working through how access to our PC labs will be facilitated. We will also be providing students with an IT equipment list which will ensure they are able to connect with their learning should we need to enter into lock down again.

I need to access specialist equipment or studio space, what will I do?

We are putting actions in place to ensure you engage in practice-based learning, and can access labs, studios and other specialist spaces safely, and respecting social distance requirements.

I don’t have a suitable space to study at home, will there be somewhere on campus for me to study?

We are working to ensure there are safe study spaces on campus, for students whose domestic circumstances make it difficult to engage with online learning at home.

I'm a returning student, is it possible for me to study the first semester online and join for face-to-face in January?

As the majority of UWE Bristol courses are practice led and focused on ensuring students benefit from face-to-face teaching and group work, it is not possible for our courses to be studied fully online. If you feel that you will be unable to re-join in the autumn please contact Information Point to make an appointment with a Student Support Adviser.

What health and other safety measures will be put in place and what additional health facilities will be provided on campus?

Ensuring the health and safety of all our staff and students is our top priority and, as such, the University is following all the necessary health and safety requirements to ensure we are able to operate effectively.

All of our buildings will be COVID-19 secure and will have gone through strict health and safety checks before they are open to students and staff.

We will be increasing the frequency of cleaning across the campus throughout the day and more hand sanitising stations will be available around campus. The University Health Centre will also be open.

For more information, please refer to returning to campus.

Will I still have access to student support services?

All our student support services will continue to be fully operational next academic session, ensuring that all our students have access to support and help when they need it. We will continue to use a mixture of online and face-to-face delivery to ensure we are responsive to all our students.

Information for current students: assessments and certificates

Understanding your published results following University Award Boards

Find out more about the revised academic regulations, including how degree classifications are calculated.

How will my module marks be calculated?

Your final module marks will be calculated in the normal way and these will be the marks shown on your transcript and myUWE. If we cancelled one or more of your assessments we will substitute any missing mark for the best mark you achieved for one of your other assessments within the same module.

Will all my assessments be online?

We are adjusting assessment and moving away from controlled conditions examinations, unless required by a Professional or Statutory Body (PSRB). Instead assessments will be online and digitally enabled where possible. Exceptions will be practice based assessment where we will adopt a blended approach. We will ensure that you will have appropriate opportunities to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and understanding, and will receive timely and useful feedback on your work.

What documents are available for proof of study?

Current students are able to access the Notification of Credit and Assessment Marks (NOCAM) and Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) documents on myUWE. These can be used as proof of confirmed results, the HEAR will update to include your award details once final results are published. Status Letters and Council Tax Exemption Certificates are also available.

For Graduates who completed after 2002 a verification letter is available upon request to certificates@uwe.ac.uk. The following are also available Council Tax Exemption Certificates via Council Tax online form and Status Letters.

Unfortunately the following services are unavailable until further notice and payment access has been removed. Please email certificates@uwe.ac.uk if you require a refund for the following:

  • Award Certificates
  • Certificates of Credit (module transcripts) 
  • Transcript of Training for healthcare courses (please contact HAS.SAT@uwe.ac.uk if you already have an ongoing order or need a refund)
  • Replacement Dean’s List Certificates

Please note, the above includes any replacements, duplicates, additional copies, certified true copies, returned certificates, as well as interim awards. 

It will also not be possible to collect certificates or documents already printed.

The following services are also affected in the following ways due to not having access to archives on site:

  • Module and Programme Specifications: Only soft copies will be available, and only for courses after 2002.
  • Education Verifications/Certificate verification: It will not be possible to verify qualifications completed before 2002.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time.

I have questions about fees, who can I ask?

For guidance on fees and funding, please visit our fees and funding page.

I'm a returning or graduating student, when will I receive my results?

By now you’ll be familiar with our no-detriment approach: our commitment to ensure that your marks won’t be adversely affected by recent events. It does mean we will need extra time to calculate your average marks, and as a result, this will mean a slight change to the results publication dates. Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the new dates.

I’m graduating this year, how will I receive my award documents?

Due to coronavirus, you will not be allowed to collect award documents from the University campus. Certificates will all be posted to your home address (not term time addresses), if you need to change the address please use our online enquiry form. Certificates for international partners are sent to the partner institution.

Please see 'When will I receive my certificate?' for the timeline for posting.

For any further details, please check the remaining details on Certificates for Graduating Students.

When will I receive my certificate?

Information for new students and applicants

When will I start in January?

The University has now published the 2020/21 term dates and most of you will start your teaching on the 18 January 2021, with Block 0 – three weeks of online, timetabled activities to get you to know your teaching team, your course mates and you’ll even learn something about yourself too. It’s a teaching block, so you’re expected to engage with it as you would any timetabled activity throughout your course.

You will then move to Block One which will commence from the 8 February 2021 with a blend of online lectures and face to face small group sessions, seminars and tutorials.

More information on the 2020/21 term dates is available online. (Please note: some courses may have different start dates and your programme team will contact you about those when more detail is known).

We plan for all our campuses to be open and we are working out how to ensure all students get access to facilities and services, study space, specialist labs and studios. We are putting actions in place to ensure these facilities can be accessed safely and respecting social distance requirements.

Get yourself ready for university-level study with Block Zero

A lot of you will have been out of education for a while and jumping straight into university-level education is a bit of a big step.

That’s why we’ve developed Block Zero – three weeks of online, timetabled activities to get you to know your teaching team, your coursemates and you’ll even learn something about yourself too. It’s a teaching block, so you’re expected to engage with it as you would any timetabled activity throughout your course.

Are you still accepting applications for January 2021?

We continue to welcome applications from students and endeavour to support our applicants as far as possible. However, we are aware of the difficulties that some of our applicants may face as a result of challenging circumstances in their home countries.

We are monitoring the situation very closely and we are working with sector organisations to identify what actions may be required to support affected applicants and will communicate any changes to applicants in due course.

Will I be able to defer if the situation doesn’t improve by the start of the course?

We do allow deferrals. Some courses (due to placements) might not be able to defer. We will assess deferral requests on case-by-case basis. Please get in touch with us and we will assist you. Try not to rush your decision – you can defer up to beginning of term.

I hold an offer with you, but want to change my course, what do I do?

Please contact our Applicant Experience team and they will assist you on next steps. You can reach them on 0117 328 3333.

I am a private candidate, what do I do?

Ofqual has included some information for private candidates. please contact your assessment centre to explore your options but we advise you to be prepared that you may not receive your results this summer and will have to sit an examination as soon as it becomes possible to do so. if you hold conditional offer, please get in touch with our admissions team to discuss your case. we will review applications on case-by-case basis.

When will applications for 2021 be open? (undergraduate and postgraduate)

The applications for next academic year open at the end of September. This applies to both UG and PG courses. Our webpages will be updated as soon as the new cycle opens.

When will postgraduate courses start?

A number of our postgraduate courses will now commence from January 2021 to ensure that the university is able to provide you with a supportive and engaging programme of studies, each individual course page will confirm the start date. Read more about 2020/21 term dates.

Postgraduate Research Degrees are open for application, for details on how to apply please see the Graduate School website

Information for new international students and applicants

When will I receive my CAS?

For courses starting in January 2021 we will aim to start issuing CAS from the middle of October. We will contact all applicants shortly with further guidance closer to the time.

Where can I get information on my visa centre being open?

Some UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are resuming services, where local restrictions allow. For updates to the status of VACs, students can contact:

Please be aware, ongoing global restrictions mean some UKVI services will remain closed. Individual’s should contact their local VAC to find out the latest status. Where services are resuming, existing customers will be contacted.

Will there be a welcome programme/induction?

Yes. In the lead up to Teaching Block Zero, you will have the opportunity to meet new and current students as part of our online social programme including UWE Bristol’s Global Café and Language Exchange. As the start of the year will be slightly different this year, we will be welcoming students to Bristol virtually alongside University of Bristol, Bristol City Council and Bristol International Student Centre (BISC).

During Teaching Block Zero there will be several activities that students will be able to attend delivered by Global Student Support, the Students Union, Centre for Sport and UWE Bristol’s Feel Good Team to help get to know UWE Bristol and other students. There will also be sessions about for preparing for life at UWE Bristol and in the UK which will complement face to face support when students arrive.

Will there be an airport pickup?

Yes – please see our airport welcome page for details.

Will International students be able to arrive late?

Yes. If you currently hold an offer with us the majority of courses start the week commencing 19 October and you can continue to join until the 9 November.

Please note: for courses starting earlier than the 19 October the latest arrival date may be earlier

Please note: for courses starting in January 2021 the latest arrival date will be the 8 February

If I pay my deposit and then am unable to travel will I get a refund?

We’ve amended our refund policy to include coronavirus under ‘exceptional circumstances’. This means you’ll receive a full refund if you’re not able to start your course due to coronavirus.

I'm a new international student and I am worried about travelling in the autumn, is it possible for me to study the first semester online and join for face-to-face in January?

As the majority of UWE Bristol courses are practice led and focused on ensuring students benefit from face-to-face teaching and group work, it is not possible for our courses to be studied fully online. We do have a small number of courses that have a January 2021 intake. If you are concerned about arriving in time for the autumn intake, please email international@uwe.ac.uk to discuss your options.

For undergraduate applicants on engineering, business or computing courses, you may want to consider studying an International Year One (IYO) programme at our UWE Bristol International College (UWEBIC). There are January 2021 intakes for these programmes. Successful completion of an IYO, with good attendance, at the required level, will grant access to year two of an eligible progression course in September 2021. For more information, visit UWEBIC or contact our International Office at international@uwe.ac.uk.

If I pay for my accommodation deposit and am unable to travel to the UK will I get a refund?

Your accommodation deposit is fully refundable if you inform us you’re unable to take up your offer of accommodation. Please notify us before the start date of your accommodation contract.

Will I have to self-isolate when I arrive into England?

It may be necessary for students arriving to study with us from outside of the UK to self-isolate for 14 days in line with the UK Government’s guidance. Visit GOV.UK for up-to-date information and guidance on travelling to the UK.

Some countries are exempt from this requirement, it is recommended this guidance is checked regularly as it is subject to change. If the journey to the UK includes making stops at other countries, these must also be taken into consideration.

If this will affect you, please make plans to stay within your accommodation for this 14-day period. We will be issuing more detailed guidance, support and practical advice for students who need to self-isolate closer to your arrival on campus.

How will self-isolation be managed in relation to university accommodation?

I am an EU student, and want to defer. Will I need a visa and will I pay international fees?

As it stands now, if you decide to defer to the 2021/22 academic year, you will be subject to new immigration rules that are due to come into effect from 1 January 2021, detail of the new scheme has not yet been released. However, this is an important consideration that you need to take into account when making any decision to defer. There has, to date, been no announcement from the government as to the tuition fees you may be asked to pay for studying in the UK in the 2021/22 academic year. As soon as we have more detailed information we will inform our applicants and update our webpages.

My institution is closed, what should I do?

We’re aware that a number of countries are facing institutional closures and cancelled or delayed examinations. We’re continually monitoring this situation and are receiving updates from the British Council, examination awarding bodies, our regional offices and agents.

Information can be found below for some exams:

UCAS are also providing regular updates.

How are International Foundation courses affected?

If you’re a Kaplan student studying at UWE BIC (UWE Bristol’s International College) or are interested in joining UWE BIC, please check the Kaplan website for details. We’re working closely with all the foundation providers to agree new forms of assessment where required.

I need to study a pre-sessional English course, will this be possible?

Due to the current travel restrictions, our pre-sessional English course will now be run online. Please visit our course page for more information

I’m not able to do the English test can you accept alternatives?

We appreciate that with the closure of English testing centres around the world, you may be feeling uncertain about your conditional offer with UWE Bristol. In light of this, we are pleased to announce that UWE Bristol will be running free online English Language tests for offer holders.

The test will follow the same format and scoring system as the IELTS test, testing; listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Please note: the UWE Bristol Online English Language Test provides entry onto UWE Bristol courses only and cannot be used for applications to other institutions.

Eligibility

 Students need to hold a conditional offer to study at UWE Bristol.

Cost

The UWE Bristol Online English Language Test is free.

How to apply

For further information, please email international@uwe.ac.uk referencing your UWE ID number.

We have now added LanguageCert, IELTS indicator and Duolingo to our list of accepted English language tests. You can find out more about on our English language requirements page.

Will I be able to apply for a visa?

This situation is constantly evolving and we are continuing to monitor the status of UK visa centres across the world. Whilst we do not know how long this situation will last, please remember that for students starting their studies in September, the earliest you can apply for your visa is three months before your official start date.

Where can I find up-to-date information about studying in the UK?

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

You can also contact your local British Council who may be able to provide updates.

Read the letter to prospective international students from the Education and Universities Ministers of the four countries of the United Kingdom.

I have further questions – how can I find out more information?

If you have specific questions which aren’t addressed in these FAQs, please complete our Enquiry form or get in touch via Live chat.

What support will UWE provide for helping to find a job after graduation?

Students at UWE benefit from our award-winning careers service, that can help you to apply for jobs in the UK and overseas – as well as providing advice on starting your own business. The University offers a unique range of tailored careers support for international students. This includes GradLink, our award-winning careers site, which connects international students with a global network of over 700 employers. GradLink also includes jobs, a CV-builder, in-depth advice and latest news. We also have the International Talent Internship Scheme is specifically for international students at UWE. This scheme provides internship and work experience opportunities for international students, as well as key careers training and events.

I’m in the UK and have finished my course. I’m now going to do a postgraduate course. What will the visa situation be, given that the course will start in January?

Under current UKVI guidelines you cannot make an application to extend your Tier 4 visa from inside the UK if there is a gap of more than 28 days between the expiry date of your visa and the start date of your new course. We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as appropriate.

Do you have any information on the post study work graduate route?

UKCISA provide more information and the latest updates on their website.

So far, the following details about the Graduate route have been provided by the Home Office:

  • Any international student who will complete their course in or after the summer of 2021 will be eligible to apply for the new two-year Graduate route.
  • Unfortunately, the Graduate route will not be open to those who have completed their studies or are due to complete them in the summer of 2020.

We are still waiting on further details about implementation, but the Home Office has announced key features of the route:

  • It will be open to international students who have successfully completed a course of study at undergraduate (RQF 6) level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance, and who have a valid and extant student visa at the time of application;
  • The application process will be simple. There will be an application fee and applicants will pay the Immigration Health Surcharge;
  • Applicants will be subject to identity, criminality and security checks;
  • The leave period granted will be two years and will be non-extendable. Settlement rights will not be accrued;
  • Individuals will be able to work, or look for work in any sector, at any level;
  • Individuals will be able to switch into the skilled work route if they meet the requirements.

Information for current international students

How should be recording my attendance now I’m not on campus?

The Home Office has lifted the restriction on reporting non-attendance of more than 60 days and UWE Bristol will continue to sponsor you as a Tier 4 student.

I’m staying in the UK. Now we’ve moved to online teaching, am I able to work for more than 20 hours a week with a Tier 4 visa?

No, this guidance has not changed.

I've already travelled home

If you have a Tier 4 visa and have returned to your home country, or have moved off campus, please let the University know by completing the Tier 4 absence form online.

My visa is about to expire. What should I do?

Please contact the Immigration Advice Service by emailing immigrationadvice@uwe.ac.uk or by booking a telephone appointment on Infohub (students only).

I have an outstanding application and don’t have my BRP. what should I do?

As the University buildings are now closed there will be no new deliveries of BRPs. Check the guidance for your particular scenario:

If you have been contacted to advise you that your BRP has already been delivered to the University but you have not yet collected it, and you are in the UK:

Your BRP will be kept securely until university buildings are re-opened and you are able to come in and collect it.

If you have been contacted to advise you that your BRP has already been delivered to the University but you have not yet collected it, and you have left the UK:

Please ensure that you have reported your absence from the UK via the online form.

If you wish to return the UK at a later date before your visa has expired, you will need to apply for a replacement BRP vignette before travelling. This should be done online.

Your BRP will be kept securely until university buildings are re-opened and you are able to come in and collect it.

If you wish to return to the UK at a later date after your visa has expired, please contact the Immigration Advice Service at UWE for further advice and guidance.

If you have applied for a new BRP – either by making an application to extend your Tier 4 leave or by making an application for a replacement BRP following loss or theft – and have not yet heard the outcome of your application:

If you are in the UK –

If you have requested delivery of your new BRP to the University this will be put on hold until the University buildings are re-open. We will contact you when it is available for delivery.

If you would like your BRP to be delivered to a different UK address (BRPs cannot be delivered outside of the UK) please use the online form to update your address with UKVI.

If you have left, or intend to leave, the UK –

Please contact the Immigration Advice Service by emailing immigrationadvice@uwe.ac.uk or by booking a telephone appointment on Infohub (students only) for advice on your situation.

If your BRP has been lost or stolen and you have not yet applied for a replacement:

Please see the government website for advice on how to report and request a replacement.

Please ensure that you do not use the University address for delivery of your new BRP.

Information for work or study abroad students

I'm working or studying abroad

The FCO COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory notice has been updated, and the UK Government is now advising all UK nationals travelling abroad to come home while commercial flights are still available.

If you have not yet returned home please contact the 24/7 Global Response team on +44(0)2920662425 immediately to make the necessary arrangements to return to the UK.

If it is no longer currently possible for you to return to the UK, please continue to seek the advice of the 24/7 Global Response team on +44(0)2920662425 to agree appropriate arrangements while you remain in your current host country.

We appreciate that some of you may have already indicated your intention to remain overseas but given the above advice we wanted to update you so that you can make an informed decision.

If you have already returned to the UK please email us ASAP to confirm.

Should you need urgent funds, or wish to apply for reimbursement of funds, please contact the Student Money Service on sms@uwe.ac.uk.

I’m planning to work or study abroad from September 2020, what’s the latest guidance for me?

 Following UK government advice against all but essential international travel, we have suspended all international business and study-related travel until further notice.

However, in the meantime please continue to contact the relevant UWE team to confirm your intended activity for future UWE approval.

Please note that until UWE lifts the travel suspension, no overseas activities are currently being approved by UWE and should therefore not commence. 

Information for placement students

I'm a trainee teacher, is there specific advice for students on placements?

If you have been added to your school’s rota and are currently essential to enable the school to provide face-to-face provision for children who need it, then you should continue to attend. If this is not the case then do not attend school. If you are unsure about this then please do check with your school and get in touch with us if you need support with this. If you can support distance learning from home then please do that. If your school does not need you at the moment, and/or if you are unable to work at the moment because of your own circumstances then this is obviously completely understandable. In our previous message we emphasised the importance of looking after your own wellbeing and those of your loved ones – please do and continue to look out for your colleagues in schools and each other at this difficult time.

I’m on a sandwich or short-term placement, is there any specific advice?

UWE Bristol is committed to supporting our students to access placements and other work opportunities where safe to do so during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The UK Government have provided guidance to help employers and employees work safely during this outbreak, including information on whether certain types of business must remain closed. The guidance stipulates that employers must make reasonable efforts to help people to work from home where possible as this will help limit the spread of the virus. However there will be some circumstances where this may be impossible and further sector specific guidance sets out different scenarios as examples of how social distancing and other measures might be implemented by employers to help protect their workforce and customers.

For all students, whether just starting your new role or reaching the end of your placement, you should follow the advice of your employer, discussing any concerns you might have with them in the first instance and referring to relevant government advice and guidance. Please think carefully about your individual circumstances and how you and your employer will be managing the risks that you might encounter; you should ensure you’re comfortable with the level of risk, the training and support you’re given and highlight any ongoing concerns to UWE’s Placements team. Please also make yourself aware of processes for notifying your organisation if you aren’t well enough to work, need to self-isolate or need to shield if you or those you live with are in a high-risk group. As restrictions ease and relevant government advice is updated you should expect to have further discussions with your employer on what will mean for you and your role.

If your placement finishes earlier than planned or you wish to leave your placement, please notify us at Placements@uwe.ac.uk in the first instance.

If you have concerns about the financial impact that any change in circumstances will have on you please contact the Student Money Service at sms@uwe.ac.uk for further advice.

In addition to the safety precautions your employer will have in place, it is crucial that you continue to look after yourself both mentally and physically. You are likely to experience some ongoing disruption and may find your situation challenging so make sure you talk to your employer if you’re finding the work is having a negative impact on your health and wellbeing. Employers have a moral and statutory duty of care to protect their employee’s health and safety and provide a safe environment to work in. You can also access UWE’s Health and Wellbeing services throughout your time on placement which includes both remote and online support.

If you need help during your placement the is a range of If you need help during your placement the is a range of support available from UWE Bristol so please get in touch if you have questions or concerns. from UWE Bristol so please get in touch if you have questions or concerns.

Information for Degree Apprenticeship students

I’m on a work-based apprenticeship, how will this affect me?

Please contact your employer about changes or disruptions to your workplace activities. They will be able to advise you on any special instructions or issues regarding where, when and how you understand your job, in line with the government guidance for employees, employers and businesses.

If you aren’t feeling well, please follow your employer’s sickness absence reporting guidelines. Please keep a record of your sickness days and contact your apprenticeship training coordinator or programme lead by email or telephone.

If you are a healthcare or essential services related apprentice we understand that you might be required to support your employers to deliver essential services during this period. In line with government policy, the University is committed to supporting affected apprentices involved in essential services while minimising any negative impact on their apprenticeship programmes in the longer term. If you are one of these apprentices, please advise your apprenticeship training coordinator or programme lead by email or telephone as soon as conveniently possible.

I have a progress review coming up, how will I complete this now?

Your training coordinator or faculty lead will now be conducting all progress reviews with you remotely, using Teams, Skype, etc. We still encourage your employer representative to attend wherever possible.

I am approaching my end point assessment, what will happen?

If this is the case, your EPA organisation may get in touch with you to discuss possible delays. EPA organisations, wherever possible, have moved to online delivery to keep disruption to your apprenticeship to an absolute minimum. If you know who your EPA organisation is, please keep an eye on their website.

If you do not know who the organisation is, please contact your apprenticeship training coordinator or programme lead for further information.

Do I still need to record my off-the-job learning?

Please continue to record your off-the-job learning when you are not on campus or at work, even if it does not follow the schedule or content laid out in your training plan.

If you are on furlough but continuing to engage in apprenticeship activity from home, you will still need to be meeting your off-the-job commitment.  

The Department for Education's guide to off-the-job learning tells you what to include.

How will this affect my breaks in learning?

Breaks in learning allow you to take time away from their studies, usually for sickness absence or parental leave.

In response to developments regarding COVID-19, The Department for Education has eased the regulations for breaks in learning. This allows the University to minimise the negative impact on you if you are forced to take a break from your studies.

Wherever possible, we will work with you and your employer to avoid disruption to your apprenticeship. If you think you will need a break in learning, please contact your apprenticeship training coordinator or programme lead by email or telephone.

My employer has a query about my apprenticeship and the impact of COVID-19. Where can they find more information?

The government have published online advice about the impact of COVID-19 on apprentices and apprenticeship programmes. View more information. If your employer has a specific query and need further advice, they can contact the UWE Bristol apprenticeship team at degreeapprenticeships@uwe.ac.uk.

I have been furloughed by my employer. How does this impact me?

The government have issued online guidance to apprentices and their employers on furlough.

Apprentices who have been furloughed can continue to engage in their apprenticeship activity, and the University will support you in the kinds of things you can do in this period.  

If you have been furloughed, you should contact the UWE Bristol apprenticeship team by at degreeapprenticeships@uwe.ac.uk and they can provide further advice and guidance as well as more information about options and how this impacts an apprenticeship programme.

I am worried that I am not going to be able to commit to my 20% off-the-job learning requirements, due to work and/or personal commitments. What does this mean for my apprenticeship?

UWE Bristol is delivering a range of content online for all students wherever possible, including those on apprenticeships (see additional guidance under Study and Assessments section). It is important that, wherever possible, you continue to engage with those activities.

As an apprentice, where appropriate, there will be instances where you are able to record time spent on work-integrated learning activities (such as skills progression) that can be included in off-the-job learning activities. It is important that you continue to record any time you are spending on any kind of approved learning activities. These will then be discussed during your next progress review meeting.

Advice and information for Postgraduate Researchers and Professional Doctorate students

How can I mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on my research?

Research at UWE Bristol: For information about organising research at UWE Bristol during COVID-19 restrictions please see the Research and Enterprise COVID-19 information guide which has the latest information about access to facilities, research governance and so on. General information about return to campus can be found in the guide, but you need to contact your supervisor and/or your Faculty Business Manager about access to specific parts of campuses.

PhD/MPhil Thesis Format: We have introduced new regulations that allow for the incorporation of research outputs in final PhD and MPhil theses – this might enable you to save time if you have research outputs. For further details see our guide for incorporating research outputs.

Researcher Continuing Professional Development (CPD) resources: We’ve been updating the postgraduate research (PGR) Blackboard site with a range of resources to help you think and rethink your research project. We’re also busy planning the new PGR CPD (formerly skills development) programme for launch on 1 October, so please take a few minutes to tell us your thoughts on this.

Research ethics: If you’re changing your research design in any way, you may need to obtain ethics (re)approval. See the UWE Bristol research ethics guide for further details. 

General Advice for Research and Supervision under COVID-19:

The UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) has made a variety of COVID-19 related resources available, as have Vitae. There are numerous useful documents, videos and events for both PGRs and supervisors on these sites.  Both websites are regularly updated.

There will also be regular updates in the PGR newsletter and from the PGR skills development Blackboard site, which includes details of a range of activities including the regular PGR ‘drop-in’ sessions that run online and at which you can chat about anything PGR.

How can I continue to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on my PGR milestones?

The information below should help you manage your registration and progress milestones. We recognise that the impact of disruption due to COVID-19 may be long-lasting.

Research degree registration: If you cannot progress at all with your research, we advise that you apply to suspend your registration for three months using the personal circumstances process. You can suspend your registration for further periods of three months if any COVID-19 related impacts are preventing you progressing your research. However, there is also a new fee regime available 'COVID-19 recovery fees' (with 31 July 2020 and 30 September 2020 deadlines for applications) which offers reduced fees for reduced supervision but maintain access to resources. This does not apply to postgraduate researchers (PGRs) holding UWE Bristol bursaries, but all self-funding PGRs are eligible and some externally funded PGRs may also be.

Progress milestones: All progress milestones and final vivas can take place remotely at any time now, even when lockdown is not in place.

I'm a Professional Doctorate student, how does this affect me?

If you are currently undertaking modules, refer to Blackboard for information on online teaching and assessment.

If you are in the research phase, continue as normal if you are able. If not, consult your supervisory team. You will be able to suspend your studies for up to 3 months – you should inform us by emailing Graduateschool@uwe.ac.uk that you wish to suspend but no evidence will be required.

I have a deadline for my Progression Examination/Progress Review, what do I do?

Submit as normal to the deadlines set. You will need to do this online by emailing Graduateschool@uwe.ac.uk.

If a progression viva is required, this will take place online and you will be contacted about this.

If you are unable to meet a deadline due to personal circumstances, please inform us by emailing Graduateschool@uwe.ac.uk that you wish to suspend but no evidence will be required.

I want to submit my thesis for viva. How do I do it? Will the viva go ahead?

Please upload an online version of your thesis to the UWE Bristol Repository and notify research.degrees@uwe.ac.uk that you've done so, submitting your RD14 form.

Find more information about final viva and thesis submission. You should also look at the Graduate School Handbook, Part 13 and Part 14 on preparing for the final viva.

Vivas for the foreseeable future will be held by video conference. You will need to have access to an appropriate platform, normally Skype for Business or MS Teams. We will also need to be satisfied that examiners and other necessary participants have appropriate means to enable a viva to go ahead in an appropriate manner. We will make every effort to enable vivas to go ahead in a timely fashion. If this is not possible, it may be that your viva will need to be postponed.

I'm doing amendments on my thesis after having my viva, will my deadline change?

No, in the absence of personal circumstances that might prevent this you should go ahead with any amendments and submit them in line with the deadline set.

If your circumstances change, you may apply for a suspension or extension. Please inform us by emailing Graduateschool@uwe.ac.uk that you wish to suspend but no evidence will be required.

Will my examiners be able to sign-off my amendments?

Yes, depending on the personal circumstances of the examiners. You should submit your amendments to the repository and notify research.degrees@uwe.ac.uk. Please follow the instructions that you were sent when you were notified of the examining board’s outcome of your viva.

Is the Award Board going to be able to award my doctorate?

Yes, the Award Board for Research Degrees and Professional Doctorates will be meeting virtually and will be able to award degrees.

I want to submit my thesis but it needs to be kept confidential. If I send it to the Repository will it be made public?

If you are submitting your initial thesis for examination or an amended version following your viva, this will be secure and confidential to the examining team and will not be made public.

If you wish for part or all of your thesis to remain confidential then you must apply to the Exam Board in the usual way. Please refer to the Graduate School Handbook Section 14 for advice and link to the relevant RD Form.

Will I be able to go to a graduation ceremony?

All 2020 ceremonies have been postponed. Please check the Awards Ceremonies section for more information.

Student support

We understand that this situation may be worrying, especially if you have family or friends affected by coronavirus.

If you'd like to speak to somebody, visit our wellbeing support options. If you have assessments or deadlines coming up that you think may be affected, please read about our support processes for assessment. For information regarding the range of online activities and resources available across the University, take a look at our university life in self-isolation page.

UWE Bristol is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment to live, work and study. Please don't allow this situation to affect how we treat others. If you see or hear something that isn't right, please Speak Up using our Report and Support tool.

Archive of emails sent to UWE Bristol students, relating to Coronavirus

Additional information has been going out to students fortnightly, in yourUWE, the student newsletter, archive available.