COVID-19 Updates: For advice and updates for staff, students, and applicants who may have concerns about the coronavirus outbreak please visit our Situation Updates page.

Covid-19 FAQs for International students

The global pandemic is causing challenges for us all. Here at the University of Northampton, we are working hard to ensure your transition to study with us is smooth and we aim to keep you updated with all news in this fast moving environment. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about coming to study with us in 2021.

For information on how we are responding to COVID-19, please visit our Situation Updates page

International student isolation guide

  • We have a style of teaching and learning that is ideally suited to the current situation. Our expertise in delivering our courses via a mixture of face-to-face sessions and innovative use of modern technology, avoiding mass lectures, means we have not had to significantly change our methods. Our students regularly praise this modern learning experience.

    Is teaching taking place on campus?

    From Monday 17 May, the Government will allow teaching on campus to recommence with social distancing; from this date, we will be teaching a minimum of two hours per week in class and the rest online. A small number of courses will continue to be taught completely online for a short period of time.

    Will I be able to start online and then travel to the University later to continue my course?

    Courses which started in January 2021 will begin limited face to face teaching from Monday 17 May. If you are unable to travel to campus, we will continue to teach online until the end of the 2020-21 academic year. We expect to deliver the final trimester of January 2021 courses on campus from September 2021.

    For our May 2021 intake, all courses will be taught online until 29 August. Students studying MBA or MSc Project Management will also be able to study on campus.

    For our September 2021 intake, there will be a limited number of courses where students can start online and join us on campus at any point until 30 January 2022.

    If I study online, will the tuition fee remain the same?

    Yes. The tuition fee will remain the same.

    Will my certificate say that the course was taught online?

    No. Your certificate will state simply your degree subject and classification and will be exactly the same as in any other year.

    What should I bring for online learning?

    You will need to bring your own laptop or similar device to access our online teaching platforms. We have a laptop loan system if you don’t have your own, but we cannot guarantee availability and therefore strongly advise that you bring your own device. Please note it is not always possible to use a smartphone to access online classes, and if you are self-isolating in private accommodation you cannot loan a laptop.

  • Will it take longer than usual to process my application?

    Our Admissions Team is processing applications as normal. This is a very busy time for us, so please be patient – we will process your application as soon as possible.

    I have been asked for documents but I cannot access them as my institution is closed.

    If you are having difficulties providing any documentation we have requested because of the pandemic, please contact international@northampton.ac.uk to discuss your situation. One of our team will be pleased to advise you.

    I have just completed my undergraduate studies. If I don’t get my degree award when I expected will I lose my place?

    We will be as flexible as we possibly can at this difficult time, including keeping last arrival dates under review. We will make you aware of any deadlines but if you want to discuss your situation, please contact international@northampton.ac.uk.

    I have taken an IELTS test but I am waiting for the certificate. What should I do?

    When you receive your Test Report Form (TRF) by email, forward it to intadmissions@northampton.ac.uk. If you do not have the certificate tell us the TRF number we can verify your results.

    I can’t book an IELTS test due to test centre closures. What should I do?

    You can find out if IELTS tests are available in your country on the IELTS website. If IELTS tests are not available in your country, we do accept other proof of English whenever possible, for courses at Bachelor’s level and above. (For courses below Bachelor’s level a UKVI SELT is mandatory). Please refer to our English Language Requirements to check what tests and scores are accepted.

    Do you accept other English tests?

    We do accept a range of other English qualifications and are continuously reviewing our policy, so please refer to our English Language Requirements to check what tests and scores are accepted.

    My course normally requires an interview – will this be affected?

    Where interviews are required they will be conducted remotely and we will provide details of how this will be conducted. You may be asked to complete a task. Helpful information about interviews, auditions and tasks is available on our website.

    Will I lose my place if I do not currently have access to my work to provide the portfolio you have requested?

    Stick as closely as possible to the advice in ‘Your Portfolio Guide’ which we sent you when we asked for a portfolio, but we understand that your most recent completed work may not be available to you. We will consider photos of your work, earlier work, part-finished work, abandoned work and conceptualisations, if you explain your situation.

    Can I meet a University representative in my country?

    At present, University staff are not carrying out any recruitment activity overseas. However you are welcome to book a one-to-one advice session with one of our International Officers.

    Is the UON Regional Office still open in my country?

    You can still contact Regional Offices and our network of local representatives for advice and assistance, but staff may be working from home in some cases. Visit our pages for information about your country for contact details.

  • How do I accept my offer?

    To accept your offer, you will need to pay a deposit. It is best to pay your deposit as soon as possible after you receive an offer. This will secure your place on the course and give you access to the accommodation booking system. Booking accommodation early improves your chances of securing the room you want and you only pay for the period of occupation if you are prevented from coming to Northampton due to COVID-19.

    When is the deadline for paying my deposit?

    There is no specific deadline for deposits, but you must pay a tuition fee deposit of £5,000 before we will issue your CAS. You will not be able to enrol on your course, in person or online, until we have received  a deposit and you have confirmed your place.

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

    If you are unable to travel you will, in some cases, be able to start your course online and join us on campus when travel becomes possible. If you are unable to start your course online, and you are unable to travel to the UK, you will be entitled to a refund.

  • When should I apply for my visa?

    To start your visa application process, you will need to email CAS@northampton.ac.uk to request your CAS number. You should only request a CAS when you have definite plans to travel. This is because the vignette in your passport issued by UKVI is only valid for 90 days, so you must be ready to travel within this time.

    Can UON help me get my visa if the visa centre in my country is closed?

    We know that visa centres are closed in some countries but the situation is changeable and you should check the VFS Global website regularly. Universities cannot directly intervene in your visa application.

    Do I need a visa to start my course online?

    You will not require a student visa if you start online. When you are able to travel to the UK, you will need to apply for a visa.

    When is the last date I can arrive in the UK?

    You should aim to arrive to study with as soon as you can. Please check your CAS which states your last date of arrival in the UK. If you are unsure, please email international@northampton.ac.uk

    What if I can’t travel to the UK before the last date of arrival on my CAS?

    Please contact international@northampton.ac.uk as soon as possible and we will advise.

    What if I start the course online and then am not able to get a student visa to continue my course in the UK?

    Every case is different and we will consider your individual circumstances at the time. You may have a number of options including continuing to study online, suspending your studies temporarily and withdrawing from your course. If you are prevented from coming to the UK as a consequence of COVID-19, we will consider your case very sympathetically.

    I enrolled online. When is the last date I can arrive in the UK?

    You should aim to arrive to study with as soon as you can. Please check your CAS which states your last date of arrival in the UK. If you are unsure, please email international@northampton.ac.uk

    What if my vignette expires before this date?

    If your 90-day vignette expires before your last arrival date, you will need to apply for a replacement by completing the online form. The cost of replacing an expired 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. This is because the new vignette will be also valid for a period of 90 days. If you cannot travel during this time, you may need to apply and pay again.

    If you have submitted an application for a replacement vignette, and are still awaiting a decision, but now no longer intend to travel, you should submit a withdrawal request at the Visa Application Centre that you applied from in order for your passport to be released back to you. Check the visa information on the Government web site.

  • When should I arrive?

    You should aim to arrive in the UK as soon as you are able to travel and you must be in the UK by the latest arrival date we give you on your CAS. If this is not possible, please contact us at international@northampton.ac.uk.

    What are my options if I am unable to travel to the UK?

    If you have not yet started your programme, you can consider deferring to a later intake.  Please email intdeferrals@northampton.ac.uk if you would like to be considered for deferral.

    If you have already enrolled, it may be possible to continue studying online. You may also consider a study break if studying online is not viable.

    What can I do to get ready for coming to the university?

    We will send you a series of emails once you have confirmed your place with us. These emails will provide next steps such as enrolling online, information about accommodation and travelling to the UK. Before every intake we run a pre-departure webinar for students about to start their courses with us. We will invite you to join by email.

    Please also visit our International Student Support webpages for information on international student orientation, and ongoing events and services on campus.

    What are the travel rules and what do I need to do?

    Before you travel (regardless of where from) you must:

    • Take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and test negative within 3 days of your travel. You could face a fine of £500 if you cannot provide proof of a negative test.
    • Self-isolate for 10 days on arrival, and pre-book/pre-arrange your accommodation, in accordance with the guidance below.

    The UK Government has introduced a traffic light system which lists countries as red, amber or green, each with different travel requirements and advice. You should confirm the status of your country and the actions you must take by reading the official rules for entering England regularly and be aware that travel advice and country status may change.

    The University requires you to complete our online form with details of your travel arrangements and contact address, so we are aware that you will be joining us.

    How will I get from the airport to the University?

    If you have already booked your flight, you may continue with your travel plans if you wish but, regrettably, we will not be able to offer our usual Meet and Greet service.

    You are strongly advised to arrange a taxi or car hire as the safest means of transport to the University in advance of travelling. This makes it imperative that you inform us of your arrival by competing this form, so that appropriate preparations can be made.

    Please note that if you are traveling from a red list country, you will go directly from the airport to the quarantine hotel you have booked for your self-isolation. You will only be able to travel to the University once your self-isolation period has passed.

    Are my parents or friends permitted to accompany me to the University to help me settle in?

    Your family and friends will not be able to accompany you, as their travel is not considered as essential.

    Can I self-isolate in University accommodation and then move into my private accommodation?

    You can only self-isolate in University accommodation if you will be living in our Halls of Residence during your course. If you have booked private accommodation, you must self-isolate there.

    I’m from a red list country. Is there any financial support for international students in University accommodation?

    If you are travelling from one of the countries on the UK government’s red list, we would like to offer you an accommodation discount of £750 to be applied to our Scholars Green student village. The discount will be deducted from your total annual rent and applied in three instalments as per your accommodation contract. Please contact the accommodation team for more information.

    I am fully vaccinated in my home country. Do I still need to isolate when I arrive?

    You must follow the official rules for entering England, even if you have been vaccinated.

    Will I be able to get vaccinated for Covid 19 in the UK?

    International students who live in the UK and are registered with a GP (general practitioner) will be able to access the Covid 19 vaccination in the UK. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. Find out more on the NHS website.

    What else do I need to bring?

    You will need to bring your qualifications, CAS document and passport. Please ensure you have taken copies of these and stored them in a safe place.

    You will need to bring your own laptop or similar device to access our online teaching platforms. We have a laptop loan system if you don’t have your own, but we cannot guarantee availability and therefore strongly advise that you bring your own device. Please note it is not always possible to use a smartphone to access online classes, and if you are self-isolating in private accommodation you cannot loan a laptop.

    Will I have to wear a face covering?

    It is compulsory to wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and in a range of other indoor spaces including cinemas and places of worship. On campus, you must wear a face covering in all teaching rooms, resource areas and communal spaces.

    The University closely follows the government list of circumstances where a person is exempt from wearing a face covering. Find out more on our Reunite and respond: how we have adapted after Covid-19 page.

  • How will enrolment and induction happen?

    Whether you are joining us on campus or starting your studies remotely, enrolment will take place online. Please be sure to complete the pre-enrolment details that you will receive from us by email and check our Enrolment pages on the website. When you do travel to join us on campus, a face-to-face enrolment session will be arranged for you. Please do not come to campus for face to face enrolment without an appointment. If you have any questions, please email enrolment@northampton.ac.uk 

    What are the activities in welcome week and orientation week?

    When you are able to travel to the UK, we will be in contact with you to arrange your induction and orientation. Please also visit our International Student Support pages for more details.

    Who do I contact for information or advice after I have arrived on campus?

    Our International Student Support Team is a one stop shop for all international student advice and queries and will be happy to help. Please visit their webpages or email iss@northampton.ac.uk to get in touch.

  • Do I have to live in University accommodation?

    Many international students find that University accommodation is the best option for their studies. The accommodation is well priced, includes internet access, is conveniently located for campus and there is a Residential Life Team to provide support.

    Can I choose private accommodation?

    Yes, private accommodation will still be an option and we can help you find accommodation to suit your needs. Bear in mind the importance of living within easy traveling distance of campus and read our Guidance for international students living off campus.

    If I pay my accommodation deposit and I am unable to travel to the UK, will it be refunded?

    If you are unable to take your place due to COVID-19 restrictions, you will receive a refund of any fees paid.

    If I arrive after the start of term will I still have to pay in full for my accommodation?

    If you are unable to arrive at the start of term due to COVID-related issues, you will only pay for the period of time that you occupy your accommodation. When you register for Accommodation you are given 2 options: Pay in full or Pay in instalments. If you know you will not be able to arrive until after the course start date, choose pay in instalments, and you will only pay your deposit. Our Accommodation staff will then enter your arrival date and an invoice will be generated for the correct duration of occupation.

    If you are living in private accommodation off campus, you will need to make arrangements directly with your accommodation provider.

    Will I need to self-isolate?

    What you need to do depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive. The UK Government has introduced a traffic light system which lists countries as red, amber or green, each with different travel requirements and advice. You should confirm the status of your country and the actions you must take by reading the official rules for entering England regularly and be aware that travel advice and country status may change.

    Before you travel to the UK, you must complete this form with details of your travel arrangements and contact address.

    If you have booked University accommodation, you will be provided with bedding and essential food for the duration of your self-isolation and the flats will be equipped with cooking utensils, pots and pans and crockery and cutlery. We will also ensure that you have the ability to receive food. This service will be provided free of charge. Our guide to the support for isolating international students will give you more information.

    You will be able to study online while you are self-isolating, but please ensure you bring a laptop or other device so you can access your course from your accommodation. If you are living in private accommodation, please ensure you have internet access there.

    How will I get food and essential items if I am self-isolating?

    If you are self-isolating in University accommodation, we will provide a care package, free of charge. The following items will be provided in your bedroom or flat on your arrival: bedding and towels, crockery and cutlery, saucepans and ovenware, glasses, kitchen utensils, rice cooker, cleaning materials, toiletries, sanitary products, toilet roll, washing powder and fabric softener. They are to be used during your stay but must not be taken with you when you finish your period of isolation.

    A food package will be delivered to your University accommodation after your arrival, please contact Residential Life at residentiallife@northampton.ac.uk to let them know of any dietary requirement. This package will provide you with enough food for 1 week. You will receive a second food package at the beginning of your second week of isolation.

    If you would prefer to make your own arrangements supermarket deliveries and takeaways can be purchased at your own cost.

    Please note that we are unable to provide food, bedding, etc to students self-isolating in private accommodation.

    If I am living in private accommodation, will I still need to self-isolate?

    You will be expected to self-isolate and comply with the UK government regulations. Please note that we are unable to provide food, bedding, etc to students self-isolating in private accommodation.

    I’m from a red list country. Is there any financial support for international students in University accommodation?

    If you are travelling from one of the countries on the UK government’s red list, we would like to offer you an accommodation discount of £750 to be applied to our Scholars Green student village. The discount will be deducted from your total annual rent and applied in three instalments as per your accommodation contract. Please contact the accommodation team for more information.

  • Will I have to be tested for Covid-19 before attending class?

    Students living or studying on campus should take two lateral flow tests for coronavirus on campus every week. The Testing Centre is at the Creative Hub on our Waterside campus.

    How is social distancing maintained?

    Furniture has been reduced and stickers on floors and furniture indicate social distancing, including in communal spaces. There is a one-way system around the buildings.

    What about Help desks and places where we need to talk to support staff?

    Screens have been installed at the student desk and a ticket system is used to ensure students do not congregate around desks whilst waiting.

    Is the Library open?

    There is a full library service available for you, even if you are not able to come on to campus. Students can also use library desks for individual study.

    Visit the library service website for further information including access links to Nelson, for booking tutorials with our Learning Development Tutors and Academic Librarians and our Skills Hub materials.

    Will the restaurants and coffee bars be open on campus?

    The Market restaurant, the Engine Shed (the Student Union) and coffee shops are open and there is additional outdoor furniture so students can eat, wait, relax or work in the fresh air.

    Will it be possible to go shopping, visit other parts of the country, or visit friends or family?

    Shops and leisure venues are open with social distancing measures in place. Restaurants and cafés are open with outdoor seating only. People can meet outdoors in groups of six or two households. Social distancing rules are still in place and face coverings must be worn in shops.

    How should I pay for things?

    It is not advisable to bring large sums of money with you in cash. Debit and credit cards are the preferred means of payment in most retail outlets during the pandemic. Since you won’t be able to open your UK bank account straight away, you should bring a credit card, debit card or a pre-paid currency card to ensure you have sufficient funds to see you through the first couple of weeks at least. Banks are open but you will need to request a bank letter from the University to open an account.

    How do I search for part time work?

    You will be able to register with the Employability Service at the University and with our dedicated Employment Agency, Unitemps.

    Will it still be possible to remain in the UK and work after I graduate?

    The Home Office have agreed to introduce a new Covid-19 concession for students who started studying in January 2021.This means that if you are starting a one-year master’s in January 2021, you will still be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route – even if you begin studying remotely – provided you  are in the UK by 27 September 2021 and complete the final semester of your studies in the UK.

    If you are studying courses lasting longer than a year, which are not due to be completed in 2021 you will still be eligible for the Graduate route – even if you have studied all or part of the 2020/21 academic year via distance learning due to the pandemic.

    If you started your course before January 2021 and your course finishes in summer 2021, you will still need to be in the UK by 21 June 2021 to be eligible. The full details of the UK government guidance will provide more information.

    Where can I find up-to-date advice on studying and living in the UK?

    Further information and advice is available from UKCISA and Universities UK provides more information in its FAQs section.

     

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