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Coronavirus frequently asked questions

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Current advice for prospective students who have applied to the University of Gloucestershire

Last updated: 23 March 2021


Your application and aspirations are important to us, and we have outlined some FAQs for prospective students covering:

  1. Starting in January or September 2021
  2. Accommodation
  3. Postgraduate applicants
  4. International applicants

1. Starting in January or September 2021: Most Common Questions

Is my degree ex​​​​pected to start as advertised?

Yes. At present we intend to deliver our undergraduate and postgraduate courses as planned in January and September 2021 and we actively encouraging our applicants, their supporters and advisers to prepare for this.

We will of course keep you informed as the situation develops, including any social distancing guidelines.​

Students who have already accepted a place for January 2021 should check their emails and register with our MyGlos student app – all updates are also via that site. Students applying for September 2021 entry will also be updated as the situation develops. We have also published an admissions statement and guidance on online interviews for students who are due to attend an interview or audition at Gloucestershire. We continue to welcome applications before and after the UCAS initial deadline of 15 January 2021.

Wh​​​​​​​​​​​at will my course look like? 

We expect that some social distancing requirements will continue to apply for the foreseeable future, and therefore are planning a combination of on-campus activity and online teaching at least for the first semester – blended learning. We are optimistic about allowing you on campus from the start of term, although not for every module, or every day.

September 2021 applicants and entrants will be updated regularly during 2021 via email, MyGlos and on these pages. 

As we are a relatively small university spread across three campus locations in Cheltenham and Gloucester, we expect to be able to offer a combination of small group teaching and tutorials on campus, with other sessions taking place online. We will then move to full face-to-face teaching as soon as restrictions allow. Our students have been on campus last term from September-December 2020 and living in our student accommodation. 

We intend to ensure that all practical teaching is delivered on site, and that you have access to the equipment and facilities you need to get the most from your chosen course of study. The demands of social distancing will likely mean that some modules will need to be delivered online to allow for those practical modules to be taught safely, but all online resources and sessions are prepared to be as interactive as possible, in line with the needs of your subject area. 

While blended learning will look different for each course, every student on every course will have the opportunity to learn and develop through a variety of methods and means, and we will provide full access to on-campus teaching, facilities and group work as soon as allowed.​​​

Alongside this, you will be assessed using a combination of methods, as you would expect for your chosen course.

Are teaching ​all lectures online?

No. We are reviewing course by course what will be the best blend of online and face-to-face teaching that we can deliver within social distancing rules. Compared with other universities, we have smaller numbers of students on each course. If we can deliver lectures face to face during the year, we will.

Isn’t online higher ed​​​​​​​​​​​ucation just a poor-quality substitute for the real thing?

Online delivery of some teaching can be a fully effective way of supporting students to learn if blended in combination with other teaching and learning activities that take place face to face. The university has invested over several years in a high quality, flexible online learning environment (called Moodle) and we have developed a range of high-quality learning materials. We will continue to use some online materials next year, as that will be the only way in which we can achieve social distancing. However, our intention for the next academic year is to combine online with access for students to our wide range of specialist facilities, with small group teaching and tutoring, to ensure that all of courses enable all of our students to undertake a high-quality, rewarding and enjoyable programme of study.

If some of my course is taught online​​​​​​​, will I get a discount on my tuition fees?

The University recognises that students will be concerned about whether they will get value for money from their tuition fees next year.  We are not intending to reduce the tuition fee below £9,250, because our intention is to provide for our students a University experience that represents excellent value for the fee we charge.  This is in line with Government guidance.  Although we do expect to provide blended learning programmes, with a combination of online and campus-based, face to face activities, blended learning is a fully effective and academically valid way of supporting students to study.  And it is no cheaper for the University to provide than traditional courses.  As a University, all of our income is reinvested in providing the best experience we can for our students, and social distancing requirements will make it more expensive, not less expensive, for us to operate teaching and learning.  So the University’s priority is to provide for our students a high quality, enjoyable, rewarding offer of both the course and the wider University experience in return for the tuition fee. 

Student Finance England has also confirmed that Tuition Fee, Maintenance Loan and Dependents’ Grant payments will continue to be paid as usual. Students are encouraged to apply for their student finance as soon as possible to avoid delays in payment in the autumn.

To discuss your individual circumstances, please contact our Money Advice Team via moneyadvice@glos.ac.uk. ​

How will you​​​​ make sure it is safe?

We will follow Government guidance at every stage. We are expecting that social distancing will still apply for the foreseeable future, so we are reviewing all of our buildings and accommodation to assess the number of people they can safely accommodate, and we will organise teaching, learning and other university activities within those constraints. Our campuses are Covid-secure, including extra cleaning regimes, one-way systems in shared areas, safe room capacity, new signage, and sanitisers etc. to ensure our office and teaching spaces, and student halls of residence, meet Government guidelines in time for the start of the next academic year.

My course includes a placem​ent. How will that work?

Most of our courses include compulsory and optional placement opportunities. We are working with our placement partners including local education organisations and the NHS to ensure a range of placement and experiential learning opportunities take place. These opportunities will vary and adapt particularly in line with government advice on social distancing requirements. The details of what is feasible will vary from case to case, depending particularly on how each placement provider needs to adapt to social distancing requirements.

We have also put alternative arrangements in place where needed, including alternative assessments, research, in-house and on-line projects, flexible placement start and end dates, and reduced patterns of hours in placement. For some courses and placements we are also able to offer self-led or self-directed start-up businesses, freelance work, work from home arrangements and self-employment options. These opportunities are available to ensure experiential learning continues to take place in line with the learning outcomes of the programme.

We have a strong package of support for students looking for and on placements, and we will running our suite of support services to all new and returning students in September, including workshops, group and one to one guidance sessions, mock interviews and CV advice (currently online but moving to face-to-face when we are able).​​​​

What about the​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​social side of university?

The university agrees that going to university is about more than the course. For most students, it is also about leaving home, making new friends, settling in to a new place and community, and having new experiences that help you develop. This is very important to us as part of your whole experience of university. Therefore, as long as Government restrictions allow, we will keep our campuses open, and support students to enjoy the social experience of joining the university community, within social distancing rules.

What hap​pens if I ​​am ​​required to shield or isolate from others due to underlying health conditions?

If you have a relevant medical condition or specific personal circumstances which mean you need to shield, please contact our Student Services staff at disability@glos.ac.uk​ who can talk with you about arrangements in place at the University and, if necessary, help you complete a risk assessment to determine how you can best engage with your studies.​

How ​​​​​​​​will I fi​​nd out if things change?

We will of course keep you informed as the situation develops, including any changes in guidelines that mean we need to adjust our plans. We will send updates to our applicants by email, and will keep our website FAQs up to date so you can check them at any time. ​

Information for Parents

We know that parents and supporters or students may be worried about what life is like at University during the pandemic, but we want to reassure you that safety is our highest priority. The University has put in place a number of measures to ensure student safety around campus and within accommodation.

At any time of the year, in any year, we want to ensure that students have the best possible experience here at the University of Gloucestershire, and are able to access the support they need. We have a range of mental health services for students, including online support through TogetherAll or time-limited counselling. For students with underlying health problems or a disability, we have a dedicated Disability Services Team​. Find our more about our Student Support offer​.

If you have any questions or concerns, you are welcome to contact our Helpzone team on 01242 714444 or helpzones@glos.ac.uk

Specifically in relation to the pandemic, we ask any students who are displaying symptoms of who may have had a positive asymptomatic test to let us know using the reporting form they can access via MyGlos. This is so we can help keep everyone safe and ensure that any students who are self-isolating get the support they need.

For parents or supporters who need to report on behalf of a student, please call the Health and Safety team on 01242 714040 or email studentservices@glos.ac.uk​. ​

2. Accommodation

Applying for University managed accommodation

Details on how to apply can be found here . You will be required to pay a £200 advance rent payment fee when you accept your room.

University managed accommodation contracts

Please pay attention to the contract start dates for your accommodation as these are fixed and cannot be adjusted to a later date.  International students should note that if you undertake a period of online study from your home country and arrive late into this room, you will be charged from the contract start date.  If you feel there is a chance of being delayed by a long period of time, we advise you do not book or confirm your accommodation until travel arrangements have been confirmed, this way you will not have to pay for any time you are not here.  Do contact the Accommodation Office if you wish to discuss this option in more detail (accommodation@glos.ac.uk).

What if I am required to self-isolate on arrival to the UK?

If UK government rules state you must self-isolate upon your arrival in the UK, and you have applied and accepted a contract within University Managed Accommodation, then you will be required to self-isolate within your reserved room for the 10-day self-isolation period.

It is important to know that UK Government’s approach to ‘self-isolation’ is different from that of many other countries. Latest guidance can be found here

For all other queries please contact accommodation@glos.ac.uk​

3. ​​​​Postgraduate applicants​​​​​​​

I am considering making an application for 2021 ​but have not submitted it yet. Can I still submit a​​n application?

Yes, we are accepting and welcoming applications for January and September entry.  

What is the latest date I sh​ould accept my offer for my ​​​postgraduate degree?

The university does not have an acceptance deadline for postgraduate students, and we can still accept new students up to two weeks after teaching has commenced. However, we encourage postgraduate students to apply and accept your offer by August (for September entry) and December (for January entry) to allow sufficient time to prepare for your studies to commence. For international students, you should allow extra time as you may need to apply for a CAS and visa before commencing study in the UK.​

Will it be more competi​tive in 2021?

We are not expecting competition for our degrees to be different from previous years and want to reassure you that we welcome and consider each and every application we receive. Our advice is to make your application as early as possible. 

How will my cours​​​e be taught?

We expect that some social distancing requirements will continue to apply for the foreseeable future, and therefore are planning a blended learning approach – a combination of on-campus activity and online teaching – at least for the start of 2021 for those postgraduate courses starting in January. All online resources and sessions are prepared to be as interactive as possible, in line with the needs of your subject area.

As we are a relatively small university spread across three campus locations in Cheltenham and Gloucester, we expect to be able to offer a combination of small group teaching and tutorials on campus, with other sessions taking place online.

While blended learning will look different for each course, every student on every course will have the opportunity to learn and develop through a variety of methods and means, and we will provide full access to on-campus teaching, facilities and group work as soon as allowed. ​​​

​It is too early to say how courses starting in September 2021 will be taught, though we will continue to monitor Government guidance and keep you informed.  

4. International applicants

We advise you to check the UK Government’s list of countries and territories to determine if you will need to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival to the UK. To allow for a 10-day self-isolation period (as is currently required for many countries https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors it is strongly recommended that students arrive in Gloucestershire week commencing 4 January 2021. Please note that visiting also includes a transit stop. Students will still need to complete the passenger locator form before you enter the UK otherwise you may be denied entry to the UK by the Home Office

Students must inform the University (via the arrivals survey email sent by the Visa and Immigration team) of their arrival date and place of residence. Students can arrive after this date, but no later than 2 weeks after the course start date (most courses start teaching on 18 January 2021). We ask students to keep us informed on their travels plans, arrival date and place of residence. via the Arrival Survey emailed from the Visa & Immigration team to students who have been issued a CAS.

Travelling to the UK

What will I need to consider before travelling to the UK?

Currently, face-to-face teaching is only taking place for courses within the University’s Health and Social Care, and Initial Teacher Training departments. For courses in other areas, all course content will be delivered online. Current government advice is that this should remain the case at least until mid-February 2021. When the situation allows for face-to-face teaching to resume, you will be made aware via your course team.

If your programme is being taught online initially, then it may be that you are able to study remotely until in-person attendance becomes mandatory.

Before you travel to the UK you should:

As UK government advice is to avoid unnecessary travel within the UK, we encourage you to travel directly from the airport to your accommodation within Gloucestershire, and to self-isolate there. More information on self-isolation requirements can be found here.

Mandatory Covid19 testing prior to travel

The UK government have recently introduced a new requirement, where passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England. Inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in. More information can be found here.

Please do ensure you arrange for this test prior to your travel, as not having this may lead to an immediate fine of £500.

What should I know about the UK’s traffic light system for international travel?

In April, the UK Government announced the introduction of a three-tier traffic light system (green, amber and red) for international travel to and from England. The red-list will include countries to which non-essential travel is banned and arrivals subject to mandatory hotel quarantine for 10 days will be retained, however long-term visa holders which we interpret to include student route visa holders can travel to England but will be required to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days. Further details of red list countries can be found here

Living in Gloucestershire

What ​​​is the guidance for accommodation for international students?

Please refer to section 2 for information relating to: how to apply for university managed accommodation, details on contract and payment terms, and information regarding travelling to the UK and University accommodation.

Our accommodation team is on hand to support applicants with any individual questions or concerns via email accommodation@glos.ac.uk​

How do ​​I guarantee my accommodation for September 2021?

If you are an international student starting in September 2021, we are offering an accommodation guarantee provided you have accepted the University as your firm choice and applied for accommodation by 11th August 2021 through the acc​​ommodation portal. You can email accommodation@glos.ac.uk for further information.

Does the university offer travel support from the airport to accommodation?

For 2020/21 academic year, we are offering international students a free airport taxi service from London Heathrow and Birmingham International airports. This is valid only for students travelling to their accommodation in Cheltenham or Gloucester and must be booked at least 7 days in advance. Students must book their free airport transfer through the arrivals survey email sent by the Visa and Immigration team.

My Offer

​For international students, will the University of Gloucestershire accept a letter fr​​​om school/college if I cannot obtain a final transcript before September due to COVID-19? What documentation is required to be made an unconditional offer?

Yes, we will accept a formal stamped letter from your School or College if you are unable to obtain a final transcript.

Standard documentation for an unconditional offer is:

I have been selected for an International Scholarship and to accept the scholarship I  need to pay £1,500. If for any reason I cannot attend in September 2021  (due to COVID-19) will I be refunded 100% of my deposit?


For 2021/22 academic year, if an applicant/ student needs to withdraw for reasons related to COVID-19 eg. health, travel restrictions, they will be entitled to a full refund, except where the student has participated in online tuition in which case, tuition fees relevant to that study are chargeable. Administration fees will be waived and 100% refund given.

If the first semester of my degree is delivered online and I choose not to enrol due to the main reason being to study in the UK, will I be entitled to a full refund?

For 2020/21 academic year, if the student’s main reason for applying to study in the UK, is driven by a desire to be physically present in the UK, and they are unable to do this for travel restrictions reasons out of their control, they will be entitled to a full refund, except where the student has participated in online tuition in which case, tuition fees relevant to that study are chargeable.

My offer includes an IELTS condition, but I am currently unable to sit an English language test due to the Coronavirus pandemic. What should I do?​​​​

Please make sure you check our list of accepted English language qualifications in case you already have something else which will meet your conditions. Details of commonly accepted alternatives are available for each degree on our course pages.

EU applicants (who do not require a Student Route visa) and do not hold an English qualification can be offered the University’s English language test on a case by case basis. Eligible applicants will be contacted by the university’s Admissions Team.

We accept a range of English language tests and equivalencies including IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL iBT, CPE and CAE. If we add any new options to these lists will email you to make sure you are aware.

There is no deadline for you to provide a valid English language test, we intend to be as flexible as possible. However, if you require a visa you will need to adhere to the CAS request deadlines at the University of Gloucestershire.

We also offer Pre-sessional English courses online which include an English placement test if you are unable to provide IELTS or equivalent qualifications. This will allow us to determine which level course you should take. 

Find out more about our pre-sessional English courses

I have been selected for a Postgraduate Int​​​ernational Scholarship and to accept the scholarship need to pay £1,500. If for any reason I cannot attend in January 2021 (due to COVID-19) will I be refunded 100% of my deposit?

For 2020/21 academic year, if an applicant/ student needs to withdraw for reasons related to COVID-19 eg. health, travel restrictions, they will be entitled to a full refund, except where the student has participated in online tuition in which case, tuition fees relevant to that study are chargeable. Administration fees will be waived and 100% refund given.  

If the first semes​​ter of my degree is delivered online and I choose not to enrol due to main reas on being to study in the UK, will I be en​​​​titled to a full refund?

For 2020/21 academic year, if the student’s main reason for applying to study in the UK, is driven by a desire to be physically present in the UK, and they are unable to do this for travel restrictions reasons out of their control, they will be entitled to a full refund, except where the student has participated in online tuition in which case, tuition fees relevant to that study are chargeable.  ​

Visa and Immigration

Will I be eligible for the new Graduate Route?

As updated by the UK Home Office, if you are an international student who commenced a 1-year master’s degree in Sept/Oct 2020 and started your studies via blended or online learning, you must arrive in the UK by 21 June to be eligible for the graduate route. This also applies to final year transfer/articulation students. Please note if you started your degree in January 2021, you will need to be in the UK by A real win for the sector and thanks to all for providing numbers of those who could have been impacted by 27 September to be eligible. There will now be no restrictions on self-employment on the route, although this will be kept under review. The route will have a visa fee of £700 and a full immigration health surcharge.

For further support, contact the university’s Visa & Immigration Team – immigration@glos.ac.uk