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Coronavirus updates

Written by Communications Team
Published date 01 April 2020

Overview of UAL's response to the coronavirus

  • As of 9am on Monday 23 March, student access to UAL’s academic buildings has been be suspended.
  • There are currently no face-to-face services for students, except at our halls of residences which remain open.
  • The university is committed to ensuring that students progress to the next year and can complete their course.
  • As well as an online showcase of graduate work, we plan to provide students with a physical showcase later in the year, subject to the public health emergency, alongside rearranged graduation ceremonies. More information is available via our FAQs.
  • FAQs on teaching, assessment and degree shows
  • If you have a Tier 4 visa and are engaging with your course remotely you will be classified as attending your course and your visa will remain valid.
  • The Student Loans Company is making term 3 student loan payments as scheduled and students will continue to receive maintenance payments, whether or not Colleges are closed.

Jump to further information:

Latest health advice

The NHS advice is as follows:

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.

You can only leave your home:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary.

What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms

Continue to stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home. Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

If you live in a halls of residence:

Halls of residence remain open.

If you’re a student living in a UAL halls of residence and are self-isolating, please let your Halls Management team know by calling the site mobile. Students in halls of residence and in private rented accommodation in England are advised to remain where they are.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Our main purpose is to enable students to maintain their learning, ensuring they can progress to next year or complete their course.No student will be penalised for not being in London. From 17 March 2020 until further notice, no student is required to be present at UAL’s London sites if they do not wish to attend.

Please read the teaching, learning and assessment FAQs for more information.

Contact for questions relating to teaching, learning and assessment

If your question is not answered by these FAQs:

University services, campuses and workshops

From 9am on Monday 23 March, access to UAL’s academic buildings will be suspended. All forms of teaching and academic work will happen off-site until UK government guidance changes. There will be no face-to-face services, except at our halls of residence.

We feel this suspension is acceptable and necessary given the public health emergency and the advice being provided by UK government.

Libraries and Learning Zones

All libraries and Learning Zones are now closed. Find out more about the online resources available to you.

For further advice, please see our library FAQs.

Halls of residence and counselling services

Our halls of residence remain open. Student support services will continue with increased online delivery.

Adobe CC

As a result of the current disruptions due to the coronavirus outbreak, Adobe has provided temporary at-home access for impacted students, so that they can continue to work remotely. These Creative Cloud desktop app licenses are currently valid until May 31 2020. Adobe is closely monitoring the situation due to the Coronavirus and may, at its sole discretion, modify the validity of the licenses.

Information on accessing Adobe CC



We have decided to cancel our graduation ceremonies so that we have more weeks in the summer term for final year students in particular to complete their studies.

We ask friends and families of students to cancel their arrangements to attend these events in July. Graduation ceremonies will be rearranged for a future date. Students will be informed of next steps by email.

Degree shows

The public health emergency made it impossible to plan summer degree shows at the usual time, given that public gatherings have been banned in the UK for the foreseeable future.

We are planning for an extensive online platform to show and celebrate your work in June/July. This presents a new creative opportunity for us to show the world how UAL and its students can shift into open digital platforms which will reach much wider audiences.

We aim to provide a physical public showcase for graduate work, subject to the course of the pandemic, to students and courses who want it. This would enable you to present your work in a venue and to collectively celebrate your achievements. Ideally, we would hold the graduation ceremonies at the same time as any showcase.

Read the FAQs for more information.

Short courses

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak we have reluctantly taken the decision to suspend the delivery of face to face short courses over the next few weeks.

This means all face to face short courses starting from Wednesday 18 March until Friday 17 April will be cancelled. We are currently in the process of contacting people with active course bookings in this period.

Please see the latest update from UAL Short Courses

International travel:

With immediate effect, all overseas staff travel on university business will stop, as will student trips.

If you are on a placement outside the UK, and wish to return to the UK, please contact Mark Crawley, Dean of Students, on

Student travel during the spring break

Many students plan to travel home during the spring break. Before travelling, students should review the advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Support for students:

Supporting our community:

We have also seen stories in the press about increased racist behaviour since the outbreak of the virus. We are committed to promoting a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, so this is a time for us all to come together to support our entire community. Please be kind to everyone and do all you can to support each other.

If you have been affected by racist behaviour and would like support, you can contact the University Counselling Service via

We take all reports of racism seriously and you can also raise a concern through UAL’s Tell Someone system. You will complete a simple form and then be put in touch with a member of staff to discuss the support available, talk about formal and informal ways of resolving an issue, and signpost you to further information.

Information about your Tier 4 visa or other immigration matters

Tier 4 visa FAQs

If you have a Tier 4 visa and are engaging with your course remotely you will be classified as attending your course and your visa will remain valid.

Please see our Tier 4 visa FAQs for additional information.

Concerns about your visa and other immigration matters

If you are a current UAL student and have any concerns about your visa or another immigration question, which are not answered by the FAQs, you can contact the Student Advice Service.

If you are unable to return to the UK to continue your course

If you are a student and unable to return to the UK after travelling, you should immediately contact Mark Crawley, Dean of Students via He will advise your course team that you are not attending college due to the travel situation.

New students

New students who have been issued a Tier 4 visa but have been unable to travel to the UK are permitted to undertake distance learning.

Information for prospective international students

I am interested in studying at UAL but my school/university and IELTS centres are closed

We are aware that local education institutions in many countries and cities affected by the virus have temporarily closed and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests are currently suspended in the following countries. We appreciate this will have an impact on some students’ ability to complete their applications, and in particular with preparing their creative portfolios and evidence of their academic and English language qualifications.

Please be assured that all applications received in line with relevant admissions deadlines will be considered equally. We will take into account the likely impact of the escalating situation on our applicants from countries affected by the virus and make every effort to ensure those students are not disadvantaged.

Please remember that we accept a variety of English language tests for degree courses, including the Cambridge Certificate and Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic. If you are unable to secure an IELTS Academic test, you may wish to consider one of the alternatives listed on our Language Centre website.

We are also aware that all UK Visa Application Centres in China are currently closed until further notice. The re-opening of the centres will be subject to notifications from central, provincial and city authorities, so please check the VFS Global website for further updates,

I am interested in studying on one of Pre-sessional English courses, but I’m worried about meeting the application deadline

Our Pre-sessional English courses are still open to new applications. Availability for 19 week Pre-sessional is currently very limited. Depending on availability, we may offer you a place on the waiting list.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding IELTS test centre and UK Visa Application Centre closures. Where possible, we will offer flexibility around application deadlines. If you cannot take a new IELTS exam, please remember that you might be able to use an older IELTS result (or equivalent English language test) to apply for Pre-sessional. Many students can apply with an IELTS taken as long as 2 years ago. If you need advice about your Pre-sessional application, please visit our Pre-Sessional website or get in touch with us at

I have received a PebblePad portfolio request, but cannot submit my portfolio by the required deadline

We appreciate that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak may have an impact on your ability to submit your portfolio. If you are affected by the current situation, please respond directly to the PebblePad portfolio request email to discuss the possibility of extending the deadline with our Admissions team.

Short term study at UAL - Language Centre, Short Courses, Study Abroad

Students joining a Short Course, Study Abroad, or Language Centre course at UAL should follow the general health and travel advice on this page. If you have a course booked and you have any questions or concerns, regarding your travel or visa application, please contact the relevant team who will be able to assist you:

Information for UAL staff

Staff should refer to the coronavirus section of canvas for the latest information and guidance.

UAL student contact

If the information on this page or the FAQs do not answer your question, email

Student updates

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