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Essential coronavirus info
We can’t wait to welcome our new and returning students from 19 October 2020. Your safety is our first priority.

Your creative future starts here:

Coronavirus: guidance for prospective students

A message from our Vice-Chancellor

We will be open and ready to welcome our new and returning students on campus at the start of the autumn term. Read our Vice-Chancellor's message to prospective students to find out more.

A message for international students

The UK Government has set out a continued commitment to prospective and current international students in an open letter from Education and Universities.

We've put together some useful guidance for prospective students during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Autumn term plans

We're starting our autumn term later than usual to give all of our new and returning students as much time as possible to prepare for their studies.

Courses will start from Monday 19 October 2020. All 2020/21 term dates have also changed.

We will be open and ready to welcome our new and returning students on campus at the start of the autumn term, expect:

  • a mix of on-campus and online activities (you might hear this described as blended learning)
  • studios, workshops, libraries and other specialist facilities essential for study and making to be open
  • online learning (including lectures and tutorials) to happen in real-time and through recorded sessions
  • opportunities for in-person teaching, on campus (allowing for social distancing).

If you have applied to join us in October, check your inbox for an email from the course team you have applied to, detailing specific course arrangements for the autumn term. In the email you will also find information about the student services and facilities that are available.

Read our Vice-Chancellor's message to prospective students to find out more about what to expect from studying at UAL.

We also recommend you keep checking our Coronavirus: important information page for the latest details on how we're supporting teaching and learning, and other aspects of university life during the pandemic.

Keeping you safe

Keeping our students and staff safe is our top priority. We'll follow UK government guidelines at all times.

We have developed a very clear framework for how we will operate our buildings safely so we can protect the health and safety of staff, students and visitors. Students will be given a health and safety briefing at the start of term which will reflect the latest guidance from the UK government, including on the wearing of face-coverings. Signage will be in place around the university to direct students around the building safely and highlight social distancing measures. There will be screens in receptions and other key areas and hand sanitation stations around the buildings. An enhanced cleaning regime will be in place plus additional measures in workshops, studios, teaching rooms and libraries.

In our student accommodation (halls of residence) plans include social distancing, organised food deliveries, bookable bedding and utensil packs, and a digital social programme. Read more about how we'll be keeping you safe in halls and watch our keeping you safe in halls video.

What to do if you can't attend in-person during the autumn term

We expect students to join us in-person from the start of the autumn term on Monday 19 October 2020. We believe participating fully in both the in-person and online elements of our blended learning approach is what will give students the richest possible experience. However, we also understand that some students may find themselves unable to join us in-person at the start of term because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

If due to the Coronavirus pandemic you find yourself unable to join us in-person at the start of term, you can make a formal request (subject to meeting eligibility criteria) to be temporarily excused from the in-person part of your course, and continue initially with the online learning part. The formal request is known officially as an extenuating circumstances application.

Here's some important information you need to know before making an extenuating circumstances application:

  • You must join us in-person by the start of the spring term in January 2021 at the latest. We encourage you to arrive as soon as you can during the autumn term.
  • The in-person part of your learning you will be excused from will not be replicated or replaced by online learning. You will miss what would have been gained from attending in-person.
  • Your extenuating circumstances will be considered during any assessments that take place during the autumn term to ensure you are not penalised in any way.
  • To make an extenuating circumstances application you must as a minimum have completed the online registration step of enrolment, and have received an email from us confirming this. The subject of the email will say ‘You have completed your online registration’. You do not have to wait until you are conditionally enrolled or fully enrolled to make an extenuating circumstances application.
  • During your extenuating circumstances application you will be asked to provide a written statement demonstrating why you are unable to attend in-person due to the Coronavirus pandemic. You will not be asked to provide medical or documentary evidence.
  • We will confirm the outcome of your extenuating circumstances application within 5 working days.

To find out more about making an extenuating circumstances application and the eligibility criteria, read our Attending your course page.

Further information for students requiring a visa

Because you must have completed the online registration step of enrolment before any extenuating circumstances application can be considered, it is important that if you require a visa for your studies you continue to apply for your visa as you would have done should you have been able to join us in-person for the start of the autumn term.

You will not be able to complete your online registration for enrolment without evidence you have, or are in process of getting a visa.

You should make your visa application as soon as you receive your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from us.

If you have made a visa application but are awaiting the outcome, you must show proof of your visa application during your online registration for enrolment. If your visa application is delayed because biometric appointments are unavailable at your Visa Application Centre (VAC), you will need to provide a screenshot showing this. Please regularly check the availability of biometric appointments so you can complete your visa application as soon as possible.

Any visa application you make now will remain valid should you have an extenuating circumstances application approved. A condition of any approved extenuating circumstances application is that you will arrive in the UK in good enough time to join in-person studies at the beginning of the spring term at the latest.

It is important that if you are travelling to the UK from a country not on the UK government’s travel corridor list, you ensure you arrive in the UK with enough time to self-isolate for 14 days prior to attending university on the first day of the spring term. We cannot accept late arrival.

When you receive your visa, you will have 90 days to enter the UK. The allowance of 90 days will be shown on your entry vignette. If your entry vignette has expired and you need to apply for a replacement, contact our Student Advice Service for guidance.

Applying to UAL

If haven’t applied yet, you should apply as soon as you can. Our application process is not affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

  • First check your course page - some courses have already closed for new applications.
  • How and when to apply depends on your course and where you’re applying from.

If you’ve started an application, you should meet all submission deadlines. If the Coronavirus pandemic means you might miss any deadlines, contact us on your UAL Portal as soon as possible.

Information for disabled applicants: Our Disability Service offers advice at any stage of the application process. Read our Disability and dyslexia: applying for a course and joining UAL guidance for details.

Getting a decision on your application

We're doing everything we can to make application decisions quickly. We know it’s not easy waiting to hear news.

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, we now review applications online and we'll let you know the outcome as soon as we can.

Responding to your offer

Please respond to your offer by the deadline. If the Coronavirus pandemic means you might miss the deadline, contact us on your UAL Portal as soon as possible.

Meeting the conditions of your offer

If you have been given a conditional study offer, you will have been told a deadline for meeting your conditions.

If your deadline has now passed and you weren't able to meet your study offer conditions in time, or you've found you haven't quite achieved what we asked for - you must contact our Admissions Service urgently using your UAL Portal to find out your options. Where possible, we will do all we can to allow you to take up your study place.

Deferring your place

If we’ve offered you a place to study with us in 2020/21, we very much hope you’re planning to start with us this coming academic year. We’re determined the Coronavirus pandemic won’t get in the way of the world-class creative education and experiences we’re known for.

If you're thinking about deferring your place until 2021/22 because you have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, there may be another option available to you. You may be able to make a formal request (subject to meeting eligibility criteria) to be temporarily excused from the in-person part of your course, and continue initially with the online learning part. You will however need to be prepared to join us in-person ready for the start of the spring term in January 2021 at the latest. You must also understand that the in-person part that you may be excused from will not be replicated or replaced by online learning. Therefore you will entirely miss what would have been gained from attending the in-person experiences. However, if your formal request to be excused from in-person experiences during the first term is approved, your circumstances will be taken into account during assessments to ensure you are not penalised in any way. The formal request is known officially as an extenuating circumstances application. To find out more, read our attending your course guidance.

Should you feel you want to defer your place fully until 2021/22, you must first check the course allows deferral requests. Not all of our courses do. Head over to the webpage for your course to find out.

We’ve recently expanded the list of courses which allow deferral requests - so if you’ve checked before, it’s worth having another look.

Things you need to know before you ask to defer

  • You must have an offer to study with us in 2020/21.
  • If your course allows deferral requests, and you are a Home (UK) or EU offer holder, you won’t be able to formally defer until you’ve met all of the conditions of your offer.
  • If you’re an International offer holder, and your course allows deferral requests, you can make your request before meeting all of your offer conditions. If you wish to secure your deferral you’ll need to make a refundable pre-payment of £2,000 towards your tuition fees. You have until Saturday 31 October 2020 to make a deferral request.
  • If you defer, when you do take up your place you’ll be charged the tuition fee for 2021/22 – which might be more than the fee for 2020/21.
  • You can only defer for one academic year.
  • If your deferral request is accepted but you change your mind – unfortunately we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to offer you back your place to start in 2020/21. It depends if the course still has places available. If you do change your mind after your deferral has been accepted – you must contact us immediately to discuss your options.

Read our Admissions Policy (PDF, 97.1KB) for full details.

Important deferral information for EU/EEA/Swiss applicants

Tuition fee and student loan arrangements for EU students starting their course from 2021 onwards have now been confirmed by the UK Government. Read the statement from the Minister of State for Universities on gov.uk.

If you join us in 2020/21 and you are currently eligible for an EU tuition fee status, you’ll be charged the same tuition fee as Home (UK) students.

If you make a deferral request and join us in 2021/22 instead, depending on your individual circumstances, you may no longer be eligible for the same tuition fee rate as Home (UK) students. This means you may be charged the International tuition fee rate. The International tuition fee rate is considerably higher than the Home rate. Visit our tuition fees page for the latest rates.

In addition, from 2021/22 Student Finance England will no longer offer new enrolling European students access to its tuition fee loan, as this is connected to the current Home/EU tuition fee rate.

The government has now also confirmed 2021/22 tuition fee status and loan access for eligible Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland. In general, Irish nationals will be required to meet the same criteria as UK nationals. For further information, read our FAQs for Irish citizens from our Brexit information for students page.

Before we can update our 2021/22 tuition fee information, including fee status eligibility, we are waiting for the UK Government to publish the full statutory regulations. We will update our information when we know more.

Read our Student fees and funding page for more information.

We also recommend you regularly visit our Brexit information for students page.

If your course allows deferral, you are able to make a deferral request. The same terms set out in our Admissions Policy (PDF, 97.1KB) apply.

Before making your decision, it’s really important to us you understand the financial implications relating specifically to EU/EEA/Swiss students from 2021.

Information for offer holders who deferred in 2019/20

Usually we only allow our eligible offer holders to defer for one academic year. However, if you deferred a place from 2019/20 that’s now due to start in 2020/21 – we will allow you to defer for a second time (as long as your course allows deferrals for 2020/21 entry).

How to make a deferral request

  1. Check that your course allows deferral.
  2. If your course allows deferral, contact the UAL Admissions Service using your UAL Portal as soon as possible to discuss your options.
  3. If your deferral request is accepted and you change your mind – contact us immediately. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee there will be a place for you in 2020/21.

We recommend you contact us as soon as you’re starting to think about making a deferral request. Don’t wait until you meet all of the eligibility criteria for formally deferring your place. That way we can make sure you’ve had all of the information you need before any decision is finalised.

English language qualifications

We have added to the list of English language qualifications that we accept as proof of English language ability. We now accept:

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
  • TOEFL iBT
  • more qualifications from secondary or high school education

Read our English language requirements and check our updated list of accepted English language qualifications.

If you now meet any of your English language conditions, you must contact us on your UAL Portal as soon as possible.

Please have your English language qualification(s) ready.

SELT providers

If you:

The number of approved SELT providers has increased. LanguageCert centres and Pearson test centres are now on the official list.

Test centres

Some test centres are now available, following a complete closure at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Check test centre websites for the latest information, including:

If your test results will come after your offer conditions deadline, you must contact us on your UAL Portal as soon as possible.

Immigration and visas

If you’re an international student from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, you'll need to follow immigration and visa regulations and apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa.

We also recommend reading the Coronavirus information for international students from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number

A CAS number links to information which is stored on a UK Home Office database about you and the course you will study with us.

We (as the university you’ll be studying with) will create the CAS number.

You must receive your CAS number from us before you can apply for your visa.

To be eligible to receive a CAS number, you must:

  • meet the conditions of your study offer,
  • accept your offer in your UAL Portal,
  • make a pre-payment towards your tuition fees of £2,000.

Once you’ve completed these steps, please wait to hear from us.

Do not contact us to let us know you are eligible for your CAS number. We are automatically notified of your eligibility.

We’ll check all your information, and if correct, we’ll create the CAS number. If any information is missing, we’ll contact you.

We’ll send your CAS number to you by email. We recommend you regularly visit your inbox and folders – our email may end up in your Junk or Spam by mistake.

Once you’re eligible, we’ll do all we can to provide your CAS number as soon as possible. We know how important it is for your visa application.

It may take some time to hear from us, especially if you become eligible for your CAS number in July or August, when we are at our busiest. Please be patient. You will receive your CAS number in plenty of time to apply for your visa.

Making a visa application from inside the UK

Some UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) are now available, following the suspension of all services at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Remember, you can still register and submit a visa application. Visit gov.uk for the latest guidance.

Making a visa application from outside the UK

Some UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are now available, following a complete closure at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. To find out which VACs are open, check with:

  • TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
  • VFS global if you’re anywhere else in the world (outside of the UK)

Please also keep checking gov.uk for the latest guidance.

Enrolment

Before you can start your studies, you need to enrol.

Step 1: Online registration

Step 2: Enrolment confirmation

If you need a visa to study with us, we will arrange a Right to Study appointment to verify your visa and immigration documents in-person. We are asked to do this by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Your appointment will happen after your studies have started.

Before you can start your steps to enrol, you must have met all of your study offer conditions and accepted your place. You'll also need to have set-up your UAL email account.

Read our enrolment information for new students to find out more.

Student accommodation

Applying for student accommodation (halls of residence) is not affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. We still have rooms available in our halls of residence. For more information contact the team at accommodation@arts.ac.uk.

Move in dates will be staggered over a longer period with bookable days and time slots in September and October 2020. This means we'll be able to manage a safe capacity at each hall. Please visit our Arriving in Halls Eventbrite page to book your arrival slot.

If you are travelling from outside a 'travel corridor', you will need to self-isolate, which you can do in halls. You will need to book your arrival between Saturday 12 and Saturday 26 September 2020. You will be included in our first phase of arrivals. For more information, read our article: Important information for students arriving outside of the travel corridors.

If you are from the UK or a country in the list of 'travel corridors', you can book your arrival from Saturday 3 October 2020. You will be included in our second phase of arrivals.

Keeping you safe in halls of residence

We will ensure all the required health and safety measures are in place at halls of residence - ready for the move-in date ahead of the autumn term.

Our plans include social distancing, organised food deliveries, bookable bedding and utensil packs, and a digital social programme. Read more about how we'll be keeping you safe in halls and watch our keeping you safe in halls video.

How to contact Admissions

The best way to contact our Admissions Service is:

  1. Log in to your UAL Portal.
  2. Go to ‘my Applications’.
  3. Select ‘Contact us’.

Don't forget

  • Our Admissions team is working online.
  • Please only contact us using your UAL Portal.
  • Do not telephone.
  • We'll contact you as soon as we can.
  • If you've applied through one of our in-country representatives, you can contact them for advice.