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Coronavirus: teaching, learning and assessment

Student writing in a notebook with her sculptures
Sketchbook by Shamiso Sithole, MA Architecture, Central Saint Martins. (Credit: © Alys Tomlinson)

We've put together guidance on how teaching, learning and assessment for your course will continue during the coronavirus outbreak.

We've also included useful links to other important information like: fees, visas, degree shows and other qualifications like UAL diplomas and Erasmus traineeships.

Completing or progressing your studies

We are supporting you all to complete or progress your studies this year. This is the fairest way forward for everybody because:

  • many of you will be unable to return to UAL
  • many of you don’t want to delay your studies (for financial and other reasons)
  • the future remains uncertain and we are still making decisions about the 2020-21 academic year.

We are working hard to ensure you can realise your potential, achieve the right grades and showcase your (final-year) work virtually.

Like other UK universities, we are adopting the best measures to allow fair progression and graduation.

Find out more about studying online.


Your course team is creating coursework assignments that do not require specialist equipment or facilities. We will consider your access to resources, including space, internet access and equipment.

  • Assessment will focus on the quality of your thinking and your understanding of the context of your work - not on your digital skills.
  • Please read our overview of measures to support your teaching and learning. Speak to your course teams about changes to assessment.
  • We have introduced a no detriment policy for second- and third-year undergraduate and postgraduate summer term units that contribute towards your grades.
  • We will mark your submitted work and also consider a no detriment grade, which is based on your previous and predicted performance. We will award the higher of the 2 marks, so long as your submission meet the criteria for a ‘pass’ grade.

Summer degree shows

Courses are no longer assessed in show: your final grade is not dependent on showing your work in public.

We are working hard to create an innovative, new digital showcase platform, so that final-year students can show their work.

Extending deadlines

Please undertake assessments and submit work as usual.

All final-year students will receive at least 2 additional weeks of study time on all of their units.

There is also some flexibility at the end of the summer term, if you need extra time to complete your studies. You can discuss this with your course team.

Extenuating circumstances for assessment

Where possible, please complete and submit your coursework as usual.

If something prevents this, including the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on your ability to complete work for assessment, you can submit a request for extenuating circumstances. This also covers technology and access to the internet.

The online teaching experience

A large proportion of teaching for 2019-20 happened before the lockdown in March. So, we are confident that online teaching in the summer term will ensure you progress or graduate.

Staff are working hard to deliver engaging and effective online teaching. We are also offering support from technical, library and IT staff.

Final-year undergraduate students: you will be able to access facilities later in the year, depending on government advice, to complete final work after graduation.

Postgraduate students: we offer a range of postgraduate courses and different courses will have different approaches to teaching and learning during the pandemic. We are confident that we can deliver postgraduate units that will start in the summer.

International students: wherever you are based, our online teaching and academic support will help ensure you progress or graduate.

Disabled students: course teams will consider your needs and discuss them with you. The Student Disability Service is very involved in these discussions.

Difficulties accessing online teaching

We know that some students don’t have the computer equipment or internet access needed for online teaching. If this is a problem for you, speak to your course team about alternatives. We will your circumstances when designing tasks and assessing your work.

  • If you are unable to join an online session, let us know and you will not be penalised for being absent.
  • We are also checking Moodle and contacting students who haven’t accessed it, to offer help and support. If you are having problems accessing Moodle from your location, let your course team know and they will find alternatives for you.
  • If you need to buy IT equipment or pay for internet access, we may be able to provide financial support if you apply to the UAL Hardship Fund.
  • If IT issues have disrupted your learning significantly, you can submit an Extenuating Circumstances form.

Fees and funding

Read more about tuition fees and deferrals during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties because of the coronavirus pandemic, you can apply to the UAL Hardship Fund. You can also apply to the Fund to cover costs related to studying online.

Creating work during lockdown

We appreciate that you may have very limited access to facilities and equipment at home. Your course team will guide you and they will be flexible and open to different ways of creating and presenting work.

We are redesigning our curriculum to reflect the restrictions you are facing. You may have to create and present work via:

  • low-tech solutions
  • communicating your ideas and concepts
  • your plans for realisation
  • digitised pages from sketchbooks, mock-ups, etc.

Given the circumstances, the type of work you submit may be different from your original intentions. We will, of course, make allowance for these differences when judging the quality of your work.

Final-year undergraduates will be able to access facilities later in the year, after you graduate, so you can refine your work for your portfolios and degree shows.

See our tips on staying safe while creating at home

Renting or buying equipment

  • We do not expect you to rent or buy specialist equipment or machinery.
  • When we assess your work, we will consider the tools that you had to hand.

If you need to buy IT equipment or pay for internet access, we may be able to provide financial support via the UAL Hardship Fund.

Reopening university buildings

We must follow Government advice: we cannot open our buildings before we have official permission. We anticipate that our buildings will be closed for months (from March 2020).

If you have left anything in a UAL building, you will not be able to access it until the Government tells us that it is safe to reopen.

Find out more about our plans for summer shows and graduation ceremonies

Visas and immigration

UAL Diploma in Professional Studies

We are relaxing the placement requirements for the Diploma in Professional Studies: we will accept the number of weeks you completed before lockdown.

  • We will be in touch as soon as possible with details of changes to the Unit Descriptor and Assessment Brief.
  • You should focus on completing and submitting your work to deadline. If you have been unable to collect data on your placement, please speak to your tutor, year leader or course staff.

If your Diploma in Professional Studies placement is short-term (6 weeks or less) and not in your home country, we advise you to cancel it now and return home. If you need help returning home, please email Mark Crawley, UAL Dean of Students at

Erasmus Funded Traineeships

All placements due to start after 12 March are suspended.

If you travelled to your placement before 12 March, you are strongly advised to return home. For help getting home, please email Katie Britton, International Exchange Manager You will also receive an email from – it is important that you respond with the information requested.

If you have completed your placement in line with your original grant agreement, please submit all necessary documents as usual, to receive your second instalment.

All placement units have an alternative distance-learning project. To keep safe and well, we strongly advise you to do this instead of taking up a placement.

Contact us

If you have a query that is not answered here, you can: