Last updated: 26 March 2020
- The University has moved to online teaching and assessment to allow students to continue their studies remotely.
- General access to the University's buildings across our campuses is closed.
- Student residences remain open.
- The spring graduation ceremony planned for 22 April 2020 has been postponed.
- The University community is urged to follow the latest Government advice.
- The advice from Public Health England is that the overall risk to the UK population is “high.”
- Our plans and actions will be updated as appropriate, following Government and Public Health England guidance.
Teaching and assessment arrangements
All teaching activity is now being delivered online to allow students to continue their studies remotely.
If you are a student, please:
- check Blackboard for details of online teaching arrangements for your course
- check our new Online learning page for general guidance on continuing your studies online
- check our Exam FAQs page for details on exams and assessments
- keep an eye out for the University's Coronavirus Update emails to students
Where possible, assessments will be completed online. This will include exams, which will be completed as “at home” papers.
Alternative arrangements will be made for assessments and exams where online arrangements are not possible. Further details will be communicated by course leaders or module leaders.
If you teach on a University course, please consult your course leader for guidance.
How is the University managing its response to Coronavirus?
The health and wellbeing of our community is our top priority and we have moved the bulk of our provision to a virtual operating environment, including all support services, teaching and assessment.
The University's Coronavirus Response Team meets frequently and is informed by guidance issued by:
Health actions for students, colleagues and visitors
All students, colleagues and visitors are advised to comply with Government measures.
You can reduce the risk of passing and receiving infections by practising good personal hygiene to protect against infection:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water – see below for more details
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of any used tissues in the bin and wash your hands afterwards
What is the guidance on handwashing/hand sanitising?
Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the most effective means of keeping hands clean. As long as hands are washed correctly, then either paper towels or hand driers can be used to dry hands. Avoid touching your face.
You might also find it helpful to watch this BBC video on how to wash your hands.
All colleague and student travel in and outside the UK for University-related reasons is suspended until further notice.
For any specific queries on travel insurance, contact [email protected]
The spring graduation ceremony planned for 22 April 2020 has been postponed. Students affected by this postponement will be notified and further information provided.
Updates on future graduation ceremonies will be provided here and on our graduation webpages when this information is available.
The Government is introducing new guidance on how students will be graded this year and more details will be available soon.
We understand that this is a very stressful time for applicants and we are currently reviewing all of our admissions processes and requirements in the light of the cancellation of exams.
We remain absolutely determined that no applicant to the University of Westminster will be disadvantaged by the current crisis.
Further updates will follow shortly, but if you have any questions, please do contact your Admissions Office or email us at [email protected]
Students will be contacted by course or module leaders, who will provide information about the changes that have been made to enable you to complete academic assessments for your modules.
If you are well, you should be able to continue your studies online and submit coursework remotely during this period using resources on Blackboard, if these are appropriate for your course. If you keep up with your studies and submit work on time, this will reduce the risk of overlapping assessments and potential academic progression or completion issues later.
If you are unwell or unable to attend or complete an academic assessment as a result of following advice that you must self-isolate or stay at home, you should use the mitigating circumstances procedure.
The University will accept mitigating circumstances claims for all Coronavirus-related absence without the need for documentary evidence.
You'll need to submit a mitigating circumstances claim (MC claim) in the normal way for each piece of assessment missed. You'll be granted a either a 5-day extension or a deferral without penalty for any coursework or a deferral for any exams.
If you do submit an MC Claim for Coronavirus-related reasons, you'll need to complete your outstanding assessment(s) during the deferral period, which currently runs from 29 June to 10 July 2020 for all students. If you do not complete your outstanding assessments during the deferral period, this may impact your ability to progress or complete your award.
If you're a final year undergraduate student and you defer your assessment, you may have to attend a later graduation ceremony.
If you're a Tier 4 student, there may also be an impact on your continued sponsorship in the UK. Check with the University’s Tier 4 team (at [email protected]) for further advice.
The deadline for submitting mitigating circumstances claims for Semester 2 (or for year-long modules ending this Semester) is 19 May 2020.
For more information on how to submit your MC claim, visit our Mitigating circumstances page.
You should use the mitigating circumstances procedure to request a deferral for the assessments that you are not able to complete.
If you are following NHS guidance to self-isolate and are staying in a student residence, you should inform the management of your residence so that they can assist you.
You will need to follow the Stay at Home guidance on GOV.UK.
As a Tier 4 student, it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the conditions of your visa, but we understand that in the current situation this can now be challenging.
As the University has now moved to delivering teaching online, you are not expected to attend classes in person and will not be recorded as absent during this period. For students whose work placement in the UK has been curtailed, please in the first instance speak to your Course Leader or Placement Coordinator for further information.
We recognise that many students now want to return home, particularly as travel restrictions widen. If you wish to return home for Coronavirus-related reasons, please inform us immediately at [email protected] of your intention to do this and provide written confirmation that the reason for any non-attendance is due to Coronavirus, as well as a copy of your confirmed booking for homeward travel. If you have already left the UK, please still send this information to us.
For all tier 4 students, it is important to understand that it will remain your responsibility to keep up with your studies during this period and any activities on which your progression is reliant, including exams and assessments.
Please keep the Tier 4 team (at [email protected]) updated on your location, wellbeing and, if now overseas, your potential return date to the UK.
For more information and advice for international students, we recommend also bookmarking and regularly checking the UKCISA website.
If you're currently overseas on a University mobility and are having problems returning home, please in the first instance contact [email protected] and we will do everything we can to assist you. For students who are not British nationals, it may be easier to return to your home country now rather than the UK.
The University has strongly recommended that you return from your overseas mobility as soon as possible, either to the UK or to your home country. We appreciate that this may not be possible right now due to flights being suspended, and also that everyone’s circumstances are different, so you will need to make your own judgement about whether it may be better to stay overseas and follow local guidance in the short term. However, the guidance remains in place and you should now be making plans to return as soon as the situation allows. Please do continue to keep the team informed about your plans via [email protected].
The Department for Education continues to update its Coronavirus: travel in educational settings guidance. Please see section 2.2 for UK students and staff already studying or working overseas and section 3 for participants already on Erasmus+. They advise that 'All UK students and staff currently studying on exchanges (for example, Erasmus+ or terms abroad) or working temporarily overseas are advised to return to the UK now, while commercial routes are still available.'
For British nationals who do not have immediate departure options available to them, the Department for Education refers to FCO advice. They say that 'FCO is working with airlines to keep routes open and is calling for international action to keep routes open to enable British people to return home on commercial flights. They are also working around the clock to support those British travellers who are experiencing difficulties coming back to the UK.' The guidance also flags that 'if you are a UK national who needs emergency help from the UK government while overseas as the country you are in will not allow you to travel back to the UK, or there are no commercial travel options available, you can contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission, or the FCO in London on 0207 008 1500 for help or advice 24/7.”
For students who are not British nationals, you should be in contact with the relevant consulate or embassy for your country to find out if any repatriation flights are operating.
Please be sure to liaise with your host university for the most up-to-date advice on any local restrictions and whether any assistance is available from them.
If you have questions about the University's travel insurance policy, please contact [email protected].
You may find it helpful to refer to the Immigration guidance on GOV.UK
In light of the most recent Government advice, we are now advising you not to continue with your placement, unless you are able to complete it by working remotely, at home.
Be assured that you will no longer need to complete the minimum number of hours associated with the placement. However, you should still complete the assessment related to your work placement.
If have any questions on your placement, please contact your Course Leader or Placement Co-ordinator.
The Graduate School will provide an email update to all postgraduate students at the beginning of each week, and this will be followed by weekly contact from your School Doctoral Co-ordinator and Director of Studies.
Our main aim is to support your welfare and wellbeing at this challenging time, while also providing information about the ongoing progress of your project and any changes we need to make to our normal processes.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Director of Studies, School Doctoral Co-ordinator (see below) or the Graduate School at [email protected]
School Doctoral Co-ordinators
- Dr Andrew Smith at [email protected] – School of Architecture and Cities
- Dr Andrzej Tarczynski at [email protected] – School of Computer Science and Engineering
- Dr Lucy Reynolds at [email protected] – Westminster School of Arts
- Dr Anthony McNicholas at [email protected] – Westminster School of Media and Communications
- Dr Helen Glew at [email protected] – School of Humanities
- Dr Emanuela Volpi at [email protected] – School of Life Sciences
- Dr Dan Greenwood at [email protected] – School of Social Sciences
- Dr Aurora Voiculescu at [email protected] – Westminster School of Law
- Dr Kristina Vasileva at [email protected] – all Schools within Westminster Business School
The University has published an update relating to research projects involving face-to-face participant interaction, which can be found on this Research Ethics Committee page.
All face-to-face research interactions must cease immediately, until further notice.
The University is reviewing the situation continually and our colleague intranet and Student Hub pages reflect these changes.
Updates on actions are communicated when there are significant changes affecting the University community and services.