Last updated: 18 August 2020
- The University will continue with online teaching and assessment for the remainder of the 2019/20 academic year, with arrangements in place for students to continue their studies remotely.
- General access to the University's buildings across our campuses is currently closed. We are planning the reopening of these buildings when it is safe to do so.
- We are planning to bring activities back on to campus in a phased approach, as Government guidance allows.
- During Semester 1 of the 2020/21 academic year, we aim to ensure that elements of practical teaching that cannot be delivered online will go ahead on campus.
- We will offer all students some on-campus experience opportunities during Semester 1 to meet lecturers and other students in their course, where it is safe to do so.
- We will keep all of our continuing students and new entrants updated on how their courses will be delivered and their opportunities for on-campus contact.
- Our research community will have some on-campus access, as required.
- Student residences remain open and will continue to be open in September.
- We will offer flexible residential arrangements for students who cannot take up their places at the start of the 2020/21 academic year.
- The University community is urged to follow the latest Government advice.
- Our plans and actions will be updated as appropriate, following Government and Public Health England guidance.
- If you are considering making an application for a course this year, you may have some additional questions. Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from Prospective Students page.
Teaching and assessment arrangements
During the 2020/21 academic year, it is very likely that for new and continuing students, much of your module teaching will still be online in Semester 1 until Government restrictions on social distancing are lifted. Large lectures will be online and we will bring students on campus in small groups as it is safe to do so. Your course tutors will be working over the summer to further enhance your online teaching. They will be finding imaginative ways to deliver lectures, workshops and seminars online. You will also have regular interaction with your lecturers and tutors in discussions online. We are all working with them to bring all students back on campus when Government guidance allows.
If you are a continuing student, please:
- check Blackboard for details of online teaching arrangements for your course
- check our Online learning page for general guidance on following your studies online
- check our Exam FAQs page for details on exams and assessments
- keep an eye out for our emails to students
Summer 2020 assessments are being completed online, where possible.
Alternative arrangements have been made for assessments and exams where online arrangements are not possible. Further details are available from 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.
We have established a task force – the Being Safe, Feeling Safe team – to lead on our planning and make preparations for the year ahead. The first priority for the team, in all our planning for our eventual reopening of buildings, is to ensure your wellbeing, health and safety. Our decisions are informed by guidance issued by:
Health actions for students, colleagues, contractors and visitors
All students, colleagues, contractors 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:
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, dispose of any used tissues in the bin and wash your hands afterwards
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. 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.
Quarantine advice and support
If you're arriving in the UK to start your studies and need to follow UK Government self-isolating requirements, our Quarantine Support Team can offer advice on any questions you may have and support you during your self-isolation period.
Our service is available to all students who are arriving in the UK (including students who are arranging their own accommodation) and can provide advice on practical issues such as food shopping and accessing finance, and give a range of information about support services available from the University.
For advice and support please fill out our Quarantine advice form and our team will get in touch.
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]
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, the University has had to postpone the graduation ceremonies in 2020.
Updates on future graduation ceremonies will be provided here and on our graduation webpages when this information is available.
University of Westminster Students' Union
University of Westminster Students’ Union are active members of our Being Safe, Feeling Safe team. They will be running online social and engagement activities with a focus on helping to keep and build social connections for our students and, when it becomes safe and practicable to do so, they will look to offer on-campus activities and events where Government guidance allows.
They are here to represent you and to support you. The Students’ Union is an independent body from the University and have issued a statement on the commitments they are making to you, how they will represent you, and how they will ensure that the commitments that we are making are delivered. For more details, visit the Students' Union website.
Following the Government announcement on 17 August on the grading of A-levels, please be assured that your offer to join us at Westminster stands and we very much look forward to welcoming you to our diverse and distinctive University community. We are here to support you every step of the way.
If you haven't heard from us already, we will be writing to you to provide more details on how your course will be taught in Semester 1.
We remain absolutely determined that no applicant to the University of Westminster will be disadvantaged by the current crisis.
Further updates will be sent to you, but if you have any questions, please do contact your Admissions Office or email us at [email protected] (for Undergraduate admissions) or [email protected] (for Postgraduate admissions).
All students will be contacted by email with 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 recognises the potential adverse impact the current situation, arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, may have on our students’ assessment performance.
We have implemented a number of measures to ensure that, as a University of Westminster student, you will not suffer any unfair disadvantage as a result of the pandemic during the current academic year.
Check our Supporting student progression and achievement page for full details of these measures.
For the current academic year (2019/20), 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 either an extension or a deferral without penalty for any coursework or a deferral for any exams. The length of the coursework extension will be:
- 10 working days during the main assessment period in April/May
- 5 working days during the refer/defer assessment period in July
If you do submit an MC Claim for Coronavirus-related reasons requesting a deferral rather than an extension, you'll need to complete your outstanding assessment(s) during the next available assessment period. If you do not complete your outstanding assessments during the refer/defer 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 not be able to complete your degree this academic year.
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 can be found on the Mitigating circumstances page.
If your assessments have been unexpectedly affected by a failure in device functioning or internet connection, you should use the mitigating circumstances procedure to request a deferral for the assessments that you are not able to complete.
If you do not have a suitable digital device at home, you can contact your tutor so that you can be advised on arrangements for accessing equipment from the University.
We have produced an information page with lots of useful financial information, and our Student Advice Team are available to provide you with expert advice on your personal circumstances. You can contact our Student Advice Team for help and advice via email [email protected], or you could book a telephone appointment through Engage.
In partnership with the Students' Union, the University has set up a range of financial support schemes to assist students who are experiencing financial difficulties. Details of the schemes and how to apply.
If you are following Government or 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.
If you are entering or returning to the UK, you will need to follow UK Border Control guidance on GOV.UK.
If you are following NHS advice, you will need to follow the Stay at Home guidance on GOV.UK.
We will be able to offer flexibility for students who have booked places in our student residences for 2020/21 but cannot take up their places in September 2020 due to Coronavirus-related reasons. If you would like to live in one of our residences, we advise you to make your application and keep our Housing Team updated on your plans.
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.
In June 2020, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) announced the following updated guidance:
- Confirmation that distance/ blended learning will be permitted for the 20/21 academic year, for Tier 4 visa holders, provided students intend to transition to on-campus learning as soon as circumstances allow.
- Confirmation that Tier 4 visa holders studying by distance/blended learning will be eligible to apply for the new Graduate Route to post study employment once they successfully complete their course, provided they are in the UK by 6 April 2021 (subject to meeting all other eligibility criteria for the scheme).
We will be issuing Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for new students intending to apply for a Tier 4 visa for a course beginning in September. If you are intending to apply via this route, please familiarise yourself with the requirements for a Tier 4 visa application by reading our guidance.
Please be aware that many Visa Application Centres have been closed during the pandemic. However, they are now starting to re-open, and so we would advise that you keep checking so that you know as soon as the opportunity to apply for a visa becomes available to you. You can check your Visa Application Centre on the UKVI website. If your Visa Application Centre hasn’t re-opened yet, then you need to keep checking this link for further information.
We recognise that some students may choose to remain in their own countries initially, for the time that their course is being delivered online. Current Tier 4 regulations will allow you to do this, but please bear in mind that you will need to make arrangements to travel to the UK once in-person teaching commences on your course. If you are intending to begin the course working online from your home country then please ensure that your Contact Address in your Student Record reflects this.
For all Tier 4 students, it is important to understand that it will remain your responsibility to keep up with your studies and with any activities on which your progression is reliant, including exams and assessments. If ill health, quarantine conditions or other restrictions imposed on you during the pandemic will prevent you from keeping up with your studies, or from travelling to the UK once in-person teaching commences on your course, then you must contact the Tier 4 team at [email protected] to explain your circumstances, including estimated dates for your return to study.
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.
You may find it helpful to refer to the Immigration guidance on GOV.UK.
If you're currently overseas on a University mobility arrangement and are having problems returning home, please in the first instance contact [email protected] and we will do everything we can to assist you.
The Department for Education continues to update its Coronavirus: travel in educational settings guidance, which includes guidance for UK individuals on exchanges or working temporarily overseas (for example, Erasmus+ or terms abroad).
For British nationals who do not have immediate departure options available to them, the Department for Education refers to FCO advice. You can contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission, or the FCO in London on 0207 008 1500 for help or advice.
For students who are not British nationals, you should be in contact with the relevant consulate or embassy for your country to find out what assistance is available to you.
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 be able to complete your work placement by working from home. Alternatively, if you and your employer would both like you to go onto employer premises, this could also be possible providing some additional health and safety criteria are met. This will include making sure the workplace meets all the government’s standards for premises to reopen and that they have carried out risk assessments.
If at any time you feel unable to carry on with a work placement outside of your home, please speak to your Module Leader or Work Placement Team who can discuss alternatives with you. If you are an international student in on a Tier 4 visa, make sure also to speak to the Student Advice team about your work placement plans.
The Graduate School provides an email update to all postgraduate students at the beginning of each week, 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]class="email"– Westminster School of Media andclass="email"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 have been stopped until further notice.
The University is reviewing the situation continually. Our colleague intranet and Student Hub pages reflect these changes, supported by emails and blogs.
Updates on significant new actions will be communicated on this Coronavirus Response page.
This is an evolving situation and we are working hard to keep this page as up to date and informative as possible.
If you have a question about actions required for specific situations, please direct these as follows:
Student wellbeing issues: [email protected]
All other issues: [email protected]