Updated 15.01.21

On 4 January, the Prime Minister announced new national restrictions for England – you can find full details on the Government’s website.

Please read below for more information on how the new restrictions affect UEA.

Advice for new applicants and offer holders

What is happening with teaching at UEA in light of the new national restrictions?


As part of the new national restrictions announced on Monday 4 January 2021, the Government has advised that higher education provision should move online. The University has decided that all teaching and in-person supervision, with some specific exemptions, will be online until at least Monday 1 March 2021.

There are specific courses and circumstances where students can be on campus. These are:

  • Students who are on professionally regulated courses in MED, HSC, PGCEs in EDU, Social Work or Pharmacy but only where in-person activity is required for the regulatory aspects of the course to be maintained. Schools will clarify this to individual cohorts shortly.

  • Students who are without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation

  • Students who require additional support at UEA, including for mental health issues (Please note, the majority of student support services are operating remotely at this time and can be accessed off campus)

  • Students who stayed at UEA over the winter break, including international students

  • Students who are required to undertake on-site learning or exams/assessments in order to qualify with professional accreditation

  • Researchers and research students who require access to specialist facilities that are only available on campus

  • International students who have already made travel plans that cannot be delayed

I’m due to start a course at UEA in January/February 2021 – what do the new restrictions mean for me?


We have contacted all students due to start courses at UEA in January/February 2021.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a UK wide ‘stay at home’ order and Government measures for higher education provision to move online, the University has decided that all teaching and in-person supervision, with some specific exemptions, will be online until at least Monday 1 March 2021.

The UK Government’s preference is for most students to study from home until the situation improves. However, there are exceptions for those who have already made travel plans. For all other students, the University recommends that you do not travel but study from home until further notice. We will keep you up to date as the situation improves and we hope to be able to welcome you to campus as soon as possible once government measures allow.

We understand this will be disappointing for students, but the safety of our UEA community is of the highest priority and the University feels this is the responsible decision to take at this time given the Government advice to move to remote learning. We will continue to make the provision of our online learning as high quality as possible.

I’m starting my course online due to the new coronavirus restrictions, what do I need to do?


If you choose to study from home until 1 March, please complete the registration task which will have been emailed to you – this will give you access to your UEA login details and email.

If you have already been allocated UEA accommodation you will have your place held, however you may receive a different room allocation. You will only be charged from 29 January or from your date of arrival (if this is later than 29 January).

I’m an international student due to start a course in January/February 2021 – I’ve already booked my travel, can I still come to campus?


If you cannot change your travel plans at this point, then you are still able to come to campus as planned. We will still provide airport pick-up from Heathrow on our previously advertised arrivals days. If you are arriving outside of our designated arrival days, we recommend that you take a taxi instead of using public transport.

You will have recently received an email regarding the registration task from UEA. Please complete this, including the date of your expected arrival.

Once on campus, you will be able to study virtually along with other students who are already living in our halls of residence. You will need to abide by the UK’s advice on staying safe during the pandemic. If you are planning to live in private accommodation off-campus, please check the situation with your landlord.

Please be reassured that critical campus services, including the Library (unless otherwise instructed by the Government), will remain open to support students who are on campus.

I’m due to start a course at UEA in January/February 2021 - if I am able to come to campus under the new restrictions, will I need to take a COVID test?


We are recommending that students get tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at UEA using our rapid testing facility – once you have completed your online registration and have your UEA log-in details, you can book your rapid tests on My UEA, our internal portal for staff and students. It’s recommended that you book two COVID tests, three days apart.

If you are an international student, the UK government have announced that from 4am on Monday 18 January, they will be introducing pre-departure testing requirements for all inbound passengers to England. Passengers arriving by ship, plane or train will have to take a COVID-19 test up to 3 days before departure, and provide evidence of a negative result before they travel. All passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s travel corridor list will still be required to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival, regardless of test result. Passengers will still be required to fill in a passenger locator form and be subject to national lockdown restrictions on arrival.

You can find more information on pre-departure testing on the Government’s website.

I’m an international student – what happens if I’m required to self-isolate on arrival to campus?


If you're an international student you may need to self-isolate in the place you’re staying for the first 10 days after you arrive in the UK. This will depend on where you have arrived from, and which countries you have travelled through on your journey. You may be able to end self-isolation early if you pay for a private coronavirus test; the University is also offering students a PCR test which could help to reduce the self-isolation period for students arriving from some countries. Check the latest travel advice online if this applies to you. International students will have been sent information on how to book these tests and how to claim back the cost from the University.

The UK government have announced that from 4am on Monday 18 January, they will be introducing pre-departure testing requirements for all inbound passengers to England, meaning all passengers will have to take a COVID-19 test 3 days before departure and provide evidence of a negative result before they travel. Everyone entering the UK is also currently required to complete a Passenger Locator Form, 48 hours before travelling. Please keep up to date with this guidance.

If you do need to self-isolate we will do everything we can to support you.

If you are making your own living arrangements and will be in private accommodation, check the facilities available in your local area with your landlord in advance, so you can be sure of a safe and comfortable self-isolation in your private accommodation.

If you are staying in UEA residences on campus and are required to self-isolate we may assign you different accommodation for the first two weeks. You will then have the option to stay in this accommodation for the rest of the year or request to move after your period of self-isolation (requests will be met only if there is availability).

When you arrive you will be directed to your room by a member of staff who can give you further advice on self-isolating. A pack in your room will let you know how you can make contact with staff, order food and other necessities on-line, and also give you a few fun things to keep you entertained. You will be contacted by phone during your first few days to make sure everything is ok. The UEA Students' Union also has a buddy scheme which you can sign up to.

If you want to order pre-prepared food to your room from UEA catering services, we recommend that you do this at least four days in advance of your first delivery so you can book this before you arrive on campus – see here for menus and booking instructions. Information in your room will also give you a list of other restaurants who can deliver to you. If you prefer to order groceries and cook yourself, you can order through ‘click and collect’ from our on-campus supermarket and many others in the local area. You will be able to use the kitchen in your hall of residence, providing you ensure to keep to social distancing from your other flatmates.

This period could also be an ideal time to prepare for your classes by getting on top of your course reading requirements – you might like to check out the library facilities now.

Unfortunately, it won’t be possible to offer a laundry service during the self-isolation period so please bring plenty of clothing or hand washing powder.

For all the detail on self-isolating on campus, please read our special self-isolation guide.

I’m due to start a course at UEA in January/February 2021 – if I am able to come to campus under the new restrictions, how safe will I be at UEA?


Student and staff safety is our number one priority. We’re offering rapid COVID testing to all students who are able to be on campus and staff members required to take out essential work on campus. We’ve carried out enhanced cleaning and have detailed safety arrangements for teaching, learning and the campus environment. We’ve created new learning spaces and adapted teaching  rooms and communal areas to make social distancing possible in lessons and when you are walking around. We’ve changed our timetable and introduced one-way systems and marked areas to help maintain social distancing. There are increased hygiene facilities and hand sanitising stations are being installed at key locations.

Perspex screens have been installed at reception areas and lifts have been made single occupancy to support social distancing. Sanitising wipes are being provided for people to wipe down work equipment and study spaces. We are also encouraging regular handwashing as this is the most effective way to combat the virus.

All students should watch our Safety First video to understand the measures we’ve put in place this year and to know what we all need to do to keep us safe. It counts on all of us respecting each other and our community.

I was due to start a course at UEA in January/February 2021 but due to the new coronavirus restrictions I would like to defer my place – is this possible?


We understand that some students may wish to defer their studies to September 2021. If this is the case, we will honour your 2020/21 fee and any scholarship that you have been awarded. If you wish to take up this option, please email admissions@uea.ac.uk.

I’m an applicant/offer holder for September 2021 entry and my exams have been cancelled due to the pandemic – will this affect my application?


We are in regular contact with the Government, UCAS and the exam boards, and we will provide applicants and offer holders with updates once more information becomes available. The Education Secretary announced on 06.01.21 that teacher estimated grades will be used to replace cancelled GCSEs and A-Levels in England.

Please be reassured that we will be taking a flexible approach to our decision making. We know every student has more to offer than just their exam grades. Everyone has interests, skills and ambitions that are not always reflected in subject results. It is for this reason we have always looked beyond results to what each student brings to the wonderful UEA community. We will always take a holistic approach to your application, including your personal statement, previous academic achievements and interviews/auditions for relevant courses. Interviews and auditions will continue virtually.

We are committed to providing a stable admissions process that protects your interests, and we will continue to follow the UCAS deadlines so you can continue to think about the best course choice for you.

We understand that these are difficult circumstances for you, and the UEA Admissions Service is here to help.

Has the UCAS deadline changed?


Yes – following recent announcements, UCAS have made the decision to extend the equal consideration deadline for all applicants to 18:00 (UK time) on Friday 29 January.

What will teaching at UEA look like in September 2021?


Unfortunately at the present time it is difficult to predict what the situation will be in September 2021 – we will keep applicants and offer holders informed as the picture becomes clearer.

This academic year we’ve been able to provide an innovative mix of quality virtual learning alongside traditional face to face interactive teaching on campus – this dual-mode approach has meant we’ve been able to adapt quickly to government measures, such as the recent request to move teaching online.

What are your English language requirements for international students?


Please read all our international language requirements for January and Sept 2021 on our web pages.

Are there any pre-sessional courses for international students that I can take?


We have a range of pre-sessional English courses available leading into January and September 2021 intakes. They are designed specifically for our entry level standard and are available either online or in-person on campus.

For more information on Foundation, Diploma and Pre-Sessional English courses please go to our general English language and academic preparation course webpage.

UEA has international overseas support staff in China, India, Nigeria, the US, Malaysia and Vietnam, to help with any specific enquiries you might have. You can also contact the UEA International Office.

My course has a Study Abroad year or a Semester Abroad, what will happen with that?


We expect that any travel restrictions will be relaxed by the time you start to prepare to study abroad during your second or third year. You will be enrolled on to a Study Abroad module, and will be provided with timely updates and timetabled briefing sessions to ensure you’re fully prepared, right from the outset, for your study abroad journey with UEA.

What about campus life?


UEA is a set in 360 acres of beautiful green parkland, with cycle paths, walking trails and wildlife. You will have the space to explore and relax safely on a large self-contained campus. You can walk to your tutorials and classes. Even under the new national restrictions, almost all student needs are catered for on campus, from a large food shop with post office, a medical centre with doctors and dentists, and a pharmacy. Historic Norwich city centre is a 15 minute bike ride away.

What about extra-curricular activities outside of my studies?


Your UEA student experience also supports your personal development and wellbeing, ensuring you are well prepared for life beyond graduation.

Alongside teaching and private study, there will be time for you to develop your professional and personal skills. You'll be able to choose from a range of different opportunities, such as becoming a student rep; attending study skills, wellbeing, or careers workshops; doing work experience or volunteering; running a student society or sports club; becoming a peer learning mentor. You can even gain recognition for your skills and achievements through the UEA Award scheme.

I am still deciding on my firm and insurance choices. Is UEA accommodation on a first come, first served basis?


Here at UEA we understand the challenges of making decisions about your next steps in the current circumstances. That’s why we guarantee accommodation for our applicants, as long as they meet the conditions outlined here .

We don’t operate a first come, first serve policy and consider all accommodation applicants once the deadline has passed. In the last couple of years, we have managed to offer around 63% their first choice of accommodation and 93% of students received a room choice from their top three. We never ask for a deposit and have a 7 day 'cooling off' period from the start of your licence. 

For specific queries please contact admissions@uea.ac.uk.

Postgraduate research applicants - frequently asked questions

I’m a prospective postgraduate research (PGR) student – can I still apply for 2020-21 entry?


We accept applications all year round.

International applicants need to apply at least four months before the intended start date, and Home applicants at least two months before.

Please see our research with us applicant pages for more details. 

Do I have to be present in person in Norwich from the start of my course?


The University normally recommends that full-time students live within 50 kilometres of the University to enable full engagement with their course.

We also expect all postgraduate research students (full-time and part-time) to meet with their supervisory team on a regular basis, normally in person. Additionally, some postgraduate researchers have further residency requirements imposed by their funder or by immigration requirements.

Given COVID-19 restrictions, in 2020-21 some postgraduate researchers may request to start their course remotely and then move to the Norwich area during 2020-21 as soon as it is possible to do so. You will need to have an individual Blended Learning Concession approved, which will require approval from your supervisor, your funder and the Academic Director of UEA Doctoral College.

Please contact pgr.enquiries.admiss@uea.ac.uk for further details. 

Can I defer my offer to a later start date?


If you have not deferred an offer before, we will normally consider a request to defer until the next PGR entry date, for example from 1 October 2020 to 1 February 2021.

The standard PGR entry dates are 1 February, 1 June and 1 October for most research programmes. At present, due to COVID-19 impacts, we are willing to consider any requests to defer offers for up to 12 months from the original entry date offered, for example from 1 October 2020 to 1 October 2021, provided that the request is made by the application deadline for that intake.

If you have deferred your offer previously and you wish to extend it beyond this period of 12 months then you will need to make a new application and we will need to interview you again.

All deferrals will need permission from the School or Institute before we can approve them. Where this is good reason to do so, we can consider start dates other than the standard entry dates; this needs approval from the Faculty Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research.

I hold an offer from UEA for a postgraduate research programme. However, I am worried that due to COVID-19 I won’t be able to complete required tests or that I won’t have my formal degree certificate available by my start date. What should I do?


We recognise that COVID-19 has disrupted exams and studies for many applicants.

Provided you have been awarded a certificate of completion for your current studies, we will accept these qualifications as long as they meet the conditions of our offer. In all cases, we will be as flexible as we can with our minimum grade requirements and will take into account any impacts of COVID-19 disruption.

What will campus be like during 2020-21 for postgraduate researchers?


Although the 2020-21 academic year is going to be a little bit different, we're working hard to ensure all of our postgraduate researchers are well supported through individual advice from supervisory teams and expert technical and professional support services. We’ve put plans in place so that we can adapt to changing circumstances and continue to deliver high-quality research supervision and doctoral training events.

To ensure safety, we have introduced one-way systems on campus, marked areas to maintain social distancing, and hand sanitising stations are being installed at key locations.

We expect that throughout 2020, all meetings and most supervision will be virtual using Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate software. Supervisors will be encouraged to meet face to face with postgraduate researchers where this is safe to do so, for example to take a socially distanced walk around our campus lake, the Broad.

Inductions will take place online, as will most personal and professional development sessions. We will provide detailed health and safety guidance and inductions to keep everyone safe on campus, and advice on accessing archives and other research facilities.

The UEA Library is open with social distancing, one way systems and cleaning wipes in the IT spaces so you can wipe down your keyboards and mice after use.

We will follow government advice on opening times and student numbers. We can move quickly back to a click and collect service if lockdown rules change.

Have you offered to reimburse or reduce tuition fees for postgraduate researchers?


UEA has remained open throughout the lockdown. Our supervisors and training coordinators, and our Careers Service, Postgraduate Research Service, and Student Services teams, have continued to provide supervision, training sessions and advice virtually throughout this period.

In line with the approach endorsed by the UK Office for Students, we have not offered any blanket reduction or reimbursement of fees. However, we are sympathetic to the challenges faced by our postgraduate researchers. We have offered fee payment flexibility and no-cost extensions to many individual postgraduate researchers affected by COVID-19 and extensions of stipend to funded researchers.


Will the University make allowance for the timing of probationary reviews due to COVID-19 restrictions?


For postgraduate researchers who were due to have a probationary review in spring 2020, we extended the deadline for all probationary reviews, allowed them to be held virtually, and were sympathetic to individual circumstances affecting progress. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will take similar actions again during 2020-21 if it seems appropriate.


How much time should I allow for Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance?


The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is relevant to international students subject to UK immigration control.

We recommend you apply as soon as possible - currently the turnaround for ATAS certificates is taking up to 8 weeks.

What accommodation and self-isolation options are available?


UEA extended its accommodation guarantee in 2020 to cover UK, EU and International postgraduate research students who applied by the deadline of 31 July.

If you did not apply by this date, please see the accommodation frequently asked questions to see if there are still options available.

Other information about accommodation and self-isolation is included in the Advice for New Applicants and Offer Holders section above. Current students can also read our self-isolation guide (login required) which applies to those who must self-isolate whether you are living un university or independent accommodation.

The UEA Students’ Union also has a guide to renting private accommodation in Norwich.

I am a postgraduate research applicant and have another question. Who can I speak with?


You can send your question to pgr.enquiries.admiss@uea.ac.uk. The team will be happy to help.