This is 2020 Learning
Watch our videos to see the positive steps we're taking to give you a rewarding experience at UEA when you join us this year.
You can also scroll down to read our advice for new applicants and offer holders
and frequently asked questions for postgraduate research applicants.
Advice for new applicants and offer holders
What will my UEA education look like this academic year?
We’ve transformed our teaching environment to bring you an innovative mix of quality virtual learning alongside traditional face to face interactive teaching on campus.
Our aim is to give you as much face to face teaching as is safely and practically possible, including small group teaching and workshops, tutorials and practical laboratory and campus fieldwork sessions.
To ensure safety while you study, 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 will also factor in enough time for you to walk across campus safely between your lessons. In the classrooms, desks will all face forwards and social distancing will be maintained.
What exactly will my virtual learning look like?
We’ve been busy making our virtual learning experience even better with lots more engaging content so you can be inspired by our experts online and on campus. You’ll have live online classes where you can interact and chat with your fellow students in real time, and on-demand digital learning that you can do in your own time to fit your schedule. This content could include videos, interactive quizzes, problem solving exercises and discussion boards so you can interact with fellow students and your lecturers. There will be student group work so you can actively collaborate with your peers and guided individual learning programmes. This all forms part of your face-to-face learning.
Large lectures will be delivered digitally with smaller group, face-to-face seminars and discussions afterwards.
This mix of on-campus face to face and quality online learning means we can quickly adapt to changing Government advice so while your course might start this way, we hope that over the coming months we’ll be able to move back to normal University life.
What about the library and study spaces?
UEA has excellent library facilities. Our 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 to a click and collect service if lockdown rules change.
And you will also have plenty of space for small group and individual study. As well as many areas in the library, we are creating more than 100 new individual and group study spaces across the campus.
I’m looking to do a Post Graduate course, what are the start dates?
All of our Masters programmes have a regular start date in September, however some of our most popular full time programmes also offer a start date in January 2021.
Full Time courses with an intake in January 2021 are:
5 January 2021 (24 month course)
1 February 2021 (12 month course)
1 February 2021 (12 month course)
1 February 2021 (12 month course)
1 February 2021 (14 month course)
1 February 2021 (12 month course)
1 February 2021 (12 month course)
1 February 2021 (12 month course)
8 February 2021 (24 month course)
8 February 2021 (24 month course)
15 February 2021 (24 month course)
15 February 2021 (24 month course)
Semester dates for our standard courses can be found on our designated webpage.
I’m applying for a medicine and health sciences course which is supposed to have face to face placement activity outside of campus, will that continue?
Yes, courses in our Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences have a strong focus on patient contact right from the outset with placements at many of our local NHS partners. This will continue. Up to 50% of your learning time will be in a clinical placement where you will be supervised by an experienced member of clinical staff and learn through engaging with patients. For each placement we will need to undertake a risk assessment based on the latest Government healthcare advice relating to Covid-19. There may be adaptions to your programme, including where and how your placement takes place and the length of time on placement, but we will be working with you and the clinical placement colleagues to ensure that we meet the accreditation requirements for you to graduate and that your learning outcomes are not compromised. The other 50% of your time will be spent in study, either in face-to-face teaching, online learning, or enquiry-based learning (EBL).
How safe will I be at UEA?
Student and staff safety is our number one priority. 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.
What about face coverings?
As with the rest of the UK, face coverings must be worn where they are required by law. This means when in shops on campus and other buildings such as the Sainsbury’s Centre. As part of our work to make campus as safe as possible, face coverings will now be required to be worn by all students, staff and visitors while moving around in University buildings, in all teaching spaces and in any crowded external areas.
We will be providing students and staff with two washable, re-usable face coverings. Disposable face coverings will be available in the interim. You will also be required to wear a face covering when moving around in the Library, but not whilst studying in the Library study spaces if you can maintain a two-metre distance.
Students who cannot wear face coverings for medical reasons do not need to provide evidence of exemption. Coverings can also be removed for eating and drinking, and once at your work stations, study space or other non-teaching areas that are arranged to provide 2m social distancing.
Please also review the Government advice to stay up to date.
Do I Need To Download The NHS Test And Trace App?
The University is fully supporting the new NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app and urges all staff and students to download and use it.
The app will alert you if you have been near those who have tested positive, inform you of the level of risk in your postcode, check if you have the symptoms of coronavirus, help you book a test and get the result, and give advice on self-isolation and a countdown timer.
There is also a ‘check-in’ feature, which means you will be alerted if you have recently visited a venue where you may have come into contact with the virus. You will see QR codes at campus locations such as cafes, restaurants and the Sainsbury Centre – by scanning the QR code on entry, you will build up a digital diary on your phone of the venues you have visited. This can support discussions with contact tracers if you become ill with coronavirus, and means important public health messages can be sent to relevant app users’ phones if needed.
It’s important to note that all information collected by the new app is stored anonymously on your phone – not centrally. This makes it very secure and means your personal information and privacy are well protected.
To download the NHS COVID-19 App, search for “NHS COVID-19” in the App Store / Google Play Store on your phone.
If you have any concerns about the new NHS app, please contact email@example.com.
Is UEA doing its own testing programme?
Yes, we have launched an in-house Covid-19 testing for our staff and students to help limit asymptomatic transmission on campus and in the community. We are offering staff and students a free swab test for Covid-19 at the start of the academic year with the aim of limiting transmission of the virus, and to provide reassurance to students, staff and the Norwich community. This is separate, but complimentary to, the national NHS Covid-19 testing programme.
I have concerns about arriving on campus or taking part in face to face learning due to my personal circumstances, what can you do to support me?
We have reviewed the scope of flexibility of study options we can provide to students. We will consider, where possible, any requests to start courses in an online only format. It’s important to be aware that this option is not possible for every course offered at UEA, for example those with practical and/or practice based elements.
Below is a list of courses where we do require you to start on campus due to the nature of the course content.
But any new student wishing to explore this option in 2020/2021 should email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does shared accommodation work in a socially distanced world?
Each student flat has a set number of rooms. You’ll live with other students so you can share experiences and make new friends. Not only will your flat be your home from home it will be the equivalent of your “household” in terms of Government guidelines. This means that, unless you are self-isolating, you won’t have to socially distance inside your flat. When you select your room you will be choosing to move into a flat with at least one other student, or up to 13 other students. There’s lots of good Government advice about staying safe within shared accommodation.
There will be enhanced cleaning in the shared communal areas of your accommodation, such as your kitchen. You will be responsible for cleaning your own rooms with materials provided by the University. There will also be signage in communal areas to remind students of social distancing guidelines around mixing with other households.
We are not planning to allocate students together based on their school or faculty. The exception being Medicine and Health students who we are planning to allocate together due to their external placement work in hospitals. We are also not offering shared rooms this academic year. There will be socially distancing measures outside your flat and across our facilities on campus.
We will continue to follow Government guidance to ensure that your student home remains a safe place to live while you study with us.
What about socialising and visitors in campus accommodation?
To ensure your safety we have introduced new rules in our campus accommodation. Students can only have one visitor at a time in their room, so there are no group visits or mixed household parties. We are also not allowing overnight stays. Individual visitors must wear a face covering from the building entrance to the room they are visiting. Visitors are not permitted to use any shared facilities, such as kitchens.
Government guidance has recently changed and social gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, with people who you don’t live with are now limited to groups of six. This rule is now enforceable by law, so please read the full guidance on the Government’s website – there are also FAQs on what you can and cannot do. This relates to all students whether living in campus accommodation or outside in the community.
I’m an international student, when can I arrive?
We have designated arrival dates for our international students arriving in January 2021.
For those who will need to self-isolate due to UK Government guidelines, we are inviting you to arrive on Friday 15 January to ensure your isolation is complete before your teaching starts (1 February 2021 for most courses). Accommodation will be free for the two weeks from the 15 January.
The University is also offering a second arrival date on 29 January 2021.
We will be providing a collection service from Heathrow Airport on both of these dates. This service is for new international students arriving in January 2021. It costs £35 per student and will be recharged to you following arrival and registration on your course in January. No payment is required in advance.
If you are arriving at a different time or at an airport other than Heathrow we can support you to make arrangements. Or if you have any questions about travelling to Norwich or need further information or advice, please email us at email@example.com.
I’m an international student what happens if I’m required to self-isolate?
If you’re an international student you may be required to self-isolate for 14 days following your arrival to the UK. This will depend on where you have arrived from, and which countries you have travelled through on your journey. Please check the UK government advice pages to see if this applies to you and what is expected of you.
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./p>
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.
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 both online or in-person on campus. If you are joining us in January please visit our pre-sessional English webpage.
Students who take part in the January four-week pre-sessional programme will have the cost of this programme re-funded on successful progression to a degree at UEA.
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 option, what happens 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. Almost all your student needs are catered for on campus, from a large food shop with post office, a medical centre with doctors and dentists, bank, and a pharmacy. Historic Norwich city centre is a 15 minute bike ride away.
Shops, bars and cafés will be open with increased cleaning, social distancing and limits on capacity. We will also be offering “click and collect” services in some outlets.
How can I travel to and from campus safely?
Cycling from Norwich City Centre to campus is easy. UEA is located on a Pink Pedalway route which crosses the city. We have more than 3,000 cycle racks, secure covered parking for bicycles and a bike servicing unit on campus. We also have hire bikes around campus and bike stands outside our city centre student accommodation so you can cycle around without having to invest in your own bike. We’re also teaming up with the City Council to see if Norwich can be a trial area for rental e-bikes and e-scooters.
There are regular buses from the town centre to campus and bus companies have reduced capacity inside to ensure passengers can socially distance. They have also enhanced their cleaning. One of the largest bus companies, First Bus, will be running buses more frequently in the evening and night time and they have invested in new and larger buses to help transport people around the city safely.
Will sports facilities and clubs be up and running?
UEA is home to Sportspark, one of the most successful community sports facilities in the UK. It has recently reopened under Government guidelines so students can stay fit and active on campus in a safe and socially distanced way. There’s a world-class 50m swimming pool, athletics track, gym and class training, squash courts, flood lit sports pitches for football and hockey, outdoor courts for netball and tennis, a climbing wall and gymnastics centre.
The centre will work to a booking system, it will be a cash-less environment and air handling systems have been amended to rely on fresh air rather than re-circulation. There will be increased cleaning and disinfecting across the centre.
Queuing zones and a one-way system will be in place across the centre. There will be capacity conditions and some activity schedules or fitness sessions times will be amended to allow change-over and clean down times to be included.
UEA Sport will also be running a number of activities and initiatives to get students involved in sports and physical activity. With 58 sports clubs on offer, from archery and ballet, to rowing and cricket, there’s plenty of choice. UEA Sport will provide support and ensure sessions are run according to government and Sporting National Governing Body guidelines. Where clubs cannot train because of social distancing, we will run online classes and challenges so they can still participate in sports club activities. As well as sports clubs activities, UEA Sport will continue to run their award-winning Active Campus participation programme, including initiatives such as wellbeing dog walks, day trips to local areas, drop-in sports and group exercise classes, inter-faculty competitions and events, all of which adhering to social distancing and government guidelines.
What about extra-curricular opportunities 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.
What about student maintenance loans and bursaries. Are there any changes?
It’s been a very uncertain year and not surprisingly many people have worries about their financial circumstances. UEA is here to help and we’ve put some extra measures in place to support students encountering financial difficulties.
New students need to apply to Student Finance England (SFE) to see if they are eligible for a maintenance loan from SFE and a bursary from UEA. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible. UEA will use SFE financial information, with your consent to share, to assess your eligibility for a bursary.
This assessment will look at your household income for the 2018/19 financial year so if your financial circumstances have changed it might be wise to consider asking SFE to reassess your case. This means that even if you weren’t eligible for extra support previously, you might be in 2020/21.
This year we’ve also arranged for students who are eligible for a UEA bursary to be paid their first instalment earlier than usual, on the 25th September. This will also be a larger slice of your entitlement with half paid upfront and then half in February. We hope this will help students buy what they need to support their studies, whether that’s new technology, books or other materials. You can find out more on our bursaries page.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. The team will be happy to help.