Covid-19 Student FAQs

As of 27-07-2020


The following list of frequently asked questions is intended to answer a number of queries being raised by the student body as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent institutional move to online delivery methods. As the current situation remains fluid, aspects of this document will need to be revised to ensure it meets latest government guidance. The questions and answers below are accurate at the time of publishing.



Academic Queries

How is the university managing the impact of COVID-19 on students’ academic achievements?

The University will not allow any student to be academically disadvantaged due to circumstances beyond their control (such as those relating to Covid-19).

New and amended temporary Academic Regulations

How will I find out how my programme will be affected?

Communications with students about their specific programme will be through the relevant staff in their academic area. Details on how the remainder of your programme this academic year will be delivered and any other necessary changes that have/are being made will be provided to you. Any queries about your academic studies should be discussed with your Module Co-ordinators, Programme Co-ordinator or, if necessary, Head or Director of area in the first instance. They will continue to respond to you as quickly as possible offering guidance, practical support and reassurance.

What's the best course of action if your lecturer is not replying? 

If your lecturer is not replying please contact your Programme Coordinator, or your Head of Department / Director of Institute.  If you do not already have their contact information, your Programme Administrator or the SIZ will be able to provide this information.

Will I still need to complete the same work as originally advised at the beginning of the year?

If they haven’t already done so, staff in your academic area will be confirming with you the assessment arrangements for each of your modules. In many cases, the assessment to be undertaken will remain the same as originally intended for each module. However, due to the specifics of the subject and/or module (e.g. performance subjects) changes have needed to be made to the planned assessment in order to assure academic quality, standards and transparency.

When will I know if my assignments/assessment are changing?

All academic areas will have completed this process by the week commencing 30th March 2020 and will communicate with you as required as soon as possible after that.

Will marking turnaround times take longer than three weeks now?

We are still intending to be able to meet this target, however many academic colleagues are adjusting to new ways of teaching remotely, so patience would be appreciated if this takes slightly longer.

Will there be a delay in feedback for assignments?
Each subject area is changing their assessment criteria individually, so we would ask that you contact your academic advisor or lecturer so they can advise on any changes. While the University has changed to remote teaching, all our staff are endeavouring to provide the same levels of support and guidance to all students.

I’m a Post-Graduate Student – how will this affect me?

All answers above relate to post-graduate students as well.


Mitigating Circumstances

How do I apply for Mitigating Circumstances?

Given the current exceptional national and international situation, the University will be applying mitigating circumstances on your behalf for any modules that are failed during the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. This means that where a module is failed (including through non-submission) then you will have an opportunity to submit the relevant assessment(s) one further time on a ‘first-sit’ basis.

Accordingly, there is no need for you to submit either a mitigating circumstance claim, or related evidence, for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. This will be actioned on your behalf at the summer 2020 assessment point or at the subsequent January 2021 assessment point.

Do I still need to apply for Mitigating Circumstances if my reason does not relate to the COVID-19 outbreak?

Yes, the same process for applying for mitigating circumstances remains in place for other issues not related to Covid-19.

I am not sure I will do as well in my assessments given the situation. What should I do?

Please ask your programme coordinator or module tutor for an extension so you are able to have more time to complete your work. Programme coordinators and module tutors are able to give extensions to deadlines for several weeks which should enable you to complete your work as well as you are able.

How will my overall mark be impacted as a result of Covid-19 if I don’t do as well this semester?

For undergraduate students, providing that you qualify to progress to the next level, or graduate, based on your marks obtained this year, including those obtained through assessments from the remainder of this current Semester 2 period, then we will ensure that your final academic year average is no less than the overall average that you have attained based on all of the other/remaining semesters that we would normally take in to account when calculating your degree award.

In other words, and at whatever level or stage of your studies you are currently at, we will not allow your average from Semester 2 (2019-20) to negatively impact on your overall degree result at the end of your programme of studies; if it does then we won’t include it and, instead, use the average of the other/remaining semesters when calculating your final degree result.

I’m a final year undergraduate student. How will my dissertation or individual project be affected?

For final-year students who undertake and submit their Dissertation/Individual Project (or equivalent) in Semester 2 this academic year and receive a mark for that individual piece of work which is lower than their Semester 1 (2019-20) average, mitigating circumstances will apply and they will be given the following choice:

  1. To accept the mark that they have been given and for their degree result to be calculated accordingly, or
  2. To submit their Dissertation/Individual Project (or equivalent) one further time on a ‘first-sit’ basis and, if receiving a higher mark than on the previous attempt, for this mark to be used in calculating their degree result.

For final year students in 2019/20, we will remove the requirement for your dissertation to be in the higher classification category when calculating your degree outcome. 

I’m a Postgraduate Taught student undertaking and submitting a Dissertation or Individual Project (or equivalent) during the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. How am I being supported?

If you achieve a grade of at least ‘A’ in the majority of taught modules (equivalent to at least 120 credits), you will be awarded a Master’s degree with Distinction irrespective of the grade you achieve in your dissertation. Similarly, if you achieve a grade of at least ‘B’ in the majority of taught modules (equivalent to at least 120 credits), you will be awarded a Master’s degree with Merit, irrespective of the grade you achieve in your dissertation.

What about students with courses that have modules running across both semesters, courses with Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies [PSRB] requirements and Masters students?

If any of this applies to you, your academic area (Programme Co-ordinator or Head/Director) will provide you with further guidance as soon as possible (if they have not already done so).



Will I get a refund on my accommodation fees if I am no longer living there?

If the current situation remains unchanged and normal face to face teaching cannot resume, then it has been decided that students who have already left their university halls will not be charged for the third rental period (i.e. from 20th April onwards). This allows students to leave their contract several weeks early. This will apply even where belongings remain in their room. Therefore, no charge will be collected and no rental invoice will be raised from the 20th April onwards.

For students who remain in halls, rental charges will apply as normal. These will be collected in the standard way.

I’ve left my university halls but my belongings are still in my room. What should I do?

The Accommodation team wrote to all students in halls of residence on the 20th May inviting them to get in touch where relevant to book an appointment to come back on campus and collect belongings. 

In order to make the process safe for all it is important you book a slot by calling the Accommodation Office on 01243 793477 or 01243 793488 between the hours of 9.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday.

In order to comply with social distancing requirements, access to campus and Halls will be restricted to a set number of students at any one time, therefore please be flexible on the dates and times when you wish to move out. Do not return to residences without first contacting the Accommodation team, as you will not be able to access your halls

I’m a student in private rented accommodation – how does the above affect me?

In the first instance we would encourage you to talk to your landlord about any concerns relating to your tenancy.  However, whilst the University does not have a tenancy relationship with you, our Accommodation Team are able to advise and help you work with your landlord through this difficult time.  Please contact for advice.

I’m still on campus – what is happening about my postal deliveries?

Students based at BOC can collect post from the Post Room between 9.30am and 3.30pm.

Students based at BRC can collect post by contacting the Caretaker (based in the Lodge by the main entrance) between 9.30am and 3.30pm.

You must show your valid student ID.


Student Support & Wellbeing

I am planning my finances for the next academic year - what sources of advice are available to me at the moment?

The Student Money Advice service is running through out the summer to provide guidance.  

The best way to contact them is via email at

You can find a lot of useful information on eligibility, and how to apply for student finance here

The Student Loans Company also have an up to date FAQ of their own here

I am still on campus – are the Nurse Health Advisers available to help me with general health queries still?

The Nurse Health Advisers work reduced hours in the summer months. During the current Corona Crisis they continue to operate a distance support model by phone and email. They break for summer on 3rd July and return in the new semester, so this service is not available over the holidays. You can contact them until 3rd July by email at: or on 07739 983703. If you feel unwell then you can also contact your GP, or dial NHS line 111 for advice and support and let accommodation know if you need help.

I am still on campus – what mental health and wellbeing support can you offer me?

You can access a wide range of support from the Wellbeing team including mental health advice, counselling and Student Wellbeing advice and mentoring. Wherever you are located we can support you by Skype, phone and email. Just email: and an adviser will get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you. However if you feel unsafe or unwell please contact your GP without delay, dial NHS line 111, and let the accommodation team know if you need help. You can also make your way to the nearest A &E.

I have returned home for the time being – what mental health and wellbeing support can you offer me?

If at all possible, bearing in mind the current strain on all NHS resources including Mental Health, GP’s and Counselling services, you should seek local support, however, student wellbeing can continue to be contacted at

What other resources are available to help me get through the next few weeks?

Student Health App - offers information and reassurance on all health problems particularly relevant to students from first aid emergencies, common ailments, mental health problems, physical (body) symptoms, love and sex, healthy living, travel health, alcohol and drugs, staying safe at University and how to access health services (free).

What’s Up App - provides daily tools to promote positive mental health for issues such as anxiety, depression, anger, stress and more (free).

Student minds - website with general information on coping with student life.

The Mix - website for under 25’s with everything you need to know about mental health.

Headspace - information for young people up to 25 relating to general mental health and physical health.

Every Mind Matters - website with practical advice on stress, anxiety, mood and sleep including a free personalised plan showing you how you can take care of your mental health.

Patient UK - leaflets and health tools for mental health conditions.

Living Life to the Full - free online courses to help overcome stress, anxiety and low mood.

NHS choices ‘Moodzone’ - website with information and resources on stress, anxiety & depression.

Centre for Clinical Interventions - free online CBT self-help courses for generalised anxiety, health anxiety, worry, panic and social shyness.

The Mix - one to one focused support for young people under 25 by either phone, web chat or email.

HOPELINEUK - specialist telephone service staffed by trained professionals who give non-judgmental support, practical advice and information to young people up to the age of 35.



Do I need to bring my books back? I have been unable to renew my book online as it has a reservation against it and I am receiving emails from the Library team.

Please ignore any emails regarding overdue items at this time and return items when you are back at university.  These emails are generated automatically and we are working with our software provider to stop them.

Can I request an e-book that is not in the catalogue?

Please email and we will order e-books where they are available.

I cannot access a database on the Library Moodle page. What do I do?

Please email and the Library team will investigate. Alternatively, contact the SIZ.

There is a book I need in the Library, is there a way to obtain it?

The LRC's have now reopened 1000 - 1500 weekdays with social distancing measures in place - please feel free to visit and collect books during this period following our social distancing rules in the building.  Full information on current opening times can be found at  Alternatively if you would prefer not to come into the LRC you can make use of our Click and Collect service available via SupportMe.  More information can be found on available resources here

Can I return books to the Library whilst it is closed?

Whilst we do not expect students to return items, we are aware that a number of you are wanting to. Whilst the LRCs are closed, books can be returned via the out of hours return drop boxes outside of each LRC.



Academic Skills Support

How do I get help with my academic skills?

The Academic Skills Adviser, is working remotely. Tutorials are still available with either over the phone or by Skype and these can be booked by emailing:

Our Academic Skills Adviser can help with:

  • essay structuring
  • referencing
  • writing critically
  • reflective writing
  • dissertations
  • grammar and punctuation
  • time management

There are also lots of resources on the Moodle Study Skills page.


Careers & Employability Service

I need career guidance and want help to find a job?

The Careers & Employability Team are fully working from home and continue to be available to support you. Please contact them by email ( or phone (01243 816035).

To book an online appointment and to keep up-to-date with the latest job and career opportunities, please visit


Printing Services & PrintShop

How can I get my dissertation printed and bound?

The PrintShop is open but offering a heavily reduced service. Due to the University moving to complete online delivery, there is no need to print and submit a hardcopy of your dissertation or individual project. Once the PrintShop reopens, they would of course be happy to provide this service for you.

Where can I print something if the LRCs are closed?

Only essential services remain available onsite. Printers in other student areas (e.g. canteens) are still functional and available.


Royal Literary Fund

I would like to see one of the Royal Literary Fund team to talk about my writing style – can I still book this?

The Royal Literary Fund who provide the RLF service have withdrawn their service for the rest of this academic year due to the Covid-19 outbreak. They hope to be back with us in September. In the meantime, please see the above information on the Academic Advisor for alternative means of support.


Students' Union

If an event I have already bought a ticket for from the UCSU is cancelled can I have a refund?

Cancellations of all SU events will be fully refunded.

What is happening with the Summer Ball and the Sports Awards?

The Students’ Union have taken the hard decision to cancel all events until further notice, including Summer Ball and Sports Awards. Refunds have been processed. All tickets will be refunded in full back into the account tickets were originally purchased from.

Please visit or follow social media for up-to-date news.

Can I still get support and representation from the Students' Union?

Yes, this will not impact the level of representation that is offered. Where possible SU officers and staff are now working from home. SU staff and officers can be contacted via email and phone (office landline numbers are being diverted). If you have a generic enquiry or unsure who to talk to please contact and one of the team will be in contact.



International and European Student Advice

Whether you are in the UK or in your home country, the International Student Advisory Service is here to provide you with practical and welfare support. You can access our services via phone/Skype for Business/ Zoom/ text/Wechat/WhatsApp and email.

Current student can visit our Moodle page for a full list of contact methods, details, and our live Q&A sessions.

Applicants can find information on our welcome plans and international arrival support on our website.

Information for applicants

International orientation event in September 2020 for new students

Please check our orientation and pre-arrival website for information on our plans to support and welcome you in September. We recommend that you start your preparations by reading through the International Pre-Arrival Guide 2020. Please email us at if you have any questions about starting your studies in September 2020.


Information for current students

International arrivals in September 2020

Arrival form

International arrivals must complete a passenger locator form  before arriving in the UK. You can complete it from 48 hours before your estimated arrival time to the UK. You will need to know your UK address in order to complete this form.

You do not need to complete this form if you are from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Self-isolation on arrival to the UK - who does and doesn’t need to self-isolate (quarantine)

The UK government introduced a 14-day self-isolation requirement for international arrivals on 8th June.

You will fined if you fail to provide details of where you plan to stay and/or if you do not self-isolate.

From 10th July international arrivals travelling from these countries do not need to self-isolate on arrival to the UK. Please check the list carefully to see if you are required to self-isolate.

Students travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories do not need to self-isolate on arrival. Please note that if you are travelling via one of the countries that are not listed on the travel corridor/exempt country list, you will need to self-isolate.

Please check the travel corridor/exemption list on the UK government website regularly and carefully to find out whether you need to self-isolate or not.

How do I self-isolate?

The current UK government guidance on self-isolation is available here.

If you are required to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK, we recommend that you try to arrive 14 days before the start of your course, so that you can complete the self-isolation period before your classes start. If this is not possible due to travel restrictions, or visa application delays, do not worry, we can still support you as most of the teaching sessions will be available online for you to access them during the self-isolation period. Contact the international student advisers at if you have any questions or concerns about self-isolation or arriving later than your course start date.

Self-isolation in the Halls of Residence:

If you have booked a room in the University Halls of Residence and you need to self-isolate on arrival, please contact our accommodation team to book your room for the early arrival self-isolation period. Email


If you can arrive14 days before your course start date, your accommodation in the Halls of Residence will be free of charge for the self-isolation period. You will need to arrange your food and other necessities to be delivered to your room. The International Student Advisers will provide information on how to get ready for the self-isolation period before you are due to arrive. This will include information on how to open a UK bank account and how to register an online shopping account and how to arrange food and other necessary items to be delivered to your room.  

Self-isolation in a private shared house:

The current UK government advice states that if you live in a private shared house, you can use it as a base to self-isolate. The people you live with do not need to self-isolate unless you travelled together. You should keep contact with your housemates to a minimum and avoid using the common areas (kitchen, bathroom, living room etc) at the same time. You should have your food and other necessary items delivered as you will not be allowed to leave your self-isolation base except for limited reasons. Make sure you read the government’s self-isolation guidance in detail and contact the International Student Advisers if you need any support or advice.

Travelling from the airport/train station/port to Chichester/Bognor Regis

The current UK Government guidance recommends that you should not use public transport, unless you have no other options. The guidance also states that you must use a face covering if travelling on public transport. The full guidance on travelling by public transport is available here.

Travelling by taxi

A good alternative to public transport is to pre-book a local taxi to collect you from the airport. If you are not sure how to do this, you can use our taxi booking service. Visit our online store to pay the fee and provide all the necessary details. Please complete the online store booking form at least 48 hours before your estimated arrival time. You can read the government guidance on using taxis and adhering to social distancing here.

Accessing healthcare in the UK

International students on Tier 4 visas: If you are on a course that is longer than six months, your NHS surcharge payment (which you pay as part of your visa application) gives you access to the healthcare system in the UK. Students on courses shorter than 6 months long, should make sure they have a private medical insurance to cover non-emergency care.

EU students: If you are from the EU/EEA you should bring you European Health Insurance Card with you. This will give you access to all health services in the UK while you are studying here.

What if I am unable to return to the UK when the teaching starts again?

We understand that some of our current students may experience delays in returning to the UK due to COVID-19 related visa application delays and/or travel restrictions. If this applies to you, you should get in touch with your department as soon as possible to find out whether your late arrival can be authorised and how you can study online during the agreed late arrival period.  If late arrival is authorised and you are able to study online it is really important that you fully engage, so that you do not fall behind.

The UK Visas and Immigration has introduced a distance learning concession for Tier 4 students for the academic year 2020/2021. This means that Tier 4 students are permitted to study on a distance learning basis, as long as the intention is to return to the UK for face-to-face teaching as soon as it is practically possible. Please note that to benefit from this concession, you will need to discuss the late arrival plans with your department.

Tier 4 visa information

Do I need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa when face-to-face teaching resumes?

If your Tier 4 visa is valid for the duration of your course then you can use it to return to the UK without applying for a new visa.

If your visa is due to expire before, or soon after you return to the UK please speak to the International Student Advisers ( about your options.

What if my visa expires while I am in the UK and I am unable to leave?

If your visa is due to expire before 31st July 2020 and you are unable to leave the UK due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, you can extend your stay in the UK for up to 31st July 2020. You must submit an application to the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre.   Please check the latest information relating to this concession on the UKCISA website.

What if I need extra time to complete my studies and my visa expires before I can complete?

Please contact the International Student Advisory Service ( to discuss your circumstances.

Where can I find more information?

Information is constantly updating and we strongly recommend that your check the UKCISA website for the latest information relating to UKVI, Tier 4 status and COVID-19 etc. Make sure you check the information regularly.

Who can I contact if I have any questions about my visa?

International Student Advisory Service

European Students – The EU Settlement Scheme

The UK left the EU on the 31st January 2020 and entered a transition period which is due to end on 31st December 2020. During this transition period, freedom of movement continues as usual. If you are an EU/EEA national you will not need a visa to return to the UK as long as you arrive in the UK by 31st December 2020.

I am in my home country due to COVID-19 travel restrictions/UK lockdown. Can I apply to the EU Settlement Scheme outside the UK?

Yes, you can apply even if you are not currently in the UK. You should visit our EU Settlement Scheme information on our website.

Will a long-term COVID-19 outbreak related absence from the UK impact on my settlement application/status?

If you are absent for less than 6 months in a 12-month period, your continuous residence is not affected under the settlement scheme rules. If your absence becomes longer and you are concerned about your status, please get in touch with the International Student Advisory Service (

Where can I find more information relating to the status of EU/EEA students in the UK?

Please visit the UKCISA website for the latest updates.





Will the University be open again in September 2020?

The Vice Chancellor contacted all students and applicants on the 29th May to affirm our commitments and the approach we intend to take in September.  You can find a copy of this communication here: All Student Email - Friday 29th May

When is Freshers' Week?

Freshers' week for the 2020-21 student intake will be the week commencing 14 September 2020.

Will Graduation still happen?

Please visit our Graduation web page at for an update on graduation.

I’m due to finish my course soon but due to the current situation I need to continue to access my IT and library account. What should I do?

We recognise this may be the case so we’ve extended all finalists’ (including postgraduate students) IT and library accounts, including campus door access, until 23/01/2021.

If you have any problems please contact the SIZ team via who will be happy to resolve them for you.


Still need help?